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Mental vs physical health--long but I hope it helps somebody else

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006: Mental vs physical health--long but I hope it helps somebody else
By Anonymous on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 01:06 am:

I would like to go anon b/c this involves my dh's personal information. But I hope I can help just one other person.

In January my dh began to have headaches and couldn't sleep. And I mean he went for 3 days and said he never slept a wink. Hard to believe but he was iller than a hornet. He beat up the couch one night b/c he couldn't sleep.

I finally got him to the doctor who said he had a sinus infection. He took a 5 days of antibiotic (that was all he was given) and had just begun to feel better and slept a couple of nights without any sleeping pills then started having problems again. so I finally get him to go to the doctor again. This time he's given 10 days a different antibiotic that doesn't do anything. By the end of that he is almost nuts. Took him to the doctor extremely depressed, throwing up, in tears, etc. and the doc put him on Lexapro. This a man who is always strong, independent rarely ever physically sick much less mentally. Got a problem-just shake it off and stop thinking about it is his motto.

After 2 weeks he was a little better, so doc ups the dose actually doubles the dose. A couple weeks later he feels pretty ok, but still not able to sleep at night without Ambien. So doc adds Wellbutrin. I asked the doc this time to do some bloodwork, CT scan, MRI, x-rays, etc. He blew me off except to say he'd do a CT of his sinuses. This new combination of drug brought him to suicidal thoughts. He became extremely jittery, agitated, tremors so bad he couldn't hold his hands still, couldn;t think at work, etc. He came home at lunch one day last week a complete mess.

I called a different doc in the same office and made an appointment. She agreed with me to stop the Wellbutrin. She got the results of the CT scan.


I was furious. She ordered a ton of bloodwork that has not come back yet. And she put him on a month of antibiotics. After 4 days of no Wellbutrin and taking an antibiotics that is beginning to get of the infection he is beginning to feel normal. Still has some jitters and occasional panic attacks but every day is better than the one before and I have complete faith that he will be better soon.

I am furious with myself that I didn't push to find out what was wrong with him to begin with. He's never had mental abnormalities before. Why did I let a doctor sway me into thinking he was mentally ill without checking for other reasons?
I am always telling people to go with the instincts. Why did I not follow my own? Doctors are not God and they can't see everything. We are paying a dear price for not insisting on checking out his physical condition before starting him on psych meds.

By Cocoabutter on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 01:28 am:

Well, you did eventually follow up with your instincts, and better late than never!

I went through something similar with my dh about 7 years ago. His appendix had ruptured and he had an absess, he had a raging fever, had been sick for a week, and this physician assistant at his doctor's office said he just had a blockage in his intestines and to go home and take Milk of Magnesia! On our third trip to this doctor's office, I spoke up and asked her, "Okay, so is a fever common with a blockage?" FINALLY, she sent us to the hospital to get more tests, and that was when we found out what was REALLY going on. He ended up in the hospital for a week. But better late than never. If his absess had ruptured, he'd have been gone.

Good luck and I hope all goes well.

By Crystal915 on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 02:33 am:

((((Anon)))) Don't beat yourself up. It's programmed into us to accept the things doctors tell us, and everyone makes mistakes. I'm sorry for all the pain your husband has been through, and the stress it must have been causing your family. I hope he feels better soon. Please do not beat yourself up, we all make mistakes. Take care of yourself and your husband, focus on getting well together.

By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 06:57 am:

Oh Anon. I am so glad you did insist on seeing another doctor. While your story and Lisa's are not the norm, they are all too common.

I will add that oftentimes doctors' decisions about what tests to order and what to do are insurance driven. It is often a major hassle to get a health insurance company to pay for expensive scans and tests, and much simpler to just prescribe pills.

And, sadly, sometimes the arrangements between the health insurer and the physician (especially with HMOs) reward doctors for not sending a patient outside the practice to a specialist or hospital, because that keeps the costs down. It used to be in Pennsylvania, an individual practice was rated for, among other things, how well it kept costs down by not making such referrals, and a good rating resulted in a financial bonus. I think they can't do that any more, but there are still incentives for keeping costs down by a general pool for referrals that is divided among all the doctors in a region or area at the end of the year. I recently went through an insurance-driven hassle over a medication my doctor prescribed and it took a week to get it sorted out.

