I am so depressed!

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answers4me2
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1325
   Posted 7/18/2011 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
To update everyone, I went to the hospital for a hernia repair and end ileostomy on June 20th. I had surgical complications and ended up having 3 more surgeries and a 3 week hospital stay.
 
Now, I am home and feeling so depressed. I have a flush, irregular shaped stoma and I hate it. My skin is so sore around it that I can't even wear shorts. I even hate draining my bag. I am wearing gowns around the house. I just want my old stoma back.
 
I just feel so sad and don't know what to do to make myself feel better.
 
I have never felt so hopeless and depressed in my entire life.
 
Anyone else ever experience this? What can I do to recover mentally?

Janiepain
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 7/18/2011 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Tracy,
I'm so sorry to hear how you're feeling. You've had such a long recovery, and you're still recovering. I think feeling sad and depressed is only normal. Look at how much you've been through the last couple years.

I know when I was still in the hospital around day 5, I felt just like you describe. I had uncontrollable bowel leakage, I couldn't leave my room even though I was supposed to be walking and I felt lousy. I even said to my husband "Have you ever felt like you didn't care if you lived or died?"....well, he said he was going to the cafeteria, and instead he went to the nurse's desk and told them how I was feeling. They immediately sent a social worker to see me! The social worker really helped...she listened to me cry and tell her how discouraged I was, and then started asking me questions about my support system....was my husband supportive? Yes. Did I have other family members who cared about me? YES Did I have children close by and were they supportive? YES Did I have friends who cared about me? YES She helped me realize that in the big scheme of things I was very lucky and I just needed time, and that I was so used to feeling well that this was such a big change for me.

I know you have been through so much more than I had to go through, but I did have that feeling that I wondered if I would ever feel happy again, so I do think I know how you're feeling. Talk to your doctor and let him know how you're feeling.

Again, I'm so sorry you're having so many problems, but hopefully a couple weeks from now you'll look back on today and wonder how you could have been so sad:)

Ironmum
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Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 7/19/2011 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been through nothing compared to you so can't begin to imagine how you must be feeling. You have been through SO much.. I read your posts from hospital in horror with a hand clasped to my mouth.. thinking you poor, poor thing. But you did somehow get through it and now you're home.

But, you sound like such a positive strong person and although it might not seem like it now, you WILL get through this. You'll get used to your new stoma and find a way to make it work for you. Take it one day at a time.

I do think some professional help might be a good idea and even some antidepressants.. don't forget the depressant effect of the anaesthetic and you've had 4 in such a short space of time. Your body has been through a train wreck.

Big hugs across the pond. Thinking of you Sarah x
p.s. Get a bit of lippy on even if you're not going out.. do your hair and try some clothes that feel comfortable and get rid of that gown.
Sarah - 39 year old mum of 2 boys, runner/triathlete, health and fitness writer from UK
June 2010 - Peritonitis caused by perforated diverticulitis. Emergency surgery.
August 2010 - Sigmoid colectomy and temp loop ileostomy
October 2010 - Ileostomy reversal - but didn't go well and after 10 months diagnosed colonic dysmotility due to surgery/nerve damage
July 2011 - Permanent end Ileostomy

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/19/2011 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Tracy,

Maybe tell your doc, like Janie said, and maybe he can set up someone for you to talk to. Depression is totally normal after surgery, then to go through what you went through just adds to it. It is still early, but talking with someone cannot hurt. You do have a great support system which I do not, but I know when we are really down, we are not able to see the positives that clearly. I know where you are at and pray that you lift out of this in time. Your stoma is working and you are able to eat. That is the miracle. Call me if you want. I am seeing a counselor for EMDR for my post-traumatic stress. This is not your case, yours is more the norm, but talking with someone may be good for you too. Best to you my friend. Rosemary

Liza D
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 7/19/2011 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it is so hard to find help. This venue has been part of the best support I have. When I go to therapists they seem to think my life DOES suck and they don't know how to help. Here you can find people who have been through the same problems and can help you feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am going through a rough time now too. So many surgeries that we did not plan on; pain years after the take down. I have been able to work on things I like (knitting, crocheting and LOTS of reading) when I am sitting around and that helps. I find funny books really help because you laugh but not too hard to hurt your belly. And days when you just can't do it- DON'T do it. Take a break.
I hope you feel better.
UC (Pancolitis... 90%!) December 2001
Arthritis (2003)
Upper GI Ulcer (2006)
Osteopenia (2008)
Depression/Anxiety (2002)
J-Pouch May 2009/ Reversal November 2009/ Fistula correction March 2010

