Your girlfriend is definately in need of professional help. It sounds like she has a good ophthalmologist on board and is making some headway in the treatment of her "tear" problem. Has she considered getting a pain evaluation. Many teaching institutions offer a well rounded pain evaluation - not just a visit to a Pain Management Specialist. Obviously, in her mind, what she is feeling is debilitating and is having a negative impact on both her physical and emotional well being. A full evaluation usually involves a team approach and includes a visit with a psychiatrist or psychologist that specializes in pain management, as well as a Pain Management physician and/or someone from Physical Rehabilitation (if necessary) . There are many ways to treat pain (actual or perceived). Medication is only one aspect. Medication can be is the form of antidepressants - some even have FDA approval for both mood and pain (e.g. Cymbalta), narcotics and non-narcotics, and a wide array of other medications like anti seizure meds that have pain reducing properties (e.g. Neurontin and Lyrica), The nice thing about team approach is they can also offer coping skills, behavior modification and biofeedback. It is important that she seek medical intervention so that she can get a hold of her pain issues and not let them take on a life of their own. Remind her that she needs a evaluation from an outside professional. Even though she is a trained social worker, she needs the help of individuals trained to deal with pain issues. Besides that, no one is objective when the are assessing themselves.
Good luck. You sound like a caring person who feels like your friend may be experiencing more issues than just the treatment of her eyes. You will have to tread lightly when discussing this situation. It is important that she does not get caught up in that loop of poor me - why me - my life will never be the same.
Please keep us posted about how things are going.
Co-Forum Moderator for Chronic Pain
Rare neurodegenerative disease called “Multiple System Atrophy”. a very rare neurodegenrative disease ..i.e. brain rot. Mobility issues,, O2 , intrathecal pump, neurostimulator, neuropathic pain, spasticity, central apnea, oesteoarthritis, colitis...etc..etc.
I see both side of the coin on this one. Not only do I have CP, but my husband does tooo. He was in a motorcycle wreck in 1989 and he still have CP. He's never to my knowledge taken depression meds ( I have, with no help, I'm tooo goofy and I dont need them) but he will go through the pitt me stages.. and I have tooo. But we are able to call each other on them. We have been together for well 22 years this month and I was there for him during the wreck, and he for my back. We (and prolly no other) can call each other when we are being a butt-hole and it brings the other back into check. I have problems at times with infections in my eyes and it will drive you nuts, I can understand where she is coming from, but with her being soo close to the problem she can not see the forest for the trees... does that make since????? She's only seeing I hurt and been hurting and it will never stop. You might need to go to her appointments with her and tell the doctor in front of her your concerns, she might be upset, but in the long run it might be the best thing to do. Tell the doctor to send her to someone and then you go if you can, or go every other time. Just so you know that she's not holding anything back and so does the doctor. I have to do that with hubby, hehehe he's not figured that out on me yet ... shhhhh don't tell him LOL
I wish you and your girlfriend lots of hugs and prayers, and I do not think your a butt-hole, I just think your in the need of venting too, she might be the one in pain, but you are the support and YOU need support tooo.
Good luck and talk sooon,
Hi there! My name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you. I am glad you found Healing Well Comminuty. I hope, over time, you will be able to get your friend to come here too. This is a great place for support & knowladge.
It is hard for me to respond to this post, but it is important .. here goes.
I, too, did not handle pain in my life well. I was very angry. about everything. Why did *I* have to be in chronic pain? Why not that poo brain drive like a maniac on the free way? Or the seemly hundreds of folks who I 'thought' could certianly benefit from my pain... ANYONE else but me. Not me. *I* wanted to live. *I* had planns. *I* was too strong to let pain get in the way.
Now here comes the dangerous thinking.
If I ignore it , it will go away. Noone else believe me maybe im only in a litttle pain and whinning. *I* am not whinning. My friends are abandoning me. They dont love me. Im not loved. Im not good enough to not be in pain. I dont deserve a pain free life.
This is that part that folks recoganize... often too late.
I dont want to get out of bed. I dont want to smile. I don't want to eat. I dont want to see the sun rise... The pain is too awfull. Everything is pains fault. If pain would go away I would be "me" again.
And here we have behaviour therapies. I saw a pain psychologist for a very very long time. We re defined "Me". We worked on physical responses to pain, mental responses to pain, emotional responses to pain. Over and over again until my responses became unconsciously automatic. I was taught every aspect of pain. I was taught Bio Feedback and completly changed my enitre body's respons to pain. Peroid. Every fiber of who I am has benefitted from Miss Mary the pain psychologist. She is/was the MOST important part of my pain management. Her skills coupled with other treatments... I'm not saying I "like" my pain.
Its a part of me. Not what defines me.
But who got me to Miss Mary? My spine specialist got grumpy right back! To me?!? And off I went to meet Miss Mary for the first time. So .. It took someone who was not (at the time) connected to me personally to tell me. "You need more tools for living."
Hopefully I stayed on toppic. I really am very glad to meet you. I hope over time perhaps? You can get your friend to come aswell. Having support group is... very much needed.
And hopefully my new friends here on the chronic pain forum dont think im weirdo
Hello Ryan and welcome to Healing Well. I applaud you for seeking out ways to help with your girlfriends's problems. Obviously you care a great deal for her. As you can see there are many of us here in this forum dealing with pain every day, trying to cope and get by. We come here to vent, learn new tips and pointers that may help us out with our situation. The life of a CP patient can be a lonely life no doubt, but its like anything else we are handed in this life, its what we make of it.
I really think you girlfriend is in dire need of professional to learn how to come to terms with what is going on in her life. Because we may need help from time to time does not mean that we are weak people. I think when CP first hits alot of us we do tend to concentrate more on the pain than anything. But, at some point you have to make decisions on how you want to handle the pain and how to make a new life for yourself it comes to that. I never want to give into pain, ever. In many ways I have already lost alot of time from my life that cannot be given back. Instead I chose to go forward, not backward. It sounds like you are having a very difficult time getting her to accept any kind of recommendations at this point. Does she have family close by that may be of help, are they aware of how bad things are going for her? What about friends, anyone there that may be able to help. I will only say this, if she is not willing to help herself then no matter what you attempt to do for her, its not going to be of much help. Now some of the people on here may disagree with that statement, but thats fine. No one can be forced to do anything. But, in all honesty she has to be willing to help herself.
She is very lucky to have you wanting to help her. Many times, friends and family tend to step back after awhile because they do get tired of hearing about how bad it can be. It does get old after awhile, I don't care who it is. I have lost many friends due to CP mainly because I was not able to participate in alot of the things that we normally did. But, I did not expect them to stop everything for me either, that would have been unrealistic and unfair.
I really do not think I am being of much help here to you, except to say I think its wonderful that you are trying to find ways to help her. Depression is so common with CP, they kind of go hand in hand. She needs to learn somehow to accept things and move on to the next level, but this is her decision not yours.
Good luck and please hang out here with us. We have a great group of people on this forum and I am so glad you found us.
Post Edited (skeye) : 7/1/2009 6:00:54 PM (GMT-6)