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To Bev

Posted by Kathy G on 7/18/03 at 18:15 (124756)

Hi Bev,

I've been away for a few days. We went to Cape Cod and the weather was just gorgeous! Swam in the Bay for hours and then washed the salt off in the fresh-water pond just 3 minutes from the Bay. I do so wish I still lived near a lake as I did growing up! Or, better yet, that I lived near the ocean. Oh well, at least I am well within driving distance of both and get to take advantage of them frequently. I suspect that I am part fish!

All this talk of Fibro and depression has left you with a great deal of good advice but I can't help but chime in - no surprise to anyone here!

Fibromyalgia, as you will find, is usually diagnosed by checking to see if a certain number of trigger points on the body are sensitive. It is usually diagnosed after all other tests have been done and come out negative. One doctor said that it is a way to diagnose a patient like me who has all these symptoms but no known cause. More and more doctors are coming around to believing it is a real disorder, not something that is in people's heads.

Physiatrists treat muscular/skeletal pain. A physiatrist should be able to diagnose Fibromyalgia and the Amitriptyline, 20mg, is one of the most common drugs prescribed for that disorder. He may also be willing to prescribe an antidepressant for the chronic pain.

I am just concerned that you will be waiting for, what is it, another month? Depression feeds on itself; the more depressed you are; the more depressed you become. If you think you can wait it out, maybe it would be better to see the Physiatrist but my concern is that he may not prescribe these drugs for you and then you'd have to wait and make an appointment with your PCP. It can take up to a month for an antidepressant to kick in.

Do you like your PCP? Do you think he's current on drug therapies? Can you get in to see him fairly quickly? If so, he might be the one to talk to about the depression. Maybe he won't want to prescribe the Amitriptyline until you see the Physiatrist, but I would think he'd be willing to give you an antidepressant. Every doctor knows that chronic pain is the cause of much depression. (By the way, the low doses at which they give Amitriptyline for Fibromyalgia are useless in treating depression and are often given in conjunction with an antidepressant.)

You know, there are days when my feet ache so much and my hands hurt from my stupid arthritis and tendonitis and the carpal tunnel that if I didn't have a computer to use, I'd go crazy. I can always read and if my hands hurt too much, I can do a jigsaw puzzle since crocheting isn't an option. But when my hands are bad, even talking on the phone hurts. The internet and often this Board are my savior. So you are certainly not alone in feeling that you have no life except for these boards. I think many of us feel that way on bad days.

As for your husband not believing in antidepressants, I just plain wouldn't tell him I was taking one. One of the worst things about depression is that so few people understand it. Like chronic pain, unless they've experienced it first hand, some people just don't know what you're talking about. Discuss it here with us or with a trusted friend but don't mention it to him. The attitude that you can overcome depression just by sheer willpower is, I'm afraid, very old-fashioned and unfortunately more prevalent than we care to admit. My sister, who suffers such severe depression now, says that she wishes she'd been more understanding of our late mother and what she was going through all those years that she was struggling with depression.

A note here - I'm certainly not criticizing your husband! I'm just afraid that he may never be able to accept depression and the use of antidepressants so why try to force him to?

Any time you feel like it, by the way, feel free to email me at d m m 0 3 0 @ aol.com (without all the spaces). Just identify yourself in the subject line because I automatically delete messages from adresses I don't recognize. I'll be glad to answer any questions you have about depresssion and Fibro to the best of my ability. I'm no expert but maybe I can help! Don't hesitate.

Be good and may you have a relatively painfree weekend!

Re: Well said, Kathy

Pam S. on 7/19/03 at 00:09 (124770)

Hi Bev: Do you feel like we are closing in on you!!!! I think Kathy and I can really relate to what you are going thru and we do not want to see you suffer as long as maybe we did.

Just a little secret. I did not tell my husband of almost 25 years I was taking the Lexapro. It is certainly no deep dark secret and I talked to my girlfriends about it but HE would not be that interested and the man is sort of sick of hearing about yet another pill I am going to take or yeat another appt I have. I just took the matters in my own hands and did it on my own. I am not a very aggresive person. I cannot believe I have done all this on my own. I was REALLY desparate to get my life back.It has been almost a year now and he knows I am taking it and thinks nothing of it. I had to stop talking to him about my pain. I was afraid he would just get so fed up. It is sort of boring. But not to you all

I think it is worth the wait to get the best qualified person to prescribe for her. PCP often are not trained in how to treat chronic pain/depression issues. More later. Enjoy the beautiful weather Pam

Re: ps... you have alot of years left

Pam S. on 7/19/03 at 00:14 (124771)

One more thing....Bev. you have many great years ahead of you and that is important to remember. Your will feel better and have more energy and have the windows rolled down in your car singing witht he radio like I did today (even thou my foot was burning HAAAAA It is worth the wait, the fight the aggravation. Do not ignore how you feel. Listen to Kathy

Re: ps... you have alot of years left

Kathy G on 7/19/03 at 09:30 (124780)

Pam and Bev,

I don't want to mislead you. I don't personally suffer from depression, thank the Good Lord. My late mother and both my sisters do. I have always monitored myself to make sure that I showed no signs of it, and so far, so good. Having my family history and being involved with their care and treatment has made me more educated about depression and its ramifications than the average person, I think. I probably sound like a meddling busy-body :-? but if I can do anything to prevent a nice person like Bev from suffering, I'll run that risk!