Check out my blog: shlookshlies.blogspot.com/

Janiepain
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 662
   Posted 7/20/2011 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Tracy,

Have been thinking about you and wondering if you're feeling any better? Remember that we're all here for you if you feel like talking....or crying:)

Hugs,
Janie

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/20/2011 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thinking of you Tracy. Was going to call, but I know sometimes we go so deep into this that we don't even feel like picking up the phone.

Call me when you are ready. I'm here for you.

Rosemary

lifeinterrupted
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 7/21/2011 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Tracy, I'm so sorry for what your going through I will be praying that u get past this, what seems like a mountain but you've already come so far..... You have just had 4 surgeries in 2 weeks and your home u made it through that YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THIS TOO!!! Thinking and praying for you!!!!
Dee stay at home mom of my 2 beautiful children
dx with uc July '10
June 02 '11 the creation of Stella the stoma LOL! ;-)

Prov3:5,6

answers4me2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1325
   Posted 7/21/2011 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
The depression continues. I think I may have to call the doctor and get an appt to get on some antidepressants. I have never felt so sad and down in my entire life.

I hate my new stoma and even looking at it to change my bag makes me sick. it is almost flush with my skin and the skin right around the stoma looks weird. I still have stitches that you can see sticking out of my stoma. YUCK I been using an eakin seal and changing every other day to keep a close eye on my skin.

I am getting stronger. I been forcing myself to walk and do very light chores. My pain is getting better and I am reducing the pain medicine. I managed to get some shorts and a shirt on today to ride in the car while my son drove to just get out of the house. The skin around my stoma is still sore, but I can tell it is not as sore as it was. That is a good thing and I should be happy, but I am not.

Please continue to pray for me. Thanks, Tracy
End ileostomy due to colonic inertia and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Ironmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 776
   Posted 7/22/2011 3:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Tracy you poor poor thing am so sorry to hear you're feeling so bad. I think that's an excellent idea. I took antidepressants a few years ago when my dad died and my marriage was going through a rocky patch and they pulled me through and I felt so much better. Only needed them for 6 months and came off them no problem at all.

Depression is a medical condition requiring treatment - you're in a desperate place right now and you need some help. Get on the phone to that Doctor RIGHT NOW. Let us know how you get on. Am thinking of you. Sarah x
Sarah - 39 year old mum of 2 boys, runner/triathlete, health and fitness writer from UK
June 2010 - Peritonitis caused by perforated diverticulitis. Emergency surgery.
August 2010 - Sigmoid colectomy and temp loop ileostomy
October 2010 - Ileostomy reversal - but didn't go well and after 10 months diagnosed colonic dysmotility due to surgery/nerve damage
July 2011 - Permanent end Ileostomy

Christine1946
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5958
   Posted 7/22/2011 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
     Tracy, I am so sorry you are going through such a rough ordeal.  What you have been through, anyone would be depressed.  I agree with Janie.  Try to get some help.  Maybe some counselling along with antidepressant medication would help you.
     Is the stoma supposed to be flush with your skin?  I am glad your pain is subsiding.  Don't do too many chores, you don't want another hernia!
     I will continue to pray for you.  God bless.

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/22/2011 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tracy,

Glad to hear you got dressed and got out and your pain is subsiding. What is with that flush stoma though? Are you using a convex wafer? If that is what you need and the thing is working, then that is the important part. The antidepressants may be a good idea. I am thinking of going on one myself. Mom is on hospice at the nursing home and the end is near for her. I feel guilty as I cannot be there for her, but there is so much I could catch there that would be bad for someone with an ileo. My appetite is nil. So hot and humid these days it is not even safe to go out.

I tried Celexa once. All it did was kill my appetite which was already nil, but it did me no harm. At least it's a benign antidepressant to try.

Good luck. You are improving physically so I think with that you may improve mentally as you will be able to do more. But like Christine said, don't overdo.

