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ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
New to the site

Hi everyone.  I stumbled upon this website through Google and just started the CBT a few days after registration.  I am just started with a therapist a week ago; however, those sessions are only every other Saturday.  It was a challenge trying to find someone who could see me with all of my obstacles so when I was told they have someone I could see every other Saturday, I was happy with that.  Just that my anxiety has gotten so out of control that I have visited the ER in the last 2 weeks.  The 1st visit, they wanted to keep me in the hospital overnight for more bloodwork, tests, monitoring because bloodwork taken in ER showed elevated enzymes which could have suggested possible borderline heart attack, but maybe not.  ER doctor had no idea after sharing that news with me, then leaving the room that he was dealing with someone with bad anxiety so there I was left alone to spin into another panic attack from that news with nobody in the room with me.  Good news is everything else done came back showing normal and was diagnosed as stress.  Bloodwork at ER last night came back normal and was diagnosed with stress/anxiety.
 
My circumstances may be a bit different or more complicated than most here as I am suffering from chronic pain from a failed back surgery last year.  Had a disc herniation in Feb. last year, surgery in June when non-surgical didn't work, had 2nd herniation and symptoms of needing emergency surgery.  Never wanted the surgery.  I've heard all of the horror stories of those who had back surgery & tried to avoid it at all cost.  Now, I'm just another one added to the list to share my bad story of having back surgery.  I've been on narcotic pain meds. for 7 months now because of the chronic pain, and after reading up on longterm effects of opiates, have tried several times to wean myself off only to end up back in pain or suffering some of the withdrawal symptoms henceforth the panic attacks.  Even though I was diagnosed with PA 20 years ago, with the help of counseling and I believe a year period of being on a long term medication, I weaned myself off that and the attacks have been kept under really good control.  Would have one occasionally and when I would sit back and think about what was going on in my life at the time, it was something stressful.  I have stayed very physically active with a close knit of friends I met through church until I herniated my disc last year.  Since then, I have lost all but one of those friends as I'm not physically able to go on trips, let alone travel here in town.  I went in and out of work last year worrying with losing my job due to a writen notice from previous year.  Spine surgeon kept ignoring all of my concerns after the surgery.  He was living some sort of egotistical high off the 2 post-operative MRIs talking about how great they were yet ignoring my pain.  I asked to be referred over to Pain Management and that has not been a joy either.  They determined from a 3 hr. test where I sat for a total of 5 mins. that I was capable of returning back to work full time 1st of this year.  PAs started sometime in Nov. last year due to trying to wean myself off another med. (muscle relaxant - schedule 4 drug) yet PM doctor refused to acknowledge this.  Also started with menopause around this time in which anxiety is one of many symptoms of hormonal imbalance.  So with me, it is the combination of past anxiety being triggered by this life changing medical condition, menopause, symptoms of trying to come off pain medications that cannot just be stopped and have many withdrawal symptoms with anxiety being one.  I'm also on Klonopin and Metoprolol (for fast heartrate & high BP) through my primary dr., ultra low dose of BCP with OB-GYN to help with hormonal imbalance.  Now being told by my manager that my excessive tardiness, days off inapproved (no more PTO for this month) will have to be treated according to company policy.  She understands what I'm going through but if I don't make an effort to be at work all week for 40 hours, they will either have to write me up or fire me.  I wake up every single morning feeling anxiety yet have to be at work for 8 hrs. on pain meds. when I cannot sit/stand for long periods.  I am at the point where I just need to face the possibility of losing my job and letting the filing for disability continue on.  That alone is a nightmare but my job is not worth my life or health.
 
OK, sorry so wordy but I tend to be that way at times and just wanted to share my story with everyone here.  It's nice to have another outlet to come to in the middle of my bi-weekly therapy sessions.  No friends in my life, can't get out to go to church and my home fellowship meetings anymore so I've become pretty isolated though not by choice.  I can't make people whom I thought were my friends be in my life when they have walked away.  I enjoy reading the forums since I joined last week.  It's encouraging to read and know there are others out there, just like me, to relate to anxiety and the challenges in life from it.
 
