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Depression/post-op blues - open for all

Ptarmigan

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@mikeycat

I am getting ready for an August RTHR, and I recognize the preop emotional challenge you describe very well. I have gone through periods of “adjustment disorder” (aka situational depression) before, and if chronic pain, insomnia, an unwelcome medical diagnosis, and the prospect of life-altering surgery isn’t a recipe for an adjustment challenge, I don’t know what is.

I have started to use all my tried-and-true cognitive coping tools in the preop phase. I think it’s good practice for later. I have to remind myself sternly that nothing is ever as bad as I fear or as good as I hope. That everything, once I have lived through it, becomes an experience that brings some value to me and my loved ones - even if I can’t see what that value will be quite yet.

I am using my sleepless times to practice peaceful acceptance - I try to let sleep come to me instead of chasing it. I am tuning in to my preop pain instead of tuning it out, so I stay in touch with my “why” for doing this. I am defining this chapter as a necessary investment in my own health and happiness.

But those adjustments did come after weeks of tears and some all-consuming fears about dependency and rejection from those closest to me. I am glad to say those clouds have started to disperse.

I hope you will find some time in the last couple of weeks before your surgery to go back to the self-talk tools you developed that worked for you post-partum. I agree with you that psychological and emotional preparation can help us meet the challenges of surgery much more smoothly. I am rooting for you!
 

Cathippy

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Six months post op and over last three months have found myself feeling very emotional, low, negative and not enjoying things as I use too. Ironic as I am a therapist who works with people with depression but no one is immune and I have felt this way in the past.
I am going through the motions though and have not stopped doing things even if I dont enjoy them. I am making an effort to eat well and be active now I can be agsin. When my thoughts become negative I remind myself all things pass and this will too as providing I keep doing what I am doing depression is self limiting.
I hope it will be soon though :umm:
 

Layla

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Awww, big hugs :console2: @Cathippy
It sounds like you're doing all the right things and realize it's a temporary situation which gives you hope.
Wishing you brighter days very soon.
 

Mojo333

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@Cathippy I hate to hear you sounding blue.
I wish I could fast forward you through this difficult time.
Good for you for "faking it until you make it" as isolating yourself and giving in to depression is not helpful, as well you know.
Do you think it there could be done hormonal imbalance contributing to this? My hip replacements came on the eve (6 months prior) to menopause for me...not great timing!
I do hope that you know we care, and are wishing this will pass quickly!:friends:
 
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Cathippy

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Hi @Mojo333 no sadly long past being hormonal as could have corrected that with hrt. Hoping 6mths at most will see it out as its pretty miserable.
Thanks x
 

Mojo333

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Sometimes we just do the best we can until we can do better.
Lots of sympathy hugs...:console2:@Cathippy
 

Trudijane

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These posts really caught my eye. I was depressed on & off pre-op hip replacement; I couldn't imagine how much more depressed I could get - but now I know. There is SO much to it.

During recovery (I'm not finished yet), I felt like a recluse that had to stay in bed for weeks with one person bringing me food and an occasional visit from a nurse who helped me with medical issues. So, at least I had an excuse to stay at home and be a recluse.

Now, I realize how few friends I have. Nobody missed me and I really didn't miss anything that I was doing pre-op. So, why did I got through all this (and it was hard for me) when I had nothing to look forward to except less pain. I feel as if I'm in the exact same situation as before except with less pain and for the I am lonelier than i ever was and so incredibly bored. Even when reaching out for people, it seems there is noone around. Was it really that different before? I don't think so.

So, I'm in a bad state from moment to moment and altho a movie buff, getting tired of even watching movies back to back. I can't wait until it's time to go to sleep and hope not to wake up. Sorry for this morbid post - but it is exaclty the way I feel right now.
 

