Monday, November 1, 2010

Whisper Me Softly Part II

It takes a lot to fight off this enemy of depression as his presence is unwavering. I know though, from experience, that the first step is to manage the pain level. Since early this summer my pain had continued to increase and it was hurting on the opposite side than normal. But hating to go to the doctors I kept hoping that it would eventually ease up if I behaved myself and took it easy for a while. This unfortunately only made things worse as my inactivity led to muscle spasms, more inactivity and the depression began to really threaten. I love to be active, productive, and creative as well as contribute monetarily to our household but of course all of these things were put on hold and so my frustration level increased daily. I usually try to remain positive but this was relentless and I became more and more exhausted. So here I was in my Doctor’s waiting room hoping that she could help me turn this around. Finally my name was called.

All I can say is that I was shocked. My Doctor has always supported me in getting proper medication for pain relief as I have needed it over the years, but something horrendous is going on with our doctors. They are now in fear of losing their license to practice medicine because of a few high profile drug abusers such as Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith. I can’t begin to convey what this means to the thousands of people suffering from chronic pain and being denied drugs because of a few drug seekers. Oh I did walk away with a prescription for pain that day but what a joke. I was allowed one pain pill per day for thirty days, an absolute slap in the face and I was treated very oddly. I think to cover the guilt that the doctor was feeling she treated me as if she was trying to protect me from getting addicted, addicted? You have got to be kidding me, but there was nothing I could do and I was so numb from shock that I left with the little that I received. But my foe was very pleased as he was now winning the battle.

Still, I am not the type to simply role over and give up and so I tried my best with what I had. I knew that I had to do something that made me feel somewhat productive again so I decided to teach myself how to knit. For me, the best way to ignore pain is by learning something new that requires complete concentration and the knitting was a perfect distraction from my imprisonment in this broken body. We also took a trip to Denver to see our daughter and son-in-law and I was enveloped with the love of my family. The best medicine there is in the world.

I also knew that I somehow had to get active again so one day I pushed the pain aside and went for a walk. It was a beautiful day and I slowly plugged away and ended up going three miles with my buddy Willy joyfully leading the way. That night though, both of my legs went into a painful spasm. I was in terrible pain this time so back to the doctor office once again. This time I was finally given a few more pain pills and sent off to get x-rays. After a few days I got the results that I was not looking for, on top of all the things going on with my spine I now have degenerated discs below my fusions and rod. It was nice to know why I was having a new source of pain but not exactly the news that I wanted to hear. The good news is though that some people respond well to physical therapy and so I will start in a couple of days.

How is the depression? It is there next to me constantly and some days are worse than others but I am happy to be taking some form of action. My youngest daughter told me something the other day that has really helped me quite a lot. She lives a very hectic life lately and she said that the way she handles things when life gets complicated is to not look at the whole thing but to just focus on the task in front of you and just keep going. So I am trying to take her wise advise and not look at the big mess that I am currently in but just take it as it comes, plodding along. And so I am going to go wash the dishes in the sink from last nights dinner and look forward to watching the Giants play tonight in the world series, yeaaaa, while I knit away. Anyone need a scarf? Just keep going and maybe, just maybe it will be enough to keep my foe away.


  1. I'm glad to see you back in the blogging world (I periodically check back to see if you've posted). I'm sorry to hear that you're not doing better, but at least they know what's wrong and you have a game/action plan. Your daughter's advice is wise... for all of us to follow. Keep being active and keeping the foe away. You're in my prayers. Blessings.

  2. I'm so glad to see you're back! I was worried. I know how insidious depression can be. Couple that with pain and doctors that cannot or will not prescribe the proper medication and it's the perfect storm. You are in my prayers as well.....

  3. I was searching for ways to garden with a bad back and happened on your blog. I, too, was losing hope and becoming uncharacteristically depressed. I have suffered for almost 40 years on and off. Turning 60 seemed to mark the beginning of always in pain and not being able to exercise anymore to get back in shape. Physical therapy is working for me. I have learned ways to recover from sciatic pain and degenerated discs. Your daughter's advice for keeping focused on the task at hand - taking it one piece at a time - is giving me even more hope. Keep us all informed of your progress. Best of luck to you!