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Well the grief tidal wave arrived...

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

Sadly is time for me to switch gears...this thing has me in is cross hairs and unless I face off with it I will never be whole again.
The past couple of weeks have been rough...thinking the new car was the beginning of it all..but anyway...my emotions have been all over the map and my choices and decisions less than stellar...I thought that the new car would open a path for me..when in fact what it did was take the top off the pressure cooker...a real pandora's box !
This past week-end I resigned from my job...the memories associated with working in the medical field were for me unbearable after a time..that and the facility I chose to work in is one that fosters fear in their employees as a way to control them...the stress was more than I could take.
I had given two weeks notice...but now today I had a major meltdown...became totally non-functional...the grief and memories were smothering me.....the one thing I knew clearly is that I had no right to be caring for patients in my current state...I was unsafe...I knew I could not go back there today or at least until I get myself sorted out and after a few phone calls...my employment is done...least for now..and for sure not there.
I am done trying to handle this alone....I thought I was functioning well...I was not..my inner compass was way off....I need to find me !
I called my primary in hysteric's today....I need help...to tomorrow I go to see her and she will do some referrals and start some meds....this is so not what I wanted...but truth is that without something radical happening I will never again be whole...my berevement group has been helpful but now its time for the big guns...one on one with meds...
I see folks on here talking about dating and stuff and makes me wonder if I will ever again have a day when thoughts of Bill don't start my day..I just don't know how people move on so fast...but maybe with therapy and medications I will find my way out of this.
Coming here for me has been both a gift and a curse...I get some real good tips on handling things but on the other hand I read some of how good some are doing and it makes me feel like I am stuck in neutral...
Well wish me luck tomorrow...right now I am scared to death!
Pat

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Pat...First my heart truly goes out to you. Losing my husband to brain cancer was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. There are some days that are okay and then there are days that I cannot seem to stop crying or seem to function. I was on meds but weaned off about a month ago. There is nothing wrong with using medications to help you through this process. Taking a break from work is okay too. Use that time to focus on yourself. As hard as it is to believe this now, things will get better.

Good luck at your appointment. Hope it helps you. Hang in there.

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

Beckymarie....I am curious, and confused. Why did they wean you off your meds? WEre they helping? And also, how long has it been since you lost your loved one? I don't mean to be nosy and by all means if this is too personal, please say so. I think my meds are getting me through and wonder if my Dr. will try to get me off them sooner than I am ready, so that is why all the questions. Thank you and blessings to you.

Gayle

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

I weaned myself off zoloft. I have never been a medication person. I was prescribed the zoloft when my husband was first diagnosed in March 2009 due to high anxiety, rapid weight loss and other stress-related symptoms. I did not like the zoloft (also tried several other anti-depressants), and felt being on the meds for 16 months was long enough. I did discuss this with my PCP who basically left the decision up to me. Terry died Jun 14 of this year and I do have some very very difficult days. I try to address my grief and lonliness by working and staying busy. I have also started a running program (at the age of 57...crazy) but seems to be helping a little with my sleeping. I think medication is what works for each individual and if they are helping you, you should stay with them.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1617
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so sorry you are struggling. I think knowing you need help is a sure sign of progress. I have been told that the time after the first few months are the more difficult ones. I have even put off doing any volunteer work other than church stuff so far and I am coming up to the year date. I am planning on starting doing some new things after the first of the year. You tried getting back to work. That is good. If you hadn't tried it, you wouldn't know that it is not right for you right now. Hey, this is all new territory for us. We have to keep feeling our way forward. We already know that it isn't easy. I think sometimes we are just too hard on ourselves. I hope things go well with your dr. Hang in there. I'll be thinking of you. Fay