Yes, go with your instincts. And, if a doctor doesn't want to order tests, ask why, and specifically ask if the reason for not ordering the tests is because of insurance.

And, Anon, if it were me, when this is all over, I would sit down and write a long, detailed, step-by-step letter to the head of that practice or practice manager. The possible consequences of this doctor's "failure to diagnose" need to be taken seriously, and the doctor whom you finally saw may not bring it up in a formal way, and certainly not as strongly as you will. If you write a letter to the head of the practice it will definitely be discussed, at least with the first doctor and maybe with all of them, and may help prevent this happening to someone else - at least by this doctor.

Lisa, I'm astonished at the prescription for Milk of Magnesia. One of the things I remember almost from my childhood is that you never give a laxative to someone with severe belly pain until AFTER you have ruled out possible appendicitis by blood tests and maybe a scan, because taking a laxative can cause the appendix to rupture. Again, I hope you spoke to or wrote a letter to the head of that practice. I infer that she didn't even take his temperature, which surprises me. Every time I go to my doctor's office, the nurse or tech takes my temperature and blood pressure first thing, before I ever begin waiting for the doc to get to me.

And Crystal is right - we are programmed to accept what doctors tell us, and doctors are programmed to not pay much attention when a patient disagrees with the doctor. We have to take charge of our health care, ask questions, do our own research, and sometimes get very firm and loud and maybe even downright rude if what is being said or what is happening doesn't sound right.

By Kaye on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 08:45 am:

I was programmed as a kid to question doctors, my hubby used to get really embarrassed about it, but after 2 or 3 big issues he realized that I was right. My favorite question is, "why don't you just humor me and do ....?"

Glad to hear your dh is doing better.

By Dawnk777 on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 09:19 am:

Wow, I hope your hubby is on the road to recovery now. He had to have been in so much pain!

By Luvn29 on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 10:11 am:

Wow, how awful to have to go through this. For both of you. I have had to experience crappy doctors way too much the last five years. Before all of this, I had the mentality that if I had a problem, I'd go to a dr. they'd tell me what was wrong and fix it. It shocked me to find out it wasn't that easy!

I was also very naive and very soft-spoken and didn't feel that it was my place to question a dr. I quickly learned that if I didn't want to die, I had better learn to speak up and take control of my situation when my cardiologist kept ignoring me and increasing my heart medications even though I kept insisting my symptoms were the opposite of what he was trying to treat.

I finally said I had had enough and refused to go back to him and insisted my md refer me to a different one in a different practice in a different city. He did and that dr. immediatly started weaning me off of the meds he had me on. Said that the doses and combinations of the meds he had me on would have had a healthy person almost comatose. And the other cardio was wanting to increase my dosage yet again at my next visit!!!

Thankfully I learned my lesson. I learned right then to start doing my own research on everything and asking questions and getting all of the facts.

Not long after, I had a neurologist tell me nothing was wrong with me and I just needed a good regular exercise program. I got up and walked out of his office.

Shortly after, I visited Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN and was told that if I had followed his advice I'd possibly killed myself because at the time just standing from a sitting position caused my heart rate to jump to over 160 beats per minute.

Don't beat yourself up over this. We are typically raised up believing that we go to doctors for answers and they give them to us. After all, that's what they go to school for. We don't know that stuff. It's hard to question someone who is an "expert" in their field of advice. Heck, it would be hard enough questioning Ginny here in anything legal!!! But you realized that something was still wrong, and you got him back to the dr. so you did your job. You didn't tell him to give it time or it was all in his head. You realized the problem was still there, and you got him the help he needed. So you did follow your instincts. You did good. In the future, now, you'll feel more comfortable asking questions if you need to, and you'll know that it's okay to question what you don't feel sure about.

I'm so glad that your husband is doing much better now.

By Karen~moderator on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 10:27 am:

Ditto most everyone else on this one! Most of us are raised to trust doctors - and I suspect this is where the G-d complex comes in with them but that's a whole other rant. We are trained to put so much faith and trust in what they say and not to question it. WRONG move, if you ask me. You were right to follow your gut. And no matter how it makes a doctor feel, it's your right, and often, your obligation to yourself or your loved one, to seek a second opinion, because that will very often lead to the solution to the problem.

