How to cope with "giving up"?
February 15, 2006 at 1:06 am #11837
I hope this will post!
Hans is becoming very depressed and hopeless. Even though he is on Hydroxyurea for the time being and his white count has gone down to about 20 from 58 just a week or so ago, he persists in thinking the worst. The high dose of the med is making him feeling lousy, is making him hoarse, etc, so I can understand his lack of enthusiasm. I am not one to carp at a person to be positive, which I think can actually be cruel. However, he keeps making comments about being half-dead already, etc. He’s having anxiety attacks when trying to fall asleep, not sleeping well, despite taking 1 mg Ativan at night. I’m afraid his mindset is going to hasten his illness. He just seems to be giving up. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to cope with this?
EsmeFebruary 15, 2006 at 2:00 am #11838TerriMember
I Hope Hans starts feeling better, What a change in his WBC, It seems the drug must be working. I hope Hans feels and starts seeing his improvement so that he is not so down.
Prayers are with you bothFebruary 15, 2006 at 2:19 am #11839
I am very sorry.
Do you think it may be possible that some of the drugs could be affecting Hans’ moods and be amplifying the negativity and anxiety? Ativan is pretty strong so for it not to be working properly makes me wonder if there is something synthetic blocking it. I ask this because we just went through something similar with Dad when he was so sick. He used the phrase ‘halb tot’ at least 20 times a day. His will to survive seemed to disappear altogether. As he got taken off different drugs the will returned. Maybe it may help you if you speak to a doctor about it. He/she may be able to suggest some coping mechanisms.
I think of you often and hope that things will improve soon.
CarolineFebruary 15, 2006 at 2:51 am #11840
Caroline, I never thought of the Ativan being blocked. He’s been taking 1 mg for pretty much the past year, every night, and it worked until recently. I just assumed that with one more treatment not successful (the last experimental drug) he is running out of hope, which I could entirely understand. I’m not saying he hasn’t been depressed and anxious before this, because he has — but it was at a different stage of his disease. I will definitely speak to his doctor; also, when I saw our GP recently and told him what was going on, he expressed a desire to see Hans himself, just to keep up with him. Hans was mystified as to why the GP would want to see him, but I think it was probably just this sort of thing.
I realy don’t want to give up hope! Hans is still in pretty good shape. I know it’s hard for him to be positive at this stage, especially when he isn’t feeling very well. It’s so painful to see him going through this mental anguish.
Thanks again, Terri & Caroline.
EsmeFebruary 15, 2006 at 3:47 am #11841sarahMember
Esme, I know how very tough this is. I will keep you and Hans in my thoughts and prayers.February 15, 2006 at 4:12 am #11842dinerMember
I for sure would check with the doctors about what he taking that may be causing him to be depressed. Medicines can do good things and bad too. I will keep you both in my prayers.
DeeFebruary 15, 2006 at 4:42 am #11843bhansonMember
Esme, I have empathy for you and for Hans. Has he ever been on an antidepressant? Ativan is a good sleep agent, but it also acts as a tranquilizer and can be a depressant. My husband takes an antidepressant like paxil and so do I. I also use ativan to sleep because of my own med problems. Without paxil to go along with it, I am a basket case. There are a lot of good antidepressants on the market. They work on the chemicals in the brain, so they are not habit forming and they can be used temporarily to get a person past a bad time. Hope Hans sees a much better tomorrow. When I read the treatments that Hans and others on this forum are going through, I can’t help thinking of how brave they are. Best wishes for you and Hans, Bonnie and BernardFebruary 15, 2006 at 4:44 am #11844
Sarah & Dee, thanks for your prayers and advice.
I’m feeling a bit better right now. We had a nice evening watching some TV, and I got ready for bed early so Hans could go to sleep without being disturbed. I’m sleeping on the couch so as not to bother him. Much as I want to sleep next to him, I really want him to get some better quality rest.
EsmeFebruary 15, 2006 at 4:44 am #11845pattiMember
Boy, I really have to echo what everyone else is saying. Check those meds. It’s possible the new trial drug is mixing differently with the other drugs in his body. Sometimes these things happen as soon as someone starts a new drug but sometimes it can take weeks to hit a person. I say call the doc and go. In the meantime, try warm milk with the ativan or even better, valerian root. Both will be fine with the ativan. Valerian root will help him get to sleep and the ativan (hopefully) can keep him asleep. Maybe once he’s asleep he’ll be fine. Valerian root is actually an anti-anxiety which helps to calm the mind thus promoting sleep.
hang in there.
pattiFebruary 15, 2006 at 5:01 am #11846
Wow, lots of good ideas. Thank you Patti and Bonnie. I take Ativan, too, but only .5 mg. I tried Paxil my self about 3 years ago for anxiety, but it made me feel so terrible that I stopped it after 12 days. Felt like I had the flu all the time. I decided my anxiety wasn’t bad enough to go through that — and started the Ativan at night, only when I was feeling really anxious. My anxiety attacks always happened while trying to fall asleep, so I know exactly how Hans feels, though I’m sure he’d say, “It’s not the same — you weren’t dying!” Anyway, once he was diagnosed I started taking it every night, and it still works for me.
