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Thread: Depression

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455

    Depression

    Haven't been here for a while now and I am just wondering for those of you who have passed or are nearing there 5 month mark how you are feeling. I have been blind sided by depression and anxiety. I'm not sure if it's the meds or if the surgery through my hormones out of wack but I am really struggling on some days. I thought I was stronger than this and to even admit that there is problem going on is very difficult. Any input would be greatly appreciated........
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Posts
    103
    I still have good days and bad days. I hate gray overcast days, and prefer bright sunshine anyday. And when I'm sore, or just not feeling all that great, it's hard to be motivated. But, I take it one day at a time, honor the bad days by taking better care of myself. Walk, nap, exercise. Dont' let this get you down. We're not all alone in this! This, too, shall pass. You can always check with your doctor, you've had a massive chemical change in your body as a result of all the toxins.
    Les, Biker Babe, age 56 (at time of first surgery)
    Fused T2 to S2, posterior only, 8 Apr 08
    T3 fracture repair and revision, Mar 09
    Broke left lower rod and pelvic screws removal, Dec 09
    Scheduled to remove all hardware, replaced everything instead due to non-fusion, Nov 10
    Remove top 2" of rods and screws, Feb 14
    Pre surgery degrees: L40, T45
    Post surgery degrees: L8, T10

    Happy, joyous and pain-free!
    Surgeon: C Timothy Floyd, MD, Boise Orthopedic Clinic

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I'm so sorry to hear this Susan. I have a friend going through the same thing after major shoulder surgery. Her dr. said it's common after major surgery to suddenly find yourself depressed. She's on anti-depressants now and I saw her yesterday and she says she's at least sleeping better, after months of insomnia.

    We tend to keep depression a secret, as though there is some shame attached. It's an illness, like any other. It happens to 1 in 4 people in their liftime, so is incredibly common. There is plenty of help available so there is no need to suffer alone. Please see your doctor and get the help you need so that you can get on with your healing and looking forward to an easier life than pre-op.

    Thinking of you and sending gentle hugs.

    Jen
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    This is really common after major surgery. The painkillers -- which we certainly need post-op -- can really do a number on your psyche. I was knocked for a loop emotionally and while I'm not sure whether or not I had clinical depression, I know I cried a LOT for at least 7 months.

    Talk to your doc; no need to suffer in silence.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Would you happen to be cutting back on your pain meds now? The time when I was getting off the meds, my emotions were all over the map.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    227
    I've never really experienced deep depression before...but I had horrible depression starting immediately after surgery. My primary was smart enough to recognize the symptoms and put me on an anti-depressant (the first I've ever been on). While I think that it helped immensely, it also made it difficult for me to focus. I cut the anti-depressant totally about 2 weeks ago and am back to being a total grouch...and sad...and every other emotion. My primary and I talked today and I went back on at a much lower dose to see if I can get over this hurdle. Honestly, I've never experienced anything like this before...it's awful and dibilitating.

    Best of luck..take good care!

    Always Smilin'
    Colleen

    1982 fused T2-L1
    pre op 45 - post op 33 (left thoracic)
    pre op 53 - post op 18 (right thoracic)

    recheck 2006
    right thoracic 57
    lower lumbar 34

    surgical revision April 28,2009
    revision T3-L1; new fusion L1-L4
    unsure of degrees at this point

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414
    .....awww....Im really sorry to hear about that. I think just about everyone goes thru depression of some sort post surgery. If you think about it, we endured a MAJOR, life changing experience. Our lives are on hold, we cant take care of ourselves the way we once did...and there are alot of things that we wont be able to do the way we once did. For me, I just accpected my new body and life that goes with it and decided that it is what it is. I dont regret my surgery at all, and I would do it again. I still get bummed out from time to time, but I always pull thru. Try to stay positive & maybe talking to a 3rd party could help u? Just someone who can listen who hasnt already heard it before could shed some help. Just an idea.....I hope everyone is doing well...I really dont get on here anymore. Trying to more often tho...I MISS EVERYONE!!!

    Take care!!!

    Lynn
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455
    Thank you everyone for your kind replies. I am glad to see that I am not the only one. I called my surgeons nurse yesterday (in tears) and she was very glad that I called and she told me they have a pain mangement specialist that specifically works right in their department that deals with this sort of thing.....depression and weaning off the meds.

