Chronic Illness and Depressed

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lasbutterfly
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 4/29/2009 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I have bipolar disorder and also have colonic inertia.  It is very difficult for me to have bowel movements.  Every time I do have a bowel movement, I thank God.  Because of my bipolar disorder, each day that I don't have a bowel movement, I think that I never will again.  I should tell you that I had my colon taken out about 2 years ago, so it has all been very distressing and I just can't let any of it go.  My counselor is always talking about reasonable and unreasonable fears.  Somehow, they've all became mixed up with me and everything has become fearful. 
 
Is there anyone else out there with a chronic illness and tendency towards depression?  If so, how do you deal with it?  I really can use any advice.
 
Butterfly

Raniah
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Date Joined Mar 2009
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   Posted 4/29/2009 4:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Butterfly,

I am so sorry for your suffering. I suffer from chronic pain, depression and anxiety, and I do know it's so hard to keep hope alive when your life is not what it once was.

I deal with the depression associated with chronic pain by making note, every day, of the things I still CAN do, and the things I'm grateful for. I have found happiness in the small and simple things.....things that many people perhaps take for granted. I thank God that I am still able to go for walks, albeit much slower, shorter walks, and I am able to move well enough to take care of myself independently, to drive my car, to socialize with friends, and to work part-time. I just have to be patient with myself and try to schedule a few things a day instead of a ton of things a day like I used to.

I'm also so thankful that I can experience the world with five senses......to see the beauty of nature, hear the birds sing, feel the grass between my toes, to taste a juicy piece of fruit, and to smell the lilacs in my yard when they come into bloom. Dealing with physical limitations is very challenging, for sure, and I'm not saying every day is a ray of sunshine for me, either. I do have my struggles and my dark days. However, I try to deal with each day as it comes, and to appreciate as much of it as I can.

I've also found that doing things to help others takes the focus off my own problems, and it fills my heart with joy to know that I have made someone else's day a little easier. I am passionate about helping seniors in my community....that is one of the things that gives me happiness and fulfilment. I hope you will be able to find some positives in your life, too, because it really does help when things seem too sad to bear. I wish you the very best.
Living one day at a time. 
 


Tirzah
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Date Joined Jul 2008
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   Posted 4/29/2009 6:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,
I think I am pretty similar to Raniah as far as what I do.

I feel that life is all about balance, so I try to balance thinking about myself & thinking about others, thinking about my problems & thinking about blessings in my life, being by myself & being with others. I must say that the first part of each of those pairs comes very naturally to me. I have to really work to carve out time in my day to reflect on joys, friends & ways to help others.

Beyond that, I make an effort to treat my chronic pain & any other conditions that come up. I often have to deal with anemia & occasionally have problems with my thyroid. All the physical problems that we face can & often do affect our mood. Maybe you could try talking to your GI specialist about the bowel movements. I don't have the same issue as you, but that is a side effect of my meds & I have found that being more regular often improves my mood. Perhaps there is something they can recommend to help you with that.

Other than that, maybe you're just being too hard on yourself. We all face a long & difficult journey and can't get where we want to be in a day, week, or maybe even a year. It takes a lot of time & effort. It does sound like you're making progress, so be sure to give yourself credit for that.

blessings,
frances

manyembers
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 4/29/2009 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   

  Hi Butterfly,

  I like your username.  Butterflys are so beautiful!

  Something you wrote struck me:  "Because of my bipolar disorder, each day that I don't have a bowel movement, I think that I never will again."  This is the black and white thinking that can set in with depression or like you shared with bipolar disorder.  I know when I'm having a bad pain day (fibromyalgia) I tend to only remember the days I feel bad and it feels like 'this is all I ever go through - pain and suffering."  So what has helped me was to actually write out statements of what the truth is and pin them up somewhere I'm bound to see them.  So then when I have days where I'm not doing so well and tunnel vision is at play, I just read those statements and it's just the reality check I need.  Eg:  "You are not alway in pain.  That is just the depression talking."  "You will feel better soon.  You always do."  etc.  It has really helped me.

  You could do the same thing re. the fears you mentioned.  Write down the fears you are struggling with and then take time to consider if they are blown out of proportion and untrue or not.  If they are unreasonable fears, write the truth beside them to help yourself to get out of the "stinking thinking" mode.  And if they are reasonable fears, write something positive beside them to help counter the fear.  Eg.  "I am afraid I will not feel well enough to get my work done today."  You could write "But if that's the case, there is always tomorrow."  OR "I will just focus on taking care of me instead and do somethign nice for myself."  Or whatever comforting truth you can write to make those fears shrink back to 'normal' size.

