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Most days I feel useless...how can I get past it?

Apr 25, 2015 7:45 PM

I'm so restricted on what I can do. I'm a month out from my second cervical fusion (C5-C6), I have sciatica since my L3-L4 (already fused L2-S1), I'm exhausted all the time. I'm unable to really help with the yard or cleaning house. I had a good full time job but due to dealing with Crohn's and back/neck issues I lost it. My dilemma is I am struggling for a purpose. I'm so limited physically (I'm fighting my way back) I'm feeling lost. I'm a social person--the people I know have moved on with work and life, I'm feeling isolated. Do any of you feel like this? How did you pull out of it?

Apr 25, 2015 8:06 PM

Nozland it is so hard hurting all of the time. It is normal to be depressed with what all you have lost in your life. You feel isolated from your life can't do the things you used to do this is a normal thing that we all go thru. We just have to cling to our faith in God, during this time. Yes you will have good days and bad days. Have you tried using a hot pack on your back ,they are simple to make two wash cloths sew up three sides then fill with rice and sew up the other side put in microwave for 3 min., it helps or put in freezer for a cold pack. This is a good place to come,there are a lot of great people.I will be praying for you.

Apr 25, 2015 8:14 PM

Nozland, I had my neck discs fused at C3-4 in 1992, and C4-7 with titanium plate & screws in 1995. The second surgery tore me down and it took two years to slowly regain my ability to do my job. Unfortunately I have developed more disc issues at multiple levels in the past twenty years and the doctors say its not severe enough for surgical correction, so I suffer. I had a full time well paying for 7 years, until I went out for a large abdominal mass. It was the end of my career as I've continued to spiral downward in health. Besides the spine & pelvic issues, I now have osteoarthritis, osteopenia, a genetic defect that prevents the absorption of B vitamins, and multiple other issues, like asthma, hypothyroidism, Sjogrens. I'm 53 years old and I struggle daily because every time I turn around something else is happening. I'm being sent to mayo clinic to try and find the cause of tremors & dizziness & imbalance & weakness issues.

My husband and I use to enjoy gardening, hiking, taking sightseeing trips in the US. I also sewed and cross stitched and exercised. All that has ground to a halt. I miss my old life. I feel like I don't have much of a life anymore. But I have my family and I have this community and I have my faith. I believe that God will bring something good from all that I'm having to go through. I may never get well or work again but it doesn't make me or my life worthless. I enjoy Bible study, puzzle games, music, reading, watching TV, spending time with my granddaughter, children and family when I can. I take each day one day at a time, one step at a time. It isn't easy to make changes in my life to accommodate my ever changing health, but slow & steady is my goal. I don't over push myself because when I have it cost way too much. I went from physically running medical charts three flights of stairs for 8 hours a day to using a cane or walker when I need it. I don't know if what I'm saying helps. I mean for it to but sometimes, with the fibro-fog and dementia, I can't seem to say what I'm trying to. Its not easy, but just know you have everyone here for support. I've been struggling through since 2010 and sometimes it seems easier while at other times much harder. Don't overwhelm yourself. Take it a day at a time. Set reasonable goals, expanding as you are able. And sadly, the acceptance of your (my own) inabilities is probably the greatest struggle. Good luck, God bless & I'll be praying for you. 🙏🌼

Apr 25, 2015 11:14 PM

I have only a few restrictions. The main one is not lifting over my head or more than 5 lbs.
it's so easy to tell you that the most important thing for you to do right now is to continue healing from surgery.
But I'd be a hypocrite. I KNOW I need to stop lifting yet I tell myself 10 lbs is okay and regularly pick up my 30 lb children and push too hard at work allowing myself to move things much heavier than I should. It's hard to limit myself to what I SHOULD be doing when I'm capable of heaving 75 pounds of bread dough around and feel bad asking for help when I really ought to.
It's so hard when everyone else seems to move on and you are still sorting out what happened.
You are stuggling to find purpose. Perhaps a low key volunteer position would help. Maybe reading for story times at the library or sitting playing games or talking with the elderly in a nursing home could be your purpose. Maybe you would enjoy taking pictures of nature or perhaps adopt an older calmer pet from a shelter.
What hobbies have you had in the past?

