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Áthas
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 10/28/2010 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, I know I'm not here very often, it's a bit of a time problem, but I'm really desperate today. Here in Germany, I just don't know where to turn. Right now I'm feeling like I'm fighting and it's not working. i know there's a problem with my feet too, my ankles often hurt and I haven't even told anyone because I don't want to have yet another problem. my time at university is running out, I might not graduate. i have npo idea where to start looking for support here in Germany, whether osteoarthristis is officially a chronic illness, whether I might get help from the health insurance. I'm sitting here, crying, my boyfriend is still at work and I'm just going crazy with fear. I need support, I need a doctor I can turn to with all my questions, I'd like to get into a chronic disease programm so I have to pay less money for treatment and I want to find out what's wrong with my ankles and feet, plus I need to be tested for lactose intolerance because I probably have it. Got an appointment with the doctor tomorrow to have some blood taken to see whether my thyroid is okay, I hope he can help me and refer me to other doctors. But often, they don't even believe me. One said I just had an eating disorder and that was causing my problems. I don't, I have a BMI of 19 and that is certainly not Anorexic. My eating is fine.
I'm so scared, scared I won't manage to graduate from university, scared my knees will deteriorate, scared of other things coming up. There is no end to this!

tmjpain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2024
   Posted 10/28/2010 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Athas, I am so sorry you are having a terrible day!! One breath at a time and one minute at a time ok.

What about a counsellor at the university? Definitely talk to you dr. tomorrow. Maybe he can also suggest

a counsellor for you or a pychologist for you to talk to. Is there someone you can call right now to talk to?

I wish I had all the answers for you. I hope others come along soon and have some help to offer to you!!

Hang in there!!
SUZANE

One day at a time!!

antbuggey
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 594
   Posted 10/28/2010 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Athas,

I am so sorry that you are having such a bad day! This is a very scary journey we are on! I broke down in tears myself last night! The pain has been so bad lately, and there seems to be no break in the cycle anymore! Hopefully your doctor will be able to get you to where you need to be! Keep pushing until a doctor does believe you! Also, are there pain psychologists there? That might be a good resource for you also! Hang in there hun and know that we are here and that we care about you! Take care of you!

Hugs,
Beckey
Spinal Stenosis L3/L4, L4/L5 & L5/S1 with Nerve Impingement, Fibromyalgia, TMJ, GERD, Severe Depression, VERY Large Cyst Right Ovary causing mild twisting, Small Cysts Left Ovary & 3 Large Cysts Uterus and Possible RA

Medications - MS-Contin, Cymbalta, Famotidine and currently Prednisone

Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 10/29/2010 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Zulu,

I have sent a request to admin to have your post reviewed. This site is not for advertisement for products.
Retired Mom

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 10/29/2010 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Athas,
It sounds like a good place to start might be with a psychiatrist. They can help you get a handle on the fear & crying & whatever is going on with your weight. If you are hypothyroid, you can have a low-normal BMI and still be anorexic. So by seeing a psychiatrist, they can look at all the factors & rule that in or out. But much more than that, they can help you get a hold on things. I really understand what if feels like to just feel like everything is going wrong. Thyroid issues could be causing the joint pain, weight issues, depression & a whole host of other symptoms, so it is important to rule that out first. But once you rule that out, seeing a psychiatrist may be the best short-term option. If there is something really unusual going on with your ankles & feet (osteoarthritis at your age would be very rare) it is likely to take months to get to a diagnosis. It would probably take that long for a university student in the US to get diagnosed. In Germany, you would be lucky to get referrals & tests run on you for such a rare condition for quite some time. I have talked to friends & clients in Germany who have waited 2 years to get diagnosed with pain conditions.

You can self-test for lactose intolerance. Eliminate all lactose products from your diet for 2 weeks. Here's a list of non-dairy products that can contain lactose: digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/#products. If your symptoms go away, that is a good indication that you are lactose intolerant. 90% of people with lactose intolerance can benefit from taking lactase enzyme tablets. I know they at least have lactase tablets in Munich. I assume they are available throughout Germany. If you really want to be safe, you could just avoid lactose products until you finish your classes.