  It can be hard when dealing with a chronic condition.  If we don't fight back the negative thoughts and weariness of the battle will be all too happy to try to become larger than life and take over.  But just meditating on the truth and making steps to comfort ourselves can go a long way to counter some of the heaviness of the battle.

  Frances and Raniah, you guys wrote such beautiful responses.  I enjoyed reading them.

  take care everyone, manyembers

 

 

 


getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/30/2009 4:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

I am so glad that you posted here. It is so hard when we have chronic illnesses to go along with the depression. It is like a double battle. And one always effects the other.

I really do think that you got some good advice from the posts above. And the only think that I wanted to add, is be kind to yourself. As Manyembers wrote, write positive afirmations for yourself to read. This can become inprinted in our brains just like the negative. The more that you read it, the more that you will believe it. So keep trying.

Remember that we are always here to help you. So keep posting.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/30/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

Chronic Illness and Depression go hand in hand. Depression is a natural part of dealing with a chronic illness. When your body is challenged physically, it often times challenges the affects your brain chemicals which can lead to depression. Not to mention that with a chronic illness a person is dealing with an avalanche of new experiences both physical and emotional and that can affect their emotional health.

Depression is an illness in itself and combined with other medical issues makes for a truly challenging situation.

You are not alone so please know we care.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
  Forums
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 4/30/2009 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you everyone for your replies.  You're all wonderful and I appreciate your thoughtfulness.  I'm usually a positive person, but I'm very afraid of having to have future surgeries due to my constipation issues and it sends me in a downward spiral.  I need to redirect my thinking somewhere where I can make a difference and where I have some control over.

Butterfly

 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/30/2009 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   
That is so true Butterfly,

You can't worry about things that you have no control over. Try to take life one thing at a time and stay in the moment. I know that you can do this. We are here to help you.

Take care my friend,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/30/2009 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

I'm glad you came back. You are right about redirecting your focus to situations where you can make a difference and have some control. I know it's so hard when you are dealing with fears and sadness, but please know that it does help to put your mind on more positive things in your life. I second what Karen said.....we are here to help you. I hope the support here will lift your spirits. (((hugs)))
Living one day at a time. 
 


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/3/2009 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone, thank you for your words of wisdom and friendship.  I really appreciate it and am so thankful for your responses.  It seems better when others understand you and you feel like you're not the only one that is going thru pain, fearfulness, and depression at the same time.
 
Some more of my story.  Two years ago in August, I had to have a colectomy.  It was a major open surgery that removed my colon and attached my small intestine to my rectum so that I can have normal bowel movements.  I have colonic inertia, and before surgery, I could literally not have a bowel movement for a month at a time and would be impacted and have to have emergency room doctors disimpact me, until I could get help from a specialized colorectal surgeon.
 
After my colectomy, I had numerous bowel movements a day and was often incontinent, but I was so thankful to be able to have any type of bowel movement.  Everything was working fine until about 2 months ago and now I am constipated again, and may have only 2 bowel movements a week and am uncomfortable and having to take laxatives all over again.  With my colon gone, it hurts more being constipated, because there is less room for toxins in my small intestine.
 
I have bipolar disorder and am seeing a counselor because  I am very depressed right now.  I feel that I have gone thru so much and now am having so many difficulties again.  I am having flashbacks of my life for months of constipation, before I was able to have surgery and now am really afraid that if my constipation gets worse, that I may have to have an illeostomy.  There are not any doctors willing to see me or help me in the city that I live in, because it was a specialized surgery and I had an out of town surgeon.  My surgeon is 8 hours away.
 
Tomorrow, I am going to call my surgeon's office, because the unknown is making my mind spin.  Maybe, there's something else that can help me.
 
If any of you have some really good positive affirmations, I am willing to learn them..
 
Butterfly
 
 

Raniah
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/4/2009 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

I'm so sorry for all that you've been through. It must be frustrating and worrisome to have this constipation issue after the surgery and subsequent success. I hope that you were able to reach your surgeon's office, and that someone there was able to help you or offer some good ideas to you.

I've been thinking about your request for affirmations, and thought about Louise Hay, who has written a lot of material on the mind-body connection, and affirmations for specific conditions. According to her, bowel issues are related to fear....specifically, in the case of constipation, fear of letting go of something or someone in your life. I don't know if that applies to you, Butterfly, but the affirmation she suggests for that is: "I freely and easily release the old, and joyously welcome the new." I would think that would be a helpful affirmation for most of us, especially with depression and dealing with pain from the past, and I hope it is helpful to you.

