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Why Me? And What can I do ?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Depression and Coping
For almost 2 thirds of my life, I have dealt with spinal surgeries and chronic pain.

As much as I have tried to preach and talk about positive thinking and how that can help, I have fallen to the sorry and pity-me so many times.

I believe anyone that has had to deal with pain for a long time needs the help of others. Besides all the help I received from my wife and my children (which without their support, I cant say where I would be today), there have been times when help from outside is so badly needed.

Some people think that if you seek advice or counseling from a professional, its a sign of weakness. I will readily admit that over the years I've needed the help of these professionals. Dealing with chronic pain can create so many negative emotions.

But we do not stop, we do not or should not let those emotions take control of our lives. We can not allow that to happen.

With depression its so easy to let it spiral downhill faster and faster, to a point where it is so difficult to stop it.

But what do we do? What do you do to keep from letting this downward slope happen?

We can always get the different medications to help deal with our physical problems, but its the emotional aspect that can be more difficult.

For me, its my support system at home, my wife, my children (well adults , 32 and 36) that help me so much.

And this may sound strange. When someone on this site talks about all of the negatives going on in their lives, the depression, their family issues, I try to help in the ways I know how to.

This for me, is one of the best medications I can have.
If I can reach just a few and help just a few, then that goes so far in helping me deal with my own issues.

What Helps You?

We are friends here, no one is going to judge you for whatever you feel. Please tell us about your own personal struggles and how you have been dealing with them
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • When I get down I am really down, usually reduced to tears at the slightest provacation. =((

    My husband tries to be supportive, but I can tell he gets tired of the BS. My kids--31 and 39, don't really have a clue about how I really feel. :<

    Yes, like Ron, sometimes it helps to feel like you helped someone else on this forum.

    If I reach out for support on this forum, and do not get a response, it can be heartbreaking for me. That is why I try not to leave a post with absolutely no reply. Someone else is reaching out and giving them a reply just might make a world of difference to them.

    What helps the most is to laugh. =)) To be with friends, or especially with my granddaughters. :X My granddaughters are 15, 6, 5. 2 and 1. In three months, there will be a new grandson! They are the joy of my life. 8>
  • Depression Causes many harms to our Health it is Physical as well as mental harm also,The very easy way to get out or keep your self away from Depression is to listen to cheerful music go to Gym.
  • Things have got to me this winter and now I'm reaching out calling family and trying to get back in touch. It's very hard trying to meet up with them though as I can't seem to make plans for tomorrow because I don't know how I'll feel, no sleep again or too much pain?

    I'm getting someone to come in and clean and it's getting out of hand and have family come here to visit. I don't have children so there's a missing spot there so have to really on myself to get things going. I called my Aunt and told here she can drop by anytime as I'm home always. Like thats going to happen..

    But yes I try to get here daily and read and see if I can help someone but usually end up getting help myself seeing I'm not alone. I can't wait to get out in the spring. I hate being so isolated.
    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
  • I feel I'm slipping into a sink-hole right now. The sleeping - for 10-12 or more hours per day - is pulling me down.

    I have been in pain for almost 4 years now - where did the time go? I have not had surgery because when I had a discogram, it came out negative. I'm still searching for answers as to the cause of my unending severe pain.

    I was upbeat about it all for about 2 years - always thought I would get better, or SOMETHING would help. I never took meds for anything before I hurt my back - now I'm loaded up on codeine and lyrica (among other things).

    I get a bit of depression, and maybe this current lethargy I'm feeling is that - I'm just so sick of pushing Drs to help me - only my PM Dr has helped or stayed with me. I'm finding it harder and harder to push myself to do things, because it always ends the same way - me on my back with the ice packs, even more messed up than usual on medications. The medications don't stop the pain - just make it so when I lay down I don't feel so bad. But everything I do causes pain (including any therapy) - I feel like the pigeon in the cage, who's been zapped so many times, it doesn't know what to do anymore.