Donna
 
 
ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
New to the site

Hi Davit and thanks for the welcome in.  Wow, it sounds like you have been through alot and here all that I had was a microendoscoptic discectomy to my L5-S1.  Had the laminectomy where he removed a small portion of the vertabrae.  It is minimally invasive surgery and the incision was very small but I believe I am one of those small percentage of people the doctor talked about where the surgery just doesn't do well. What you have had done is major compared to mine so I really feel for you.  It sounds that despite all you've been through that you are doing much better with the help from the CBT.  My roommate had told me about CBT before as well as a healthcare nurse through my old insurance company from last year.  Before the herniation, only things I had was borderline high cholesterol and arthritis in my back which I kept under control with being physically active.  When I found this website and saw that I could do the CBT through here, I was grateful thinking this is another outlet to my recovery.  I'm not a fan of just depending on prescription drugs only and want to use as many ways I can to recover.  At least I know someone on here is experiencing other major medical issues with opiate usage for pain as well.  Did you go through any pain management too?  My body is super sensitive to presc. drugs, especially high dosages, so I am constantly calling the pharmacist asking how long in between different meds. do I need to wait.  I'm tired of visiting the ER/hospital or even having paramedics come to my house.  I've never in my life had to be on so much stuff.
 
I know what you mean on the low amount of disability income.  My roommate is disabled and it floors me at how small her check is but she became disabled in her college years so not alot of years to build up for a higher amount.  My ex is disabled too but he gets a bit more yet still not alot but he shares a place with his brother.  Guess if I do become disabled, I do have the advantage of having a roommate with the extra income.  I struggled years ago as a single mom making barely above minimum wage and haven't forgotten where I came from so to speak.  If I was able to make do then, I could do it again.  Some may think with having a roommate that I have company but she suffers from bad depression and stays in her room either sleeping or watching TV.  Only comes out to use the bathroom, grab a bite to eat from the kitchen, and on rare occasions will stop to have a talk but for the majority it's pretty boring and lonely here.  I'm a people person and hate being cooped up in my bedroom, heck even in my house but I only get out for the necessities (work, dr. appt., pick up groceries/presc.).  Too much pain for me to drive anywhere else so no social outings for me, and as I said all of my trip going friends have abandoned me.  What is sad is those I met through my new church have stayed connected with me & they've never been with me to my timeshares, yet the ones I met through my old church who went on all of the cheap trips with me through the timeshares are nowhere to be found.....the ever so famous fair weather friends.  I prayed about that for a long time and finally had to hand that over to the Lord.  All I can do now is focus on recovering and trusting that doors will be open for new (and genuine) friends moving forward.  I do have my massage therapist who comes to my house once a week so that helps some with the pain.  Been going to her for almost a year so when I found out she comes to people's house for massage, I was thrilled.  She only charges an extra $5 for coming out here and can't beat the price.  Also have a signature card that once filled. get 30 mins. for free.  She has been very encouraging to me and it almost seems like a mini therapy session with her also....LOL.  It's nice to at least have someone at my house once a week for an hour of human companionship and someone to talk to.
 
I am so happy to hear how well you are doing and I am sure the CBT will be very helpful to me as well.  I plan on telling my therapist about it and see if she wants copies of my progress.  I also do aromotherapy, soaking in the tub with dead sea or epsom salts with essential oils, spa music for relaxation.  I've googled so many sites trying to find ways to relax.  Each thing is like another piece of the pie to recovery I guess.  Looking forward to having this site for others to reach out to also.  Seems from what I have read that everyone is very supportive which is great.
 
 
ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Having to be home alone tonight

Hi everyone,
 
I am new to the site and forum here and I am so glad I stumbled across this site.  The only people I have to reach out to are my therapist I just started seeing a week ago and that is bi-weekly.  Other than that, I have my massage therapist who comes to my house weekly and she has been very encouraging to me, both with my pain issues and anxiety.  I suffer from not only anxiety but chronic pain from a failed back surgery in June of last year.  Those are the only 2 people currently in my life I see and talk to.  I have a roommate but she is disabled and stays in her room almost the entire day.  All of whom I thought were my friends pretty much walked out of my life last year when too much time went by and I was just unable to go out and socialize with them, go on trips, invite them to my house for dinners.......the typical "fair weather friends".  So it's nice to have an outlet, other than Facebook, of people to communcate with and have/give support.  Only so much I would want to post on Facebook on my anxiety as there is nobody there who really understands.
 
