Knee1 Forumss


Topic Title: depression from pain
Created On: 01/03/2003 12:40 PM
 10/29/2008 03:59 PM

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I understand where you are because I was also into all kinds of sports (football, rugby, basketball, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, etc). I grew up in Alberta, Canada, and had dreams of playing football for an American college (I was being scouted in my senior year). I started having knee problems during my last year of high school and spoke to my doctor about my prognosis if I kept playing football and/or rugby. He told me that if I continued to play, I would be on a cane by the time I was 40. I was trying to be forward thinking in terms of what my future family life would be like and decided that I would rather have many years of active living with my wife and kids than a few more years on the football field. So, in the interes of my future family I gave up football. This was a very difficult choice for me, because I was very dedicated to my training, and at age 18 was 6' 4" and 235 lbs with virtually no body fat. Most people would like at a guy my size and think that I could not jump, but I was just a few inches shy of hooking my elbow over the rim when I dunked the basketball. I am not trying to toot my own horn here, just to say that I was a tuned athlete and serious about an active lifestyle.

It's a rude awakening when you discover your mortal. I am now 40, living in Texas in a beautiful area, have five terrific kids (aged 5-14), and a wife that I am crazy about, each of which is a gifted athlete. But my dreams of being active with them have vaporized. Severe Chondromalacia Patellae, a reconstructed ankle and 6 knee scopes later, I have been robbed of my active lifestyle and I have been forced to give ALL of my sports. When I get up from a chair I walk like a 90 year old man until my knees loosen up again. Even a 15 minute family walk will leave my knees swollen and stiff. I have been told by an orthopedic surgeon that I will need knee replacement, but for now I have to make due because I am too you to be considered a candidate. I don't know what they expect me to do until they figure I'm old enough to get new knees.

The bottom line is that chronic pain sucks, and I have suffered with depression, sometimes severe, because of it. I would like to offer you a little advice as someone that truly knows how you are feeling.

- Find a pain management doctor. There are doctors that specialize in helping people with chronic pain. You do not need to endure pain when there are doctors that can help. You need to take control of your pain and remember that you have the pain, the pain does not have you. When you get with a good pain management doctor, be very open with him/her and make sure that you respect the program they put you on, i.e. don't abuse pain killers or they will cut you off in a heartbeat.

- Express who you are in alternative ways. If your body will not do everything you would like it to, find other ways to express yourself creatively. I work with wood, make handmade knives, coach one of my son's soccer teams, etc. If you keep yourself busy, the pain will move into the background and you will find happiness through other means.

- Do things that make you feel good. Read a book, watch the sun set, meditate, and if you feel inclined pray. Take time to notice the good things around you. Chronic pain can be a great distractor from the rest of the world, but if you focus on other things it will become far less of a distractor.

- Bring a few people into your circle of trust. I would advise not to tell everyone you know about your suffering because they will come to see you as a negative person. However, identify a few people that you explicitly trust and let them know what is happening with your health and ask them if you can lean on them in times of need. Ask them before you hit a low point with the depression so that you know you have a support system when you need it.

- Develop your inner spirituality. I am not going to suggest one religion or another, though I will suggest that you strive to develop your spiritual self in a way that seems appropriate to you. My hope for you is that you will come to understand that there is a purpose in all things and I would suggest that you try to gain an understanding of what it is you are supposed to get out of this situation. It could be that this will help you develop great compassion for someone else that may come to you with a similar situation.

- Learn to think positively. Your thoughts literally have a strong influence on your brain chemistry. If you learn to seek the positive in our situation and in the world around you, you will become a happier person.

I did not intend to right a book, but your comments said something to me and I wanted to share my experience with you with the hope that you will find happiness.

Good luck,

 08/15/2007 11:35 AM

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I am a 29yr old from bonnie Scotland and i feel i have come home!! I know it sounds corny but for three years of my life i have suffered from knee pain with no support from the professional side!
I have had various diagnosis about my pain, from tendonitis, to more recently chondromalacia patella. Having a name to my pain does not diminish the pain, or the reduction in my active life.
(I feel wonderful that i dont have to explain the condition that i have as everyone here understands the terms and what knee pain is!)
Basically i have found life increasingly difficult. In April of this year i broke a toe, one which i was using for balance when using the orthopedic inserts in my shoes. My balance went and i required a stick to walk. Since then i have lost my motivation to go to the gym, preferring to sit in the house and read a book. The pain is not as bad when i am in the house, but this is not good for my self esteem or my figure!
I have read a lot of posts on this site and feel hearted to know that i am not alone. When i sense that my doctor does not believe me i can take comfort knowing that there is a lot of people out there who have or experience knee pain and understand its effects on the body and the mind.

I would love to hear from anyone who has either had knee pain and got better, or going through the pain and understands where i am coming from. I have never met anyone with my condition and to know that there is other people who suffer like me i can draw strength!

Best of luck to you all.

