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How To Create A New Life For Myself

MsHumptyDumptyMMsHumptyDumpty Posts: 1,567
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Depression and Coping
In some ways I feel very selfish posting this. I know there a lot of people in a much worse situation then I am in.
Yet after almost 6 months of this, I need to ask for help.....

My pain is 80% under control now and I pretty much know how to turn, lift, bend etc. so I don't do any more harm.

I also am blessed to have skills in other areas that allow me to work from home around my own scheduled.

Yet each day I say today I will start it ( my new work ) and each day for hours and hours I just sit and stare at the computer. I don't play games online or anything like that to suck up the time - I just sit and feel like I am staring at a blank wall.

I "know" what most of my issue is - I want to return to my busy work ( commercial cleaning lady for 24 yrs ). Yet I know I can't. ( I still do clean a few very small jobs a few times a week )

How do I get the right mind set to start a new life for myself?

I feel guilty as we NEED the income I can make. Yet I just can't seem to get moving???

I am a skilled & knowledgeable web designer and own a few websites that I ran before I got injured and now they just lay there dead :(
L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.


  • Can you start like 5 minutes a day say after a shower or a walk? I think it's a gift to be able to be a web designer. I know it's hard to start something new. Good luck I've been putting off things too that I need to get moving on. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Sorry to see you feel stuck. I think it happens to us all as it is part of the acceptance stage, and too our own newly self induced inner belief in ourselves. We tend to doubt ourselves with new things. Try and think 'baby steps', don't look at the finished web page, instead break it into tasks or sections.

    The title for a company your interested in helping.
    The background for it.
    Theme elements.
    Unique things for their site.
    Communique info/contact info.
    etc.... :)

    It could be your looking at the mountain instead of the path and trail up that mountain. Once you start the walk up the trail, trees, birds, flowers, sounds, smells...all come back. Still a big picture and long climb, but in doable levels. Hope that helps...:)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • COnsider what meds you are taking. WHen I was working I knew that I was spending lots of time everyday just staring at my computer or even at the wall. I knew it but could do nothing about it. When I asked my doctor he said it was probably the neurontin. WHat helps us can also hurt us in little ways.
  • I hear you loud and clear! Its hard for us spineys to adjust to so many changes in our lives. When I just recently saw my GP and told him about all of the crappy changes I had to make in the last year or so, he said "wow, thats a lot of things you lost, massive changes in a short amount of time".

    For me, and probably others too, this spiney journey is happening at the same time that I have had to adjust my life as a mom. I feel like I have to keep re-inventing myself. I had to let go of the old me that worked and got a paycheck, deal with the new lonliness and isolation that can happen when you are at home in the 'burbs and most of your neighbor moms are working.

    Then comes the pre-school years and you make friends with a few of the moms. But once preschool is over you don't see the other moms much anymore; they are at a different bus stop or most have gone back to work.

    Once the kids are in school full time I have to decide what I am going to do. I should go back to work, but now due to all of my spine problems I am at a loss at what I can do. Many jobs are completely out of the question due to the physical strain they can give. So, just like I have had to "re-invent" myself as a "mom" so, too, I have had to kind of reinvent myself as a spiney. For these things to coincide at the same time is a big bummer but I try to deal the best I can.

    I know I went off on a tangent there, but to me these 2 issues are so similar. I have looked at the classifieds and there is hardly anything out there. Finding the motivation can also be tough. Its not like we wanted to make these changes, we've had to because of our spines.

    OK, now I'll stop rambling. These thoughts have been on my mind for a while and I feel a bit better putting my frustration out there. Hopefully some of you can relate.

    So Ms. Humpty, give it some time and things just may start falling into place. Keep us posted as to how you are doing.

  • you have been physically active for many years, like i have , and for me and maybee you , thats the real part thats hurts , as our bodies are now unable to do thses things . i want to walk to run. be able to drive more than a few kls, i want to go to the gym , i want to clean my home , and work in my garden. its hard not being able to do the things we want too,and that gave us pleasure. i understand. see if you can find something you can do , that u really like, that would engage your mimd in a pleasurable way and maybee that may help to lift you. no its not the same , as we once did and this is hard stuff .your not being selfish, you may be grieving for what you have lost, maybee talk with your pcp about how your feeling, he may suggest a new med for you . its certainly not uncommon for depression to take hold , when major long term life changes arise. i can undertand the guilt thing , but remember this is not your fault, keep talking and posting , its good to get it out . hugs for you ,
  • Don't feel guilty about asking for help. No problem is too small or insignificant if it's bothering you.