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Pat,
I understand exactly how you're feeling. I too hated to go on drugs, but I felt like I was losing it and was so hysterical one day that I felt life wasn't good anymore. Drove myself to the doctors office & walked in crying. That was the first step. He gave me an anxiety pill right away. Then I decided to see a counselor and she gave me an anti-depressant which I am still taking. My husband passed away in March, but still have bad days. It was 6 months on friday and for some reason, it seems like I'm depressed again. So don't feel bad about going on something. My counselor said it won't be addicting and when they take you off they do it slowly so your body adjusts. Let us know how you do once your on them awhile. It does take a few weeks till you'll notice, so just hang in there! "Carole"

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

Leaving in a few for appointment and I am scared to death....this is not what II had envisioned my life to be....I thought I was way stronger.
Well off I go....with my heart in my hands.
Pat

Noellesmom
Posts: 1308
Joined: Aug 2010

We're holding your heart right here with us, Pat.

Let us know how it goes - we're all waiting to hear!

Hugs, hugs, hugs.

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Before my husband passed, a young man (18yrs) old died of the same type of brain tumor. His mother told me a few days ago she thought she had post traumatic stress disorder from dealing with how her son passed away and what she watched him go through. You have been through...we have all been through a very stressful, painful time. You are doing the right thing for yourself. You will get through this. My thoughts are with you. Hold on.
Becky

ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

Oddly enough that set me off an a bad stretch as well. I bought a new car less than 2 months after my husband died (in July) and it is only now that I am not feeling bad about it. But I too found the need to seek medical help and meds. I think the meds are making a difference, I don't become as hysterical as often, but just trying to take it one day at a time. Having been my husbands sole caretaker for 9 years (from a previous serious illnes) and then to have him dx with cancer and pass away in less than 9 mos. Coupled with the actual circumstances of his passing, my Dr suggested I might have some PTSD as well. I don't know, what I do know is it is NOT anything I have ever experienced before. We will all get through this, and need to do whatever works to do so, for some it's meds, for some not, for some it's quitting a job..doesn't really matter just do what is right for you

Stay strong

Kathy

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

I am so grateful my PCP recommended some meds for me. My mom died from breast cancer three days before last Christmas, my nephew passed unexpectedly (he was only 31) on Fathers Day, and my husband was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer on July 30. It's been one heck of a year. I had gotten to the point of feeling this heavy darkness all of the time when my therapist encouraged me to see my PCP. Believe it or not, I actually work for a mental health hospital, and I still was reluctant to try the meds. I'm on a low dose of cytalopram, which worked fairly quickly (about a week) and has almost no side effects. It makes me a little sleepy so I take it at night. For me its about recognizing that the severe stress I've been under has caused a very real chemical imbalance. The medicine is definately not a "happy pill"; I just am able to function better when I don't feel so profoundly sad and overwhelmed all of the time. Every one is different, but I thought I'd share my experiance with the medication because it's been very positive.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello my dear friend Pat
Sorry to hear you are having some real real tuff days lately! You are doing all of the right things for yourself. Leaving your job for right now is the right decision. Going to the dr. for some help and medications is the right decision. You have made the first move...you know and admitted you need help. God bless you and give you the peace you need at this difficult time. Please keep in touch. We are all thinking of you. Hugs.
Tina in Va

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Pat:

I hope this note finds you better today and that your doctor's visit went well.

Keep us posted. I relate to your experience. I'm one of those who, like you, is moving forward at a glacial pace.

If you find some great new coping strategies, I hope you will post what works for you.

Hatshepsut

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Pat,
I am so sorry to hear that you are having a problem, I also am on medication, and know that i wouldn't have made it to this point without it, I also tried the bereavement groups in the beginning, but they really didn't help, maybe made it worse for me. So I have a grief therapist that I see once a week, and I have to say she seems to be helpful.
The roller coaster ride Pat, that is what it is, and certain things trigger that deep depression again, It will be 6 months October 6, sometimes i still can't believe it,.
I caught a bad cold this week, have been home 2 days, and that was my trigger, no one to get you a cup of tea, no one to talk to day and night (phone calls just don;t cut it), no one to worry about you, no one to rub your back to make you feel better, i hate it, this is also one of the firsts to deal with, horrible,
The meds take a few weeks to work, so don't expect anything overnight, but they will help you, who cares how long we take them, what is the difference, as long as you feel like you can breathe.
Take care Pat,
Hugs Karen