I'm glad to hear he's doing better. In my experience, you should never doubt what your gut is telling you.

By Kiki on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 11:08 am:

I hope he is feeling better. Some doctors are too quick to prescribe psych meds. It's not a quick fix solution. You did the right thing by following your instincts.

By Nicki on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 01:20 pm:

I'm so glad your husband is going to be okay! I'm so sorry you both had to go through such a horrible ordeal. I am very much like you. My instincts might try and tell me something, but I too was raised not to question doctors. But I am learning! Threads like this help. Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope your husband continues to improve.

By Cocoabutter on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 02:12 pm:

Ginny, it was a while ago, so I hope I get this right. The absess was putting pressure on my dh's colon, which was causing problems with his bowel movements. He wasn't in any real pain (which is normally the first clue in appendicitis), he just said that he felt pressure down there. There was no blood test, and I think they only took his temp once, I believe on the first visit. It was high, like 100, but she wasn't concerned. Her first dignosis was flu, so she sent him home with the promise that he would feel better in a couple of days. On the second visit, she told him that it may be a blockage and to take the MOM. I didn't go in with him, (ds was only 2, and fussy) so I can't be sure if she took his temp that time, but I know he still had the fever. Finally on the third visit, we got anwsers.

At the hospital, they couldn't see anything on the ultrasound except that his entire abdomen was inflamed, so we consulted with a surgeon who ordered a CAT scan ASAP, so they got him in at 3 AM and discovered what the problem was, and inserted a drainage tube into the absess. The surgeon told us that his case was difficult to catch b/c he didn't have any of the normal symptoms that would lead one to think of appendicitis- it kind of snuck up on us. I did write a letter to the doctor's office, but got no response. Dh doesn't go to that office anymore- he goes to mine.

Now, this is interesting. My aunt lives in Indiana (I live in MI) and she is a registered nurse. I had told my mom about what dh was going through, she told my grandma who told my aunt who immediately said, "It must be an infection."

Now if my nurse aunt in another state can make that conclusion after hearing third hand about it, why couldn't a physician's assistant do that when she is looking right at him?

Anon, let us know how your dh progresses. My prayers are with him.

By Imamommyx4 on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 08:41 pm:

The anon can be removed b/c I have asked my dh's permission. My heart was hurting last night and I was angry and needed to express my emotions. But he knows that I posted this and says it's okay.

Right now prayers are what he needs more than anything. He was having an anxiety attack this morning before church. When we got to church he couldn't even go in to the sanctuary. After much prayer, we are going to try to go to sleep tonight without the Ambien or the Xanax. Lift him up in your prayers that he will have a peaceful night's sleep w/o any sleep aids. I think all of these psych meds have been worse on him than the sinus infection.

Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. This past week has had alot of tears flow. It is so hard to watch a man who is normally strong and happy to be curled up in a ball begging to make it all go away. It has hurt my heart so much.

To everybody though, if it doesn't make sense don't let the dr talk you into to something. I'm a pharmacist for crying out loud and I let the dr talk me into adding the Wellbutrin. I was distraught and hurting and kept thinking I just wasn't thinking it all through. But as dh's status deteriorated, I knew something had to be done.

I appreciate MomsView so much to have a place to vent and help others, too.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 07:29 am:

Debbie, your dh's best help right now is you, comforting him, reassuring him, holding him when he is having the shakes. By the way, have you talked with the new doc about the best way to wean off the meds? A lot of the anti-depressant meds can cause a real rebound effect if you just stop them instead of weaning off gradually, and can make you feel worse than you ever felt before taking them. You're a pharmacist, so you already know this.

When my son was having some of his worst attacks (short of hospitalization), I would just sit with him and rub his back or shoulder and keep telling him - take a breath and hold it - now breathe out, on and on, trying to get him to focus on his breathing, which is a meditation technique, to get him to focus on something other than how afraid and helpless he was feeling, and to help him get in control of his breathing as a first step to taking back control. I just kept rubbing and talking to him in a low, quiet tone of voice, reminding him "I'm here - take a deep breath and hold it honey - now let it out". It would take a while but it usually helped to get him out of the panic or anxiety attack. I didn't try to hold or hug him because that seemed to make his panic worse.

