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Thread: What to do??

  1. #1

    What to do??

    Hey Guys,

    I need a little help here. My boyfriend is having a bit of a hard time lately. He is in constant pain, his spasms are increasing (a lot), and the docs have no idea why. It is really getting to him and he is starting to get really depressed. As I spend quite a bit of time away from home its really hard to keep him from getting too depressed...when Im not there he is usually alone. I just dont know how to keep his spirits up. He has lost all hope of a cure and is just so depressed that he cant do what he used to do...I dont think he has sufficiently mourned his losses to begin with...but I just dont know how to help him thru this. Any suggestions guys? You are always my shoulder to lean/cry on and it is is appreciated. Thanks

    Scarlett

  2. #2
    Member jax2bass's Avatar
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    Ms. Scarlett, my dog was there for me unconditionally. She forced me to realize that there are worse things than what I was dealing with. So I guess my suggestion might be to you, is that you could get a puppy; the puppy would be there for him when you are gone during the day. Maybe you could take a look at the care section of this forum. I hope that he gets to feeling better and I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Hi, Scarlett -

    A couple of thoughts here - has he been evaluated by an SCI doc for his pain and the spasms? Can/will he see a counselor who is knowledgeable re SCI issues?

    What does he do at home alone all day? If he's just sitting around 'ruminating' about his problems, he could be circling the drain pretty quickly. Something - anything - to get his mind off his situation would probably help him a lot. Is he on the forums here? Have him do some research into the many topics and solutions related to pain and spasms. Get him to be more 'proactive' rather than 'reactive' to his situation. Get him to focus on what he can do, rather than what he can't. Give him a project to work on for you - even if it's making up a grocery list, or coming up with family Christma gifts. Anything to get him out of himself, and to feel more productive.

    Just some thoughts - stay with us - tough times, I know.

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  4. #4
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
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    Yes Scarlett ... Marm is absolutely right about encouraging him to get his mind off his situation (not easy I know) . A perfect example of this was exemplified right here at our house recently ... Bill is and has always been an avid hunter ... deer hunting season just ended on the weekend and I must say its been the most normal 3 weeks we've spent in many years ... up before dawn, gone a good part of the day, socializing with his buds etc, talking and thinking about something else other than "his injury" - I haven't heard him complain hardly at all about the usual aches and pains and the TV in our room has hardly been on. Its been a wonderful break from the "normal" routine! Because of Bill's other health issues (and waiting for yet another surgery) and because he is no longer employed in a significant way time drags most days so I worry too about him slipping into another depression!

    That being said you certainly do want to rule out the reasons for the increase in spasms and pain .... when this occured with Bill (increase back pain and spasming) it was the beginning of his belly (gall bladder) and skin ( 2 flap surgeries) troubles ... that was just over 2 years ago now and we're still dealing with the repercussions of that (having treated the pain instead of thoroughly investigating the cause) I wish I knew then what I know now! And of course always remember to take care of yourself too Scarlett .... I am of the opinion the grieving prosess (for any loss)is ongoing ... it ebbs and flows relative to the other things going on in our life - so there never really is an "end" ... its just a little easier to live with some days than others! You have us to share with .. who does your BF talk to. We get some peer support from the Canadian Paraplegic Assoc. is there something like that available to you??

    Obieone
    P.S. Another factor to consider is the time of year ... I'm finding getting through Winter/Xmas is a little harder every year !

  5. #5
    Moderator Obieone's Avatar
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    Just a quick thought here Scarlett ... I just reread your post in the Journal thread and am wondering .. do you think his mood might be partly related to your new job and your being away more .. maybe he is worried about time spent away (opportunity to meet someone else etc.) perhaps even a little resentful!

    Obieone

  6. #6
    You guys are pretty right on about him having too much time to think about things. He is alone most of the time and he is a thinker...and a brooder.

    Obieone, you are so right about the job. We had a hard time when I first started. Mostly it was because I wasnt home for over a month at first. It has gotten better now, I am home more than I am away. But I think he has a hard time because I am calling him from all these "exotic" locations (Omaha, Norfolk, Midland, you get the idea) and he is still at home. I honestly dont even have a good time on my overnights usually because I am just too tired to do anything to enjoy the city. I tried to explain this to him, but he just sees it as a great adventure. I do enjoy my job, a lot, but I enjoy the time I am able to spend at home much more. And the job allows me to make my own schedule...most of the time...so I can be there with him. Ok...enough rambling about that...