Caregiver1963's picture
Caregiver1963
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2010

and hope the visit to your Dr was helpful. Please let us know how you are doing
Mary

bingles
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2010

My appointment with my pcp was less than stellar and had I known what tack she was going to take I would not have gone....there were other routes for me to get the help I needed and thanks to her still need....I wrongly choose her.
Ok..I did get the script and have started taking meds....but so far as anything else goes nothing was accomplished.
I am admittedly a lousy patient and notorius for not doing the maintainence health stuff....but truth be told all of that was on my to do list once I got my ducks in order....but she choose to use the appointment as a forum to blast me and actually threaten me..that if I didn't comply with her plan of care she would not prescribe any further meds.
I just think that she might have held off on the lecture until I was a bit more emotionally stable.
Oh and she did efer me to a therapist...warning me that this person was rough...harsh....and no nonsense !!! what the point of that was I will never know....thinking long and hard about whether or not to make a appointment...doubting I will have much tolerance for a "dictator"....I have zero tolerance for anybody at the moment....especially one that I am paying for..but we will see.
So I am in holding pattern...taking the meds and being kind to myself..keeping a very low profile this week-end....sorting out my brain.
I do feel better today though...some sense of calm and I know its not the meds yet....its me...
Onward and upward....oh and Mary....love...love....love the bear ; )
Pat

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1617
Joined: Aug 2009

I am glad you are feeling a little better and sorry about the dr. appointment. Sometimes I wonder what they teach them in med school about compassion or maybe it is what they don't teach them. Lectures were not what you needed. Be good to yourself and take care. Fay

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

Happy to hear you are feeling a little better today, Oh boy I don't care for your doctor and I don't even know her, ;you need a compassionate doctor right now, and if she said the therapist is tough, what does that mean, you don't need tough, I definately would find another therapist, don't even bother, that is not what you need, I am sorry that your doctor is a jerk, not what you needed now. Glad you started your meds, they will definately help, just take a little time.
Take care
Hugs Karen

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

As an ex wife of an MD who went through medical scholl while we were married, I'm sorry to report that they don't teach anything about compassion in medical school. If you get out of med school with a compassionate nature, they keep you so exhausted during your internship that you're pretty much guaranteed to loose it. Only the rare individuals who are practicing due to a true desire to help people manage to stay empathetic.

I actually had a marketing appointment last week with a doctor that told me "I get so frustrated when I have an appointment with a patient for medical reasons, and they come in to tell me that they're ONLY depressed". I was pretty shocked that this MD had the nerve to say that out loud.

Your doctor is your employee, Pat. If you don't like the way he or she practices, fire them and hire someone else. And find a counselor that specializes in grief issues, not one that's a drill sargent. Just my two cents.
Penny

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Pat,
So sorry you had bad luck seeing the counselor. From the sounds of it she shouldn't even be there as a conselor if she's so critical. The one I have is great and it's through the Frodert Cancer Center in Wauwatosa, Wi. and I don't have to pay anything. It does take awhile for the meds to work so don't get discouraged okay?
It was also 6 months ago that I lost my husband. I miss him so much and lately I feel more sad. Maybe it's cause the weather is changing. It's nippy out tonite and there's no one to snuggle with. Hope I make it through winter.
Don't give up, things will get better though we'll never forget. "Carole"

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Related to your comment about the change of season. As I drive around town and see the beautiful foliage, I think of my Terry and how much I miss him. We loved the fall.