By Imamommyx4 on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 08:53 am:

Last night was rough. He wants me to just be touching him. We are Christians and hold so much to our faith. Last night I read to him the Bible, Chronicles of Narnia and a Joyce Myer book about depression, anxiety, stress. And we listened to soft, soothing Christian music for about half the night. He finally slept a couple of hours and feels so much relief to do that w/o the Ambien.

The Wellbutrin was only used for about a week and sent him to freaksville. We stopped that cold. The Lexapro has been weaned over the past week and he doesn't want to take anymore. He asked my opinion. I told him as a pharmacist, I would rather see him on the dose he's on for a couple more days then down a dose for about 5 days then off. But as his wife and through much prayer, my gut says stop it now. Last night was his first night w/o Ambien. And he hasn't had a xanax in 23 hours. His last panic attack was at about 2:30 this morning. Every minute is one step away from that crap.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 09:26 am:

Debbie, there's a wonderful book titled Cold Sassy Tree. One of the reasons I give it to people is there is a sequence in it where the grandfather talks to the grandson (the narrator) about prayer. The grandfather says, in essence, praying for healing or praying for a cure or praying for anything tangible is not the way to pray - the only prayer that really works is "God, give me strength". I recommend that prayer to you and your husband.

By Nicki on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 10:40 am:

Debbie, I will keep your husband in my prayers. I understand so well the anxiety and fear that go along with withdrawals from some drugs. At the time, it feels as though I'll never feel good again, never feel safe. And daily activities are so hard because the anxiety is the strongest emotion that seems to take over everything else.

I usually go to my husband and tell him how afraid I'm feeling and he holds me and comforts me and reminds me over and over, it WILL pass. The sun will shine again. You are doing so well being there for him through all this! The deep breathing as Ginny mentioned helps, too.

Both you and your husband are in my prayers and thoughts. I hope today is better.

By Imamommyx4 on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 11:38 pm:

He didn't want to take the Ambien, xanax, or Lexapro anymore. He says that they were making him worse. So he didn't take any Ambien Sunday night and slept 1 hr and a half. Monday night no Ambien and a little over an hour sleep. He is so exhausted that he looks at me with a dull look when I talk to him. I talked to a sleep dr today that I work with and he said to continue to leave everything off except the Ambien. He can't heal if he doesn't sleep. He told me to feed him a meal high in tryptophan so I searched the internet for foods high in tryptophan that I could fix fast after I got home from work. He got grilled cheese and warmed milk. Then he got an Ambien, a back rub and a prayer.

That was 2 1/2 hrs ago and I haven't heard a peep from him. I told him I was sleeping on the couch unless he woke up and wants me to come get in the bed. I don't want to disturb a second of sleep.

I don't think that he has had a panic attack since about 8 pm Monday night so that is a victory. His tremors are barely even noticeable now. And I'm so exhausted. I want my beautiful, happy, loveable husband back. He always has such a good outlook on life. All of this hurts my heart so much. He hasn't worked since Tuesday last week when he came home from work at lunch. He's only been on this job since Feb 28 and this isn't a good way to start a new job. I called his immediate supervisor and told him the whole story. I figured the only way he could work with us is to know the truth. Dh's supervisor's boss called today and said not to worry about the job, get better, and call next week if he can't come in. Wow! I was expecting them to let him go.

Thanks Nicki. I read your comments yesterday at work and brought me to tears. That is how he feels right now. And what your husband does for you is what I've been doing for him. He keeps asking if I'm gonna quit loving him b/c he's sick. So insecure. Oh it hurts me.

Thanks for letting me vent my heartache.

By Nicki on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 04:47 am:

Bless his heart, I feel so bad for him. Yes, I understand the insecurity. It's as if the effects of the withdrawals are playing tricks with one's mind. And I imagine his missing work may be making him feel even more anxious. I think you did a great thing by calling his supervisor. Maybe this will help your husband relax a bit about his job and give himself the time he needs to heal, emotionally and physically.

