Snowbunny21, I really appreciate your feedback. You "tell it like it is" and that's something I need to hear. You are right about the smoking, it's so important and even though I've heard things about spinal fusions not healing well with smokers, I am still smoking. I think seeing a psychologist would perhaps help with understanding my mentality regarding smoking and why I still smoke even though it's really hurting me and ruining my chances at recovery.
I also am an alcoholic/addict. Been sober 5 years, but I do have a tendency to get addicted to things. So that could be part of my trouble with quitting smoking. It's also upsetting to me as a recovering addict that I've had to stay on pain meds for so long. As you said, I could try other meds like muscle relaxers, nerve stuff, etc but I have tried a lot of different ones already and most of them either don't work or I get bad effects from them. I could surely try more but I think focusing on the healthy activities, foods, psychotherapy, etc would be the most helpful at this point. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of money nor do I have a car so that limits me as to what I can do in terms of getting to appts, going to phys therapy, massage, etc. I would love to do all those thing but only so much is possible. Do you have anything you could tell me about anti-inflammatory foods? I'd be curious to hear what you eat. I really appreciate what you've shared, I wish I had time to respond to all the things but trust me you've given me some good ideas, reminders, and a soft kick in the ass. Thanks!
Straydog, thanks for commenting on my story again and thank you for your kindness and understanding. I will talk to my psych next time I'm there about reducing or changing my meds. It's tough cause I've tried several times to get off the Lamictal but I just really start degrading immediately. The vistiril I take is for panic attacks that started only 6 months ago or so but my doc is hoping the zoloft I added just 2 weeks ago will eliminate the need for it. I'm really hoping the zoloft will lift me up and give me the chance to get my motivation back. I will start going to a psychologist at the end of the month. I'm hoping this will be a good one as I've not felt satisfied with most of the psych's I've seen before. I hope I can get someone like you had. Sorry to hear that you can't see her anymore.
I think that quitting smoking may be a good thing to hold off on while my depression is overwhelming me, but it also seems like something that is so key to my recovery that it just needs to happen, like I gotta make it happen. What Snowbuny 21 wrote above about the success rates for smokers having a spinal fusion, and how they dry out your spine, really scares me, though I have heard it before. I need to find a soft approach, maybe need to cut back slowly and use some nicotine gum.
about the pain mgmt dr, I still have not gotten someone new and it's still something that needs to happen. They just don't care very much. It's another of those simple things that I could do but don't. Even as I'm typing this it feels silly to say that, like it would be so easy. I need to make a list of those kinds of things that I can do to help me get better. I really need a personal attendent (haha). Anyway, thanks again Susie, hope you're staying cool. It was blazing hot in Austin today. Take care!
Tiffany, that machine sounds really cool. I'll definitely look into that. I can relate to your situation. I lived with my parents off and on throughout my adult, until about 5 years ago. I had major drug and alcohol problems so I would invariably get to a point where I couldn't pay rent, needed rehab, etc. It does feel shameful to be an adult but still need your parents help and home. I always desired that above anything, and it was important to me b/c I couldn't have a lady come over, wouldn't want to ask her to! so I know where you're coming from. You sound like you've got some good things going also quitting smoking, going to the gym, eating, etc. I guess we all just need to recognize the good things we have but work to our best ability to take care of those things that are not so pleasant. I hope you are able to finally find a shrink that works for you. Best of luck and thanks again!
EyeLoveBTVS, glad to hear from you. I can relate to not having good hygiene, I've got that problem going now and have not had it in the past. Even in my times of using a lot of drugs I could still manage to keep myself clean. So that's rather unsettling to me that now I'm having trouble. Mostly with showering but sometimes I only manage to brush my teeth once a day. I now go 4-5 days or even longer. Fortunately I don't have an oily kind of skin and hair so I don't reek as much as some other people who haven't showered. But it's still gross and is not good if you are depressed. Don't mean to rub it in at all, just saying I know what you mean.
As for the meds, I tried Seroquel and had bad side effects, I can't be prescribed benzos like Xanax b/c of past with drugs. Funny that I can be given a load of narcotics but not Xanax! Oh well. I know that, in a way, we'll always be depressed (or bipolar for me) but I know we can become mostly free of the symptoms if our lives get better, healthier. Maybe you'll find that better psych med. I had tried a lot of meds over the years and nothing worked quite as well as lithium. They had always tried to give it to me but I rejected it cause it has such a stigma, I thought it was basically for "crazy people". But after I was on it for a while I was basically cured, I had never in adult life had the clarity it gave me...this was all before my pain symptoms got so bad. I was amazed with it, couldn't believe a drug could work that well. Then I had to get off it after my first surgery. I finally got back on it 6 months ago and it helped me for sure. I had been having crying spells daily, some pretty bad. Anything could make me sad. But the lithium took that away. It hasn't brought that cure it did before but once I get my pain under control and don't take narcotics, it will hopefully have the same effect. But yeah, I know the pain nor the depression will be gone completely. I don't know what your pain situation is exactly, sorry that you are undiagnosed. I know how that feels too...I know I have undiagnosed problems with my shoulder/scap area and in my hip, have asked several dr's and always get back that they know exactly what the problem is and how to solve it. And invariably they don't!
I've just started taking Tai Chi classes in the last month. I was hoping that they would immediately make my pain better but there's quite a learning curve. It's coming along though and I can see the potential for great things. It does feel good to hear about others issues and get understanding, ideas, etc. One more thing, I bought a Theracane for $35. You are supposed to use it in accupressure points and it feels amazing on your back. The cane part helps you get around to your back, hips or whatever else spot you've had trouble in. Well, thanks much for your encouragement, sorry for the delayed response. Peace to you!