I will see if he will try the Valerian. I’m hesitant to push too many pills on him. It can become overwhelming! Is there any chance of it upsetting the stomac? because his stomach is pretty touchy right now, at times.
We are hanging in. I feel like I now have some way in which to handle this problem, some things to try. Many thanks!
EsmeFebruary 15, 2006 at 6:15 am #11847
I wonder if you can get Valerian Root in tea form? You could both have a cup of Valerian Root tea with some honey while watching TV before bed and you wouldn’t be upsetting Hans with the idea of ‘more pills’. We do that with Opa at night. I go over with my knitting and we all have a cup of Chammomile tea. He thinks we all enjoy the flavour but Mom is really having us drink it for his health. I think it is to settle him down. I love the taste of it so I don’t mind drinking it at all. If we try to give Dad anything in pill form, he is beginning to buck it. He even started boycotting the yogurt therapy for his bowels until his sweet granddaughter told him that she would sleep much better at night knowing that he eats it for health. I don’t consider it deceitful to change the way we get someone to take forms of medicine if it will help them. I would hope that someone would do that for me if I was too sick or anxious to help myself.
Keep in touch. Best of luck.
CarolineFebruary 15, 2006 at 7:40 am #11848pattiMember
Usually, you can take anything that’s in capsule form (I should specify herbs) and make them into a tea. Caroline has an excellent idea. You can empty two (2) capsules of valerian root into a flour sack type bag (you can make these yourself by cutting up a flour sack and just using string to tie it at the top after you have the powder in the “bag” and steep it for awhile. If Hans will do that I think it will really help. I actually like the tea idea even better because the combonation of something warm with the anti-anxiety herb should be very soothing to him. If he won’t do the tea then empty the capsules into some pudding, applesauce, etc. Anything you know he’ll eat for a bedtime snack and give it to him that way. Then he won’t even know. I have never had valerian root cause any stomach issues. I would say to have him take it with something in his stomach just to somewhat protect his stomach since he’s sensitive. But honestly, I’ve never heard of it being hard on the stomach. Doesn’t hurt to take that precaution of mixing it with something though. And it really doesn’t have to be anything heavy. Just so there’s something else in his stomach. If you do it as a tea I don’t think you’d need to do anything. If you can’t get the valerian root into Hans at all, go for the warm milk. The tryptophan enzyme that is produced from warming the milk will do wonders. And it’s not the tryptophan they had to pull from over the counter sales!
Caroline, you’ve got good ideas for folks. You can tell you’ve been through a lot – learned a lot. Sometimes we learn what works the hard way but sharing with others is such a help to so many more.
Take care Esme.
PattiFebruary 15, 2006 at 7:51 am #11849sugarwhaleMember
This is a very unorthodox idea, but it can’t hurt a thing! This is the time of year when one can suffer from S.A.D.: Seasonal Affective Disorder. Briefly put, this is where a person feels lousy and down-in-the-dumps because they haven’t had enough DAYLIGHT! Solution: Take Hans out into the daylight for 20 minutes each day.
Ok, I really think it’s the medicines which have some side effects. However, the sunshine cure can’t hurt! Now, in Ontario you don’t get as much sun as we do here. But that’s good. Just get out into the daylight!
‘Hope this somehow helps! It can’t hurt! It also might just give Hans something nice to look forward to!
Best of wishes!
~~~ JanetFebruary 15, 2006 at 3:12 pm #11850
More good ideas! I hope other people with similar problems are reading this!
I have one question about the Valerian root tea.
Does it stink as much as the capsules? Because they smell like dirty feet! That probably wouldn’t bother Hans, as he loves to eat some foul-smelling Tilset cheese which I can’t stomach because of the smell! Even though the taste is fairly mild. When he keeps it here it smells like something died in the fridge!
EsmeFebruary 15, 2006 at 3:38 pm #11851
Is another name for Tilset cheese, Gwagel? My spelling is wrong but if you sound it out with a German accent, you might get what I am trying to say. It is light yellow or sort a creamy colour? Oh boy..we picked some of that up at Denninger’s for Dad a couple of months ago. I had to pull over before we even left Hamilton and put it in the trunk of the car. Dad thought it was such a treat when we gave it to him. He ate the whole piece for supper and loved it. I grew up with it in the house but I have never tasted it. I wonder why???
Patti: I never thought of putting the powder into applesauce or pudding. I can tell you have small children. hehe I used to try anything to get them to eat healthy foods.
Janet: SAD…another great thought. Our weather has been queer this winter. Will Hans go for a little walk everyday, Esme?
I hope you have a better day today.
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