Category Archives: Depression

Agony Every Single Day…

In 2006 I was working in the ER and was injured. I went back to work after a few days and tried to get over it. Having 3 kids and going through a divorce, being unemployed was simply not an option. Then I had to work in our Psych department one night. Man on PCP came in and when I went to draw his blood and put in his IV, he attacked me. Security was no where in sight. I had already popped my arm out the previous month so this was not so good for me. He ended up dislocating my shoulder, throwing me around so much I had herniated 3 discs in my C-spine and my spinal cord was pinched. The next 5 years have simply been a nightmare…

I never had surgery on my neck but I did have the shoulder fixed. Now my chronic pain is from my disc herniation and multiple other conditions within the spine. I went to college to work with people and save lives. I loved being a nurse but now look at me. I am in my 30’s and are forced to do things only people in their 70’s can do. I am in pain all day long, every single day. I often ask myself what I did to deserve this. I was a good wife, great mother, and provider for the house. I have a good heart and love helping people not hurting people. So why? I still have no answers but it’s depressing. I also take medicine for depression. Not anything strong but something to get me up in the morning. Otherwise I will be a vegetable in bed and not want to get up. I have to work from home now to make money. SSI I was approved for but that is a joke. Being so young that payment will not even pay for the food in this house. So I struggle… While the man who did this is most likely still doing PCP or in jail, and not even remembering my name…

LPHS – Entering My 18th Year. Will This Ever End?…

Hi, my name is Robyn but my friends call me Cutsnake. They started calling me that when I was a teenager as I was ‘mad as a cut snake’… However, things have changed alot since those crazy days.

When I was around 20 I was diagnosed with LPHS after having spent the previous 6 months trying to find a Urologist or Neurologist who could tell me what on earth was going on with me. I was passing huge amounts of blood in my urine (which was so full of blood that it looked like red wine), and in so much pain that all I did was roll around the bed crying and calling out in pain.

FINALLY, I found a neurologist who diagnosed me, and although he advised me that it was unknown at that time as to what actually causes LPHS, he did tell me that there had been some data which indicated that a reasonably high percentage of the very few people worldwide who have this disease, had at some time during their childhood been on various types of antibiotics (IV) whilst being in hospital. Sure enough, this jived with my history….

When I was 6 yrs of age, I was burnt in a fire and spent 4 months or thereabouts in hospital, having a particular antibiotic running through my drip. This antibiotic has now been shown to cause kidney and liver problems in children, years later, and is therefore no longer recommended for use in children (and when used in adults, only if regular blood tests are undertaken to test for toxicity – particularly given the antibiotic itself can cause kidney and liver failure). The antibiotic I speak of is called Gentamicin.

Anyway, the crux of the matter is that I have now been living with LPHS for coming up 18 years. My life (or existence)is pretty miserable. The pain itself is the debilitating part of the whole thing. Of course I’ve been on huge amounts of opiates for the duration, and I guess I am now what you’d call an addict. No, I’d be really really crook if I were to stop taking my painkillers abruptly, but they no longer narcotize me (I don’t go on the nod or anything like that) – but rather, just help to control the pain.

LPHS has destroyed my life in a lot of ways, although probably because I let it do so. It is very easy to become depressed when you have a chronic illness or pain problem. Although my GP and kidney specialists all tried to get me to deal with my depression, I didn’t do anything about it myself until I was just about ready to ‘end it all’.

Obviously, my partner of 15 odd years got sick of seeing me in pain all of the time, and got sick of never being able to just go and have a night out without having to worry about whether I’d be too sick on the night to be able to go, and so he just ended up packing his bags and leaving me with our daughter who was only 6 at the time. She’s 9 now, and the light of my life. Without her, I don’t know what I would have done.

But, by him walking out, it forced me to have to deal with my depression, because I knew if I didn’t, I’d be consumed by it and then there would be nobody to really take care of my daughter.

I guess I’ll now be on antidepressants for the rest of my life, and although that doesn’t sit well with me, I guess its better than the alternative.

We are learning that although I’m in pain and really unwell most of the time, that we can do it, and we can be happy while we are. If I hadn’t had my daughter that I had to care for, I think I’d have just given up and spent ALL of my time in bed or on the couch, rather than just the significant amount of time that I was.

No, I’d love to be free of LPHS, but I’m guessing that’s just a fantasy and I’ll just have to live with it for the rest of my life. Yes, I am sick of being sick all of the time, but what else am I going to do? It’s pretty much out of my hands.

