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Depression & Isolation from Chronic Pain Sufferers

sk1stssk1st Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Depression and Coping
When the body starts warring with your own body, its tough to cope with all the feelings and changes that come along. Facing these issues are tough, especially when you have no support or none that understands the full aspect of accute pain. One day my husband says just rest, don't do anything. Then I hear him complaining that I never cook anymore. Its a roller coaster ride of support and complaints.

My 10 yrs of suffering, losing jobs/changing jobs, losing friends, isolating myself from friends/family, realising my perfectionest ways were failing along with my body's ability to function. In such a short time I went from a very active, virile, busy and outgoing person to someone who can barely dress herself each day. Looking at my dirty floors knowing that my OCD is screaming at me to get on my knees with a scrub brush, rag and hot clorox water to clean it down to the ground then back up again along all walls, cabinets and so forth. Now I just fester at my houses needs that require me to be well, but I.m not. I have no one to do that for me. I can't afford outside help.

We all find ourselves at some point feeling this self pity, this self degredation, self flaggelation for our shortcomings. We have to STOP! Accept each days little accomplishments, praise God for the times you are able to help someone else. Look for reasons to get out more, pledge to yourself you will find a group to start a special excercise group for those with your certain conditions & have your dr. recommend a program. We must make things happen for ourselves, if we wait on others to do for us....we get lazy and self-loathing. We find accomplishments in doing something new each day. Just call up that old friend/family member & bridge the gap w/just a invite to casual lunch. Love yourself, without that how can others love you. YOUR light has to shine first. Come on, lets get up and shine our light more. May God support us in this effort.


  • Amen!
    When I found this site I was in a very dark place as of the pain and all I had lost.

    The members here took me by the hand and walked me through many many days and nights showing me how to learn to live with my new normal and in doing so they saved my life :)

    Oh I still have rough spells but they don't last as long as they use to.

    I also have a husband who does not get it. No that is wrong. he DOES get it - he just HATES it and takes it out on me.

    But again the members here always support me and guide me back to sanity again when I need it.

    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.
  • You are so correct! We all need to give ourselves credit when accomplishing something, even if it is the smallest of tasks that most take for granted every day. Positive thinking is so key when dealing with chronic pain, especially when you find yourself in the hardest of days. Find that one thing that makes you happy and concentrate on that, and take it one minute at a time, if need be. If you can't sit through even a casual lunch, make it a coffee date at your favourite cafe or coffee house, or invite the person over! I know that one is hard though, being another OCD person, and watching the dust bunnies fly by, that would never be the case in my pre-pain days! But I've learned to let it go (the OCD) and people do understand if there's some dust on the TV. We are our own worse critics, aren't we? Anyways, thanks for the uplifting reminder!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I have had back probs for years, but never really paid anny attention to it. Last year was when it really started to bother me. i was a Semi driver and i think from all the bouncing on the seats it really messed my back up more or should I say irritated it more. I have been out of work because I am always in constent pain. I firststarted to see family Dr for the pain then was refered to a pain maegment Dr. Saw a nerosergeoun but forgot to take my MRi and he was just guessing and talking through his BUTTOCKS!!!!I have become very depressed and going to counsuling, and a pycyitrist, who has me on meds for this. I can not do the daily house work that I should be doing. I have a great husband and daughter who help me out alot. My legs go totally numb andcan't get up.To top it of in 2009 my son now 10 came down with H1N1 A suspected case Insurance would not approve the test for that. He hasbeen hospitalized and now is bed ridden! I feel worthless because I can not meet his daily needs my daughter and husband are the ones who do everything for him. I have appiled for SSi for him . He was denied, now we are in the appeals process. I also have applied for SSD and SSI also denied, also in the appeals process. My son has a psch evaluation in july 2011 and I was informed that I will be getting a letter as I to have to go to a psch evaluation. i feel as if SS helps people who do not need it and those of us who need it do not get it! I did inform both case workers that these are dire need cases , I told him that if I donot get help I will be homeless! hope that hurries the process along. It as been 16 months since we started the whole process. I am at my wits end........
  • Chicha,I'm really sorry to hearyou are having such a Low time.I know how worthless these spine issues can make you feel.When you can't pitch in to lend a simple hand.But it's not your fault mate .You didnt ask for this.But because you have it ,you have to choose how you will live with it.Will it beat you,or will you beat it.
    I hope you decide to live the best life you can regardless,don't let it rob you,of what you can still have.Rock on soldier,the strength is inside you,dig,dig * dig some more mate.Focus on the things that make you laugh & bring you a smile.
    Cheers & best wishes.
  • Good comments and very true. Its definitely no fun to be in chronic pain and have depression and feelings of helplessness. I have had to let go of my OCD high standards for house and yard because I just can't do it. I am learning to live with it and looking at the things I can still do.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I hope you won't mind, I am new on posting but have been an avid reader of this site for a long time. I see you had several operations on your spine and would be interested the outcome. Did you heal well? Did you have any problems after? Why I ask is I am seeing a surgeon this week who was supposed to have operated 2 years ago in my spine but I languished on the waiting list as I was a public patient & he said my back was too difficult. I feel he put me in the too hard basket. Last week when I went back to book in for the op he said it had deteriorated too much & was afraid the pins he would put in would pop out as the osteoporosis had got too bad. I had to get new MRI & CT scans done to see him again. I am listed for fusions & bone grafts from L2/3/4 and also fusions further down. I have severe scoliosis, degenerative disc disease of the whole spine, spondylolysis, annular disc bulge, narrowing of the spinal canal & the list goes on. I am worried that the op may leave me worse off than before. The pain is too much to cope with now & I am furious he never did the op 2 years ago when it was first agreed upon. I understand you cannot give an opinion on what can happen but I am interested as to whether these fusions can work.
  • I had success with all three of my fusions. My spine was quite deteriorated. In fact the first time the surgeon looked at my x-rays he said "your spine is a mess". Most of the x-ray was black instead of white!!

