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Just need to vent

nursedina001nnursedina001 Posts: 234
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Depression and Coping
Hi everyone. I just need to vent and given the way I live my life now, indent really have very many people in the outside world to talk to and those that I do have, I think are tired of listening.

I'm getting depressed, tired, exhausted, sick of being tired and exhausted. Sick of pills and people telling me that my two fusions look stable so I shouldn't have pain. WTF? I KNOW what I feel, and it's pain.

I used to work 70 hours a week as an ER nurse, go to grad school for my masters, raise three kids as a young widow by myself, and run 3-5 miles 4-5 x a week.

Now it hurts to even tie my shoes, can't get kitty litter at the store cause I can't pick it up, can only touch as far as my thighs when I bend over, can't sit for long enough to have a conversation without having to lay down, take 10 pills a day, cry every day, I'm in bed by 7pm and asleep by 8.

I have the most wonderful, understanding man in the world by my side, but I feel like life is passing me by while I lay in bed with my heating pad.

I have ZERO motivation.

How do you all cope? I feel like I'm going crazy?



  • I am serious about the deep breath. The good thing is that you realize that life as you are living it is not really living. That's a great first step.

    First thing i would do is talk to your doctor about starting an antidepressant. I started Lyrica to try to control my nerve pain and even at this low dose I can see a difference in my overall attitude. It also makes you sleepy which might eliminate some of your nighttime meds.

    Second is find another doctor. While a fusion can leave you with pain that doesnt mean you have to live in pain. A good neurologist should be able to pinpoint the source of the pain and treat it.

    And third is diet. A few days ago I started drinking slimfast shakes to try to get rid of some of the water retention from the lyrica. A great side effect is that the vitamins are giving me a huge boost. I was able to decorate the tree, go to the supermarket and do some cooking today. Lots of energy and little pain.

    You know you need to make some changes..so do it. Knowledge is power!!
  • Hi Dina,

    What you said in your post is exactly what I told my doc when I finally agreed to do the fusion in oct. Sick and tired of hurting all the time!

    I worked full time as a NICU nurse and had a very busy social life, although, no kids yet. This increasing chronic pain was slowly limiting my life so that I can't work or do basic stuff without paying for it with more pain! So I finally agreed to the surgery that I have been needing for a long time. I'm very early in the recovery, but I'm hoping for a positive outcome.

    Living with chronic pain is EXHAUSTING both for the ones who are experiencing it and the friends and family around us. I know my friends and boyfriend get tired of hearing about my back, and I find myself downplaying what I'm really going through when I do open up to them. Which I know I shouldn't do. AND nurses make BAD patients! We don't ask for help when we need it and are essentially trained to ignore the signals our body is giving us until we can't take it anymore. (ex: how many 8-12 hour shifts have you worked without taking a break to pee?!)

    What has helped me especially over the last year when things really started to go downhill with my back pain was seeking out and finding a therapist to help deal with all these emotions and the stress of it all. A professional, objective, compassionate person who is not going to get sick of hearing about what's going on with you AND who can help you cope with stuff. It really has made a world of difference for me!


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  • Thanks for the comments -

    I am on an anti-depressent. Been on quite a few, but the results seem to come and go.

    I have a pain management doctor and he is very good. But the solutions seem to be upping my pain meds most of the time. I am trying to not raise them so much. I had the spinal cord stimulator put in about 6 or 7 months ago so that I could decrease my pain, and it does help, just not a lot, plus, I am not a fan of the stimulation feeling. It gets too much sometimes and seems to bother me more than help me, so I have ot turn it off for a few hours or sometimes a day or two before I turn it on again. Then I leave it on for a week or so.

    My neurosurgeon seems to think that my new CT scans look great and says that the fusion is solid and I should be OK. Not comp wants to know why I am not working. I tried to go back to work. It was MY idea. I lasted three weeks before I was crying in pain everyday and throwing up in the bathroom from the increase in ain meds I had to take.

    I do realize that I am not living a full life. I have always been a homebody and a very private person but every day seems the same now. I have three beautiful wonderful teenage sons that are well adjusted good little human beings and I am so proud of them. I manage to keep the house clean, do the shopping, cook every night (or at least most of them) but I want to do so much more.

    I guess I have to realize that my old life is my OLD life. It is hard to let go. I don;t know what this NEW me is all about. I was barely adjusting to my life as a young widow when I got injured. I lost my husband a year before my injury and I was only 38 years old.

    I was trying to figure out who I after that loss and then I had a new loss to deal with. Too many changes too fast. I feel like I lost so much. I mourn for my old life. I don;t know how to start again.

    Thanks for the votes of confidence Kris - you are right, I need ot make some changes, but don't know where to start. My meds make me so tired, it is hard to find the energy to do anything.
  • Hi Alicia -

    I have tried to find a therapist but it is hard to afford one right now. After my injury 2 1/2 years ago, I have been out on comp. My neuro surgeon has decided that I can no longer be a nurse anymore. You know how it is when you re nurse, it is a lifestyle, not just a job. Its a vocation. It becomes an identity for you. I don;t know how to be anything else.