Even though my roommate sticks to her room mostly, she does come out on rare occasion to talk.  We talked more when she first moved in but as time went by she retrieved to her room more.  She is disabled and suffers from depression and sadly doesn't realize that isolating herself to her room to sleep and watch TV is just adding onto the depression.  Nothing wrong with watch the telly from time to time but we as humans were created to have relationships and companionship.  Anyway, she has left for the night to go to her nephew's house to spend time with his wife and their newborn daughter they had last week so here I am alone.  I already had a major panic attack this past Fri. which landed me in the ER and had the paramedics here at my house last night due to having some withdrawal symptoms/anxiety from where I've been trying to wean myself off the pain meds.  It's not like I've never stayed in my house alone before.  I've had roommates the majority since getting the house but still times in between getting someone new to move in or a roommate being gone for nights at a time.  Just that my panic attacks I first had 20 years ago that were major then, but have been kept under control until about 3 months ago are back again and what seems to be even worse than they were back then.  So grateful at least my son is grown and don't have to deal with taking care of him as I somehow managed back then, and was even engaged back then too so I dealt with a dating relationship as well.  I've not slept since waking up 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning (thanks to the neighbor's dog barking to wake me up so early) and I didn't get enough sleep that night due to trying to recover from ER visit.  Bloodwork turned out fine....another diagnosis of anxiety/stress.  I'm trying to not let my mind focus on being alone as being negative, but it is hard.  Just started the CBT so I'm trying to go back and re-read the lessons I've been through.  Just hoping that once I take my Klonopin tonight, that along with sleep deprivation will override all anxiety to where I can fall into a good deep sleep.
 
Donna
 
 
ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Girls Can You Help Me?

Hi Deborah,
 
I am new to the forum so please forgive me if you have posted anything on this issue in other discussions and anything I suggest is something you've posted about.  I can certainly empathize with what you are going through except I'm in full menopause.  I skipped by perimenopause from being on birth control for so long for my fibroids and being on them for so many years can delay the onset of menopause.  I went off them 3 months ago due to concerns with all of the meds. I was on, plus concerns of my age and risks even though they were a low dose.  I had no idea, and my doctor never warned me, what taking synthetic hormones for a long period would do to my body and I was catapulted into an extreme roller coaster ride with hot flashes/chills, night sweats (had to change PJs regularly), mood swings, crying for silly things, anxiety.  Because of chronic pain from a failed back surgery last year, I was not physically able to get to my OB-GYN for my exam last year.  I started googling looking for solutions.  A girl at my church told me she used yam cream and said it worked but only temporarily.  I searched some more and read that yam cream is not the best.  Found one website that sells a progesterine cream called Natpro.  Was able to get it at a discounted price just for answering some online questions so decided to order and give it a try.  I did see an improvement in the hot flashes and night sweats but the anxiety would still come and go.  I still didn't even know which of my hormones were out of balance.  Finally got to OB-GYN this month and was told I was in full menopause.  All this time I thought it was just perimenopause.  I've not had a period since 1st of Nov. last year but had some light spotting a coupla weeks ago.  I was told I'm no longer ovulating and my estrogen is only 41 (over 100 is normal).  Doctor said he could put me on an ultra low dose of BCP and I questioned the safety.  Of course they will tell you it is safe when taking any BCP is a risk.  I didn't want to go back but with my anxiety getting worse and now back at work, I wanted something short term to get me through this hump until I can get my anxiety level down.  My job is at stake so I'm just trying to do whatever I can do to keep from losing it.  Hoping if I can get off pain meds. completely at least one less presc. med. to be taking.
 
Have you tried any of the natural products out there?  I know there are some like Black Cohosh or Macafem but you still may want to research or ask your doctor, especially when taking any prescription drugs.  Even these natural remedies can interract with meds.  Have you had your hormonal levels checked to see which you are off on?  I even asked my doctor about the progesterone cream I was using and if any validity to that.  He said he's heard many women who take it and it works for them.  There is supposed to be a prescription estrogen cream also.  I just started earlier this month getting into aromatherapy, so maybe this is an option for helping with anxiety.  Lavender oil has a calming effect.  I have to soak in epsom or dead sea salt for my pain anyway so I just add the lavender oil (just a few drops as it is strong), put the laptop on the counter to play some relaxing music and soak for 20 minutes.  On the weekends I will treat myself and do a mineral milk bath just to pamper myself.  Perhaps this could help with the cramps but I'm not sure.
 
While it is good to keep the CBT in mind for your anxiety, keep in mind that you have a hormonal imbalance going on in your body that happens to all women, just at different degrees and ages.  That has nothing to do with thought processes.  We women cannot stop this natural process of menopause so while CBT is good for the anxiety, it is best to find ways to help alleviate the symptoms of your hormonal imbalance.  I read somewhere that soy products are good but don't know the validity of that.  The internet can be a wealth of knowledge but some things read have to be read with a grain of salt.  There is a website I found titled something like 35 menopause symptoms that may be helpful.
 
OK, from one who feels what you are going through, I understand and hope you are able to find something to help with the pain.
 