I hate to hear you say that you wish you had a chronic illness. That is an awful thing to wish for. It may mean less money in the short-term, but many people end up in financial ruin over the long run. I really hope it is just something minor -- thyroid issues, sprained ankles, something like that. There are some wonderful social service agencies in Germany that can help with financial issues. You can talk to your university adviser to locate resources. They can also advise you about what accommodations they might be able to make to help you with your coursework.

hope that helps!
frances

Áthas
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 11/2/2010 4:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all your replies. I haven't written anything because I got a cold, but I found a very good GP so I'm feeling a lot better.
Frances, I do have osteoarthritis, that has been diagnosed. It's because of my X-shaped legs and my kneecaps that often slip out of their position which has been destroying the cartilage.

And no, I don't have Anorexia Nervosa. I used to and the voice is still sometimes in my head and probably always will be, but I can control it and listen to my body. I eat regularly and eat when I'm hungry and that's why I have a normal BMI. Honestly, I would know if I had Anorexia.

I don't want to have a chronic disease, certainly not. But as far as my understanding goes, osteoarthritis is chronic so if I already have a chronic disease, I would also like the support from the health insurance. However, what I've learned now is that in Germany, you have to have been treated for that for at least one year and within that year for every quarter of the year. Since I'm scared of doctors and hardly go to see them unless the pain is really bad, I haven't had that much treatment to be classified as "chronically ill" by the health insurance.

Frances, I have to admit I was a bit shocked that you basically told me I should see a psychiatrist because I was probably just insane (I know you didn't use that word, but that's what it sounded like to me). I was desperate on Thursday because years of pain and not knowing why I was in pain and not being thoroughly checked out by doctors and not getting any answers had just crept up on me. That sometimes happens and yes, the pain can get me depressed. But a psychiatrist won't help me when the physical problems aren't addressed and I do have a family history of that.

Admittedly, I'm not sure whether I should stay here. I didn't come here to be told I was just crazy.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/2/2010 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
 Dear Athas,

   I wanted you to know that many of us here (myself included) see or are currently seeing a pain psychologist. Basically a psychologist that specializes in chronic / terminal illness. We aren't crazy. I know I am not. But they help you to re build you life. What your likes, dislikes, how you live your life. How you respond to your body. Biofeedback. Cognitive behavioral therapy. They also do full assessment about your entire medical history (something a doctor with only a 20-30 min time slot cannot do) and help to communicate with your specialists/doctors about your needs and help approve other therapies (opioids, internal - external devices, surgery). Here is more information


Link Here

 
*warm hugg*
       dani

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood

Chronic Pain Moderator
Mail

Post Edited (Dani Henson) : 11/2/2010 9:28:56 AM (GMT-6)


Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/2/2010 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Athas,

I'm so sorry you felt like you were being singled out or told you were crazy. It's really not like that here and I see a psychiatrist myself. Chronic pain is so difficult and can cause so many other things that I needed help in dealing with it. I love to see him, which may make me sound insane, but he is the most logical and most professional Dr. I have ever seen.....of any kind. He is the one who figured out why migraine meds make me so sick (serotinin syndrome) and the one who suggested other specialists for the real medical conditions I have. I have to admit that I do have PTSD, Depression, and Anxiety issues, but who wouldn't with a history that many of us have.

Frances is a very good person (and no, I've never met her and do not know here personally), but I see how she is trying to help find answers for people who are suffering.

Nobody thinks you are crazy, they think you are at your wit's end with school, pain, and life....this is all based on what you posted on a bad day. Everybody has bad days and we all feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Please take the time to re-read your post and that of the members responding to you. We all care and most of us see someone to help us deal with chronic pain and how that alone causes emotional issues.

I wish you well, my friend.
Retired Mom

Áthas
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 11/2/2010 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, retiredmom and Dani, and sorry Frances. Admittedly, I'm very sensitive to suggestions that I should see a psychologist since mostly during the past years, they came within the context of: "You're making it up, so you must be crazy." I did overreact on here and I'm sorry for that.
My dad actually suggested I should consider seeing a psychologist just to get help in coping with the pain. Right now, I have the one thing I needed, a good GP whom I told my situation on Friday. he didn't judge me, let me cry and listened and referred me to a gastroentologist to have myself tested for lactose intolerance. It's quite certain I have it since I feel better if I don't consume it, but I also want to make sure it's just that and not other things like fructose that I have problems with.
I also will need to see an orthopedist. My feet are not good. I have flatfeet and a splayfoot, to, but worse on the left side. I used to have insoles and I probably need them again. Maybe the lack of insoles is what makes my ankles ache, I have to ask the orthopedist.
For now, I need to recover from my cold which I'm not even that unhappy about because it's clear and obvious and simple.
One again sorry, especially to Frances, for overreacting.

Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2317
   Posted 11/2/2010 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think you're crazy. I guess I just wrongly assumed that you were going through a lot of stressful stuff. I know I am. It took me so long to try to actually find someone who didn't think I was making my pain up. I went to doctor after doctor & unfortunately that was looked down upon. They thought I was just looking for someone to agree with me, rather than looking for the truth. I was just crushed. And I too had a history of anorexia & that didn't bode well for me. People just assumed I was crazy.
So I went to a psychiatrist who was able to tell pain specialists that in spite of being an anorexic, I had been eating a healthy amount of food for several years. He was able to test for hypochondria (even though we both thought there was no chance I had that) and prove that I definitely did not have that issue. He ADVOCATED for me to the pain specialists. I honestly believe that it was the ONLY reason I ever got treatment. But the first people I found to treat me were marginal. They did help me, but not much. It took me YEARS to find someone who could actually really start to get my pain under control & then it took YEARS MORE to get enough pain relief to go to work consistently, take care of house keeping, personal care, etc. on a daily basis.
I can't speak for what will help others. All I can do is share what helped me. I'm not sure I wouldn't have ended my life if I had gone through all of that, for so many years, without a psychologist (and yes, he was a "pain psychologist" -- a behavioral psychologist whose practice focuses on pain patients). He taught me how to survive living in so much pain, how to limit it to a point & then advocated for me to medical doctors, encouraging them to treat me.

I don't know what your deal is. I'm not a doctor & I wouldn't presume to know what you're going through or whether it is real or not real or whatever else. So I assume it is real. But from my experience & what I've heard others share, it is hard to get doctors to take you seriously when you are young & in pain. And I have had family who lived in Germany for many years & friends who still live there who have said that though they feel badly for how long I had to struggle to find a doctor who would help me, it is far worse in Germany. So I really mainly shared it with you as a realist. Yes, ideally you would find a GREAT doctor who would diagnose & cure you tomorrow. I wish that for everyone here at HW. I truly do. Being in pain is the worst. And it's only worse when you aren't getting help & can't even find anyone to take you seriously. But I can't do anything about that. I don't know what the magic words are to get doctors to take your case. I sure wish I did. I would tell everyone I know who's in pain so they could get treatment. So I try to share the "next best thing" -- coping strategies to help us all survive until we can find a good doctor, the right treatment & lasting relief. And the "next best thing", in my humble opinion, is to find a psychologist who can be on your side, help you figure out how to deal with this, advocate for you, etc.

best wishes,
frances

Áthas
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 11/3/2010 2:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Frances, I'm so sorry to hear your story. Some of it really sounds familiar.
My problem with psychologists here is that they interpret everything in a negative way and turn anything into an illness. I you tell them you didn't see a doctor for a certain thing, they tell you it's because you struggle with extremely low self-esteem and have a problem in that direction.
Admitedly, I've had some verya bad experience with a psychiatrist. Because back then I had emotional problems, I was getting outpatient therapy from a wonderful doctor. She did it for free because otherwise it wouldn't have been possible and she helped me a lot. Her help is the reason I'm emotionally healthy these days - that is when I'm not in pain.
We also got along very well on a personal level and decided to stay in contact, but then she hardly wrote to me until, about 1/2 year after therapy ended, she suddenly told me she had a problem she couldn't talk to anyone about, just to me. I'd thought we would start establishing a friendship by getting to know each other on a personal level first. But then, she told me how she'd fallen in love with a patient in a psychiatric prison and she dragged me into the whole story. A few months later, we decided it would be better not to be in contact at all anymore. But after that, I just don't trust them anymore. I'm a person whom others generally tell their problems, but if my former psychiatrist does that, it gets really scary. Sounds like a soap opera, I know.
Generally, the problem here is that doctors often believe that young people can't have serious health problems. One of my sisters struggles with that, too. She also has a chronic condition and the same problem, that doctors think she is just stressed out or making it up.
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