Mojo333

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Hi @Trudijane
If you were feeling lonely and isolated before your THR , I can only imagine how tough recovery has been on you!
I know I also felt way less social for the year before my THR as I was so sleep deprived and in pain, so though I soldiered on at work, I came straight home and had no desire to get out and do anything with anybody.
I do wish you had some company, as I think that would indeed help you get through recovery easier.
I am glad you have rid yourself of chronic hip pain, and as you are able to get more mobile and active...please consider doing some type of volunteer service for a few hours a few days per week.
I manage a food bank and soup kitchen and doing something for someone else can definitely give one a sense of purpose and put you in contact with some caring people.
For me, also getting outside and getting some fresh air and sunshine can be incredibly therapeutic.
It IS a beautiful world but can get shaded out when we are in a funk.
Sending healing hugs and good mojo your way! :console2:
(PS...love the chair!)
 

Layla

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Hi @Trudijane
It would be nice to have your surgery date and which hip was replaced, not only so a signature can be created, but to know how far along you are in your recovery journey. So if you'd please leave that info on your regular thread it would be helpful. Thanks!

I'm sorry you're feeling so down. I'm not understanding why you had to stay in bed for weeks. Did you suffer a complication with your surgery? Hopefully whatever the reason, you're more mobile now.

Wondering if you have family you can reach out to? Old friends via email, text, or a phone call to say "Hey, you just crossed my mind, wondering how you're doing these days?" What about co-workers if you're still working, old co-workers, if you're no longer employed? What about a local church congregation? So many churches have various / specific groups you can join where you can meet people with the same general interests. Mojo's idea of volunteering is a great one. Anything that takes our mind off of ourselves, with the focus on others, always seems to be a natural mood lifter.

Recovery is difficult for many and losing the nagging pain is enough of a reason to go through with the surgery. You may be suffering some mental anguish, but at least the physical pain is hopefully lessened or disappeared.

Have you thought of reaching out to a counselor? Someone who could help you work toward where you want to be. There is certainly no shame in seeking help. It could be your first step toward seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Please give it some consideration.

Best wishes for your comfort and peace of mind.
 

mikeycat

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@Trudijane Could you take a course that interests you?Perhaps a craft or academic one. I don't know where you live or if you have access but it may be a thought. I am sorry you are experiencing this. It must be so difficult for you.And it is not fun when others dismiss us which appears to be happening. I would say get yourself a 'companion' of the furry sort but that too is a responsibility but another thought. I know about the empty nest syndrome--very hard-very hard as it is a purpose that has gone out the window. Volunteering may bring you in contact with others which may help you. I guess knowing others are experiencing despondency , you are not alone, may ease the burden ever so slightly I hope.But as they say all things must pass.
 
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Ryesgma

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I'm so glad that I came across this discussion I honestly thought I was going crazy , I had a hip arthroscopic surgery on my right hip in July 2018 and suffered such depression and anxiety that I had to go to counseling and get on anti depressants , I started to feel better emotionally then bam my hip went to being so bad I couldn't do anything I did before. Finally got a surgeon that would do hip replacement on someone my age , had the surgery on April 2nd 2019 and didn't start feeling depressed until 4 weeks post op . Not sure what to do this time because I'm still on my meds for depression and anxiety and still feeling like I should be further along in my recovery and pain free.
I just want to be pain free and live a normal life without surgeries and constant doctor appointments.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated , as I have no friends that live close by me , my best friend passed away from cancer 11 days after my surgery and she was my biggest cheerleader. :boohoo:
 

Trudijane

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It seems that 'depression' can hit at any time during ones recovery. Like today. I was SO depressed and not really sure exactly what I was depressed about. I felt lazy but forced myself to walk (as I do daily). But I get SO tired of not feeling totally normal - and what I mean by that is - my muscles around the surgery site are giving me a hard time (at times). I try to figure out where the pain (no not pain/just discomfort) is coming from and I just want to not be afraid to move in certain ways or fear that a certain movement will make it worse.