Do you think it was leaning over and pulling the brake on the school bus that precipitated your other peristomal hernia? Are you going back to the same type of work? Or are you thinking of doing something else? Just a thought and likely too soon for you even to be thinking about this.

My current (new) ileo doc says lifting and strain and such is not the cause of peristomal hernia's but I beg to differ. Many people in an ostomy support group I went to here locally advised against lifting too much. Then there is me who lifts nothing out of fear. So happy medium must exist. But give some thought to things that may have caused the other hernia and ask your doc. You, like me, need to stay free of need for any more surgeries.

Sending you good vibes, Rosemary

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/23/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Tracy,

Talk to us, I'm getting worried. I called twice and left a message and emailed once. I won't keep bugging you but I'm worried. Give us a short post and let us know you are hanging in. Rosemary

Serenitee
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 463
   Posted 7/23/2011 5:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Answers4me2,
Hello, it is nice to meet you. I am so terribly sorry that you are having such a difficult time and are also having to deal with depression on top of it all. If you don't mind I have a couple questions 4 you.
 
I have a Loop ileostomy now, which I had my surgery in May, and it is temporary currently. I absolutely am so happy with .it, love the size and shape of my stoma. I am supposed to have another surgery in September to make it permanent (removing intestines that need to come out & retum). I was wondering what a End ileostomy is? And did they change your first stoma to a different one? If so, why couldn't they just use the same stoma?
 
Sorry for the questions. I am sending you prayer, blessings & smiles your way. I genuinely hope that you can start feeling better which in turn will help your depression. I also was wondering if you are taking anything for the depression and or have someone that you are able to talk to on a regular basis that is supportive for you? Maybe a Therapist or Psychiatrist, Pastor? I feel so bad for you.
 
I know that I don't know what I would do without my Psych Dr. which I've only have been seeing since September. I have been lucky that she has been there for me thru a lot of my medical problems this past year. My extreme unbearable chronic pain from pelvic/bladder has taken a toll on me and my outlook on life. Major Depression is a daily battle. So I do feel for you so much.
 
Your Healingwell Friend,
Serenitee
 
Loop ileostomy, Pelvic/Bladder Trauma & Dysfunction, Colon tore thru Vaginal wall & Colon & bladder fell out of my body, 2x bladder lifts w/mesh, vaginal vault lift w/mesh (lifting all pelvic organs & intestines)...and more but don't want to bore U.
 
Bipolar 2 (manic-depressive), Borderline, Anxiety/Panic Disorder, Ptsd

Beethoven's wife
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/23/2011 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi answers4me2,
I am new to this site but I can empathize with you.  I had 8 surgeries in an 18 month period and I thought that was bad.
I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and now Crohn's disease.  In the 80's, I had an ileostomy for a year.
The stoma was flush and I had all kinds of problems with leakage.  But I lived through it, even though I was depressed.
I used Convatec appliances and paste (which was important). Then for 26 years, I had a Koch continent ileostomy, and no bag.  In Nov., 2009, I developed a bowel obstruction and received an end ileostomy.  I was depressed too.
I take Lexapro, an antidepressant (Celexa is the generic, my doctor told me).  I hope that things work out for you too.
God bless, Rhoda

answers4me2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1325
   Posted 7/23/2011 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Rosemary, have no fear. I have had lots of family around and this in turn leaves me no time to chat on the phone. I will try to call tomorrow. I am feeling slightly better, but still having some stomach pains. I had to take 3 pain pills today when I have been down to 2 a day. :(

I changed my bag last night and did okay. The skin looks like it is trying to heal around the stoma and most of the stitches have fallen out. I just do the change as quickly as possible so I don't have to look at the stoma. UGH, I want my old stoma back.

My depression comes and goes. It has helped that my family has been around so much as this keeps me from being alone. It is crazy because I will feel pretty good, then WHAM, out of the blue, I will start crying and feeling very sad. I just hope and pray that the LORD lets me get back to my old, happy, healthy self.
End ileostomy due to colonic inertia and pelvic floor dysfunction.

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/23/2011 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Tracy,

Good to hear from you! Glad your family is all around. I know, the depression can seem like it comes out of the blue. I'm right there with you (and this for me 4 years after the fact, not so good, but.......it is as it is.) Sounds like you are on the upswing. Still too soon to worry about a painful day here and there.

