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Thread: Encouraging words for someone in hospital?

  1. #1
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    Encouraging words for someone in hospital?

    We have a member in the hospital who is suicidal, suffering severe depression from dry eye pain. Many of you have been, if not there, at least near enough to "there" to understand a lot of what she is going through and why.

    If anybody has a kind, hopeful word for her I would sure appreciate if you could post it here or email it to me to pass along to her.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  2. #2
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    The only truth I can provide is this: It CAN and WILL get better.

    The only anecdote I can provide is this: Every time I think I am living a crappy life, I seem to magically run into the woman on my floor at work who has severe muscular dystrophy.

    She can barely walk and yet somehow, every day, she gets dressed, takes a taxi into work, gets to her desk with the use of her walker, jokes with her coworkers, and functions in our society.

    I would beg anyone who thinks their situation is worth suicide to dig deep, and to think of those that are worse off, yet somehow finding the strength.

  3. #3
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    I am struggling myself with pain and dry eyes. I also went to the hospital for pain that was so bad I couldn't go on and no meds at home were working. I was so depressed and suicidal at that point as well. I went from a completely competent and functioning society member to a sobbing and out of control crazy person. I cannot tell you how I managed to get out of that space, but I did. In fact, just yesterday I wondered how I did it. do I wonder if I'll go back to that again, yes, I do, and I wonder if I'll have the strength to get out of it again as well. But I also wonder about the day sometime in the future when I "get better". What if that's in only a week from now, or more likely 6 months to a year? It takes courage to go down the road we are going and I ask that you give it a little more time. It's the hardest thing I have ever been through and I don't know how we will get out of it for good, but I have a feeling we can.

    Margaret

  4. #4
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    Re: suicide

    I remember a quote that went something like this... Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

    I know that we get to points in our dry eye 'careers' when we believe that the problem is permanent. But we have to keep trying new things and live on the hope that tomorrow we'll find something that works. Then we'll be happy that we didn't choose the permanent solution of suicide.
    Last edited by spmcc; 23-Feb-2011 at 06:31.

  5. #5
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    Don't allow yourself to think to far into the future... it can be overwhelming when your eyes are out of control if you worry about all the scary possibilities.

    Instead, don't allow yourself to worry about anything more than how you will manage for the next hour... if that's too much, then just plan for the next 15 minutes. Ice cold water splashed on closed eyes over the sink can do wonders when nothing else works... repeat as often as needed to keep your sanity (even if it's every 15 minutes!)

    Hang in there!
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  6. #6
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    It took me eight years of fighting for an answer and the right combination of treatments/drugs/lifestyle changes. But I finally have my dry eye under control and feel normal again. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance and "tinkering" to find the right combination that works for you. But it IS possible.

  7. #7
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    If all else fails I think the corneas will eventually become desensitised. My dry eye is as severe (clinically) as it ever was but the severe pains are much rarer for me now, about 2 years on. Sometimes they used to be so painful I would have to stop what I was doing (pull over if I was driving) and hold my eyes closed and just stand there for a few minutes praying it would stop. Now they still get painful and uncomfortable but not to the extent that they prevent me from doing my job or any other day to day activities. So, even without much treatment things have improved for me, and I believe this is due to desensitisation of my eyes.

    (Sorry if this isn't encouraging I'm not good at this stuff)

  8. #8
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    Hi!

    I think it is important to have a good support system (i.e., family members, friends, co-workers, support groups ) who you can empathize with and interact with.

    It is also important to have a good eye doctor who really has the expertize in treating dry eye symptoms and shows empathy.

    I know what is like to have a chronic illness and many a times I have felt despairing and helpless about it. However, because I belong to a support group where I can talk about my feelings to the other members who listen to my stories, I know that I have a place to go to where I can voice my feelings and receive encouragement and advice. Therefore, I suggest that you join a support group with members, who share your affliction and know what you are going through because they have been there to.

    Pam

  9. #9
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    Holding the faith and the hope.

    I have also been hospitalized in the past from other medical issues as well, some of which I've been struggling with since the age of 18. All I can say, is when you don't have the faith and hope to hang on, let others hold that faith and hope for you. Lean on them. I was fortunate that over the years, sometimes I had others who helped support me, and other times, I don't know. I believe I have a whole host of guardian angels. I thank God for everyone here, as well, because I didn't expect to develop severe DES and EBMD, RCEs too. But what's keeping me going is the support, and all the hope.