Donna
 
 
ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Having to be home alone tonight

Thanks Josie.  I actually soaked in the tub this morning.  I have to soak in epsom or dead seal salt daily for my pain anyway but earlier this year I  started getting into aromotherapy so I now add a few drops of lavender oil to my bath as it has a calming effect.  On the weekends, like this morning I will treat myself to a full mineral milk bath, put the laptop on the counter to play some relaxing music and just lay back and relax and soak for 20 mins.  The reading sounds like a good option.  Have a book by my bedside called "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer I haven't finished.
 
I like the idea of the earplugs ;)  I actually have some but I usually fall asleep with sounds of relaxing music from my laptop.  Maybe I could use my earbuds for the laptop and hope they don't fall out during the night :)
 
Donna
 
 
ncladyfromva
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
New to the site

Hey again Josie,
 
I couldn't get a doctor to approve any additional sitting accomodations for me.  It was approved (not through doctor but by employer) before my surgery for an ergonomic chair but before it came in I reherniated my disc, went out of work again and this time needed emergency surgery due to my symptoms and large 9mm herniation.  When I came back to work, I really tried to use the new chair but my pain levels had changed and I had hardly any stability in my spine so I had to stand all day.  Good thing at the time I was only working 4 hrs./day.  I went out of work again 1st of Nov. due to severe sciatic pain returning and PM doctor ordered a test done to evaluate what I am able to do.  From a 3 hr. test of sitting for a total of 5 mins., it was determined I was capable of returning back to work 1st of year full time 40 hrs.  It's been tough but 1st 3 weeks only worked 4 days, last week was 1st full week.  My manager is letting me split up my lunch hr. to 2 30 mins. I take one in morning to lie in back seat of my car, then repeat that for 2nd one, then take both 15 min. breaks together for a 3rd time to lie in car.  I eat my lunch at my desk.  She also allowed me to change my work schedule from 8-5 to 8:30-5:30 since she knows I suffer from anxiety every single morning.  I soak in the tub as soon as I get up with my lavender epsom salt & relaxing music from laptop.  It's the only way I can get the anxiety down enough to get ready for work.
 
We will see what tomorrow brings.  Talked to my therapist and she is going to work to get me in with a psychiatrist for a full evaluation including all of my meds.  A psychiatrist actually has authority to write a patient out of work.  I don't want that but if she does find that I am not emotionally or psychologically ready, perhaps she could write me for reduced hrs. with gradual increase if this would help me get through this anxiety.
 
Thanks for the welcome.  It's good to be on here.
 
Donna
 
 
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Girls Can You Help Me?

Hi Deborah,
 
Yes, this change of life for us women is no fun.  Actually all of the symptoms I am having are consistant with perimenopause.  They tend to start in that phase and can get worse even to last over once in full menopause.  It's different with each woman.  The use of BCP for so long just delayed the onset.  About a coupla years ago I started noticing some mild night sweats occasionally so figured I was getting close.  Figured that with being so active (have read this and doctor confirmed) that my symptoms are milder due to the exercise.  When I came of my BCP back in Nov. I was hit hard with all kinds of the symptoms and after reading online it seemed I was in peri.  Doctor is the one who said according to tests I was in full blown meno. but I have been suffering what I should have already been going through, but it was delayed due to the BCP and active lifestyle.  Now going off the pill and being inactive since herniating my disc last year in Feb., I lost the things that were keeping things calmed down.  I went ahead with the ultra low dose pill doctor prescribed but after 2 visits in the ER this month (1st stayed overnight in cardio unit), I went off them with concerns over my heart.  Nothing wrong with my heart, both visits I was diagnosed with stress/anxiety.  They did all kinds of tests while I was in the hosp. and a nice bill to follow that.  Here it is 5 days after I stopped the pill and got a surprise today, but a woman can still have a period and not be ovulating based on what I've read online.  It's pretty bad too, cramping seems like it's the worst I've ever experienced.  Maybe because of not having one in 3 months.  Had to call in sick and I hate that as I've already been warned by my manager but she knows I'm in menopause and I told her that the cramping is just way too bad to come in.  It's been hard enough struggling coming in since 1st of year dealing with this chronic pain from my failed back surgery plus anxiety.  Would think the fact that I'm trying my best would count for effort to them.  I would like to see any other of the women in my dept. try to do what I've done and force themselves to come back while enduring what I've endured.  That saying that people will never understand unless they ever have to experience what another has is so very true.
 