    I will keep searching for a therapist. Maybe I can find one that has a sliding fee scale. I really think talking to someone who is paid to listen would be heplful. I know my friends and family sometimes get tired of listening. They hear me, but I don;t always think they are listening, y'know?

    Thanks for the advice !

  • I wish I had some magic words of encouragement for you. I can feel the exhaustion in your type written words and I'm very sorry you are in that kind of a mire. I too am a big fan of speaking to a professional who is trained in helping those with chronic pain! As Alicia said, just having someone there to listen who isn't going to judge or give you the thousand mile stare, can do wonders. I hope you can figure a way to work something out.

    Are you able to do much at home on the computer, or is it only in small time increments? I met a gal who was a nurse and was injured who has gone into doing medical transcription from her home and she makes good money, sets her own hours and can go to work in her PJ's. She said she likes it because although she isn't actually working hands on with the patients, she knows that being accurate in her job can really effect someone, so she takes it very seriously.

    One last question. With regards to your SCS. Has there ever been a pattern of stimulation that you felt comfortable with? Most SCS systems can be programmed with different pulse widths, different pulse rates and even programmed to turn on and off at certain times for different lengths of time. All of that can at times be combined to produce a very comfortable pain management device.

    You know you can always vent here.

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  • C-

    I can do most stuff but limited in time. I can't sit for more than an 30 mins - one hour total, I cant stand for barely 10 minutes. I spend lots of time laying down. I do basic household chores, but between everything I do, I lay down for an hour in between, I can vacuum, then rest, wash dishes, then rest, dust, then rest, cook dinner, etc,,,etc,,,

    As soon as this whole comp thing is over with, I hope to maybe go back to school for something, I am halfway thru my masters degree. I know sometimes it just takes a little time.

    Thank you for your kind words. It is so hard sometimes. Most times, I am OK with everything, but sometimes, it just all piles up. Lately, its piling high!!! lol..

    As for the stimulator, I use it most of the time, but it can get too much sometimes. I have total control of it and can change the settings and pulse widths etc,,,,and locations and stuff, but none of it ever feels good. It is a "busy" kind of feeling and sometimes I shut it off just to get some quiet and peace.

    It does help with the pain but I can only tolerate to a certain level and then I can;t walk with it on too high. My doc doesn't understand this and it is hard to explain to someone who doesn;t really know what it feels like. If it is up really high where it would almost totally cover my pain, I can not stand up, it knocks me off balance and I can't feel my feet. Its a weird sensation. I am still glad I got it, and I turn it up at night. Its on most of the time, but I need a break sometimes yknow?
    I think I need a break from everything sometimes. I sit and watch the world go past me and I miss being in the world. I have a lot to be thankful for, I know that.

    I am trying to get myself up and out of the house even for a bit every day. Even if its just a ride ot the store.

    Today I started acupuncture, I hope that works.

    Thanks you everyone for your responses, It really helps to know that I am not alone.

  • I was reading your thread here with a little intrigue. I have no real words of wisdom on the coping part. I tend to be a little introverted when it comes to my pain except with my wife and even then I limit how much I complain so I'm not always dumping on her.

    As for the stimulator, might I suggest, rather than running the stimulation pattern so high, set it up so it is just barely noticeable. This is how I run mine. I can not run my stimulator as high as you are saying. I wouldn't be able to cope. My best program is what I call my activity program. It's a little too strong for standing, completely unnoticeable while sitting, but provides just the right amount of stimulation when moving around. It's not perfect, but does even things out for the most part. Even if you run it just below the surface (can barely tell if its on), it helps some. Try running your programs that way to see if you can improve a little.

    Let me know how it goes.

  • Thanks DAve - I will try that tonight!!!

    Yeah, the higher levels are intolerable for me too. I will definitely try that! Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Hi, Reading thru this, the way you described yourself, you also described me.
    I worked 55-60 hour weeks, i'm basically a homebody, and a private person too.
    My wife, now my ex, decided she wanted better, and to make a long story short, she wanted to be 21 y/o again after almost 23 years of marriage.
    So now she lives the lifestyle of a 21 y/o, and i know i have depression.
    But luckily i have 2 great kids 25 and 18, along with my son's fiance living with me, which is the only way i can keep my sanity.
    I've been told by the lawyers to seek professional help but i refuse.
    My kids are my reason for going on, and your kids will also be your reason for going on and keeping strong enough to deal with every day life.
    Sorry about the rambling on, but just so you know people do understand the pain you are going thru.
  • It is so hard. I know I need to find a therapist. I have not worked for three years now, and I still cry a lot, and actually grieve over the loss of my nursing position. I can't imagine how I would feel if I were as young as you are. I hope we are all able to find the help and support we need. We are currently trying to sell our home and relocate closer to family. We would also be closer to medical facilities, and would be more likely to find a good therapist.
    It was odd to find your post. I was going thru the forum today wondering if there was anyone else here who was just inches from a meltdown, even though they had been dealing with all this for years. Like Dave, I try not to complain. I just seem to put on this goofy fake smile and say it is all good whenever someone asks how I am doing. Sometimes, I am not sure that is the right way to handle it, but I know how it is to listen to people complain.
    Crap-sometimes this just plain s*(#$!
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