Debbie, I shared some of your story with my husband because he went through withdrawals from pain medication he was taking for three years due to chronic back pain. He went off of several, all at once. It was just horrible for him. I had never seen him so ill. He decided to quit because of the side effects of the drugs. He is so much better now! No pain medication, and he never wants to go through that again. He understands what your dh is going through. He said tell him to "hang in there". It's going to be okay.

Sometimes I wonder if the very doctors who so casually prescribe some of these drugs have had to deal with side effects or withdrawals. I tend to thing it should be a requirement before a doctor can prescribe medications. Maybe they would not be so quick to dish out these drugs.

Prayers and good thoughts coming your way. Hugs to you, Debbie. It is so hard to see our loved ones hurt so much. Your dh is so lucky to have your love and support right now. The sun will shine again, honest! I hope he's feeling better tomorrow.

By Imamommyx4 on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 05:10 pm:

Today is our 16th anniversary. When I lost the diamond on my engagement ring I hinted very strongly that it would be nice to have it replaced as an anniversary gift (which he was able to do before he got so bad). But over the past 3 weeks I really didn't care anymore. I just wanted him back. Happy and healthy again. The past 3 months have been rough but the past 3 weeks have been torturous. But with the help of God, I think it is about over. The panic attacks have faded to mild anxiety. The jitters are very minimal and he has slept very well for the past 2 nights. There's no romantic dinner out planned or extravagant gift. We went out to the movies to see Ice Age 2 the Meltdown with dd and we are making lasagna for supper. And we invited the couple that got to him at church the other night over for dinner. I just can't think of a better way to spend this anniversary. My perspective has changed on things. My house is never clean enough to invite friends over for dinner or games. My cooking is never good enough. My furniture is not wow enough. Well, phooey. I don't care anymore. My doors are gonna be opened and I'm gonna start inviting friends over for stuff.

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 06:11 pm:

Debbie, I have shared some of this with my son, who says "she's a champ!"

By Debbie on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 06:43 pm:

Debbie, I am so glad that your dh is doing better. Sounds like a long road to get to this point! You are definitley a very loving and supportive wife! Have a wonderful anniversary!

By Tink on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 06:56 pm:

I'm so glad to hear that your dh is doing so much better. What an amazing woman you are to find such a positive lesson in the midst of all this heartache. You and your dh are lucky to have each other.

By Pamt on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 07:09 pm:

Debbie, so glad that your DH is feeling much better and that you have a new handle on life. I recently met a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and has beaten it (5 years post-dx) and lost her husband suddenly in a bad tractor accident last year. She is in her early 40's and has 3 kids. She is one of the most positive, upbeat people I have ever met. I commented to her on what an amazing woman she was and she said that it was all a matter of perspective. One thing in particular that she said really stuck out, "I never have a bad hair day anymore." :) Here's to no more bad hair days for you!

By Nicki on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 12:42 pm:

So glad your husband is doing better. And, I think you are a big part of his recovery.

Hope you had a great anniversary!

By Imamommyx4 on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 10:34 pm:

I sure don't feel amazing. But thank you for all of the sweet comments. Right now I feel just about worn out. You know how you can triumph thru a crisis, then when it is over you collapse? That's kinda the way I feel right now. Verge of tears. This too shall pass.

By Ginny~moderator on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 11:25 pm:

Debbie, you've been through a rough time too, compounded by feeling helpless (which is a terrible, terrible feeling). So, allow yourself the time to collapse and recover. You didn't collapse when you were needed, but at some point you have to give yourself room to let your own feelings out.

I understand you don't feel "amazing". But you, like the rest of us, have seen families where when there was a crisis, the people who should have "been there" weren't. We all know that hanging in and hanging on, as you did, is what we would all do, but we also know that a lot of times people don't. So, give yourself some credit.

I'm sure that "the heart of [your] husband trusts in [you] (Proverbs 31:11, 28-29).

By Cocoabutter on Saturday, April 1, 2006 - 11:40 pm:

Honestly, I don't handle stress worth a darn. At all. I couldn't do what you have done and do it so well.

Your husband is so lucky to have someone like you. You can maintain yourself when you are needed the most.