I will give this some more thought, and I will pray for you to find a solution. ((((hugs))))
Living one day at a time. 
 


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/6/2009 5:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Raniah, I was able to talk with my surgeon this morning, and it seems that having surgery for an ileostomy is my only option left.   I've read the positive affirmation that you posted, and maybe it applies to me.  The past couple of years while I've had my troubles with constipation and surgery, I always asked myself, why me?  Today, I was able to understand why.  Maybe, I had to take all of the baby steps along the way to get to today, because maybe God really doesn't give us more than we can handle.  I think that I am ready for an ileostomy now, and I just want to be healthy.
 
Butterfly

Raniah
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/6/2009 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

You sound good and at peace with your thoughts about this. I did some reading about ileostomies, and even watched a video about how to go swimming with an ileostomy, so that I could better understand your situation. If this surgery will allow you to live a more comfortable and fulfilled life, then so be it. You deserve to be healthy, and to have some control over your life again. Whatever you decide, I wish you the very best.
 
"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."  ~ Mahatma Gandhi


Akram
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/6/2009 7:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi butterfly,

I just want you to know that your not alone, I also had depression along with problems with bowel movement. not as severe as yours though, since I never needed surgery and was able to find a natural solution to my problem. my problem started when I was around 25 with a lot of constipation, and I would go for days without bowel movement, I didn't worry about it much until the hard bowel movements started to tear the skin as it passes through the anus, and I ended up with a lot of pain, and one day discovered blood was coming out, which means it was rectal bleeding, I didn't know if it was Anal fissures or Hemorrhoids or something else, All I knew I had to find a solution because the the hard bowel movements were so painful and just take forever to come out, I even had to use my fingers to get things out on a regular basis with hot water because they are usually stuck and they were like a rock, so I try to melt them and move them slowly. it was very painful to get them out as they were tearing the skin apart, I would use hot water and vaseline, and spend hours in the bathroom sometimes. hot water and vaseline eased the pain a lot. discovering about vaseline was really a gift from god I think :)

As a solution, my relatives gave me a laxative to try, it worked so I started taking it everyday, after a week my relatives told me it's not good to use it regularly as it will harm your body and make you sort of addicted to it, and it's better to find a natural solution like changing your diet. so I started eating healthy, I used to hate salads and I started eating Salads everyday, and did some research and discovered that fiber is very important for bowel movements, which is found in sweet pepper and all-brain. So I started eating sweet pepper and all-brain serial everyday along with salads, and things started to get better. something else which helped is exercise, they say constipation can be a result of lack of physical exercise, I didn't know this at the time but I started aerobics for other reasons ( like wanting to loose some weight ) and this helped me greatly, I stopped having Acid influx issues as well as constant gases coming out ( both ways ), and lost a significant amount of weight and gained a lot of motivational benefits as well.

I guess I'm kind of lucky, because after only few years of regular exercise and good diet, constipation was finally gone, and I can't remember the last time I had rectal bleeding. I'm lucky because I didn't have to do any surgery, but who knows maybe the problems will come back one day specially when I'm older. I can't forget my painful days in the bathroom, spending hours in awful pain, feeling like I was going to die because of all the pain.

I'm sorry that your previews surgery didn't work, and that you have to do further surgery to find a solution to your problem, I wish you luck and I hope you will get better soon

Post Edited (Akram) : 5/6/2009 8:06:10 PM (GMT-6)


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/7/2009 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   

Akram, thanks for sharing with me.  I feel so bad for you for what you had to go thru.  Constipation can take over your whole life, and I'm ready to get my life back.  I'm happy that you're living healthier and feel better now.  That is great.. I can't have salads since surgery, but I have gone from 218 pounds to 135 pounds and I eat healthier now, too.  I don't eat any red meat because it's harder to digest, and I eat lots of fish, chicken, steamed veggies, and fruits.  I also walk and treadmill every day.  Because of my motility disorder it was important for me to exercise for the rest of my life. 

I think that I am most depressed over the fact that I've already had surgery once and I'm doing everything possible, but it's still out of my hands.

Today, I met with my general practitioner and got a referral for a general surgeon who performs ileostomies.  I have an appointment with him on May 13, so until then I'm going to try to stay calm and take care of me.