    Things I could follow-up on lay before me - maybe if I had a weighted MRI, or a standing MRI, it would reveal to the Drs that my disc is really shot (now all they can see is that the disc has a tear and a bulge - my pain is discogenic, but for some reason, that didn't show up on the discogram). I still "re-injure" my back on a regular basis - maybe I should have an MRI when I'm having an acute episode. But I've been treated for SI joint and facets as well (not to mention epidurals, been offered hip injections). Everything helps a little bit, for a little while - BUT WHY OH WHY DOES EVERYTHING I DO PUSH ON THIS ONE LITTLE SPOT IN MY DISC? - A load of laundry would leave me crooked and in so much pain I can't leave the house for days.

    After all this time in pain, I really feel my mind deteriorating - so much time in front of the TV and the computer screen, full of meds. But more than depression, more than my vagueness/stupidity quotients rising, I suffer from anxiety. When something goes wrong, or I get some papers from social security or disability, I become so anxious. Hands shaking, heart pounding, can't eat - can't sleep. I have a little pill for that now, and I take it a day or two, and then I'm back on track.

    Well - everyone who's posted above knows the only cure is love, connection with others, caring for fellow sufferers. I am so fearful of the future, but when I connect - now, in this moment - I forget about it. I stay focused on the here and now - all my fears are in the future.

    For depression, when it hits bad - only faith in God helps me - If I have thoughts of ending my life (and my husband's - he is so terribly ill), which I have had, very occassionally - I tell myself to wait. Wait a while. It is obviously a great sin to hurt/kill yourself or another. And I know how much it would hurt our families, our friends, if we weren't around. So - hurting myself or my husband IS NOT AN OPTION! ha-ha! So I just have to keep going. Like sludging my way through deep heavy mud at times. I keep going for me, and I keep going for my husband, and I keep going for all the other people in the world - what we do matters to others, and it matters to God. So - I keep going! Sometimes it feels like I'm just going in circles - I'm walking in faith at this point! Life is a journey, whatever our condition! (Oh - and I LOVE good laugh! - A good laugh always puts some gas in the engine.)
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    into the depression mode again. And don't know exactly why.
    I've been trying Lyrica. And I'm not getting the same results as my brother did. The high doses that he was prescribed. Were not tolerable and his PM Dr. insisted he take it for 2 mo. And he couldn't. So he backed off of it a little at a time. and when he got down to 75 mg. He found it worked for him and he could tolerate it.
    So I tied the same starting with 50 mg. a day. Then quickly to 50 2 times a day. And at that dose. I felt good but it seemed to wear off in the afternoon. So I went to 50 mg. 3 a day. But before I could get used to the side effects. It stopped working. A temporary placebo effect maybe? I don't know. But I upped the dose to 100 morn. 50 at noon and 100 at night and the same thing happened. So now I'm at 100 mg. 3 a day. Trying to get used to the side effects. It's working, but not like it did in the beginning. And I'm not used to the side effects yet. So maybe that's why.
    My mother passed after a 7 mo. battle with cancer on 11/16. And I was executor of the estate. (very small estate) And that caused problems with some Sib's. And I just didn't feel like getting things done. So it took forever.
    But it's done now. And I should feel good about that. But I don't. It dosen't seem to make a difference.
    I've been sleeping way to much and not really wanting to get out of bed. And taking long naps.
    I log on once in a while. But mostly just lurk. More often than not, I don't even turn it on. And I just don't have any interests.
    I do know, I've been battling chronic pain for way to many years. And have had "the light at the end of the tunnel" go off way to many times. But I've always been able to get past things and carry on.
    This is actually the first thread I've felt like posting to.
    Ron, I'm surprised that you are depressed. I always thought that you had so many things going on in your life, that you were just to busy to be depressed. But I guess it gets to all of us at times.
    I need to stop this downward trend, and get a handle on things. And a thread like this may be a good thing for me.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Glad you're getting back into the posting game - even if it is about depression and misery! (ha-ha!) I remember you talking about your mother, when she was ill. It's not that long ago, Jim. Losing a parent is one of the BIGGIES - it's a lot, for many, many reasons. You must have loved her, and she must have loved you - you took care of her "at the end" - What a wonderful thing for you to do - how much that must have meant to your mother. She chose you as her executor, probably because she thought you were the one that could handle it. Dealing with that stuff is always so difficult - brothers and sisters - no matter their age - are always vying for mother's and father's love. (Read your Bible - ha-ha!)