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

The hospice company that helped my husband the last weeks of his life, included me in a lot of ways and told me up front that they would contact me every now and then for 13 weeks after his death, just to check up on me to see how I was doing. They have counseling, both group and one on one, that I am taking advantage of. This costs nothing....it is included with all of the care they gave him (us) and is taken care of by insurance. Even if you did not have hospice's help with your loved one before they died, call any hospice to see if what they may offer. It's worth a call and you may get lucky. God knows they know exactly what you are going through and my counselor is a big help to me. Good luck, Gayle

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Just wanted you to know that I have been getting counseling. My counselor is great and I had been seeing her every 2 weeks, but now just go once a month. I'm still on meds too so that does help. Like I said before, I had been doing great and I just think it's the change of the seasons that is making me a little depressed. We always loved going for walks in the fall. We were very close and had been married for 46 years.
I guess its going to take quite awhile before there are never any tears. I do get jealous when my friends are talking about taking trips cause we used to always go on a spring trip to the Caribbean and in summer would go up north to a cottage. We will all survive and make it through this I know. Thanks again! "Carole"

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

I was offered "free" counseling thru my work. Well, it is free until you go off their insurance and onto Medicare.

Anyway, I was feeling low last week and the rep. was really pushing to get me to schedule a counseling appt. over the phone. I finally set one up, but I felt very uncomfortable about it for several reasons, not least because of the really determined approach the rep had. I got a call last Fri. to confirm the first counseling appt. and told the rep I'd changed my mind. Talk about pushy; this lady could have sold vinyl siding. I told her I was feeling better, that she'd gotten me on a bad day on the last call. She said, Well, you know you're going to have bad days again! Finally said I'd have to talk to the scheduler and SHE was really hard-nosed, too.

If I do think about counseling, it won't be with them.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1308
Joined: Aug 2010

For goodness sakes. If you didn't need counseling before you went to see your MD you probably do now.

I don't know where some people get off with the tactics they use.

Pat, you will find the right counselor for you. Don't think you have to stick with the first one you try. It's not that you are shopping for someone who will tell you what you want to hear, it is that you are looking for that empathetic soul who is definitely out there.

Hugs, Pat. Many, many hugs.

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

Hope you are doing O K, I almost lost my young french bulldog this week, went to the vet for annual shots and checkup, everything o k, started to leave he started throwing up lots, then started fainting, it was a good thing i was right outside the office, the vet said he would of died if I was on my way home, he went into anaphylactic shock from the leptospirosis shot, never saw anything like it, they had to do emergency things to him, bag of fluid, steroid shots, and benadryl shot, I sat in the office in shock, couldn't believe it, she says this never happens, it is a very rare reaction. had to sit there with him for 4 hours, they wanted to keep their eye on him then I had to medicate him for the next 2 days, and had to bring him back for her to see him the next day, this was some week, I couldn't wait to bend my therapist's ear today, he seems o k now, but the experience, plus my cold took a toll on me. I am going back to work tomorrow.

I saw a commercial and it referred to christmas, I had to mute it, I can see what we are in for in the next few months, this is going to be so so hard for us.

Hugs Karen

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

Can't say that I am looking forward to the holidays. Wish I could just fast forward and be done with them. My family thinks this is a very negative approach to the holidays and not at all what my husband would want. But honestly, I wish November and December were over.

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

is my birthday. I had been thinking of going to the diner we both liked; all the staff there is terrific and, in fact, I go there often, partly because if I don't eat much, they all come past and say, "Eat! Eat!"

This week has been very bad for me at work. I do truly feel I've wasted almost half my life doing this because it isn't appreciated and I can't see much worthwhile about it anymore.

Don and I didn't go out much. We both worked, he coached pick-up softball on Sundays, what I'm saying is that we didn't have a lot of social friends. I do know people thru work who are happy to see me if I show up at their door, but they're not the kind who call you up and ask how you're doing.

So for the first time ever a couple called and asked me to dinner on Friday. I definitely don't feel like going, particularly since when I'm sad, I don't eat, but I didn't know how to say no so I'm going. I just hope I can maintain a cheerful facade.

The holidays, all of them, will be interesting. My work increases then which means the stress will, too. Gonna be a major challenge.