What I can say though is that despite how scary it all was at the beginning, once you actually come to terms with whats going on with your body, and you learn to work your life around your disease, you can cope, you can thrive. The trick is NOT LETTING YOUR DISEASE BECOME THE FOCUS OF YOUR LIFE. If somebody had told me 5 years ago that in a handful of years my lifelong partner would have hit the road and left me with a young daughter to care for all on my own, whilst I was in extreme bad health, I’d have laughed in their face. Well, now I’m doing it, and despite it all, I’m doing okay.

My neurologist and pain specialist are looking at putting an intrathecal morphine pump into me within the next 12 months, and I’ve got to admit, that although I’m really scared about having the surgery (and about something going wrong whilst I’m on the table), I’m actually looking forward to it because they tell me that it will significantly reduce the amount of morphine that I’m having to take because the morphine will be going straight to the site that is causing the pain (the nerves around the kidney), and that I will be receiving the best possible control of the pain. The only drawback is that I’ll have to keep going back to the hospital and getting the reservoir filled up with more morphine every couple of months. I guess that’s a pretty small drawback in the grand scheme of things.

All I can say is that I hope the rest of you people out there in cyberspace who are going through the dramas of living with LPHS or worse still, trying to find a doctor who can diagnose you if LPHS is your problem, that you actually find a doctor who if they don’t know whats going on with you, send you to somebody who can sort you out and get you onto a regime or program that can help. Although I’ve got great specialists on my ‘team’ now, I had to see a whole lot of quacks before I found them.

I hope your not having a really bad day with your pain….believe it or not, today is probably the best I’ve been in the past 3 months. Anyway, I’ll sign off. I hope this ‘my story’ has helped somebody out there who is going through this.

By the way, if you want to reply to my email, feel free. My email address is Cutsnake001@gmail.com.

Catch you later.

Cutsnake

my so called life

I am a 34 year old married mum of 3 children. I have suffered depression and pain for as long as i can remember. About six months ago i was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I honestly wish i still didnt have a name to put to my condition. It’s like i’ve hit a brick wall i know what is wrong with me but none of my health workers can give me any advice on how to manage.

I have gone from being reasonably happy most of the time to a wreck. I have to admit my symptoms have gone far worse than they ever were in the last 12 months or so. i seem to be having some sort of flare up. Some days i cant even manage to put my own t the shoes on without a great effort. And running around after my 2 year old is almost impossible.

I feel so low at the moment i sometimes think i cant go on. Even the usual thoughts of what it would do to my family are not enough to make me feel i am being silly. I feel i have gone from being a mum and wife, and become a burden on everyone.

No one seems to understand me and i think everyone is getting fed up of hearing me say i dont feel well or i am tired. What i am going to do is beyond me i feel so tired of everything and worthless.

Usually i am the one cheering everyone and absorbing everyones problems. I feel guilty for writing this even as if you were not depressed before reading you will be after. So as usual i apologise for being me. xxx

Where’s the box?

Russ hllywdruss

The musings and commentary of a brilliant mind gone bad. Chronic Pain. I’ve been diagnosed with severe clinical depression. I also suffer from anxiety because of my chronic pain. It permeates all aspects of my daily life. Luckily my wife helps me deal with a lot of the day to day, and she is comfort to me at night. It would be quite a trial to face my illnesses all alone.

OH, COME WEEP WITH ME. PAST HELP. PAST CURE. PAST HOPE!

LPHS

My name is Joy and at 39 my life is far from a joy. Amoung a multitude of other health issues, about three years ago I began to have blood in my urine and a nagging constant pain in my right loin region. I was sent to many specialist and endured many tests to no avail. Having a history of major depression and bipolar many of the doctors seemed to allow themselves to write it all off as an extension those somehow. I was tired of being in pain, I was scared everytime I went to the bathroom and saw the blood and wondered why with such an objective symptom the doctors could possibly be blowing me off as “mental”.

Finally, last year I was diagnosed with Lion Pain Hematuria Syndrome and although I was relieved to have a name for my problem I am still very frustrated. My pain is constant and sometimes nearly unbearable. My quality of life has gone way downhill. I have two children and a home to care for and have found myself increasingly unable to do so. I am on large doses of narcotics for the pain but I tend to grow a tolerence for anything they give me and it stops working. In another week I will be going to pain management. My Nephrologist has told me several options pain management might give me one of them being a nerve block. If there is someone out there who has had a nerve block I would be interested in knowing if it helped. Also anyone who has had success with any treatment for LPHS and might like to share with someone who is desperate for relief and maybe more options for treatment I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you for any help or advice anyone may have,
Joy

Afraid of pain

My name is Tara and I am from Ohio. I am 29 years old. I have a daughter that is 8. Everything she knows is mommy being sick.

