Depression, pain and medications combined are taking away my life.

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I've been on one or another form of SSRI since 1989, currentling on Prozac/Wellbutrin combo. Hip, leg and shoulder pain keep me awake all night. I've had epidurals and steroid injections that lasted a few weeks. Currently on vicodin, tramadol, gabapentin as needed for pain. Worried my liver or kidneys will give out. I'm 65 and looking for work. Feel worthless.

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello there Molly, what was your diagnosis?
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    • Posted

      MRI of lumbar spine reveals slipped disc at L-5/S-1 which is impinging on left femoral nerve -- sciatica. Shoulder most likely bursitis but may be torn ligament attached to rotator cuff. Had a bad fall through a wooden bridge that broke while we were hiking, left leg went through the broken plank while the rest of me stayed on top of the bridge. After that happened I started falling quite often -- probably out of alignment! MD Rx Vicodin, which did not help prevent falls. Tried chiropractor, referred to pain doc when spinal decompression didn't help.

      .

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    • Posted

      Firstly Molly you must not allow yourself to feel worthless - you are not.

      You have had a really difficult time, and it is clear that you are trying to fight yourself back to good health.

      With the drugs that you are taking you have already recognised the possible risk of organ damage, but I assume your doctor is regularly monitoring  your kidneys for serum creatinine, GFR and blood urea nitrogen, and your liver by enzyme tests, so if that is under control then any potential deterioration should be spotted before any damage occurs.

      Tell me, has your doctor offered you any surgical options? 

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    • Posted

       Thank you for caring. No, I have not had any tests of that nature, and neither my GP nor the pain specialist have mentioned surgery at this time. I am not eager to have surgery unless it is the only option that will allow me to live with less pain.
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    • Posted

      Well I would certainly ask your doctor how he/she indends to monitor your vital organs during the period you are taking this mix of drugs.

      By the way, Tramadol is an Opioid and can therefore be addictive.

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    • Posted

      I have been prescribed two opiods: Tramadol, and hydrocodine with tylenol, along with gabapentin, all "as needed" -- along with antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin. Whenever I try to cut the dose or skip a dose, I get a racing heart, upset stomach and sweating along with anxiety. If I could afford it, I would go somewhere sunny for a few weeks to get detoxified, as this is not helping the depression. What helps is exercise -- bike riding, walking outside -- things that the pain is now preventing me from doing. Sorry to sound like such a "whiner." I hate the idea of boring people with stories of pain, although I realize that is what the forum is created for! 
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    • Posted

      You do sound a bit fed-up with things as they are.

      Cutting many of the drugs you have mentioned will give you wildrawal symptons, particularly Tramadol and Hydrocodine.

      As for Gabapentin  well it agrees with some people and not with others, and  there  can even be slight withdrawal and upset tummy  symptoms associated with that as well.

      If you can get regular exercise it can help a lot from the physical point of view, and also a bit of fresh air and different scenery can help to reduce the symtoms of depression.

      There is no easy answer I'm afraid Molly, it's just a matter of hanging-in there and seeing it through and if possible not to taking yourself off prescribed medication without first advising your doctor.

       

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  • Posted

    That's quite a concoption of drugs! Tramadol is a horrible drug but very difficult to get off. Amitripyline is a good anti depressant for the type of pain you describe. Have you tried that? Also has the GP tested your blood levels of vitamin B12 and D? Deficits in both of these can result in nerve pain. Do you know what is causing your pain?
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    • Posted

      It changes your brain chemistry so that you need more and more to stay happy. So it can contribute to depression. It is absolutely terrible to withdraw from and was responsible for setting in motion my latest depression 5 years ago which I am still being treated for. There is a forum on here dedicated to it.
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  • Posted

    By the way, I'm in the US and am not recognizing some of the medications in this forum. They must have different names in different parts of the world.
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    • Posted

      Some drugs do have different names in different countries.

      If you are ever unsure of a particluar drug please look it up on the internet where it should give you all the equivalents.

      Some drugs are licenced in the US but not in the UK.

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