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Question on mental health

nursedina001nnursedina001 Posts: 234
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Is it normal for me to feel totally depressed about all of this?

I am usually a high functioning nurse who works both home health care and emergency nursing/trauma nursing. I have never really been sick a day in my life.

Sine my injury on September 30th, I have been home. (my boyfriend is retired so he is home with me also) . I feel like a big tub of lard sitting around here. Surgery is in two days and I am freaking out that no one wil be able to take care me and I am so scared of having nothing to do while i am laying here.

Anyway, My basic question is = is it normal for me to have bouts of depression/crying ? Or am I just being a big scared baby??

Thanks in advance for your support

(I love this site)



  • In my opinion, pain creates depression and depression creates pain. With that said, I feel it is very normal as I am sure you have read from lost of other posts to experience bouts of depression with pain. Especially in your situation where you were highly functional and now inactive. I understand how you feel 100%. Before I got too bad I finally hit my goal weight, was addicted to exercising and was able to jog for the first time in my life without even being chased by anything =)) I was working full time, school part time and taking care of my 2 young kids 6 and 12 then the pain hit and I could hardly walk let alone jog even if I was being chased and I slowly spiralled down-hill and gained over 60#. I am not trying to make you feel worse by any means. Just trying to let you know that understand and sympathize with you.

    I think you should express your concern with your surgeon and/or primary care doc. Good luck with the surgery and you sound very strong willed and I know you will be back on your feet and back to your active lifestyle in no time.

    My advice is to not push yourself though. Listen to your body. Overdoing it can cause more harm on your body.
  • I also had to drop of school after this injury. I am wokring on my master's degree and had to leave school until I am feeling better. That was a huge bummer as well.

    I just feel like a pain in the ass to everyone around me and it will only get worse for a little while after surgery I am afraid.

    My boyfriend and I have been dating less than a year and I hate to have something like this happen so early in the relationship.

    I USED to be fun, now I just lay in bed and take pain pills and watch TV...Hopefully the surgery will open me back up to the "old" me
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  • It really is a bummer to have to stop doing the things you have worked so hard to do. You sound very independent such as myself therefore asking for help is very hard to do. You first have to acknowledge that you need someone else's help which means you have to accept you can't do it all by yourself. That's how I am anyway. I'm getting better about asking for help although my husband is used to the woman who doesnt' need anyone to help her, she can do anything a man can do attitude [( so I'm not sure he knows how to help me.

    I hope this makes your relationship stronger by him sticking by you only means what a great guy he is :X

    I know how you feel when you say you "I USED to be fun, now I just lay in bed and take pain pills and watch TV". Beleive it or not, I used to be the life of the party. Then I had to stop slam dancing or dancing of any kind for that matter :W I even sang in my husband's semi-punk rock band and now I'm lucky to get out of the house to go get some milk or bread when we run out. L) It's like I went from cool to lame in no time at all. Now I am a hermit. (|: (|:

    I'm sure you will recover and get back to the "old you" in no time especially if you keep a positive attitude. >:D<
  • I used to be active in my career and was supposed to take an ER course even though I've been there working for 2 years as an experienced telemetry RN and all of a sudden my back went out. So for 10 months now I've been a hermit too. While getting LTD you're not allowed to take a course or work of course. Who can take a course vegging on morphine anyway. I have to take an anti depressant too as of a few months ago. Who wouldn't by having so much pain? A lot of depression is fear of the unknown too and going for surgery for sure is that type of fear. But if the Neurologist says it's essential to stop the compression of your nerve there's really no way out of surgery. It's a feeling of having no control in your life for a short period only. It's hard being a patient when you're the Nurse. You may feel that it's not expected for you to be in that place to be a patient. Don't feel you have to be your own Nurse. After shoulder surgery I wanted to empty my own emesis basin and I almost fell on my butt. Giving over the reins to someone else is difficult. But of course you'll have to make sure your IV doesn't go empty and if you share the room with someone you check the iv site, it's only natural.Especially if you've been a Nurse for years moreso. There are people who've even gone back to work before they're really ready because of that need to help others. But you have to help yourself first because without your spine working for you, you can't really move liberally and you're always thinking of reinjuring so is it best really to return to work so early when someone can have a nurse whose only most thoughts are of work and not themselves. It's pretty scary to have to go in surgery especially when you haven't really had a chance to prepare for it. Depression is really understandable and it's okay to be upset. We're pulling for you and know you'll be thought of on the day of your surgery. 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
  • I didn't realize it until seeing others on here take certain antidepressants for nerve pain so I talked to my ortho and they actually prescribed certain antidepressants for pain as well. Such as effexor can be used for people with fibromyalgia and cymbalta and lyrica for nerve pain as well as antidepressant. I asked my doc to change me back to cymbalta. I stopped over a year ago because copay was $50 and now I have new insurance that pays all of it. When I was on cymbalta I seemed to be losing weight easier but I was also more active back then. Then I heard it can help with nerve pain so I figured it couldn't hurt to try. If anything, I do know it did help with my depression anyway. I am still weaning off effexor and slowly increasing dose of cymbalta so I don't have full affect to be able to comment on whether it's helping or not.
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  • Thanks for the replies Charry,

    I am definitely a person who needs to do everything for herself and I really really need to get out of that mind frame.

    I feel almost guilty for being hurt. Isn;t that silly? I keep apologizing to my boyfriend because I feel like crap lately...lol

    anyway, thanks for the encouragement, I need it!

  • And I still have emotional breakdowns alot. I have never ever been one to be emotional but sometimes I feel like we're all entitled to it. You are not being a big baby! I hope your boyfriend is understanding. The fun you will be back. For a while I couldn't even find a reason to smile because the pain had me so down. Then to top it off with pain meds and I probably should have been committed to a mental hospital at times during these episodes. We need good nurses like you so I hope you have a VERY speedy recovery!
  • It is perfectly normal to have those feelings and I went thru them myself. Right before my TLIF I was freaking out and was in panic mode. I also had irritability and I snapped at everyone. I had a million thoughts running thru my mind and I scrambled to get everything into place so that things would run smoothly during my downtime. Don't worry, it's gonna be okay. Try to relax, go out to dinner with family, or talk over your fears with someone. We are with you 100% for moral support.
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