I have Lupus and Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome. It struck me in 2000. I had several kidney stones and had to have surgery to remove them. Ever since I have had dibilitating pain. I went to many urologist and they all told me the pain was in my head. went on antidepressants and began thinking maybe it was me! I met a wonderful urologist who said I was the first patient he had diagnosed with LPHS. That’s when all my medications started being prescribed. The pain was not being taken care of. I could barely get out of bed. I was vomitting every other day. I had lost 30 pounds in 4 weeks. I slept 20 hours out of everyday. How could I take care of my daughter? My pain was not my first worry but my daughter seeing me that way and worrying what kind of chances she will have in getting these diseases. That thought just killed me. My depression sunk even lower and I was going through a divorce. I noticed I was a totally different person and hated it.

I look back now and I am so glad I made journal enteries. I often thought how much easier it would be if I just died. Now that I am on a road to becoming myself again, I can’t believe what I wanted to do to myself.

I have recently had a pain pump implanted. I am having alot of success with the procedure. However it is causing new pains. My right leg is completely numb and I am having awful pain that meds are not helping. They think that my pump is sitting on a nerve. The only way to fix that is to have the surgery done again, moved and have the possibility of it happening on the other side.
I would recommend this to anyone with chronic pain if you are a canidate for it. It really has given me a piece of my life back. I no longer feel like I am dying. I am able to take my child outside to play and out shopping. I am still living with pain but it is much tolerable. My Lupus still is something I am dealing with daily. But the rare kidney disease is so much better. I am lucky that I have wonderful doctors that have supported me. I was a guinea pig in there office for the pain pump. They knew of how bad the pain had effected me and decided this was my only hope. God bless smart doctors.

If anyone would like information, I would be glad to answer your questions the best I can. Thanks for reading my story. Hopefully I will chat with those of you who share similar situation. I find it is a stress reliever to know there are people out there that are in my same boat. My husband doesn’t understand so it has been a long, hard road alone.

twehe@wideopenwest.com
Tara

No More secrets

Banker hopes to help others get off drugs

Kristi Metzger had it all: a job she loved as a bank vice president, loving family and friends, community activities, a house to shelter her at the end of a productive day.

And a secret.

Metzger was addicted to the prescription pain reliever Vicodin.

After 10 surgeries in 15 years in a fruitless effort to relieve chronic pain caused by endometriosis, Metzger had almost quadrupled the maximum number of Vicodin she was allowed. And to keep her secret, she had turned into a liar.

Now, after two stays in chemical dependency treatment centers, Metzger, 31, has decided to keep that secret no longer. She has begun talking to civic groups about her addiction to painkillers and the resources available.

“My point is, addiction knows no boundaries,” Metzger said. “It doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from or how smart you are. It’s a very real problem, people are struggling with it, and I want to help.”

An estimated 4.7 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically for the first time in 2002, according to the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The number who used pain relievers was estimated at 2.5 million.

Studies also suggest that women are more likely than men to be prescribed an abusable prescription drug, particularly narcotics and anti-anxiety drugs.

“More women come to me for prescription drug use than men do, but I think the drug of choice has changed,” said Janell Christenson, a registered nurse and a certified chemical dependency counselor with Avera McKennan Hospital.

“I can remember when it was Demerol that was most abused, then Percodan and Percocet. I don’t know the top one now, probably oxycodone or Vicodin.”

First there’s pain

Most addictions start out innocently, Christenson said. Generally people have an accident, injury, surgery or medical problem that causes pain and requires prescribed medication.

Three things are required for someone to become an addict, said Dr. John Hansen, supervisor of Sioux Valley Hospital’s Pain Clinic. First is a psychological or biologic predisposition; second is a substance that can produce addiction or chemical dependency, such as the painkillers known as opiates, and third is an unrestricted access to the drug.

That is why his clinic provides a highly structured environment in which the patient has no discretion in deciding to increase the dosage of their drug, Hansen said. In addition, the clinic offers a multidisciplinary approach providing physical therapy, psychology and associated physician services.