Apr 26, 2015 12:55 AM

I've felt the same way, completely useless.
I was unable to move/walk/stand for only a month,but it was enough to drive me mad.
I spent time just reading articles and articles about chronic pain in general, in kids, in teens.
I've looked up my official diagnoses.
I read and reread my medication side affects and purpose lists.
I could not write or type or do anything creative (my hobbies and passions).
I started watching the rain fall.
I started listening to music very carefully.
I began to sing.
I would stare at things during boredom, until I thought an object was beautiful.
I laughed at every irony in my life.
I asked questions endlessly.
You might not be able to pass it, honestly.
I was lucky.
My body is faking me out, creating the pain of childbirth or cancer and spreading throughout my body.
I have to convince it that air does not hurt.
I have to move again and again.
It will hurt.
I wish you luck finding something to help you feel less useless!
T

Apr 26, 2015 6:00 AM

Dear Nozland,

I would like to say that it always gets better quick. But I am in your situation. I can tell you that everything was fine and I was back in a couple months but I want to show you the reality of one person.

I to, was and I guess still am a social person. I truly love people. I know this does not sound humble, but my job before my disablity was a salesman. I was an awesome saleman. Like I said, I don't sound humble but it was told to me by many people and every year I got like $60,000.00 in bonuses. The reason I sold so much more than the other salesman was because I loved people.I could only sell them something that I believed in and I trusted. One thing that I learned to do from my experiences in life is read people. I call my self the profiler because people who have been abused know how to read people quickly. I can tell peoples story by their body language and how they look at other people, how they look at a picture of their family. When I go to church, I stop and look around the congregation and look for the saddest person and usually I can tell by the way he or she is looking around. I usually know the story before I get to them. I am not saying this to make myself look good. I am saying that despite the majot abuse from my parents, I found some good people in my life and through them I learned to see good in most all people and I loved them easily. So not being around them has been very hard for me. But that is my situation now. You would think that a person who loves people that much, I would always have someone over every weekend and I would prepare dinner for them. My wife would hate me for that. But you would think a person like that would be quick to return.

So I will tell you as quickly as I can my story. In 1999, I fell off a ladder and I took most of my foot off. It took several surgeries over four years to get better. Each surgery took four to six month to recover and to find out that it didn't work. Each time I had surgery, they would put on a contraption to keep the leg and ankle in place. It weighed very much. I couldn't move. I felt clostrophobic. I needed to go on xanax because I couldn't deal with it. I felt like I was going through a cave and I was to big to get through. On top of that, I would go to my doctor and he would ask me about my pain Every time he increased my meds. I eventually had to go to the Mayo clinic for surgery. They said thay they would give me nothing for my pain because the doctor was giving me enough medicine that literally could kill an elephant. My lack of movement helped me gain serious weight. I would say that maybe I got about 4 visitors. I was close to my brother. I cared for him when my parents didn't. I provided dinners and did all the household duties and he was the older one. He traveled 100 miles to come and see me on my second surgery. But a friend of ours talked to him and said they were short a person for help that night. As he passed my hospital, he called me on my cell phone and told me he was going 50 miles further to help a friend. You know I guessed my problem was I expected people to love people and do for them as much as I did. I didn't get a card but I always sent cards. I didn't expect everyone but one or two would have been nice. This just shut me down with people and I retreated but mostly because I got use to being alone. I got use to no one calling and stopping by. I also started turning into an agoraphobic. I still pretty much leave the house like 2 times a month. The drugs kept me heavily sedated and at times I was just as a bad as a drunk. I am sure anyone who saw me like that got scared off.

If I had to do it over again. I would have been more proactive about my medical care and find out all the options available to me. I would have looked at sucess rates at hospitals for certain surgeries they do so you don't waste your time with a bunch of good surgeons at lowsy hospitals who don't have the equipment or technology they need. I would have my pain managed my a pain management clinic. That would have saved me at least five years and some added health problems and some of my additonal weight. I would not expect people to do the same things that I would do for them. They mean well and they still care. They just don't think about it. It doesn't cross their mind. If someone would suggest it, they would probably do it. One very important thing I would have definitely have changed, is keeping up with friends. Our friends are busy. It is hard for them to visit. They have a lot of things to do on their list. it is not like they are sitting around waiting desperately for someone to call. So we may need to maintain the relationship while we are out for a while. If we do,theywill call from time to time. The next important thing I should have done but because I was in a wheelchair whick I could only sit in for 30 minutes or my back would hurt tremondlously. I would have to lay on the floor. Plus I was embarrassed by the weight I gained. But I would get back to church. That is where most of my friends are there. Plus faith and spirituality give you hope and help you deal with pain. I could have resurfaced to the world 13 years ago. I could have never missed a friend. I would have known that they missed me and oouldn't wait for me to come back.

