Wanting Out

I don’t think I’ve ever elevated a comment to post-of-its-own status, but one of the comments on my previous post references a subject that deserves coverage:

We seem to be in the same boat of pain right now.  I cried all the way in to work today and I’ve cried all morning long.  I hate the painkillers because they make me too sleepy to work, but I hate the pain.  The Humira doesn’t last long enough.  The steroid shots don’t work the way they’re supposed to, and the prednisone isn’t doing the trick.  The mtx is just there. 

Sometimes I just want to die and get it over with.  Of course, I’d never do anything to make that happen, but if I keel over one day I will for sure have a DNR in place.  This is hell on earth.

This is something that isn’t talked about as much as it should be.  Being sick isn’t for sissies.

It’s not just the expense of medicine and doctor’s appointments.  It’s the frustration of going to a doctor for help and being given pills that might or might-not help, but won’t take effect for at least eight weeks. It’s being expected to live with the pain for another two or three months before a decision is made on whether or not to try a different treatment – and that treatment, too, will take a few months to kick in. It’s having no support and no idea what to expect.

It’s the time involved in obtaining treatment.  It’s the new wardrobe needed so we can dress ourselves without assistance.  It’s the loss of friends who can’t deal with reality.  It’s the pain, ongoing, with no end in sight.  It’s the fear of not being able to participate as fully as we’d like in raising our children.  It’s the anger at the curve life has thrown at us.  It’s the sense of unfairness in having our own bodies turn on us.  It’s the hopelessness in realizing that we will never get well.

It’s not surprising that thoughts turn to ways of escaping the pain.  This does NOT mean that people dealing with such thoughts are weak.

When we lose a loved one, we grieve.  It is perfectly normal to also grieve the loss of our health.  Grieving loss is normal, and just as we can recover from the death of a dear friend or loved one, we can recover from other losses in life.

It’s natural to want out, but we press on.

One of the best things we can do is to exercise.  I know, it’s hard.  Too many people use pain as an excuse (I’m one of them).  However, I tell myself, “I hurt anyway, so I might as well do it. At least then I’ll feel better.”  It works.  Exercising releases chemicals that lift our mood.

Another strategy is to get a second opinion.  If treatments aren’t working, maybe the diagnosis is wrong and someone needs to take a look at the data with a fresh set of eyes.  Or maybe the diagnosis is right, but the treatment plan needs to be adjusted.

If the normal methods of dealing with grief don’t work, maybe antidepressants would be helpful.  There are options.

Everyone deals with these issues differently.  The key is that we need to deal with them.

Suicide doesn’t solve any problems.

There is hope.