So Tired and depressed

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ChristianWEH
Posts: 3
Joined: 2022-08-25 22:48:56

So Tired and depressed

Post by ChristianWEH »

So on July 17th I ate at a fun little restraunt with my wife. 4 days later I had horrible food poisoning (campylobacter) 2 days after that I was fighting for my life and losing after getting food poisoning caused colitis and a golf all sized hole in my colon leading to everything leaking into my body and causing septic shock. After the Dotor said you might not make it through and to say goodbye, I actually woke up. However I woke up with a new friend and a lot of scars. I'm a police officer and I feel totally lost now. I can not believe how tired I am, I am depressed. I know I should not have the right to feel these things as this is supposed to be only temporary. I just have so many emotions about it. I feel like I don't want to move for fear of sprining a leak. I don't want to have sex with my wife because I feel gross. I can't even look in a mirror without feeling like I want to cry. I can't tell my family how I feel. I'm not scared of feelings but I also don't want my Littles to see how scared I am. I dunno, just venting I guess. One thing I do know is that I am shocked about many aspects of this and angered by what some have to go through to get supplies! New advocate for life.
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SeaQuest
Posts: 110
Joined: 2013-12-10 20:08:04

So Tired and depressed

Post by SeaQuest »

I'm sorry you are having to go through this....especially with what seems to be no advanced warning. The change in your life (even if only temporarily) is huge. I fought the good fight for maybe three years while doctors tried medication after medication to see if they could "fix" my issues so that time was, to me, miserable.

I had never heard of an ostomy when my GI finally recommended that I get one, and when I found out what it was, my wife and I immediately decided to get a second opinion from a better hospital. I made fun of it at the time, but Vanderbilt required that I see a psychiatrist prior to seeing any of the doctors who were viewing my charts or giving me what may have been my 12th colonoscopy within that three-year period.

Prior to this, I had been successful in everything I had ever attempted. Life was a breeze; I had a wonderful wife; tremendous kids, loved my job; all was great. I made fun of having to see the psychiatrist. However, Vanderbilt also recommended the ostomy so I went back home and had the surgery fully expecting for not much to change.

For the first two weeks after surgery, all I did was sleep, wake up briefly to eat, pray that I'd die, and cry myself back to sleep. The change was traumatic. And I had time to prepare where this was thrust upon you. However, I soon learned that I could live my life again. Prior to surgery, I couldn't drive home from work without stopping on the interstate, opening both doors on the passenger side of the vehicle and purging myself...sometimes multiple times in only a 25-minute drive. Everything was impacted by this. I worked in a large building with the nearest restroom a football field away. I held meetings daily with dozens of people throughout the day. I had to alert everyone that I was sick, and that if I ran out of the meeting that they should not be offended - it was all very public (and I very much prefer to keep some things to myself).

I'm now 9 years removed from surgery, and life is good. I still have that same wonderful wife and children. I'm active again. I'm living life again. But this all takes time. There are support groups around the country that, when I read other people's post, seem to help them. Again, I try to be more private so I never participated in those. I enjoy this message board; I read it often, and it provides support for me. There are people on here who have lived decades whose lives are better because of, not in spite of, their ostomy. I love hearing their stories as they help mentally prepare me for what lies ahead. I wish you the best!
Colectomy with Permanent Ileostomy - July 2013 (due to Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
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ot dave
Posts: 2100
Joined: 2010-03-04 19:26:19

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by ot dave »

