Need an escape hatch...

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/28/2011 1:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Here is what I said at roll call, with some added comments at the bottom.  I wanted to present the story here because I would like feedback on it and roll call is not the place for that.
I started the week with new pain meds that I thought would be "just the thing" for me. I was building up on the dose and on Monday got to what the script was going to leave me at. With the changes I had a great dose of HOPE that went with it. I felt great. I still had some breakthrough, not not enough to keep me from doing what I needed to. On Thursday I was supposed to call the PM nurse to say how things are going, and I forgot for a couple of reasons, but mostly because the pain was low enough that life stuff had my attention instead of the pain. Saturday I had some more breakthrough pain, enough to cause me to use all sorts of topical and still have to slow down with pain I could still feel enough to stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
On Sunday I had LOTS of pain despite taking the medications and all the topical and wrapping and cooling and heating and sitting with cushions and stuff. it felt like a betrayal of what the new meds were supposed to do for me. I know that this is a process, and it is a long months/years type process not a days/weeks type process, but the feelings persisted anyway. I stayed upbeat for my family and friends through the day, but when my husband woke up after sleeping off work at about 7pm I cracked and cried and got a speech on how I need to stay positive and it was a low dose and I need to call the PM office in the am to let them know about it. I know this stuff and he doesn't know how hard I pushed to keep it together all day because he was asleep all day.
I have seasonal affective disorder along with bipolar, so I typically become like a "bottle rocket" at this time of year and my moods become on the higher spectrum. It usually has happened already, and my pain levels decrease when it happens because i just don't notice it as much in the higher moods. (also depression hurts itself, so higher moods hurt less) Well it hasn't happened yet, and that's weird and I wonder if it is the increased pain or the increased pain meds that are doing it. Either way I am back to guessing what is going on instead of having some idea based on what previous years have been like. Also, I having minor mood fluctuations that make me More or less able to cope with stresses and pain tolerance. I am unable to predict what it will be like from day to day or even from hour to hour. I am unable to control it, and my friends and family are getting annoyed that I seem to seesaw back and forth on the same issues and they can't tell how I will be from day to day.
As the pain increases I am losing holds of the control of my bipolar issues. I want to hide from it all and escape the stress and (terror?) of constant instability.
I do not want to die, I want to hide or sleep until I'm more under control, but I am scared that I have been asking myself that question seriously and increasingly regularly and I don't know the answer until I have thought about it for a little while. I am near the end of what I can handle by myself and I don't know where to turn to give the reins to someone else. I go see my psychiatrist tomorrow, and I will tell her all of this (probably print it out for her to read) and see what she does.
I called the PM this morning and had the tramadol increased from 50mg every 12 hours to 50mg every 8 hours. (but that doesn't help me NOW!)
I went to a dietitian today because my PCP wants me to lose weight to put less stress on my load bearing joints so that they will last longer since I have RA and have lots of pain in them.  The dietitian basically said everything that I already know, already do, and suggested that I eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 meals when I remember them and count calories to keep within limits.  ha, I was hoping for something a little better than that.
I hurt so bad right now my stomach is soured.  In all the major joints in my body.
  I think about whether I should check myself into a psychological program at the hospital, and if that would help or hinder my pain control process. My pain tolerance and mental status is so connected, it's hard to tell what is causing which symptom.
I feel unstable, and confused, and scared, and mental and physically tired.  I need an escape hatch.

Post Edited By Moderator (Mrs. Dani) : 3/29/2011 10:43:10 AM (GMT-6)

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 3/28/2011 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh my friend
You are part of our family and we are here for you.
Please make that call

Soft Hugs


Post Edited By Moderator (Mrs. Dani) : 3/29/2011 10:41:23 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/28/2011 3:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not going to do it.  I'm here with my 3 kids (my husband is at work for the night) I just have to make dinner and get through till bedtime.  I can go to sleep and go to my psychiatrist at 9:15 tomorrow morning.  I will print this out and hand it to her.

Post Edited By Moderator (Mrs. Dani) : 3/29/2011 10:40:41 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/28/2011 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I returned an email.  Thanks.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 3/28/2011 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I am not passing judgment or trying to say it is all your fault in what I am about to say so I pray you take it in the spirit of help and merely as food for thought.

I am wondering if maybe you have unintentionally sabotaged yourself. You started the new meds, were feeling good both mentally and physically and I am wondering if you over reached and did too much which caused a flair up in your pain which in turn darkened the hope you were having which led to worrying about what was "normal" and what now is not normal and so on and so forth which has placed you on a negative cycle of pain, stress, worry, etc which just leads to more of the same.

I really wish I had a sure fire way for you to break that cycle, if it is indeed what is happening, but I don't. I would suggest talking to your doctors though about what you are going through and maybe they can either prescribe you some medicine to help break this cycle or adjust your medication to help you get out of that hamster ball you find yourself in.

I don't know where you live, but if it is anything like it is around here (Illinois, USA) this has been one winter that just does not seem to want to let go. With the exception of a few days last week it seems to be either cold or cold, cloudy, and dreary around here just as it has been since mid December. If your weather is anything like that it is no wonder your seasonal disorder is playing games with you.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1230
   Posted 3/28/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You also need to be very, very careful if you are taking medications for depression or psychological issues because the use of Tramadol and certain physch medications can cause serotonin syndrome and have been shown to increase depression in some individuals with a previous history.
I would talk to your doctors, including your psychologist/physichiatrist about the possibility of the tramadol interacting negatively with your body or other medications.
Given that you just started it and now are going up in dose, that could very well explain the increasing feelings of loss of control and indecisiveness.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 3/29/2011 1:32 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi sweety just wanted to say that Jim and Sandi gave you some great advice. I dislike the tramadol and I think I said this in your post when you started it, in folks with any kind of mental health issues or diagnosis,Ive seen it do some very weird things and cause some far reaching reactions so please be aware and let the Doc know everything that is going on here.

As I was reading I also was thinking "Oh boy" a new med and how many times I have done the overdone? Too many to count as we fall into  a trap like when we get something that works for awhile and lowers or pain. Its so seldom we get to do things that when we are out of pain for a bit we want to run out and just do as much as we can and well we pay dearly for it later,over exert by far. I have done as I know others have as well.

Please let us know how you are and how your appointment goes and if you for one minute are searching for an escape hatch with a no-return door? Please please call someone who can help. We all have looked for one of those,and I even read the post to see if you found one and could I fit thru it as well,nothing wrong at all with looking for an escape hatch as long as it has a door that opens in and out.

Good luck to you and we are sending you well wishes.

Disabled since 1999 from knee injury
DX: Bil knee meniscus removal with LTKR in 01. 6 knee arthroscopy for plica removal meniscus repair. Ank spondyl,ddd at L3-4 S1. disc collapse at L-3 with nerve impengement. legally deaf,copd,rt shoulder rotator cuff tear repair 06. some memory deficit post encephalitis,GERD
MEDS: methadone,xanax,cymbalta,zantac,maxide,K+,lasix,prempro,celebrex,combivent

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 3/29/2011 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Christina,
    Good morning *hugg* How are you doing this morning? I hope you were able to get at least a little bit of rest. You have been through a lot lately and you sound exhausted inside and out. Were you able to call your doctor? I sure hope so. Maybe he can help.
    Tramadol, and in fact MANY medication that chronic pain patents have to take, does have a potential for an adverse reaction called Serotonin syndrome.
    I am so sorry you have been through so much lately. I hope your doctor was able to help you. When you get a chance stop by and let us know how you are doing. Know you are in our hearts and we are thinking of you.


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

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