Depression over surgery complications

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jenyj89
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/23/2010 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm new here and this is my first post, so let me introduce myself. I've been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder and Anxiety Disorder for at least 13 years and borderline Bipolar Disorder tendencies.  I take Topomax 100 mg twice a day for migraines and mood stabiler; Pristiq 100 mg once a day and Librium 25 mg a day, then Ambien 20 mg to sleep as needed. I see my Psych approximately every 3-6 months. The meds help with the panic attacks but the overall depression still comes sometimes.
 
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feb 09 and dealt with a right mastectomy, chemo and radiation all of 2009. I was given "official" remission in Feb 2010. While is was hard to deal with I had alot of support from friends, co-workers and my wonderful son and devoted husband. I had my breast reconstruction surgery on June 15th 2010 and it went well but since then I have had nothing but problems with the abdominal wound healing up. I've had to go back to the Plastic Surgeon every week since surgery because the wound has not healed well in my abdomen and it's gotten worse and worse.  He finally decided this week that I will have to go in for day surgery for him to scrape and debride the wound and put a "wound vac" on it to help it heal.
 
It's constantly on my mind and it's been getting me so depressed. The wound now has a foul odor and it's like I can smell it all the time (my husband says he can't smell it when my bandages are on but I swear I can). I feel so unattractive and like I have been nothing but a burden to my family and especially my husband for last year and now this year (he says I'm not, but I feel like I am). I feel like I've been so selfish for wanting this reconstructive surgery and now look at what a burden I've become. I'm down all the time...I've lost my appetite most of the time, I don't feel like doing anything but going to work and going home. I don't really want to do anything. I break down and cry because I just want it all to be over....
 
Can anyone help me out???
Jeny in SC

myjoy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 7/23/2010 6:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Jeny - please know that you are very important to your family. You have been through a ton, and sometimes depression happens then. Go see your psych and have your meds tweeked a bit, maybe. This is all depression talking....just take things one day at a time. Soon the doctor will have you all fixed up again and you won't have this nasty wound. I had a friend who had the same thing happen after a surgery like yours....eventually she healed up, but it was a tough time for her.

Keep coming here to talk - that will help you too.
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

fluoxetine (prozac), abilify, trazodone, lorazepam, nabumetone, hydrocodone, c-pap machine.


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40590
   Posted 7/23/2010 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jeny,
 
Welcome to the HealingWell Depression Forum.  I am so glad that you have come here. 
 
I am sorry that your wound is healing so slow.  But I am sure that they are going to take care of it.  Try not to think about it.  If you can.  I know that it is hard and that you can't help but think about it, but try to keep busy so that you don't.  Find little things to do.  Go for walks.  Anything to get your mind off of it. 
 
Are you going to any counseling?  Right now you could use the extra support.  Not only are you feeling the effects physically, you are dealing with mental effects too.  This has to be a strain on you right now.  It would do you good to have somebody to talk to. 
 
You are going to get better, though the healing might be slow.  Just keep a good attitude about things and everything else will fall into place for you.  And think about the counseling.
 
If you can't afford counseling, there is a site that has helped many people here.
Give this a try and let me know what you think.  It is totally free.
 
Keep posting my friend.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18757
   Posted 7/24/2010 1:37 AM (GMT -7)   
jenny, i too have had some reco stuff. sorry, hi i am jamie, male and 37. he is a good man, and you are a good women. i realize that it is driving you nuts, the time factor stuff. you will heal. keep the lines of communication open between you. things will improve in time, but to take of your family and other stuff you first need to take care of you. you have been brave in posting, i admire your strength and courage in doing so, thus keep being brave, you are strong, yeah you have had a tough time of it, but i can tell that you have guts and determination. draw strength from what you have been thru-as this strength is amazingly strong. know that we care and are here for you. with compassion, jamie.
YESTERDAY IS A BUTTERLY WITHOUT WINGS. (ME)
 
DX, MDD, SEVERE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER.
 
REMEMBER TO LOVE YOU. BE YOU AND BE TRUE.


jenyj89
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/24/2010 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone. I know it's just a matter of time and I'm not a very patient person (Type-A unfortunately). I an appt to talk to my psych in Sept but I will try to move that up if I can.

Everyone keeps telling me how great I am, how strong I am and all that for coming through what I have and doing what I'm doing (cancer and reconstruction) and I don't feel strong or special or great. I feel like I just want it to all go away...I don't want to be part of this group anymore!!! I'm just a regular person that did what I had to do with a horrible disease...I'm nobody special. There are so many other people out there that are worse off than me, that deal with more than me and I would consider special. I just makes me cringe inside when people come up to me at work and make me sound like some kind of superwoman because I worked and had cancer and now I'm having a breast reconstruction. I want to yell at them and tell them how many years I worked full time and suffered through depression, GAD, panic and anxiety disorders.....but that wouldn't evoke the same sympathy because they can't relate and they can't see that.