    I'm not making light of all that you have been through - (and I'm not trying to hijack this post either) - I think at times we need to hide away from the world, and heal our emotional/psychic wounds, and then when we are ready - we have to put ourselves "out there" again.

    For so many of us - getting "out there" can be a bit difficult - We are lucky to have the computer - It is not the same as being with people, but the computer, the internet, this Forum, all give us a chance to put ourselves out there, to be part of "a community/the community". It's a starting point.

    If you're getting sick of where you're at, then maybe it's a sign that you're ready to begin "connecting" again". "For everything, there is a season" - or something like that.

    I agree with you - Ron always seems to me like he manages great burdens with purpose and fortitude - but none of us are immune to "the darkness".

    Take it easy on yourself. Everything (including meds, as you well know) takes time. Prayers for you, your mother and your family. I hope we get to "see" you more often here again.

    I do know that I have a tendency to see disaster at every turn in my life - But I was reminding myself last night, that the actual "disasters" I imagine looming ahead are always changing - this month it was one thing, and the next month it will be something else. And when I'm catastrophizing, I say to myself - Yes, but this time, it really IS a disaster. Well - I have passed through many such "disasters" and survived. Things that were overwhelming me a few months ago have passed, and been replaced by new worries and concerns. And so it goes -

    But one things I'm pretty certain of: your mother gave you life, and spent all that time and effort raising you, so that you could have a happy life, a good life. That life that she worked so hard to prepare you for is still there, ready for you when you have rested, and are able to pick it up again.
    All the best.
  • I've been treated for depression & GAD for about 8 years now, it got really bad during my divorce.

    I've had back/neck pain much longer than that.

    It's really gotten much worse over the past few months, the back pain, that is. I really don't know why. Maybe I never will.

    It's amazing how difficult it's been for me to make the connection between chronic pain & depression.

    It's affecting every aspect of my life, especially my career. The creative juices just won't flow like they should.

    I feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to go out & do errands.

    Luckily, I can work from home, I don't know how I would ever drag myself to an office everyday.

    I'm sleeping more than normal, maybe more than is healthy, I don't know.

    Funny how I'm beating myself up for being "lazy" as I sit here, after taking my am pain meds, still in pain & feeling like I should be doing "more" than working everday & excerising as I can.

    My mind is just not making the connection between the pain & the depression.

  • Coyote,

    What is it about the sleeping? Is it depression or are our bodies simply exhausted from slogging thru our days with the pain & spasms?

    My favorite part of the day is when it's functionally over, ie after dinner when I can take a shower, lay on my stomach in my bed & watch escapist TV. DH has started joining me, which is nice. I just ordered a Cozy Sac for the living room, in hopes I'll be spending more time in there if I can find a way to get comfy.

    In addition to my DH, my dogs are my best source of comfort. They're mature now, so no hassles with their behavior, they just keep me company with their wonderful presence.

    And my male has a great sense of humor, he actually thinks up dog jokes--he can always lighten the mood for a few minutes.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    outofcontrol, like you my older kids and most of my family just DON'T HAVE A CLUE! And like you it's tough when you reach out on the forum and don't get a response. Especially because I've been such a long time (on again off again) member. And I also log on go to recent posts and try to respond to someone who has been passed by.
    And sassy I can relate to EVERYTHING you've posted!. And the same goes with charry. You have been at this for such a long time. And always try to be positive in your posts.
    Stefany, What an inspirational post. Thank you! In my long journey. I've had a battle similar to you. The mri's weren't showing the disc that was giving me the debilitating pain. I thought, The only time I don't hurt, is when I'm laying down flat on my back. And that's the way they were taking their imaging. So I heard about the "Fonar" stand up MRI. Decided that I was going to get one even if I had to pay for part or all of it. And wa-la, it clearly showed the bugger. Right on the nerve. So I wasn't crazy after all! By the way I did that with flex and extension with dye.
    The only problem with me, is it's a progressive disc degeneration. And will probably just keep traveling up my spine.
    I can relate to all that you are going through. I especially like: it feels like trudging through mud. Sometimes the mud gets to deep to do much trudging!
    So a big thank you to Ron for starting this thread. And all of you that I can so closely identify to.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I too can relate some of what I've seen here. I am sleeping a lot more than I use to. I use to be "fresh as a daisy" and ready to go with 6.5 hours of sleep, now 8, 10, 12 are not uncommon. My pain medications for the most part haven't changed, so can't point there, but the back (mechanical) is becoming more and more prevalent and painful.