So stop beating yourself up and take a deep breath and let it all out...

By Imamommyx4 on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 12:11 pm:

Last post I was feeling pretty drained sort of at the end of my rope. But just after I made that post, I had to tie a knot in the end of my rope and hang on for dear life. The worst was yet to come.

When I had gotten home from work, dh was acting very stressed, started having a major panic attack. I couldn't do anything to help. Nothing I did this time helped. He said he was so sick of feeling bad. He had felt better for a couple of days and now he was feeling worse than ever. He was so upset. It was REALLY bad. I got so scared. I asked him what he wanted to do. And he said he wanted to be someplace safe. I told him the only place I could take him safe was the hospital. So that's what I did. I was trying to hold together but I was so scared. We left the house at 11 pm and he was finally admitted at 3 am. I shook almost constantly and cried intermittedly. My body feels like I've started a new exercise program from all of the shaking I did that night. My muscles are so sore.

He's doing great now. They did a full evaluation and tests. Gave him a diagnosis and have gotten him off all of the previous meds and put him on correct ones. He feels good, hasn't had any panic attacks since Sunday, is optimistic and looking forward to getting home and back to work.

My church family has been great. They prayed over me and thru me for dh. And I gained a calm that I have not had in weeks. I haven't even cried since then. They've been bringing food. Some guys from dh's men's group came and replaced the storm door that gone blown off its hinges in a storm on Sunday. I don't know how people get thru challenges in their lives without faith.

It is all good. And will keep getting better. I have total faith in it.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 12:30 pm:

Debbie, I was reading all the posts and I want to say how much I admire your strength. I know exactly where your strength comes from and I have been there myself but in a different kind of situation. I pray that everything goes well for your DH and keep us updated. (((HUGS))))

By Tink on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 12:40 pm:

Debbie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your dh. Your most recent post brought tears to my eyes. I really hope that he is finally on the meds that will lift him out of this scary place. {{{Debbie and DH}}}

By Vicki on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 12:45 pm:

You know, I didn't respond to this post before because I have ZERO experience or knowledge in this at all. But I have been thinking of you and reading this post. I will be honest now and say that while I did read before, I kept wondering why he wasn't in the hospital to get off all these meds. I would think that it is like a detox thing and I don't know how anyone could do it on their own without being in the hospital. Although I am not happy he is in there, I do think that is the best thing that could have happened.

I also admire what you have been able to do throught out this whole thing. You were able to do what I was feeling trained hospital workers should be doing. I am sure that you have to feel a major relief that he is getting constant trained professional help in getting him through the rest of his journey.

I also have faith that things will just keep getting better!!

By Imamommyx4 on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 02:08 pm:

The only reason he wasn't in the hospital through all of this is that his primary care doctor asked him if he had suicidal thoughts and he said no which was the truth. The doctor said that he didn't think he needed to be in the hospital then. I have wondered at times throughout all of this if maybe we should just take him to the ER and see what happens. But he wasn't ready to go. And I love him so much and wasn't ready to let go. But Saturday night I was so scared that I was finally as ready to let go as he was ready to go.

He is feeling so much better. His eyes are smiling and he's joking. It brings tears to my eyes to think how hard this has been for the past few months. We were just missing the wrong doctor in all of this for the right evaluation for the right med. I start to beat myself up about what I should have done, or I should have thought better about something, or why did I do a certain thing. Dh says for me not to do that. We can shoulda, coulda, woulda ourselves nuts. But he knows I only did what I did do for his best interests and I was doing everything I could to make him feel better. It was a process that I wouldn't wish on anybody though. The doctors and nurses have all said how much easier it is since he has a supportive wife and doesn't have any chemical addictions like drinking or other stuff.

He gets to come home in the morning and I am so excited. I'm trying to clean the house so it feels good when he gets home.

By Cocoabutter on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 05:51 pm:

God Bless You and your dh. Finally, FINALLY, maybe you can put this all behind you? :)

"For better or for worse, in sickness and in health..."

Your marriage will be stronger for this. I wish you all the best. (And definitely more heath and better times!)

Ohm' gosh, I'm crying... I am so happy for you!