    Les, I feel the same about the weather. The sunny day certainly make me feel as better as well. The grey days are difficult for me to even get out of bed and get moving. I just want to hide under the covers most days.

    Debbie, you asked If I have been cutting back on meds....I cut my oxycotin back by half about 3 weeks ago. I was told I would have no adverse affects. Guess what. I was in bed for almost 3 straight days crying and couldn't stop. I tried but I couldn't. At one point my husband said lets get you out of bed and come and be with the kids and I couldn't do, I couldn't even force myself to suck it up, so he brought up the baby and that cheared me up for a little bit. He's a funny little guy so it's hard not to be happy playing with him. It seemed to subside after those three days though. I am still on 2 20mg doses of oxy and 6 valium per day and I am working on droping one pill of the valium this week and maybe drop another next week. I am waiting for my doc to put in a new script for 10mg oxy pills so I can start cutting one of my doses in half. Perhaps this is the cause of the emotional drama going on.

    Chris and Jen, your right when you say it isn't uncommon to feel like this. Evening kowing that it doesn't help at all. I also have my husbands mother here again. She spent the first three months with us and then left for 3 weeks and my oldest son and I took over. He did all the lifting of the baby and helped with cooking when my husband went back to work. He truly rose to the occassion. When the boys went back to school my mother in law came back to help with the baby, who I am just now starting to be able to pick up periodically. appreciate all the help I really do. I just feel so out of control. I feel that it's been taken from me and it's time for me to take it back. Realistically, I would just like to be alone with the kids when my husband leaves but I know that for this first patrol I still need help. I need the help more due to the depression at this point than the physical limitations. The only physical limitation is the baby at this point in time.

    Colleen and Chris, I feel bad that you both have experienced this. I have cried more in the past month or so than I have probably cried in my entire life. I often have to go to my bedroom or the bathroom so no one see me. It comes and goes with no warning. I'm mentally exhausted. Maybe going on an anti depressant would be the way to go. Although I really don't want to add another medication. I just want to work on getting off the ones that I am on but maybe that would facilitate the process of feeling better.

    Lynn and Les, I admire your positive attitudes more than you can know. It's how I thought I would be throughout this process. Physically I feel that I am doing pretty good at this point. Pain wise I am ok, mostly just muscles spasms from picking up the baby and doing house work. Nothing that laying down for 20 minnutes doesn't fix. Walking outside for exercise is more difficult for vs. the elliptical. I could do the elliptical for 40 minutes vs. a 1 mile walk. The muscles in my back all spasm up when I walk but I have just started my walking program now that the weather here is cooling off. The fresh air is good I must say :O)

    I am certain that the main problem is the meds and I am going to try and put on a better smile and improve my out look. Reading everyones messages and knowing it isn't just my crazy self made me feel a little better. Maybe I need to stay in better touch with everyone though these next few weeks while I am trying to get through this. Thank you all so much again for your kind words and support.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Posts
    103
    My doctor is addressing my back spasms now, since I have one spot where the rod ends in between my shoulder blades, and that muscle is really inflamed. Since putting me on 0.5 mg of Ativan, the muscle spasms have subsided, and are now at least tolerable. I am doing PT twice weekly, for a couple of weeks, to help me stretch out my hip adductors. I was on an anti-depressant for about a year, I guess after my first surgery, but it was to help relieve hot flashes, which it didn't relieve. And the doctor didn't want to take me off them in the winter. Once I was off them, I cried for days. I knew I was "back," then because I hadn't cried since I was told I needed to have the first back surgery in Apr 08! Ya just never can tell hormone, depression, life? Just take it one day at a time, be as kind to yourself as you would be to one of us who have been where you are. HUGS!
    Les
    Les, Biker Babe, age 56 (at time of first surgery)
    Fused T2 to S2, posterior only, 8 Apr 08
    T3 fracture repair and revision, Mar 09
    Broke left lower rod and pelvic screws removal, Dec 09
    Scheduled to remove all hardware, replaced everything instead due to non-fusion, Nov 10
    Remove top 2" of rods and screws, Feb 14
    Pre surgery degrees: L40, T45
    Post surgery degrees: L8, T10

    Happy, joyous and pain-free!
    Surgeon: C Timothy Floyd, MD, Boise Orthopedic Clinic

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455
    Les,

    Interesting that they would put you on an anit depressant for hot flashes. I have to tell you though, I constantly go from hot to cold and sweating in between. I'm not sure if it's the meds or just my body trying to adjust to what it's gone through.