Hey Christian,
I too am sorry that this has happened to you. I know it's traumatic. My permanent colostomy was due to colorectal cancer. At the time, I was 36 and life was going as it should have for me as well. I was lucky as I was able to prepare for the surgery and resultant chemo/radiation that was involved in the process. The road to ostomy started for me almost 14 years ago. You are not alone. Depression is a real side effect of having an ostomy. I think for me, it was just the total loss of control.... I was also lucky in the fact that I'm an Occupational Therapist, so I understood the hows and whys of what was going to happen. Sometimes knowledge isn't great too though... Being an Occupational Therpaist, I was on an interdisciplinary team at a facility that I work with a psychologist who told me that I would eventually experience some depression. I was doing pretty well with the whole situation, so I kind of disregarded his experience. However, when I finished my last round of chemo and there was nothing else to "battle", I realized that I was going to be stuck with this thing on my stomach for the rest of my life.
I had a short lived bout of depression around the holidays while visiting family for Christmas. Fortunately for me, I have a fantastic wife who "kicked" me where I needed it the most as we had a what we call down south, "a come to Jesus meeting"! That was all that I needed at the time, and have been good since.
But, that's not what everyone else needs. Each person is unique with their own set of experiences and circumstances. We all have had our bouts of depression with these ostomies. Some folks just need time. Some need counseling. Some need meds. Some need all 3. There is nothing wrong with you. In fact I'd be more concerned if you weren't experiencing some depression...it's absolutely normal. If you need help, go get it.
Recovery from this is a marathon, not a sprint....
As far as being tired and feeling gross, I get it. My medical opinion is to get out of the house. Go for walks, build your stamina back up. Simply walking helps with strengthening and recovery. Not to mention all of the mental health benefits of just being outside. As far as having sex with you wife, there are a multitude of things you can do. From abdominal wraps to small/closed pouches, to compression shirts, etc., etc. I maintain a quite healthy sex life...even though I've passed the half century mark! And, give your wife some credit...it's not about how you/we look anymore. I have a pretty substantial hernia due to the ostomy, but it doesn't phase her a bit!
I do all of the things guys my age are able to do and that I want to do. Don't set limits on yourself. Trust your appliance. They are pretty good these days. If you do have leaking issues, come back, ask questions. Someone will have a tip or trick that will help you out.
Be sure to come back with any questions. From advice on activity, to appliances, to picking fantasy football teams!

I hope this helped some.

David
stage III rectal CA 12/08 - colostomy 3/09
"Gatoring since 2010"
Psalms 91:2
BillGK
Posts: 348
Joined: 2012-09-05 17:47:30

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by BillGK »

I went through the same thing. Septic shock. Dr tells wife to “gather the family I don’t think he’ll make it through the night”.

Well, I made it through the night. That was over 10 years ago. You are 6 weeks out from a life-threatening event. You will gradually get back to feeling normal, believe it or not. Hang in there, and good luck!
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ns47
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Joined: 2009-02-08 23:57:47

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by ns47 »

Hi, Christian:

It is hard at first not to be depressed or feel “gross” or simply just not like your old self. After a while, though, you start to feel better about this whole odyssey.

There are things that happen that you least expect - or maybe you expect them, but you don’t expect them to happen to you. But all these things are new experiences and things you learn to deal with. For example, there are blowouts, there are leaks, there are loud gas noises (stoma farts) that you are sure everyone else on the planet has just heard. There are days you look at yourself and wonder how this happened, and why, to you.

Bill is right. You will gradually get back to feeling normal - at least most of the time. I’ve had this “contraption” now for almost 14 years. It will be 14 years on December 17th. It’s a date that will live in infamy - for me. I still don’t feel “normal,” whatever that might mean, some of the time. When I go on a trip for work, for example, I pack entirely too many supplies even for just a three or four day trip. I always triple whatever it is I normally use, figuring that there will be some horrible thing that will happen if I don’t take enough stuff. That makes the travel bags I take heavier than they would normally be for someone who doesn’t take half of the medical supply store with them. :)

I’m telling you these things because it’s hard to become accustomed to this major change in your life, but you will become accustomed to it. And weirdly enough, even though mine was reversible, I opted not to have it reversed because - believe it or not - I feel MORE normal with an ostomy than I did without it. I know your situation is different, but I had diverticulitis on a regular basis, it almost always happened that if I went out to eat with people from work I had to leave to go home early because I spent an hour or more in the bathroom after eating, I almost always had intestinal pains most of the day, and now - well, none of that happens.