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 06:47 pm:

Oh Debbie. I have been in your shoes three times with my dear son, and I do know how frightening and often baffling it can be. You are a remarkable woman, and you should believe the hospital staff when they tell you that your being a supportive wife did make it all much easier for your husband and for them.

I am so glad he is coming home, but please, Debbie, be aware that you should still be quietly watchful. You have to be careful to watch in a way that doesn't feel like "watching" to your husband. While the hospital has substituted medications, your dh will have to take these faithfully and, when he feels he is ready to go off them, do it under careful medical supervision. Which means, I'm sorry to say, that you had better find a new primary care physician, since the one you've been using is clearly not worth a darn. If it were me, I'd ask the staff who have been caring for your husband in the hospital for referrals for a doctor to care for him, at least for the next several weeks while his system stabilizes and he begins to recover mentally from all of this.

Your dear husband is indeed blessed in you, and I am sure he knows just how blessed he is.

Debbie, if you want to email me for private conversation, it is klipvm at rcn dot com.

By Imamommyx4 on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - 09:22 pm:

He's a smart guy that likes the way he feels now. He says his head feels so clear and it has been so long since he's felt clear headed. He asked the dr if he'd be on these awhile or a lifetime. They said lifetime and that was cool with him. He said he doesn't want to go thru that again.
We have and will keep regular appts with a psych dr. and a therapist. He's all up for it now. Kinda worried that once everything settles out he may decide he doesn't really need the meds but I already have plans for that scenario. He is on board and okay with a lifetime of these meds right now. I will keep watch carefully with what happens later.

I appreciate Momsview so much to have a place that I can share all of this with. Friends from church have been great. But it's nice to just be able to sit down in a quiet time and get it all off my mind. And hope I help somebody in the process. But everybody has been so supportive and comforting. It's great. All of your posts have meant alot to me. Some from experience and some just out of caring.

By Imamommyx4 on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 12:59 am:

Update--things have calmed down alot. He has stabilized on his meds. Feeling pretty normal, clear headed. Last night was the first night in 3 months that he slept without his Ambien. He has been so excited over that today. He was worried a little that he was addicted or dependent on it.

Ginny--I didn't e-mail you privately b/c he and I share our e-mail. I am being watchful of things, maybe a little sensitive to things but I don't want him to know that I am watching. He knows that I have posted on Momsview about this. He's reading all the depression anxiety info that comes his way. We saw a therapist this week. And he's going to see him alone some. And he knows what friends that I have talked to and what I've shared. But there are a few things like the fact that you suggested to watch w/o him knowing it that I don't want him to know. But thank you for the offer. That meant alot to me.

He's better than he's been in a long time, but there are still things that will need to be worked on. But I know it's all for good. And it will all be good in the end.

By Sandysmom on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 03:19 am:

Debbie, I'm happy for you all that things have calmed down. Take good care of yourself. ((((Debbie & Family))))

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 05:45 am:

Debbie, I am so glad that things are heading up for your dh and you. It sounds like you and dh are very much on the right track. I think the therapist is the right step, now that his meds are pretty much sorted out.

I do want to alert you that with therapy, sometimes it feels like things are getting worse before they get better. There is a good reason for this. In therapy, once the patient starts being honest with the therapist and with himself, he starts looking at all the things that have been locked into a mental closet for so many years, and there is a good reason those things have been locked away - they hurt. Taking them out and looking at them will hurt, and your dh may feel that he is getting worse instead of better. But looking at all the things that he has been avoiding is the only way to get a handle on them and deal with them, and get better. It's just that while you are going through this process, it does feel like things are getting worse instead of better.

When I said watch him without him knowing you are watching, what I meant is that you should have a special alertness, not be a detective. You've lived with this man for a long a time, so you can pick up clues that you might have ignored in the past but have to be more aware of now. For example, I can tell when my son has had a bad day, and I persist in getting him to talk about it because experience has shown that if he talks about what was bad in his day he is better able to deal with it and winds up in a better mood. And, when he is really feeling depressed he forgets to eat, so I pay attention to whether or not he has eaten and remind him (even nagging, if necessary) so that he eats. The problem with depression is that one can forget to eat or not feel like eating, but not eating is bad for the body and makes the depression/anxiety worse. This terrible illness tends to go in a downward spiral if you don't make breaks in the process of the spiral, and I watch for the beginnings of the spiral and try to make breaks in it with my son.

