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The downward spiral

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Old 11-23-2011, 09:16 PM   #1
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The downward spiral

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the depression board. I usually spend more time looking at the "chronic pain board" due to my condition. That has led me here. I am looking for everyone's thoughts and insights on some help. I'll give a history of what has brought me to this point.

In 2005 I hurt my back but at the time it responded to the traditional treatments and life moved on until 2008. I was now the father of a two year old girl when I simply bent over and blew a disk in my lumbar spine. It did not respond to the traditional treatments and I was now looking at surgery. I was so fearfull of becoming a father who couldn't be active because of back problems so I decided on surgery. I had the surgery and all seemed well. I recovered well and was back to my active career fully off all narcotic meds. Four months after I returned to full duty the pain returned and continued to increase. Over a period of four more months it was determined that the vertebra where the top set of screws were was slowly dislocating into my spinal canal. Another surgery was a MUST. The surgeon (who I fully trust to this day) performed a fusion in 2009. In may this year it was finally determined that that surgery had too failed. The bone failed to fuse and I am left with chronic pain. As a result of the surgery failure and now my need for chronic pain medication, I have also lost my career. I was a police officer for nine years. I was unemployed for several months and when I did get a job, it was a substantial pay cut. My wife and I spent all of our savings and maxed the credit cards to cover my off time after the surgeries and medical bills. We have been sued by the CC companies and are now in the process of loosing our home.

I have not slept a complete night in the last year. There is no joy in my life and I have a hard time even getting off the couch. I am so stressed its not funny. This is so not me. I went to the surgeon and discusses some of these issues six months ago and he gave me Zoloft 50mg and I took it for several months but it did not help. I am not the type of person to feel better about things by talking about them. I definately bottle things up and keep internally.

What are some other medication options that I could ask about? I am worried about side effects and dont want to be overly medicated. I just want to make the clouds go away and be able to see a few rays of sunshine. Sleeping fully through the night would be a huge plus. God bless my wife for sticking with me through this, she deserves to have her husband back.

Thank you for any insight given and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

Herniated L5-S1 in 2005
Herniated L2-L3 in 2008
Dynamic stabilization L2-L3 in 2008 (failed-spondylolesthis of L2)
PLIF L2-L3 in 2009
PLIF failed to fuse
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:48 AM   #2
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Re: The downward spiral

Very sorry to hear about all your troubles. Did you speak to your doctor about medicine? Trouble from medicine is that after a while the pain that could be neglected returns and so the dosage needs to increase.

This might be a difficult question for you but have you considered a different career somewhere, possibly taking a degree course? It is definately possible for you to take a degree course and start work. How about getting additional help from the government due to lack of work opportunities? I do not know about USA but in UK you are eligible for getting job allowances when unemployed and more if you are unable to work due to physical constraints.
Sorry I could not give many good options but I cannot say much myself to make things better. Thanks

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