You are not “gross.” You’re just a guy who had a medical emergency and your surgery saved your life - just like it did for many of us here. I also was not at one point expected to make it through the night one night in the hospital. But I did. And I make it a point every day to live every day like it is the last day, and by that I mean I try to find something good in every day. Find something every day that you enjoy, whether it is a conversation with a friend, with your wife, or watching a movie together, or thinking of the fact that you will get better, you will get used to this, and from what you’ve said, it’s only temporary and you will get back to normal again. And interestingly enough, you will find that this “new normal” isn’t all that bad most of the time. After a while, it is, like so many other things, just part of who you are. When you think of it like that, it is like the song, “All of Me.” It is one of your “perfect imperfections.” We all have a bunch of those.

I wish you well. Talk to someone you trust. Continue talking to people here. We definitely understand how you feel. It will get better. Give yourself some time.

Nancy
Diverticulitis '03-'08
Sigm. colectomy & colostomy from volvulus, 12/08
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To Dream a Dream
Posts: 1317
Joined: 2010-08-10 18:35:53

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by To Dream a Dream »

Yes, please give yourself time to heal. No matter how well a surgery goes, your body has been thru a major trauma & needs to adjust. Also, please be aware of nutritional & electrolyte imbalances that may accompany this process. The UOAA website contains specific information on this important subject. And I highly recommend The Phoenix Magazine. Each issue proves bigger & better than the last with articles from credible medical sources, about supplies, travel tips and stories from people who have faced what you are experiencing. Please remember You Are Not Alone.
Nancy: Thank you for your insightful post. Even after all these years, I still need a boost at times & you have given it to me.
Crohn's Dx '66 (perforated ileum)
Multiple Bowel Resections
Ileo '77 Revision '85
Celiac Dx
ChristianWEH
Posts: 3
Joined: 2022-08-25 22:48:56

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by ChristianWEH »

Thank all....Though I would check in. Rough to months now and just not feeling better....depression is winning as is the ostomy. Everyday I drive to work and show up with a blow out, I go from the skin is ok to hurts like hell overnight, cant seem to get the murilax mix correct.... 100% honesty I'm not ok.
NEskier
Posts: 900
Joined: 2009-02-15 01:44:40

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by NEskier »

Man, you did get hit with a big load of unplanned/unwanted life. Two suggestions: First, find a therapist of one kind or another to deal with the depression. These days you can do a lot online which might help with fear of a blow out there or going to or from.

Second: If your skin is so freaked out that nothing will hold on, which then makes the skin more freaked out, what about a dermatologist instead of a wound nurse? Or both, who actually talk to each other. I know my derm was seeing a patient also going through the trials of the damned with ostomy issues.

And we are all here to listen to you, pray for the best and want you to be OK. Most of us has been through something or another.
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To Dream a Dream
Posts: 1317
Joined: 2010-08-10 18:35:53

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by To Dream a Dream »

Agreed. And please consider letting your GI physician know of your current symptoms & consider having bloodwork for fluid/electrolyte imbalance.
Crohn's Dx '66 (perforated ileum)
Multiple Bowel Resections
Ileo '77 Revision '85
Celiac Dx
copilot49
Posts: 40
Joined: 2012-07-21 12:31:43

Re: So Tired and depressed

Post by copilot49 »

Christian,

I am 11 years from initial dx and APR colostomy. Had many complications following surgery and I didn't even know that I was depressed. I cried at the drop of a hat and just wanted to sleep. One social worker snapped me out of it...and put me on anti-depressant, sertraline. It worked....no more crying every time a sad thought came up. I talked about quitting with my nurse practioner and she said....it may be helping with some of the peripheral neuropathy so I still take it.

In short, it does get better. Hang in there.
CRC St 2a 5/11
chemorad/APR/chemo
NED!
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