    As far as the muscles spasms at the top of the rods, I have that problem as well. I woke up this morning and did my elliptical and it stung the entire time. I laid down on the bed for 5 minutes and it subsided but that is definitely a problem area for me.

    I am trying to take one day at a time. I woke feeling pretty good today and just got back from lunch with a friend and the cloud just came over me. It's strange because some days it's there all day long and other days it comes and goes. Very frustrating. I am trying to keep things in perspective until the Dr. can get me going in the right direction. We shall see!
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Susan, I didn't realize you were taking 6 Valiums a day. This is my completely unscientific opinion but from my experience, Valium can really bring you down. I found it to be a far scarier drug than Oxycontin and when I weaned off the Valium my mood brightened considerably.

    Someone on this forum (I think it was Karen Ocker) said she took antidepressants for a few months, just to get her through withdrawal from the narcotics.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    455
    Chris,

    Yes, I really think the Valium is the major culprit at this point as well. I have been doing a little research and I would like to say hind sight is 20/20 and if I had to do it again I would go for less meds but the reality of it was that I needed that much and it has taken me 5 months to start to feel like it was time to start weaning off. I cut out 1 pill in my afternoon dose for 3 days and today cut out the other pill in the afternoon. I am having lots of hot flashes and sweating on and off and I can only assume this is why. I am also feeling very tired on and off which I know is still normal at this point but I'm trying not to climb in to bed when ever I feel like it.

    I can't remember if I mentioned this in my other post but my nurse has recommended a pain management specialist for me who works directly with my surgeon. This dr. will help will all the pain med issues and the depression that is going along with it. I have that apt. next week so I am hoping that she can walk me through this mess that I feel that I am in at the moment.

    It will interesting to see what her approach will be and if I can benefit from her help.
    Susan

    Diagnosed at 10, Boston brace from 11-13 yrs old.
    50* Lumbar w/ 5 centimeter shift to the left and slight rib hump...
    Surgery Date: April 15 and April 22, 2009
    X-LIF approach for disc repair L5,L4,L3,L2
    Posterior Approach for fusions L5-T5
    Dr. Fox @ Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
    Nice and straight now!!!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by asccbodypro View Post
    Chris,

    I cut out 1 pill in my afternoon dose for 3 days and today cut out the other pill in the afternoon. I am having lots of hot flashes and sweating on and off and I can only assume this is why. I am also feeling very tired on and off which I know is still normal at this point but I'm trying not to climb in to bed when ever I feel like it.
    Susan,

    the hot flashes/seeating on and off is DEFINITELY withdrawls. They are no fun, I can vouch for that. I agree that the pain management specialist should be able to help you, and to supervise your cutting back in a way that will be easier on you physically and emotionally.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    I agree with Debbe. When I was going through the withdrawals, I had severe hot flushes. But worse, was the depression. I'd forgotten that. It only lasted for the duration of the withdrawals and disappeared and I completely forgot I even had it. But for those few weeks, I was in the pits and did my fair share of crying. I had dizziness too through that time and I seriously questioned whether the surgery had done more harm than good. I didn't know whether I'd ever feel normal again. How things change, with time!

    You seem to have a handle on this, so hopefully your appt. next week will set you on the right track to feeling better. Good luck Susan!
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Greenfield, WI
    Posts
    414

    wow...

    After reading everyone's posts on this subject, I guess I am thankful my surgeon and his "worker bee's" were absolute freaks about not giving me medication apon my request. It was like pulling teeth after week 3!!! At the time, it seemed like cruel and unusual punishment, but all in all, I do understand why. I hope everything goes well for you Susan. Stay strong...hopefully when you are off everything, or lowered significantly, you will start feeling better! Fingers crossed!!


    Hugs!

    Lynn
    Lynn -30.... something
    DxD @ 8 yrs old: 10* curve-no brace-no nothin'!
    At age 26: Thorasic 48*/Lumbar 50*
    At age 34: Thorasic 58*/Lumbar 60*
    Posterior T5-L4 Fusion Jan 14th, 2009 w/Dr Tribus
    UW Madison, WI Hospital
    **AFTER: less than 10* Thorasic/15* Lumbar**

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