Re: ps... you have alot of years left

marie on 7/19/03 at 10:26 (124784)

Sometimes chronic pain combined with the frustration of not being able to do the things you use to do can make a person downright bumed out. You don't have to have any genetics or be dx as bi-polar or manic. Like Kathy I have had my share of mental illness amongst my family. I also keep a close eye on myself and my kids. I did go to a psychologist to discuss my TTS and to check for depression. I was declared healthy as a horse both physically (accept my stupid feet) and mentally. She did feel I was suffering from the blues about my illness, anxiety that it had created, and how to cope with it. My primary physcian also stepped up to the plate and began treating me. I still have my bad days....like today. I may have overdone it in Ann Arbor. But I feel like my old ornery self...and most of all happy. Tonight I am going to an annual pool party hosted by some friends. Last year everyone felt sorry for me as I had to sit on the lawn chair most of the evening. I did manage to push both my PCP and my dentist in the pool...they're married. Now that I am doing better I am concerned there will be some retaliation. And I deserve it.

take care all,
have a great day!!!


Re: One last question for those with fibro

marie on 7/19/03 at 10:37 (124785)

I was reading some posts on the fibro board and there was alot of discussion about ring worm. Which isn't a worm at all. I had ring worm when I was five. My brother who has MS had an awful case of it as a kid. Have any of you had it? Just curious as it has come under scrutiny as one of those possible links to neurological and central nervous system culprits.


Re: To Bev

Suzanne D on 7/19/03 at 22:45 (124815)

Hi, Bev (and everyone)! I've been away for almost a week and have been trying to catch up reading posts tonight. Bev, you have been given some wonderful advice and information about treating depression.

I just wanted to say, too, that I care and that I hope you can get a prescription soon for something to treat depression. I know first-hand about how depression hurts. My husband has struggled with it for years. I have done about everything I can do to try to help him get help: calling the family doctor, talking to him more about my husband than myself when I go for a check-up, talking to a counselor, etc. Our family dr. FINALLY was able to talk him into taking something, and I could see improvement; I really could. Unfortunately, my husband gained weight (which he was in the pattern of doing before the med) and blamed it on taking the medicine. He also thought he didn't need it, and so he refuses to take any. Our doctor finally told me, 'You know, you can't sell shoes to someone unless they want to buy them. I am here to help if I can.' And so I try as hard as I can each day to help keep things smooth, but it isn't easy.

I am glad you recognize your depression, and I hope you can get something which will help. Your husband may think you don't need it, but he just doesn't understand. I'm not saying he doesn't care; I'm saying he doesn't understand. I am with those who advised you just not to mention it to him. Sometimes what someone doesn't know won't hurt them!

And don't feel inferior or that you aren't trying hard enough or you could 'lick' this. Believe me, I know. My husband is a minister, and he has always had the added pressure which he has placed upon himself that he isn't stong enough in faith to deal with his depression and anger. I have tried to help him see this isn't true, but it's not easy to get through to him sometimes.

This message has not meant to be about me or come across that I am wanting others to feel sorry for me. I have meant for it to help you know that you deserve to get the medication you need, and to realize that it could make a real difference in your life. Your depression would be much easier to treat than his, I am sure, as his has not come from constant pain as your has.

I am thinking of you, Bev, and wishing you all the best. [-o<

Suzanne :)

Re: Short note to all of you

Pam S. on 7/19/03 at 23:43 (124820)

Kathy, you do not sound like a busy body at all. You give fabulous advice. I am impressed with what Suzanne shared as well. I have a few friends whose husbands show several signs of depression but will not do a thing about it. It is hard on you I can imagine.

Marie, I have never heard that about ringworm and I thought I had just about heard to all. I think I had better not start another board (fibro one) or I would NEVER get a thing done.

I hope you all are having fabulous weather like we are this weekend. We have about 5 days like this per year. I tried to be outside as much as possible today. I did WALK outside(for 30 minutes WOW) and am having a pretty good night. Maybe I should stay off that Elliptical trainer at the gym. Its enought to make a gal crazy. Take care. Pam