    Sitting use to be one of my "comfort" places, but I guess something is changing and sitting is getting painful now. I hate Oxy's or any of that crap, so no, I haven't mentioned the pain increase to my doctor, nor asked for more or different medications. I don't think I'm depressed per say, but bummed more than usual yes. I think that ties into dealing with constant pain. I akin it to having a flu that won't go away. Who is happy when they have the flu right?

    I waited 4 months to get in with my Neurologist, only to be canceled the day before, and bumped a month - to April 1st of all days! I was so bummed and mad all day, I couldn't believe it. They better not cancel me again, because I only do 2 strikes, not 3...and will once again find a new Neurologist that actually takes time to examine, talk, listen etc. (okay rant over..thanks!)

    I am hoping now that the weather down here is warming up, my above ground pool will warm enough so I can get in it for my spiney breaks! That's the only exercise I can do without "paying" later. :)

    Anti-depressive activities for me? Posting, supporting on here - takes my mind off of my crap, and I get to help someone I've never met maybe get answers I know I didn't have with my first two fusions as I didn't know about this site during that time. When my neck and back allow, I try to work on beading projects, planning RV trips, talking with friends on the phone, on good days meeting a friend for lunch etc. Trying to balance is all.

    I've never stated to myself "Why me" though. I crashed a helicopter, and by the so called statistics I shouldn't be walking, or worse yet be here. I therefore see it that I got 17 years that maybe I shouldn't have gotten, so I got lucky!! And "What can I do", not near what I use to, but "I" am still me.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Why me?

    I try to be nice. Why didn't this happen to a MEAN or BAD person.
    I try to be positive. Why didn't this happen to someone who is negative all the time?
    I try to be responsible and productive. Why didn't this happen to some lazy person who just doesn't care?
    I want to be active. Why didn't this happen to someone who just wants to lay around doing nothing all day.
    I wanted to travel, but can't stand to sit in a car for more than an hour. Why didn't this happen to someone who was content to stay at home?
    I wanted to be the most fun grandma in the entire world. And I try, and it almost kills me, but it is the only thing that makes me happy. I wouldn't want anyone to miss an opportunity to do that.
  • Ron,
    Pain of this continuance is not normal and suitably named chronic, we all need additional help sometimes the notion of seeking professional help is strength and will assist us in managing those periodic depressive events to become less embedded or more impacted than necessary.

    If we feel more positive the pain itself seems less, even if it were able to be monitored it may be constant, the same condition viewed with depression may seem worse than the reality. In trying to understand the why me, we fill those voids of doubt and anxiety will all the negative aspects and that in itself can become a behavioural or progressive trait and the question why not us.

    Here we try to support everyone and not rush to any conclusion just encouragement and support where necessary, we are all progressing, not necessarily matched to our expectations, momentum never the less, it is not the times that we fall, but how each time we get back up to continue this journey. My own depressive event was a learning experience and I am now more aware of those red flag issues that collectively contributed to my own demise, being permanently negative needs professional support. In our own way we may all have needs and if we can reach out to others even in our own hour of need, that shows compassion understanding and empathy.

    I have twenty years of tools and strategies to stay away from those red flags; my chronic pain is managed by a team of people, who support me, with experience I know how difficult that transition from no pain to having some is, and now cannot remember how not having pain feels like.

    The notion of best practice is on this site and in finding our own special route we have to move slowly and methodically towards what works just for us, as pain fluctuates we need to adapt to those changes.

    Most of the time we are reacting to changing circumstance and only limited progress on pre-empting how these changes will impact on us and be ready for the next one. Managing pain and associated depression is a constant challenge, just as we seem to be getting nearer any adequate solution, time and our condition moves on and we encounter an additional set of new tasks.

    We have to be realistic in knowing what we can change and what we cannot, do our best every single day and be kind to ourselves and those around us.

    Take care.


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