Hope we can all make it thru this.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1617
Joined: Aug 2009

I am sorry to hear you are feeling so down and that work is trying. The holidays were and will be difficult for all of us. I made it through last year and know I will feel down this year as well. Thanksgiving was actually the hardest for me. Probably because it was the first family holiday without Doug. Of course, I did run my car into the side of our garage on Christmas Eve. I didn't cause much damage, but it showed where my head was or wasn't. This year for Christmas I am going to be traveling with our older son and family. I think that will make it a bit easier.

Now, my thoughts on dinner out. Lunch and an occasional dinner with friends has been a life saver for me. Your friends are trying to be supportive. Try to accept their support. I am sure they know that this first birthday is hard. Don't pretend that it isn't. If you are able to share with them, let them know that you are down and may not eat much. I know my friends were very understanding. Also let them know that you may want to make it an early evening. Even though spending time with friends that are a couple can be hard, it is a good to get out. The first time is the hardest. I have now learned that being a fifth wheel (or in this case a third one) can get better with practice.

Fay

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

My father-in-law passed away almost 30 yrs ago. I remember my mother-in-law was invited to a friends for dinner. She told me she accepted as many invitations as possible because if she kept turning people's invites down, they would stop asking. I have been trying to do just that. There have been a couple of times that I knew I was too miserable to be with, but I really try to accept invites from friends and family. Not always easy but I don't want them to stop asking.

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Becky,
I feel the same way as you do about the holidays. Wish we could skip them. My mom died before Christmas in "89 & my dad died right after in "90. And now my husband died right before Easter, so I say "screw the holidays". I know I shouldn't feel that way cause I have 3 kids & 3 grandsons, but without my husband nothing means anything to me anymore. Hey, we could all go on a trip! Everyone says the first year is the worst. Hope that's true.
Take care. Carole

Beckymarie
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2009

My dad too passed away right before Christmas, Dec. 20, 2006. This will be our first Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years without my husband. Thanksgiving we will be with his family, Christmas with mine and New Years, I will be alone. Really want to fast forward this entire year.

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

I just feel like hiding under the covers until the middle of january, the thought of it gives me the shivers. I don't even know if I will be able to be with my kids and grandkids, I don't know if i can handle it. I will have to see how I feel as it gets closer.
take care
Karen

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1617
Joined: Aug 2009

I don't know if this will help or not. As you probably know, this will be my second year of holidays. The first year was very difficult at times, but I found the anticipation was actually more difficult than the actual days. We hear so much about the holidays being really hard for those who have lost loved ones, my imagination and anticipation was much worse than the actual days. I am one of those crazy people who usually go Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I hadn't planned to go last year, but my daughters-in-law wanted me to go with them so I did. Believe it or not that was the day that hit me the hardest. Shopping was fine and we met friends for breakfast which was really good. Then when I got home I fell apart. I had always spread everything out and showed my husband how much money I had saved on Christmas presents when I got home. It really hurt that I couldn't do that. So you see, once again it was a little thing that got to me. Yes, during family celebrations I felt what I have called the empty chair syndrome. I was very lonely at times and I had tearful times. So I am not trying to say that the holidays won't bring extra grief your way. It does. I'm sure I will feel some of that this year, too. I'm just saying that it is easy for us to imagine and dread things and let that make today harder. Like I said, I don't know if any of this helps or even makes any sense. I hope so. Fay

lilli1020
Posts: 114
Joined: Jul 2010

I soooooo dread the winter without mentioning the holidays. If I can open the windows and have the outside air come in, I do OK. But once I have to shut the weather out, I start to feel stuck, enclosed and depressed. I wish I could just be put in a coma and wake again in the spring!

closs86
Posts: 85
Joined: Apr 2010

I hope you are ok Pat, haven't heard from you, how are you doing, did you start the medication?, Hope all is well,
Hugs Karen

ruthelizabeth
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2009

does have its appeal. Can I suggest something that might possibly help? When my brother lived in NH at his first job, he found the long winters in the high mountains very tough. However, the next year he bought one of those indoor garden systems with grow lights and things improved. You might consider getting one. If nothing else, it might cheer you up a bit and give you a whole new hobby. If you're like me, you'll soon be killing plants with the best of them.

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