I was reading your other posts about the struggles with your husband trying to deal with what you are going through.  The fact that you had anxiety prior to going through peri. could be this is what triggered the anxiety.  Alot I've read from others who've had anxiety in the past, then would have have some sort of serious medical issue happen in their life would trigger the anxiety to return.  Also, anxiety is one of the many symptoms of perimenopause or menopause.  Is there any way your husband could attend therapy with you or is it just individual sessions only?  Maybe if he could go, that would help.  I agree with you trying to find a female therapist considering your peri.  I just can't see how any male therapist could understand what we women go through with this change.  That is why I specifically chose a female therapist and I told her that was the reason for it.  May even be best to hold off in asking if your husband can go (if he is willing) until you do get with a female therapist so if he does go, you have someone there with you who can explain to him the challenges you are facing.
 
I know you have had a tough weekend and will be praying for you.  The things us women have to go through, right?
 
 
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Having to be home alone tonight

Woohoo, I actually made it through the night.  Then found out yesterday that my roommate was staying another night at her nephew's house so there I was facing another night alone.  I took a Klonopin before bedtime which helped me to relax and fell asleep.  Woke up shortly after experiencing anxiety and heart palpitations but was able to get them under control with my breathing technique and just thinking things through to calm myself down.  I also found out today that it's that time of month for me so that probably increased things.  I'm in menopause so nothing since Nov. so just having this happen was probably overwhelming for my hormones.  I have always (even before menopause) tended to feel a bit anxious prior to my period so maybe by tomorrow or next day it will subside some.
 
 
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Very Panicky Today

I don't know what all can be done through your primary doctor, but with mine, he can even peform a pelvic exam.  I didn't know that until my last visit year before last when I was in for my yearly physical exam.  He asked if I wanted that done and I said I didn't need it since I had already went to my OB-GYN.  He said they have the availability to offer it because they never know if a woman will need that done as part of the yearly physical exam.   Try giving your doctor a call to see if they can do that too and it may save you a trip to the OB GYN.
 
 
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8 years ago 0 ncladyfromva 28 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Girls Can You Help Me?

Hi Deborah,
 
Yes, I used to have really horrific pain, usually around ovulation but it would also be bad just a few days before my period and by around the 2nd day of period would subside.  My doctor suggested that it could either be endometriosis or ovarian cysts.  He said I could make an appointment to have the laporoscopy which involves making a small incision near the belly button where they put this device up to see exactly what is going on.  If they do find any kind of fibrous material (ovarian cysts, endometriosis), they could even remove it at the same time.  It would have been an outpatient visit.  I wasn't really thrilled about having surgery and having someone cut into my stomach.  The doctor then suggested a low dose birth control pill.  I was in my early 40's at the time so I expressed concerns with my age.  It had been several years since I had went off the pill and it was after I went off them that this pain started.  The doctor told me that he had patients in their early 50's on the low dose and they were doing fine.  I agreed to just go with the pill to avoid the surgery.  It does sound as if this could be the case with you and if so, there is treatment for them.  The surgery that was recommended to me just removes the fibrous material, but sometimes they can possibly come back.  Any kind of prescription hormonal treatment (whether birth control pill or those used for menopause) would shrink down the fibrous material but then there is the risk you always have with taking synthetic hormonal pills.  Now you can see the reason I chose to stay on the pill even knowing there was a risk even with low dose.  Now at the age of 50, I just had so many concerns with being on this narcotic pain medication for my pain for over 7 months, plus not being able to stay active and keep myself fit cardiovascular, I just had concerns of continuing on with taking them.  I went off them hoping I would no longer have the pain and hoping the fibrous material would have just shrunk away never to return.
 
Another thing that I have read up on since having all of these issues with having a herniated disc is the coccyx bone (tailbone).  That is the area where women who have serious painful periods or PMS have alot of the pain.  Before I went on the pill, I would have this excruciating pain radiating down my lower back in my tailbone area.  Since I got my period today, I am dealing with pain in my coccyx again so I think I will be putting my Flector patches on tonight.  Those are prescription NSAID pads my doctor prescribed to me when I asked what else I could have for the breakthrough pain for having to return back to work.  I don't wear them alot and only at night as I don't like having an NSAID in my bloodstream during the day same time as my pain med.  Doesn't matter if it is on my skin being absorbed in low dosages.....still don't like having too much in my system.
 
OK, hope this gives you some insight.  I think if you can make it to this female doctor who can do the exam and listen to what you are going through, you will get some answers.  It does sound like it could be fibrous material that tends to attach itself to the outside of the ovaries and fallopian tubes.  I don't know if there are other treatments nowadays since I went on the pill years ago and didn't even think to ask my OB-GYN a coupla weeks ago.  I guess because my concerns at the time was my hormonal imbalance and trying to get treated for that.  Take care and I do hope you are able to get some rest tonight and the pain will subside some.