    I started with with a laminectomy of L4/L5. A few years later I needed L4/L5 to be fused because the vertebrae had slipped forward, causing pain down my right leg and in my big toe and weakness in that leg also. The fusion fixed those issues but once you start messing with the spine (or anything) it is never 100 % again. I still had some back pain but nothing like before the fusion.

    My 2nd fusion was because my spine had started collapsing in on itself. I had grown a bone spur to protect it and that was pressing on the spinal column. I was fused L1-L5 with a bone graft from my hip. Recovering from the bone graft was more painful than the fusion!! I still have issues and that was 3 years ago. My 2nd fusion was only 7 months after the first.

    The 3rd fusion was because L5 had started slipping forward and I had the same symptoms as I did before the first fusion. This was a little harder recovery (I just had surgery 3 months ago) as when they go in they found the disc was so deteriorated they had to replace it with a spacer and had to pull the vertebrae apart. Also stretched a ligament in the process so I am having more pain than I did in my other recoveries. But again it fixed the original problem.

    I am glad I had all my fusions. Of course I am limited to what I can do but I work hard on my flexibility to be able to do things and you find ways to adapt.

    I have a safety bar in the bathtub/shower, a long handled shoe horn, a grabber, things like that. I walk alot and I swim which is very good for my back.

    Recovery can be long and hard and you just have to take it really easy and follow your doctors directions. No lifting, housework, etc. Being patient was the hardest thing for me!!

    I was even able to return to riding my bike after the first 2 but have not gotten that far in my recovery this time. I try to think of what I can do and not what I can't do.

    Hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to contact me in a private message if you have more questions, or on the forum.

    Good luck and keep me posted.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I have question here...can we overcome depression without medication?
  • HI,
    I think depression can be overcome without meds if it's only a "gee, I'm having a bad hair day" type of depression, or if things just don't go right for a while...but if it's chronic, then it's the chemical imbalance that can only be dealt with by taking meds to level the chemicals out... Example: SRI's are serotonin reuptake inhibitors...that means that it doesn't make more serotonin, it just keeps what you have moving, instead of being absorbed, so your body thinks it has more than it actually does...and serotonin is the natural "feel good" chemical.. like eating chocolate, actually "strokes" your serotonin!
  • Again it depends on the level of depression and also family history. Medication shouldn't be overlooked because it can be very helpful. You should make that decision with your doctor.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I hope I can reread this when I find myself hateing myself and usually at that time...I don't believe the kind or encouraging words.
    It's as though a shade has been brought down. It's a lonely place and full of self loathing.
    May I add...I believe there are different kinds of depression. Some ..transitional depression... maybe meds short time..maybe just talk therapy...maybe just getting through the situation and it passes.
    Sometimes we recover from one thing and another gets thrown at us...transitional again..and again.
    As janiski said...some of us...I have..major depression. I've had it since childhood and yes..family history.
    I didn't start taking meds 'til late 30's and I wish I would have started sooner. Life still spirals downward at times..but things can be good also..whereas I suffered much in my early life.
    Just being a part of this SH community has helped immensely. Thank you!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I also suffered a lot in my early life and as I look back I see how poorly it was handled by both the counselors and my parents and that was one reason I was gun shy to try again. I was glad when I finally did and glad for the anti depressants. I still get depressed but can usually bounce back. And yes SH is wonderful

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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