    It sounds to me like you're mourning the loss of your former lifestyle, and that's perfectly normal. You can't do the things you used to do and it's weighing on you. You need to be able to grieve your loss and then move on. I'm not going to say how long that might take because everyone is different. Just know that we're here to lend a shoulder to cry on anytime. :)

    Also--someone mentioned that Neurontin can cause this kind of side effect. Are you on this nerve medicine? It would be nice to be able to blame a medication.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I can not express how touched I am at all your responses to me ((HUGS)) !

    Each of you touched on at least one major issue/thought/feeling I have.

    I can still SEE myself running and working 15 hrs a day ( who would have thought I would ever morn that loss lol .

    Just yesterday at a park with 4 of my grand kids the younger one wanted to go down the slide with her. The older ones spoke up and said "yeah Nana remember when you use to ride down it with us and how much fun we had". I was ready to say yes I would go down the slide and hubby reading my mind say "no, that would not be wise". I knew he was right but almost risked it any ways to give this grandchild the same memories the others have of me.

    I ended up not doing it. Yes, I know I can make new memories...... any ways my long winded point is "yes I am depressed over my new normal".

    I spent a few yrs being pissed off about it - maybe depression will be be the final stage and I can FINALLY move forward!!!

    I have SO much to be grateful for. After 6 yrs I can dress myself and even put my own socks on - Awkward as it is to do it I can do it. With the help of chairs/rails/bars/ and gadgets I can do almost everything for myself.

    Meds. I am on the fentanyl pain patch 75 mg every 48 hrs and 5 mg percocets max of 8 daily. My research shows none of my issues can be from either of these meds.

    I have been on them both a little over a yr now. This depression has been only for about 6 months now - however it is getting worse each week.

    Many good ideas have been given to me here to try. Again I thank each of you :)

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Ms HD,
    The key is in the new concept, letting go of who we once were and what our capability was, is not easy our lives are defined in two distinct aspects and that through no fault of your own; your physical capability has been changed with or without your consent or approval.

    Some people adapt to change well and while in constant pain, we are mandated to adapt, evaluate and review constantly, if we set current objects of our new normal from historic competence we will always be disappointed, it is not easy to create a new us from what is left, the alternative is to give up and many here will not do that to themselves.

    Chronic pain employment is challenging and many employers see us as a risk rather than asset, we have many skills experience and drive, laying dormant for the want of some recognition. Developing new skills in the restriction of constant pain is achievable it is just ourselves we have to convince, we have adapted so far and looking back we would never have imaged how to cope and here we are, improving and coping as best we can. WE have to see that vision and with that objective use our honed skills to do all we can to focus on what we need to do to achieve these results, it is going to take time and resilience, pain anguish and tears, emotion and tenacity. I did voluntary work that helped people learn new things, it made me feel good about who I was and that feeling of usefulness.

    Children will love you for who you are, not what you can do, they look to you for leadership and example, depression is part of the chronic pain cycle, you owe it to yourself to do all that is possible with the knowledge that constant pain is not easy to find our all those who can help and support you, acknowledge your achievements.
    Those cleaning skills and web ideas seem ideal for a new challenge and best suited to advertising your skills to others on the Net.

    My own son is disabled he achieves things that would make grown men cry, he will never give in, I have responsibility to support and encourage him in all the things he does, that is my role, to show him the way, irrespective of my own needs, it is a gift to be helping others when in need yourself.

    That new concept is about progress and change, moving on from where you were your wants and needs now, set objectives that are realistic based on your current capability, create interim small objective that are part of the bigger goal, your have many skills that we all wished we had, perhaps you can show us all how to do that, things that we wish we could do.

    What do you want to do and how are you going to do that and when.

    Take care and good luck.


  • wow! John are you a teacher? You sure said all that you said very well. My Thanks to you :)

    Lots here to think on...

    Today I forced myself out of bed after 8 1/2 hrs of sleep instead of my usual 12+

    My goal today is to NOT cat nap - so I am truly tired when bed time rolls around.