Butterfly


Akram
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/8/2009 12:16 AM (GMT -7)   
HI lastbutterfly,

what I went through is nothing compared to you, you say you can't eat salads now after your surgery, is that just a temporary situation for you or is it permanent? but it's amazing to hear your transformation from 218 pounds to 135 pounds that's really great you must be really proud of yourself :) . it sounds like you are doing all the things possible to improve your situation, like watching your diet, keeping buesy with physical excersize and loosing the extra weight. so it sounds really unfair that you still have to go through another surgery to get better, that must be a lot of pressure on you and just know we are all proud of your efforts and wish the best for you because you deserve it, you deserve to get better after what you have done. so when do you think your going to go through the surgery? keep us posted on how you are doing, god bless you :)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/8/2009 5:55 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Butterfly,

I have to really work at positive affirmations too so here are a few that I use depending on what is going on in my life at the moment.

Positive Affirmations
- I am sailing on the river of wealth.

- My mind is calm.

- I am calm and relaxed in every situation.

- My thoughts are under my control.

- I radiate love and happiness.
 
- I am surrounded by love.

- Everything is getting better every day.
 
- I am a worthy person
 
- I believe in me
 
I have a husband with Crohn's Disease so I do understand your disorder and the frustrations and despair that you must be going through.
 
I hope you stick with us and let us help you through.
 
Bless you,
Kitt



 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic 
Co-Moderator Depression
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Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/8/2009 4:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Akram, I used to eat salads all of the time, but they're too hard for me to digest right now.  Hopefully, after ileostomy surgery, I may be able to eat salads again.  I'm not sure when my surgery will be.  My husband and I are meeting with my surgeon after work on Wednesday afternoon and maybe I'll know more after then.  I'm crossing my fingers that my medical records will have been forwarded here by then, too.
 
Kitt, thank you for sharing your affirmations and your husband's illness with me.  I like the affirmation that's everything is getting better every day.  I'm going to print it out, and keep it with me.  I'm very lucky that I have a supportive spouse and he tries hard to keep me smiling even when I want to cry with frustration.  I hope that your husband knows how lucky he is to have you, too!
 
Butterfly

lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/13/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I met my surgeon today, and he seems very knowledgable and really nice. He spent over a half an hour with my husband and I. He doesn't want to do an ileostomy just yet, because he says that I will still have constipation if my small intestine doesn't work. So, he's ordering a test to make sure that my small intestine still works. If it works, he said he'll schedule surgery for any day that I'm ready, but if my small intestine isn't working, he said we'd cross that bridge, but we'll try to know something before Friday afternoon. Needless to say, I cried for the poor man. Whenever I hear constipation, it just hits a nerve with me and I'm really frightened, too, to say the least. So, I'll wait some more, but I think that I'm in really good hands. My husband reassured me, too, that he felt that I had a really super doctor.

Butterfly

Raniah
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/13/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Butterfly,

I'm so glad you have confidence in your surgeon. That peace of mind is worth a million. Good that your husband agrees, too. You are in my thoughts and prayers with this, as I know it is a scary time for you. Please let us know how it goes. (((hugs)))
 
 
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."  ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/17/2009 3:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Raniah, I'm on a liquid diet today and am having testing at the hospital tomorrow, to see whether or not my small intestine is working.  My large intestine was removed almost 2 years ago, so I'm praying that my small intestine is alright.

Butterfly


Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 5/17/2009 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Butterfly, you have my very best wishes and prayers for a positive outcome. Please let me know how it goes. (((hugs)))
 

 

 

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” ~Marcus Aurelius


Akram
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 5/18/2009 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi lasbutterfly. I really hope that the test will show that your small intestine is still functioning... I cannot imagine how dificult for you it would be if it's not working and what is it you have to do to survive, please keep up posted on how that goes, good luck to you!
Former Addict of Online Video Games ( MMORPGs ) , Sober since April 6th 2008
Diagnosed with Major Depression since 2002


lasbutterfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 5/18/2009 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I had my tests at the hospital today and I was there most of the morning and afternoon, too. The 3 barium milkshakes that I had to drink were awful. I have a work-in appointment with my surgeon on Wednesday afternoon, and will go over the test results and see where we can go from here.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/18/2009 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   

butterfly,

I am sure you feel like Wednesday will never get here while you wait for your appointment.  I will be praying that your news is good news and whatever happens I will be right here to help you through so know you have a  cheering squad.

I have a friend who has TPN every night at home and she works and lives a normal life.  She has had Crohn's since she was 15 so she is a great example to many as she refuses to let the dang disease run her life completely. I have known her for 19 years and she has lost much of her small bowel and some of her colon too.

You have every right to be afraid so just imagine all of us sitting in the waiting room on Wednesday while your in with the Doctor.  This group of wonderful members has great healing powers. 

Gentle Hugs to you dear butterfly.

Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator:
Anxiety/Panic, 
Depression,  & 
 
 GERD/Heartburn
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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