I'm sorry...I'm just ranting because I'm very down right now. I appreciate the kind words and I will keep coming back.
Jenyfer

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40590
   Posted 7/24/2010 9:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenyfer,
 
You are a lot stronger than you think you are.  And yes, you are a special person.  Give yourself a little credit and a pat on the back.  You have been through a lot and have come a long way.  Be patient with yourself.  You will get through this, and will enjoy your life.  Keep telling yourself this. 
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/24/2010 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenyfer,
 I have had an experience with an incision that turned into an infection and then a wound. I had colon resection surgery. I had 3 laprascopic incisions and one bigger 4 in incision to remove my perforated colon. When I was sent home from the hospital the drs told me I had an infection in the incision but my insurance wouldn't cover another day in hospital. So they sent me home with
antibiotics. Two days later I was leaking fluid and went back to the hospital. My surgeon was out of town but the surgical team that was part of my whole surgery saw me. I don't know why they treat an infection this way but what they did was to open up my incision and they made a wound 8 in long, 2 in wide and about 1/2 in deep. At first I had to use wet to dry gauze dressings and then they ordered a wound vac for me. If you get one be sure to check with your insurance and sign the papers and send them back to the company that furnishes the wound vac and all the supplies. My insurance allowed for a visiting nurse to come and change the dressing on the wound vac every other day. But that never worked because the stupid vac kept buzzing and not working so I had to take it all off myself and use wet to dry dressings. Then I went to see my surgeon who said he never uses a wound vac and feels that you heal much better from the wet to dry
gauze bandages. It took a while to get used to using all the dressings and paper tape and sterile water but I did it. So if you have an option to use this type of dressing you will be better off. I was also put on the strongest antibiotic they could give me. The other thing that will help your wound heal faster is eating a lot of protein. The wound heals from the inside out. And protein closes it up faster. So I was eating turkey breast, chicken, tuna, cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, any type of protein you can have. It's a bit
tough when you have no appetite but I forced myself. It took about a month for the wound to close up and a bit longer for the scar to heal and not feel tender. But then the scar isn't where anyone will see it. The one thing you have to remember to do is check with your insurance. Many companies will not pay for a wound vac as there are other options for treatment as I have told you. My insurance covered part. The cost of the wound vac I was sent was $6000 a month! My insurance wasn't going to cover a lot of this but I had met my deductible and coinsurance. So please be careful about this and if your insurance denies it tell your dr. There are other ways to heal a wound. Also, if you have an infection you do need an antibiotic and if this dr. hasn't prescribed one I would be very cautious about continuing with him. I don't know if you are near a teaching hospital but if I were you I would get a second opinion on how to treat your problem. You may find another dr. who will give you better options. Sorry I am so wordy, I was hoping you would benefit by hearing
about my experience. I wish you the best and do post and let us know how you are doing. I will be glad to write you back. By the way, I am a 5 yr breast cancer survivor. Things will get better for you, they did for me.
 
Many hugs,
 
Aurora

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40590
   Posted 7/25/2010 4:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Aurora,

That was a lovely post and so informative. I think Jenyfer will benefit from your post. Keep up the good work, I hope that you are feeling well.

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


jenyj89
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/25/2010 1:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much Aurora for your experience and congrats on your 5 year survivorship! I'm so sorry to hear of your ordeal but appreciate your sharing with me. Hopefully I won't have to go through all that. I will check my insurance booklet out this weekend to make sure it covers a wound vac. My Plastic Surgeon said they would get everything pre-approved but I will double-check to be sure after what you said.

So far there is no infection and I hope it stays that way. I'm hoping the "foul odor" is not a sign of an infection; I have no other signs like fever or nausea. I don't have much appetite but that's about it. I'm drinking lots of fluids and eating at meal times, whether I'm hungry or not. I guess I'll take your advice and start pushing the proteins. Thanks for the advice and your thoughtfulness.

I went with my best friend to her sister-in-law's mother's funeral mass (I had met her, didn't know her well, more support). It kind of made me feel good to go and say some prayers. It put things in perspective for me. Made me realize there are so many people that are far worse than I am and need so much more help...I said prayers for them...and just asked for some support as I go through this. It made me feel a bit better. Then my friend's husband sang "Ave Maria" (in Latin) during communion and he has a beautiful tenor voice and it just brought me to tears to hear him sing...but tears of joy. It really helped me feel alot less stressed.

Jenyfer

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40590
   Posted 7/25/2010 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Jenyfer,

That was sweet of you to go to your friend's sister in law's mother's service.  I am glad that you got some peace and solace out of it. 

You are a sweet soul.  I am glad that you post here.

Hugs, Karen


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


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/25/2010 2:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenyfer, I am glad I could be of some help to you. You sound like a very caring person. I hope things go well for you. I know how hard it is to push the food when there is no appetite. What I did in order to get nourishment in me
was to eat about 6 very small meals a day. So if you can't eat much,  just try to have a little something every few hours. I wish you the best with your
surgery and hope you will let us know how things turn out. It was very nice of
you to go to your friend's relatives service. I always cry when I hear
Ave Maria. It reminds me so much of my grandma. Please don't feel you are complaining. You are going through a difficult time and what you need is support and friendship. Please post again as we are here to listen to you when you need someone.
 
Hugs,
 
Aurora
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