    I will keep you all updated.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • 13 hrs of sleep last night!!!!!!! GRRRRRR!!!! sigh :(
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • Ms. Humpty,

    I go through phases where I sleep too much, and contrary to what one would think, I would be MORE tired when I slept over 9 or 10+ hours. Here is a trick I have learned to "snip" my sleep to a more reasonable level - and I feel better overall too. I pretty well know my bladder, so I will drink about 8oz of water before I hit the pillow, and like 6.5-7 hours later, I wake to take a potty break, and I stay up. :)

    Not sure if that would work for you, but that was a trick that worked for me. :) Ps.. When I have flares and can't sleep but 1 or 2 hours at a clip, I *sniff* miss those long sleeps! (G)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Boy. I sure found a lot of comments in there that really touched home. My 2 younger kids always ask me if I have ever jumped on a trampoline before. My older kids tell them about the back flips with twists and all kinds of crazy things I taught them to do and they think they are just teasing. I used to be a professional motocross racer, very high level snow skiier, avid outdoorsman and hunter and many other things. I am having an extremely difficult time trying not to let these things define who I am.
    We can't let things we used to be able to do define who we think we are. Hmmmm... well, I just figured out how to state my biggest problem. lol. Maybe I can get it through my thick head and learn something from it. Hopefully some of you less thick headed people already know who you are and it isn't based on every wild and crazy story you can tell.
    Best of luck. I sure hope you get things sorted out. Let me know when you do. I could sure use some help myself.
  • Hi HD,

    I was on percocets 5mg 6 per day for one year. The last month my doctor took me off of them and now I am taking 30mg of morphine 3x a day.

    I can't tell you how much better I feel. My depression is gone. I am more motivated in everything. My family and friends are telling me how different and happy I have been recently.

    I read information that perks can make you depressed so, I asked my doctor and we changed. We all react differently so, it might not make a difference for you but you never know...

    Hope you feel better soon,


  • Lisa,
    For the most part depression is a periodic visitor of chronic pain and having had an event major depression some years ago I am able to recognised those signs and behaviours that indicate I have less control. Some medication used is not intended for long term use and it is poignant that you yourself see how you have improved and that experience will always be a point of reference in how your condition is controlling you.

    We then see things, possibly the same things in an alternative view and able to move forward and this you are now doing, long term depression is not something anyone should be expected to endure and our lives are challenging with this constant feeling and despair.

    Even if we only manage it more effectively it may help, that motivation was part of you, it is normal from constant chronic pain to mask those traits of motivation, that skill of progress was inherent and only opaque from the depression, you are working hard and see a future for yourself.

    I wish you well in the future as you continue to manage your condition effectively.

    Take care John.
  • Thanks John. Of course there are other things helping me with my depression. The first thing I did was get of the perks then the other stuff started to follow. I had a goal of quiting smoking so, I started the first day being off the perks and it has been one month on Monday! This has made me feel really good about myself and healthy! I guess in a way I feel I have taken some control back in my life! cause when we are dealing with are health and chornic pain it's taken away. I just want the best revovery I can have I'm having a fusion in Nov. I'm not saying I'm cured and I won't fall back into a depression because that happen anytime. What I'm saying is that we have to look around us and figure out what are our triggers are. I'm no expert the past two years since my accident I have had a lot of time on my hands.. lol.. Life is so hard!
  • Lisa,
    Finding what works for us is what this site is all about, evaluating what has worked needs creative ideas to try, evaluate and embrace or otherwise, not everything we try works the key is to keep trying, those trigger elements Lisa mentions, are important and that list is one that will benefit us over time and keep us distanced from the things that seem to make our condition worse if possible.

    In doing all the things that make us feel good, we have some control or the perception of it, keeping that grasp on a shrinking capacity does require invention and a changed observation of the same thing. Those short-term attainable goals are essential and more to do with setting those that we can do, rather than reaching for the impossible and inherent disappointment.

    In trying to do more with less is difficult, where wants have to become pushed aside for what we need to do or have the daily capacity. No life is easy, in reducing our red flag activities those simple achievements disproportionate to the effort required, and are more cherished. That loss of ourselves, like sand through our fingers, imposes change without our authority as we fight to hold onto every grain. Our healthy previous life cannot be compressed into what is left, our new restrictions honed into future daily challenges, beyond a smile of acceptance. If it was easy anyone could do this, it takes time to be this disgruntled. This is a game of two sides, Us v Ourselves, on a good day I win every time on worse days the pain wins, I let it.

    We are building the new us daily, looking to increase our capacity rather than reduce our roles and responsibility it is always balance.

    Take care.


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