    As someone else here said, take it minute by minute. And know that we are holding the faith and hope for you.

    Maria

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAAG View Post
    Don't allow yourself to think to far into the future... it can be overwhelming when your eyes are out of control if you worry about all the scary possibilities.
    Unfortunately we sometimes have to, as when these conditions stop you from working your life may face enormous and painful changes.

    I'm currently paying a lot of money for the use of a print studio I haven't been able to use since last September, as well as not being able to work. This is the second time this has happened, I gave up my previous career 10 years ago because of other autoimmune health problems. As a result, I've been stuck at home, haven't had any interaction with other people (no one has bothered finding out how I am) and I really have to make a decision soon as I am losing money all the time. However, having to finally admit that working with volatile substances isn't compatible with dry eye, and give this up as well will probably push me over the edge.

    I'm sorry, I know this doesn't help your friend but I fully understand why people can easily become suicidal over this; for some people there will be no bearable solutions.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by y-gwair View Post
    Unfortunately we sometimes have to, as when these conditions stop you from working your life may face enormous and painful changes.
    Believe me, I understand that... in April of 2009, my eyes took a nosedive... it was so bad, I literally spent several waking hours per day with my eyes shut and cold compress on them.. my eyes burned all the time, often I had no tears even if I CRIED, I couldn't bear to keep them open. I would have been incapable of working at all during that time (thankfully, I was on maternity leave at that time)... this state of affairs lasted MONTHS. That's when my life in goggles began, I gave up reading (could not even read an article in the newspaper... had to switch to audiobooks), was unable to watch even a single TV program (had to satisfy myself with listening to my favourite shows with a cold cloth over my closed eyes, couldn't even handle freaking cooking (didn't blink enough when chopping food etc. I guess... then if frying something, OMG, not a good thing for my eyes) etc. When I was in that state, believe me, I could completely understand the appeal of ending it all, especially if I thought about my future - the future seemed too scary with eyes like that...

    So while I appreciate that eventually one DOES have to think about the future, if you're in the midst of a huge depression, I think for many people all one CAN do is think just an hour ahead... things don't seem as bad when you're dealing with it an hour at a time.... or 15 minutes at a time... Can I survive this misery for 15 minutes? Yes. Can I survive like this until next month? the answer might be no... better not even to go there if that's the case, right?

    Sometimes it's helpful to put off thinking about the future for a week or two... or a month or two if you have to... just do what you have to do to make yourself feel like life is livable right this minute.

    Anyhow, so as not to be depressing, and hopefully to give some hope to whoever this is in the hospital right now, I just want to make sure they know that my eyes are nowhere near as bad as they were that summer... I now work 20 hours per week, read the newspaper, use the computer a few hours per day, watch as much TV as I want, I cook again (even fry stuff on the stove in comfort) etc... so life is much better now. I no longer have much burning (it's the exception now, rather than the rule).... if I'm careful, I don't even notice my eyes most of the time. So there's hope... if you're in a bad place, just keep fighting as best you can... it WILL get better. My eyes are still crazy dry, but they are now manageable. Most importantly, I've figured out how to be really, honestly happy... even with the challenges I face with my eyes on a daily basis. If you give yourself enough time, you'll figure this out too... just wait and see...
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  12. #12
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    The other thing is that anxiety and depression can have a hugely suppressive effect on the function of some exocrine glands. I certainly have found that with dry mouth problems, and I'm sure it probably applies to lacrimal function as well. It can be easy to get into a Catch 22 situation, where anxiety about the dryness can cause more dryness, and thus depression/anxiety. I'm never sure when I'm having a flare of 'sicca' symptoms how much of the dryness is down to the condition, and how much is a product of the stress of it. Unfortunately most of the drugs used to treat depression/anxiety also depress saliva/tear function. They might be helpful in really severe cases of depression. There are medicines like pilocarpine that can stimulate both saliva/tear function in people with sicca or medication-related dryness, though they can have some unpleasant side-effects (sadly I had a really acute reaction to pilocarpine, yet another option closed down for me).

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