    I know that he does need a change from the "normal routine." I am planning a ski trip for later this winter. It has already gotten his spirits up. Within the last two days I have seen such a change in his additude. He has been happy and planning things, which he doesnt usually get into. His mind has been on other things, so thats good. We have a trip to Craig coming up next month too, so that will help for the "whats wrong?" stuff. They are gonna do the re-evaluation stuff. He seems to be more ok with the pain and spasms now because he knows that he will be there in less than a month, and he puts so much faith in the doctors there. It makes me feel good that he is doing better.

    I guess its just hard because I am the eternal optomist. I always look for the good that will come out of a situation. That gets frustrating for him because when you cant see a light at the end of the tunnel how can you feel good about the dark? Does that make any sense to anyone?

    Oh, he does go to school, but still has a bunch of time on his hands. (had to edit to add this)

    Thanks again for being there. You all are wonderful.

    Scarlett

  7. #7
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Scarlett - how recent is his injury? People cycle through periods of deep depression about their injury and he may be in a down period right now. Can you get him to see a doctor and a counselor? An antidepressant will help both with the pain (Effexor or Cymbalta are especially good for helping pain) and the depression.

    Chad is 16 years post and still has his down times about his injury.

    Ami

  8. #8
    Thats always nice....I just wrote this really lengthy, super explanatory reply and I erased it with one wrong keystroke. Good times.

    Ok..here goes again: His injury was a little over three years ago. I know he is down partly because his anniversary just passed. During this time three years ago he was still in the hospital. That cant be easy to remember each year. I just get so scared when he gets like this because I dont think he finds suicide to be a bad option...I dont think he is contemplating that, but he has told me that one reason that he doesnt keep guns in the house anymore is the temptation of using them when times got really rough.

    He is currently taking wellbutrin, which is also supposed to be helping him quit smoking...not working. But it is also an antidepressant. I havent seen anything good come from it, not yet anyway. He has been on it for at least a month, I think.

    Definitely since we have been planning the Craig trip and the ski trip life has been much easier. I get to go home after almost a month away in less than a week. This is the longest we have been away in a while and its really hard on both of us. I guess things just start piling up after a while and eventually its just hard to cope.

    Oh, he used to post here, but for some reason he stopped. I think he was trying to spend less time on the computer. I wish he would still use the board for support and information. Well, if he wont, I will

    Scarlett

  9. #9
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    Couple of thoughts ....

    Anniversaries of the injury date are HARD. Chad, at 16 years post, still has a super hard time around the anniversary date of his injury. For a few weeks before and after. So that may be it partially. And at 3 years ... it's still early in the timeframe really. And if you are traveling more, it's a big adjustment. All of those factors are in play here.

    Also, Wellbutrin is a crappy antidepressant (I develop antidepressants for a living, this is my official opinion, yes, lol!). But, even if it weren't, a month is not long enough (believe it or not) to ses the effect of an antidepressant. It takes 4-6 weeks to really take effect. So I would talk to his doctor about adding another antidepressant to help the depression. He can be on two - one to stop smoking (Wellbutrin, e.g. Zyban) and one for depression - I would highly recommend either Cymbalta or Effexor because both have good pain stopping properties, good for paras/quads (can't remember which your boyfriend is).

    Good luck hon .... you are doing the right thing for you though, reaching out for support.

    Ami

  10. #10
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    Tell him to hang in there.

    I'm a c3-c4 incomplete quad. I only have use of my left arm, grip in left hand, and use of left thumb. I'm confined to bed or wheelchair.

    It took me 4 years, support from family and friends, a team of good doctors, 2 counselors, and Prozac and Wellbutrin to come out of my
    depression. I went from hating life, not caring about friends or family, looking at a half empty glass, and wishing I was dead to embracing life, craving interaction with people, realizing the glass is half full, and generally giving a morale boost to the "old folks" at the assisted living facility where I live.

    I am able to get out and about once in a while in my van, and I work a day a week.

    You can do it too! Good luck.

    Bob

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