Professionals can easily recognize the difference between a person with chronic pain who is properly using opiates and one who is abusing them, Hansen said.

“People who have chronic pain who get opiates look better, their mood improves, they function more, and they look better when their pain is controlled. People who are chemically dependent, when they have unrestricted access to the meds they’re dependent on, they look worse, their behavior deteriorates, their mood can deteriorate.”

That happened to Metzger, who cut herself off from family and friends as her dependency worsened.

“My life was just constantly filled with, ‘When am I going to take my next pill?’ It got so incredibly bad (but) I thought I was hiding it well,” she said.

At a high cost

No local physician would have prescribed the number of pills she needed, but Metzger recalled something she had heard the first time she entered a substance-abuse center: Pills could be purchased online, after a quick chat with a physician.

She was amazed at how easy it was to get her Vicodin that way.

How costly was Metzger’s addiction? She has never totaled it up, but it easily cost her thousands of dollars to buy the pills online, she said.

For example, the Web site my247md.com offers 120 tablets of Vicodin for $145. For Metzger, that was a four-day supply. That’s $1,015 for a four-week supply.

When she was taking eight painkillers a day, she ended up at Keystone Treatment Center. On 30 pills a day, she frantically tried to hide her problem.

But her family, particularly her uncle Ken Ness, president of the bank that employed her, knew something was wrong. He contacted Metzger’s parents and three brothers, and they staged an intervention after Thanksgiving 2005.

“They had planned for me to go to Hazelden in Center City, Minn., and I just started crying as soon as I saw them all sitting at this table, and I knew that everybody knew and I had lied to them,” she said.

After a sleepless night, Metzger’s parents drove their daughter to Hazelden.

Metzger knew what was awaiting her, since she had been through withdrawal once before. This time, with her body’s greater reliance on drugs, it was much worse.

“It was pure torture, the physical agony I went through,” Metzger said. “I was so sick, with flu-like symptoms. I was dry heaving; eventually I threw up the pills I’d taken that hadn’t gone into my system. The anxiety was worse than anything, and they couldn’t give anything until the pills were out of my system.”

Metzger lay in a bed at the clinic, her body convulsed with tremors. Staff changed her sweat-soaked sheets several times. Doctors and nurses closely monitored her that first week.

“I looked like ‘dead girl walking,’ ” Metzger says. “I was pasty white. I didn’t look like I was alive.”

Slowly, helped by a drug that reduced withdrawal symptoms, Metzger began to feel better.

Just before Christmas, she returned home. But the battle wasn’t over.

All in the attitude

Metzger’s pain had started years earlier. As a 15-year-old student at Hills-Beaver Creek High School, she was in a car accident. About the same time, she learned she had endometriosis, a painful condition in which the uterus’ lining invades the abdominal cavity.

The condition worsened during college. Eventually, an ovary and part of her fallopian tubes were removed. As the pain persisted, and it became less likely Metzger would ever be able to become pregnant, depression surfaced.

But she persisted in maintaining a positive front. She became a trust officer and vice president at First National Dakota Bank. She played piano, tennis and golf. She volunteered with Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Community Foundation’s investment board and Kiwanis Club.

And she kept swallowing painkillers.

“I took these pills to get up, I took them during the day at work, and I took them to go to sleep, so now my life revolved around these drugs,” Metzger says.

She realized she was addicted in July 2004, after undergoing surgery. She entered the chemical dependency program at Keystone Treatment Center in Canton in October 2004.

But her attitude was wrong.

“I went there very naïve, not knowing anything about addiction, thinking that this is really a fluke that happened to me, I’m not really the addict type, I shouldn’t be here, and when I was with other alcoholics and drug addicts, there was really arrogance on my part,” she said.

That arrogance is gone. Metzger attends two Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week, and she volunteers at a halfway house.

Jane Pugh of Yankton serves as Metzger’s AA sponsor.

“She has her ups and downs,” said Pugh, who agreed to let her name be used. “It’s a new lifestyle she’s learning. She’s also discovering who Kristi is.”

To help in that discovery, Metzger has left the bank. She lives with her parents, who now reside in Brandon. She can return to a career when she knows she is healthy, Metzger says. It may be in law or chemical dependency counseling.

Whatever it is, it won’t involve secrets.

“I just don’t want people to worry and be scared that this could be the end for them,” Metzger said. “There are treatment centers, there’s doctors willing to help you, there’s pastors at your church. There’s resources.”

BY JILL CALLISON
PUBLISHED: October 6, 2006