I can walk w/o a cane now, but I only do that around the house; when I go out, I take the cane because it gives me more confidence. I got this new ice pack that's great...I can walk around with it....I've noticed that when I sit too long, it's really hard on my muscles or is it the nerves in the area. Sometimes I feel tingling in my ankle or my quadricaps or my lateral muscle or all 3. When can I expect for this to go away? Or does anybody really know. Of course it's much better than pre-surgery when I could no longer walk due to the pain - but I would just like to walk confidently again. So, it acted up again today; and I succumbed to just relaxing in bed and watching movies. I felt like I was regressing.

So, I can understand why anybody would be depressed during the different stages of recovery. I can't help think will this ever end? Should I go to Physical Therapy? or not....Anyway, it was a depressing day. I am meeting up with a friend tomorrow who has physical problems of her own...I admire her..she is very strong.
 

Ryesgma

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@Trudijane I am going through the same thing as you are , it's so nice to know that I'm not alone in what I've been feeling and going through. I sometimes feel so alone in this journey , I feel like I should be back to normal by now and I'm not , it's so frustrating

The only upside is when I'm out and about no one can believe that I had my hip replaced just 7 weeks ago. Those kind of reactions make me feel good about myself but then when I get home and the pain sets in I feel like I'm going back a bunch of steps , I have so many days where I don't want to do anything and I feel like a failure for being so tired :groan:
 

winemama

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I am 16 weeks out on two new replacements one 4 weeks ago, one 16weeks ago. I’m feeling really depressed and tired just plain unhappy. I know it will pass, but I hate feeling this way. On top of everything else I had to go to the ER , Because my meds are upsetting my stomach, so on top of that I feel like a mud puppy. I read this site for support, and now this will pass,
 

Mojo333

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@winemama
Very beautiful avatar, by the way.
I'm sorry you are in a funk.
It's really almost expected considering all the physical trauma and stress we go through to get better!:unsure:
It WILL pass...and for me it helped to count the blessings I have.
There are folks with chronic pain or terminal conditions who don't have the possibilities we have for getting our lives back if we can just hang on there in the interim.
Sending healing vibes and I do hope you have a turnabout very soon.
Keep the faith!:console2:
 
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winemama

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@winemama
Very beautiful avatar, by the way.
I'm sorry you are in a funk.
It's really almost expected considering all the physical trauma and stress we go through to get better!:unsure:
It WILL pass...and for me it helped to count the blessings I have.
There are folks worth chronic pain or terminal conditions who don't have the possibilities we have for getting our lives back if we can just hang on there in the interim.
Sending healing vibes and I do hope you have a turnabout very soon.
Keep the faith!:console2:
Thank you so much, I know this will pass, and I need to put my big girl pants on. Thank you for the kind words
 

dapplega

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Hang in there @winemama It is good to have someone to talk to. Depression hit me hard around the 6 week mark. I wasn't expecting it and had never dealt with it before. It's great if you can handle it yourself but don't be afraid to ask for help. :)
 

winemama

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Hang in there @winemama It is good to have someone to talk to. Depression hit me hard around the 6 week mark. I wasn't expecting it and had never dealt with it before. It's great if you can handle it yourself but don't be afraid to ask for help. :)
I guess I should tell you the rest of the story, my wife was been with me through all my surgeries, had a terrible vertigo attack a week before my surgery, couldn’t get out of bed to come to the hospital with me, so when I came home she felt terrible that she wasn’t helping me, so between the two of us we’ve been a pair of sad sacks. Both of us feel terrible that we can’t take care of the other one. I know things are gonna get better one day at a time
 

Fairydell

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Nobody missed me
My heart ached for you when I read this. Please don't ever feel alone, here on Bonesmart we are all your friends. We will be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold. I have had a bit of a miserable and weepie day and understand completely how alone we can sometimes feel.
 

trenna

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Post-op blues and my pre-existing depression are really hitting me with a double whammy. I'm glad I see my NP this week because I think I need to get my anti-depressants adjusted. I feel like I did last summer when I had my mini-breakdown.

I just feel isolated even though I'm not. I'm finding I'm having a hard time focusing and am having a hard time keeping my train of thought. I don't want to do anything, and am having a hard time leaving the house when I don't have something scheduled.
 

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