I have made a couple baby steps this month. I have gone to church 2 days this month. It felf real good. I ususally get to hear it over the phone. But like I said about reading people, I like to see their gestures and face and body movements. I get to see if they really believe what they are saying and are zealous. It brings me alot of joy.

I didn't mean to talk about me so much. I just thought I could show you how mine went so you can avoid a bad situation. It was my fault. I should never let my accident get the best of me. I know I dissappointed my father a lot. He looked down on me. He frowns on me being disabled. He thinks I should have gotten right back up. That I chose to let this beat me. Sometimes I wonder how much of hime is right.

Well you take care. I hope that you will feel the best that you can feel today. I hope that I didn't sound to negaative. I just don't want your story to be negative like mine. I don't want you to feel like me, like I failed and let myself down and waisted years of my life. That I have been a bad example to my children about getting up. I often hope that they will forgive once I am strong enough to leave this house all the time.

Bye

Apr 26, 2015 6:00 AM

Dear Nozland,

I would like to say that it always gets better quick. But I am in your situation. I can tell you that everything was fine and I was back in a couple months but I want to show you the reality of one person.

I to, was and I guess still am a social person. I truly love people. I know this does not sound humble, but my job before my disablity was a salesman. I was an awesome saleman. Like I said, I don't sound humble but it was told to me by many people and every year I got like $60,000.00 in bonuses. The reason I sold so much more than the other salesman was because I loved people.I could only sell them something that I believed in and I trusted. One thing that I learned to do from my experiences in life is read people. I call my self the profiler because people who have been abused know how to read people quickly. I can tell peoples story by their body language and how they look at other people, how they look at a picture of their family. When I go to church, I stop and look around the congregation and look for the saddest person and usually I can tell by the way he or she is looking around. I usually know the story before I get to them. I am not saying this to make myself look good. I am saying that despite the majot abuse from my parents, I found some good people in my life and through them I learned to see good in most all people and I loved them easily. So not being around them has been very hard for me. But that is my situation now. You would think that a person who loves people that much, I would always have someone over every weekend and I would prepare dinner for them. My wife would hate me for that. But you would think a person like that would be quick to return.

So I will tell you as quickly as I can my story. In 1999, I fell off a ladder and I took most of my foot off. It took several surgeries over four years to get better. Each surgery took four to six month to recover and to find out that it didn't work. Each time I had surgery, they would put on a contraption to keep the leg and ankle in place. It weighed very much. I couldn't move. I felt clostrophobic. I needed to go on xanax because I couldn't deal with it. I felt like I was going through a cave and I was to big to get through. On top of that, I would go to my doctor and he would ask me about my pain Every time he increased my meds. I eventually had to go to the Mayo clinic for surgery. They said thay they would give me nothing for my pain because the doctor was giving me enough medicine that literally could kill an elephant. My lack of movement helped me gain serious weight. I would say that maybe I got about 4 visitors. I was close to my brother. I cared for him when my parents didn't. I provided dinners and did all the household duties and he was the older one. He traveled 100 miles to come and see me on my second surgery. But a friend of ours talked to him and said they were short a person for help that night. As he passed my hospital, he called me on my cell phone and told me he was going 50 miles further to help a friend. You know I guessed my problem was I expected people to love people and do for them as much as I did. I didn't get a card but I always sent cards. I didn't expect everyone but one or two would have been nice. This just shut me down with people and I retreated but mostly because I got use to being alone. I got use to no one calling and stopping by. I also started turning into an agoraphobic. I still pretty much leave the house like 2 times a month. The drugs kept me heavily sedated and at times I was just as a bad as a drunk. I am sure anyone who saw me like that got scared off.

