CHRONIC PAIN & DEPRESSION part I – Fighting Death and Pancreatitis
After reading this go to Pain and Depression Part II – Swollen Blob
I’ve given this blog post an incredibly dull title on purpose. It is an awful subject to be forced to write about. In many ways they go hand in hand. Some days this is not true, but others it is so dreadfully true. It seems to come and go in waves.
If you are new to this blog, my name is Sasha. I live in Los Angeles (but everyone thinks I am from NYC since all my family lives there) and have been a professional business woman & consultant/freelancer for many years. I’m always given the title “Type A” personality. I am strong, strong-headed, and also very passionate about my work/career. You can learn more details about me here and more about my tips for you and more about my medical issues here. I’ve just gotten through the toughest 4-6 years of my life and now find myself in the maintenance phase of my health journey. Also, today is my 36th birthday.
I don’t have kids and I’ve never been married. I am newly single (6 weeks ago ) and this leads me to want to talk about pain & depression. About 4 years ago I had emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder & appendix. In fact, I couldn’t leave the hospital alive unless they determined what surgery might be able to allow me to live. You see, beyond RA I also have CP (chronic pancreatitis). I remember begging my mate and love of my life Jax to not tell my clients that I was sick or in the hospital. It was the 4th, 5th, or maybe 6th time I was in the hospital in 2 years and I wanted my clients to know I’d be back at work the next day. HAHAhahahahaha!!!! Naturally, there came a point where this became impossible. It was a HUGE moment for me to actually admit to my clients that I was sick and in the hospital. Before that moment I refused to be considered a sick person. I prefer people to remember me from my work. Initially i got better, but then over time I got excruciatingly more ill. Eventually I got to a place where I wanted to let go of life/living when the pain became unbearable. [pancreatic attacks are so painful they are often compared to the pain of giving birth.]. Through the whole ordeal Jax stayed by my side and urged me to come back to a place among the living. I don’t know why I wanted to give up back then, but it’s happened a few times after emergency surgery – the will to fight becomes cloudy even if only for a moment.
During that whole time I tried many Dr’s, medicines, formulas, methods, western/eastern, and was then faced with a horrific decision. My GI Dr. told me I needed to get a J-Tube put directly into my abdomen so food would not go through my mouth. I would have to carry around an IV tower 18 hours a day and essentially I would be an official “VISIBLE SICK PERSON”. I refused. I knew it meant my life would/could be over in 2 years….but I refused to be a sick person. The opiates gave me such severe constipation that I went 12 days w/out a BM. (That was WITH prunes, exlax, miralax, enemas, colonics, etc). For example, Jax would even go outside to give me privacy! He’d turn up th radio so it would cover up any bathroom sounds. He made the worst, most embarrassing situations seem tolerable. He was just so awesome like that.
Eventually I ended up at a pain management clinic and a year later had surgery to implant an intrathecal pump that delivers morphine & fentynl directly to my pancreas. Problem solved and life expectancy back to everyone elses= unsure. But life had other plans for me….. Go to Pain and Depression Part II – Swollen Blob
One thing I definitely want to mention about this part of my journey is that I had a very sexually traumatic and violent childhood. The Dr’s have told me that when you’ve been in an extreme environment like I was that studies show people receive the pain signal differently. I wonder if it wasn’t all of the unbearable stress my body was once under. But I could not escape that situation. I tried….and ran away at least 15 times. But I had career goals and eventually stayed at home until University.
The Dr’s also told me that Jax’s love and affection for me was a key ingredient in my quick healing. They said love goes a long way. I know that Jax and I had very hard times through this. The ups and downs of Dr visits was sometimes far too much for me. Jax let me lean on him in a way I have never allowed myself to lean on someone before. I know his love got me through the toughest of times.
Love Sasha, xoxoxo