I totally understand your reasons for not e-mailing me, and that was simply an offer, not a request. I know how important it is sometimes to be able to talk frankly with someone who has been there done that, and that was the reason I offered. But you and dh are managing quite well, it seems to me, and that's all that matters. And I think you are very right to be sensitive to things that would bother your dh. He is probably much more sensitive and self-protective in a lot of ways, and you and he both want him to reach a point where he is in control of his life, so you don't want him to feel like you are "managing" his life for him. It's a tightrope walk, that's for sure.

Bless you Debbie, and I continue to pray that God gives you strength.

By Imamommyx4 on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 08:07 am:

Ginny--what you said in paragraph 2 about therapy is exactly what I was talking about with things that need to be worked on. I went to therapy (and it is a Christian couselor) with him for the first visit. We both liked the guy. But the therapist asked him alot of quesions that have already started dh thinking. The therapist said that for the next few times he wants dh to come alone. He says that sometimes its the marriage that is causing the problem and he works with both. But it appeared to the therapist that the marriage wasn't dh's sore spot and that there were things that dh needs to get off his chest and that spouses don't always need to know all those things. That was kind of funny to both of us because just a month or so ago that was exactly what our SS teacher was talking about in forgiveness. We were doing a particular study and it was talking about being able to forgive others and you have to be able to take stock of your own life, find somebody of the same sex who won't judge you or be affected by your stuff and get it off your chest so you can forgive yourself. And person probably does not need to be your spouse. I sort of have him on a pedestal. He's a great guy, dh, daddy. And I really don't want to know all of his crap. So that is all fine with me.

And I'm so with you and understand about the watching thing. I've been watching for adverse reactions to the meds. The dr said not to mention it to dh if he started tics or weird movements. Wait and tell the dr. Don't want to freak him out if he doesn't realize it. Then I've been watching him to make sure he eats which he's done okay with right now. And watching for moods or start of panic attacks. He's had a few starts but we talk about it or walk or get his mind on a tv show or something and it passes without getting too far. Doing really well. But I know it's not over yet. He has been back at work now for 2 weeks which is really good, too.

I so appreciate your insights. The stuff you write is just so...I'm not sure what to say. I can tell you've been thru this exactly. And I am doing okay, too. Strung a little tight right now but for the most part okay. DD keeps me grounded. I have to stay grounded for her.

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:22 am:

You are definitely on the right track, Debbie. Glad to have been of help.

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 09:29 am:

Oh, Debbie, I was thinking of your dh this week. I was diagnosed by my ear/nose/throat guy last Friday with a severe sinus infection, and he gave me a 5-day antibiotic. My son (who, because he works in lab animal medicine in a hospital, is up on things I am not), says it is a "silver bullet" antibiotic, kills almost any bacteria and really fast. BUT, my ENT also gave me a nasal spray with steroids to open up things and promote drainage (he says the steroids don't really get taken up in the body, and I have used this before with no problems), AND told me to come back in a month, or sooner if I don't feel better, and to get a CT scan before I come back so that he can be sure there is "nothing else there".

The antibiotic is something like Lava-Quin or Lava-Quil, in a very frustrating 5-day packaging.

By Imamommyx4 on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 11:24 am:

Levaquin. The package, I think, has a 2 step entrance. First you have to pull the cardboard strip off. Then punch the tab out thru a metal covering. I usually punch a little hole thru the edge of the covering over the tablet. That makes it easier to get it out.

And it is a good antibiotic. That was what dh was on the first 5 day round that did him some good and was feeling better and what he is on now for 30 days. The steroid decrease inflammation so that the passages can drain.

I hope you are feeling better. But if you are not felling better or start feeling bad again after the antibiotic is finished, follow up.

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, April 21, 2006 - 12:30 pm:

Oh, I will, Debbie. I'm not a man, so I have no problem complaining, quickly and loudly. But I am feeling about 200% better now, and now I understand why I have been feeling so low-key and dragged out for the last couple of months - the headache didn't start until the day before my ENT appointment, lucky me.

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