If I had to do it over again. I would have been more proactive about my medical care and find out all the options available to me. I would have looked at sucess rates at hospitals for certain surgeries they do so you don't waste your time with a bunch of good surgeons at lowsy hospitals who don't have the equipment or technology they need. I would have my pain managed my a pain management clinic. That would have saved me at least five years and some added health problems and some of my additonal weight. I would not expect people to do the same things that I would do for them. They mean well and they still care. They just don't think about it. It doesn't cross their mind. If someone would suggest it, they would probably do it. One very important thing I would have definitely have changed, is keeping up with friends. Our friends are busy. It is hard for them to visit. They have a lot of things to do on their list. it is not like they are sitting around waiting desperately for someone to call. So we may need to maintain the relationship while we are out for a while. If we do,theywill call from time to time. The next important thing I should have done but because I was in a wheelchair whick I could only sit in for 30 minutes or my back would hurt tremondlously. I would have to lay on the floor. Plus I was embarrassed by the weight I gained. But I would get back to church. That is where most of my friends are there. Plus faith and spirituality give you hope and help you deal with pain. I could have resurfaced to the world 13 years ago. I could have never missed a friend. I would have known that they missed me and oouldn't wait for me to come back.

I have made a couple baby steps this month. I have gone to church 2 days this month. It felf real good. I ususally get to hear it over the phone. But like I said about reading people, I like to see their gestures and face and body movements. I get to see if they really believe what they are saying and are zealous. It brings me alot of joy.

I didn't mean to talk about me so much. I just thought I could show you how mine went so you can avoid a bad situation. It was my fault. I should never let my accident get the best of me. I know I dissappointed my father a lot. He looked down on me. He frowns on me being disabled. He thinks I should have gotten right back up. That I chose to let this beat me. Sometimes I wonder how much of hime is right.

Well you take care. I hope that you will feel the best that you can feel today. I hope that I didn't sound to negaative. I just don't want your story to be negative like mine. I don't want you to feel like me, like I failed and let myself down and waisted years of my life. That I have been a bad example to my children about getting up. I often hope that they will forgive once I am strong enough to leave this house all the time.

Bye

Apr 27, 2015 2:47 PM

I'm very grateful for your insights...I'm not alone.
@weezie12, I never thought to put my rice packs in the fridge. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement. I need them.

@FlappysLady81. I agree family is important. We are about 12 hours from each of our children/grandchildren. All in different directions. We hope to move to AZ (once my docs figure things out). We will be closer. To two of our kids and 5 grandkids. I too am 53 (going on 90). My osteoporosis is really bad (from using Pred to fight Crohn's). I see far too many doctors. The medical doctors/staff have become my social life. My husband is awesome and so supportive. He is de.aling with Parkinsons. Good advice not to push so much. Acceptance is something that I struggle with.
Thank you for your prayers.

@Alyia, please be careful with the lifting. It would be so hard if I had children to lift. I have grandchildren that I use to lift, run and play with. It's been hard for the little ones to understand. I like your idea of visiting a nursing home, there is one down the street. I love taking pictures...its a passion. I can't hold my camera without pain. My husband said he'd carry the tripod when I'm ready. The plan is to rescue a dog from the shelter when we get settled on our new home. I'm excited to get a dog. As far as hobbies I use to do...I love to cross stitch (can't right now my hands don't work), photography was my passion and making cards. My work was my life. I pushed so hard but couldn't keep up. I've learned my life was not work and it wasn't worth the sacrifice--after 20 years it ended badly due to health. I've learned a lot of hard lessons going through so many losses. I've learned to find the best of the situation. Thank you for your comments.

@Ferretbandit, you are so insightful into using your senses to see the world in a positive light. I have to say I love to hear the birds sing outside. I love the dove. Our mind is very powerful. I've used meditation to help me sleep. I dream of being on a beach in Tulum with the sun beating down on me. Dreams now. I'm working hard to get past this....I'm not too hopeful I will ever get passed the pain. Thank you so much for taking your time to share.

@Profiler, thank you for sharing your story and for sharing things you would do different, good insights. I agree my friends are busy and it will take me reaching out to them. It's been so hard because I lack energy and am so tired all the time. Abuse really effects ones life, it sounds like you are taking the steps to get past it. It's hard when you are dealing with doctors when you are so sick. I've learned to ask questions and speak up. I think I trust to much because they are the doc; my friend the doc told me that he is "practicing" medicine, he does not have all the answers. Did the Mayo Clinic help? We will be close to the clinic in AZ--I don't know whether to go there or not? Any input on that would be helpful.

Today I saw two docs...orthopedic who dx celluitis and my neurosurgeon who can't seem to figure out my sciatic pain. More tests and more drugs. I was discouraged at my neurosurgeon's. I've been rebuilt by him. This back sciatica has wore on me. Getting no answers and having pain is wearing. I'll suck it up and take baby steps.

You all are so caring and supportive. Thank you! I'm glad I found this app.

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