I have gained so much weight that my stoma does not stick out nearly as much as it did and I'm getting burns right under the spout. I really gotta knock off ice cream and go buy some of that ice milk. The last thing I need is an issue with too much of me around the stoma.

Real hot spell up north here. Just went to ballroom dance in the AC. Was fun. I feel less depressed when I am in motion. Hoping very soon you will be able to be in motion too at least for some walks on the treadmill if too hot outside down where you are. Thanks for posting, Take care, Rosemary

esoR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 4147
   Posted 7/23/2011 11:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Serenitee,

I will try to answer some of your questions. An end ileostomy is where they actually cut the two ends of the last part of the small intestine and bring one end out through the abdomen and make it into a stoma. The other end is sewed shut and tagged to the inside of the abdomen.

A loop ileo (such as you have now) is just that, a loop of small intestine brought out through your abdomen with (I guess) two openings, one for stool and one for mucous. In Tracy's case, she had a loop ileostomy which formed a peristomal hernia around it. This obstructed once and as the hernia around the stoma got larger she withstood chances for more obstructions. The hernia also was tender if she bumped it. So she had to have the hernia fixed and a new stoma (end ileo) made further down on the same side. Loop ileo's are more prone to hernias than are end ileos. Plus poop can also slide down the wrong end of the loop and end up in the colon and rectum. So for the long term many docs prefer to make end ileos. Tracy also had her colon removed because of colonic inertia. She had a reaction to some preservative or chemical involved with the biocompatible mesh they used to fix the hernia. Rough time as you know. Hope this is of a help in answering your questions. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery.

Rosemary (I needed my end ileo due to irreversible injury of my colon and rectum. Lucky to be alive. So far my end ileo has been serving me well as I hope yours will too.)

blueglass
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 3332
   Posted 7/26/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Tracy,

Sorry you're having a hard time. You have been through a lot.... lots of good ideas here. Thinking of you.
48 years old, female.
2004 dx indeterminate colitis. Back and forth between Crohn's and UC dx. Many drugs, minimal success.
2010-11 Crazy skin and eye complications, high fevers, bad flaring. Out of good drug options, tired of scary drugs.
Feb 2011 -- proctocolectomy with permanent ileolostomy; abscess, blood clot. Still healing, still glad for the surgery

KR Caddis
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/26/2011 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a bad stoma problem, too.  It was tough and I was very depressed for a while too.  Eventually I just resigned myself to it, which wasn't the wisest thing in my case, in hindsight.  I started with an iliostomy after removal of my rectum (cancer).  Seven months later, a takedown (reversal, per some - same-same).  14 days in hospital I was sent home with what turned out to be a bowel obstruction that my Doc refused to diagnose as such. 10 hrs later, near death - then emergency surgery, perforated colon and a new ileostomy.  15 more hospital days.  Within a week my stoma began to prolapse and after two weeks I started having trouble keeping wafers/ pouches on as prolapse (hernia) pushed them off.  I had BAD 2nd degree blistered and weeping chemical burns, spent weeks at a time in a recliner wiping bile off the burns.  Finally discovered 40% zinc oxide was bile proof (nothing else was)  I lived like that for 5 months, then got a NEW stoma finally when my Doc finally agreed there was a problem.  It required a porcine  patch to close the opening, which worked great. 
 
It got better immeidately; 5 days in Hosp only.  I felt much better and life was manageable again.  2 1/2 years and now I have another reversal, finally no pouches!  And it's another trial to go thru for months or decixe on a colostomy (NOT if I get a choice (yet).
 
My advice:  try it for a couple weeks to let the swelling go down - set a deadline, then insist your Doc repair it.  No need to suffer unnecessarily. 
You will get better.  Maybe an anti depressant like Lexapro might be a good idea - that also helped me.  There were days when I was near suicidal.
 
There's plenty of reasons to let go of your depression - you can easily see there are LOTS of folks on this site far worse than you or me - read about some of the folks  with vaginal proplapses and fistulas and bad surgeries too.  They survive.  And there are those who can't write in because they're dead.  It could be worse. 
 
Sorry for the tough love.
Gene
 
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