 11/30/2006 10:24 AM

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When I was 15 i had my first knee surgery on my acl, meniscus, tendons, and a muscle graph. Then i had two more when i was 16 on my meniscus and then another one when i was 17 on my meniscus. now at 18 i hurt my knee again. I think i tore my meniscus again but the doctors are saying i didn't. I have been on crutches now for a month and a half and if anything the pain has only gotten worse. Basketball started a couple weeks ago and that's what has made me so depressed. Basketball is my favorite sport and I can't play. I can't do anything. The most fun i have is sitting at home being bored. Or trying to sleep, but I can't sleep either cause of the pain. My life has been put on hold for three years now and it really sucks. I don't understand why all of this has to happen to me and i just want to be normal. But through all of this i found my skills at art and writing so i try to make the best out of everything but i think everyone gets depressed when they are taken away from something they love and they have no control over it. You just need to find something else to keep yourself busy.
 11/18/2006 09:54 PM

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I want to SCREAM and shake all those knuckleheads in the medical profession who profess to help. After two-and-a-half years of nearly chronic knee pain, I discover from a surgeon (second opinion) more information about the condition of my knee than the entire previous two years. More importantly, I realized I was not getting the care I needed. SCREAM! The first orthopedist put me on crutches for 5 weeks in attempts to allow the necrotic bone to begin to heal. That seemed to relieve some pain. I went off crutches. Every few months I went back, with the response "You seem to be better. Come back in 2-3 months." No plan for pain management, etc. Depression set in, I went on disability at work, I got laid off, I went through all classes of meds for the depression without substantial improvement. Finally the side effects were so bad I said, "GET THESE meds OUT of my system!!" (put on 30 lbs. in a matter of weeks because the one, mirtazapine, I think, makes you eat like a horse). Thankfully, after going off those meds I was able to lose most of that weight by eating less. I still have very little activity because it brings on knee pain. I'm struggling with this medical system in which the approach, "TRY it, if it doesn't work, try another doctor", has become the necessary evil. I am disgusted by this. Guinea pigs? My family physician, thank goodness, found me a new orthopedist, who , only yesterday, got me into physical therapy. The previous orthopedist saw me for all that time and I never had any cortisone injection or physical therapy--it ended with the referral for surgery. Thank goodness I went for a second opinion at the Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC! Now I am still trying to find how I will cope with simply existing. When the phone company shut off my phone for three days because of their computer problems, a crisis evolved. I'm reaching out for help...
 09/21/2005 05:02 AM

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we can all thank the dea and the dealers for making us suffer!
 09/21/2005 04:59 AM

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well not to bring you down but i need both knees rebuilt for the depression i tried zoloft but still tried to kill myself 3 in hell right now cause of the pain and there is not a doctor around who cares about my problems ,more like they care about how much money you have!most doctors i have seen see me as a dollar or i would guess a pill junkie!well i can hardly walk i have a knee brace(what a joke)no insurance no know i would like to stick an ice pick under a doctors knee cap and ask him or her if they would like pain meds.well my life sucks for now i had to give up everything,but hey i cry everyday.I tried to get ssi medicaid any help at all and i got none.also dr. mark j blue is a joke my knee fell apart after 6 months good job !!!!!!!but he got his 30 grand and i cant walk.
 09/20/2005 03:16 AM

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Hi Sue,my name is Bill.Last November I had my left knee joint replaced,it is great pain wise,but now the right knee needs total replacement and I am suffering from depression associated with the ongoing pain,the wait for the surgery and being unable to be very active. Whilst I have approximately 90 degrees movement in the right knee,and very little if any pain,the amount of pain medication my doctor has me on for both the knee pain in the right joint and other problems with my back makes me very lethargic etc.
No denying the post knee replacement recovery time is painful for a short time,however it's well worth it given my positive result I experienced with the left one.Regards Bill
 08/20/2004 08:55 AM

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Kitty, there is a reason why others come to you for their problems, because amidst your own you are a stronger person than what you give yourself credit for, in my humble opinion. I cna surely relate to everything you say, I have three kids myself and even with any type of injury (recent ACL, meniscus, and bone fracture) everyone also seems to come to me for everything. Don't go crazy, let it make you stronger. I try to stay away from as much meds as I possibly can because of the side effects - the ones listed and those not. I also agree with having some time to yourself, even in thought - it can work wonders. Believe in yourself and you can overcome anything that life has to throw at you. I'm not a preacher, but I don't think that we are tested beyonds our means. Resolve only makes us stronger in the long run, not only for ourselves but those around us. I have to have surgery for my injuries, and I'm already looking to get back on the proverbial horse. I also think that a good support network, whether at home or online also helps a great deal, in that you are never alone! Take care.
 07/24/2004 11:35 AM

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Thanks for your suggestion. I'll give it a try. Anything is worth trying. Between the stress of pain and famly worries and worry over future surgery I think I'm going crazy sometimes. Everyone seems to come to me when they want an errand run or phone calls to be made and I can't hardly take care of myself much less everyone else. Thanks for the advice.
 07/22/2004 10:42 AM

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Hi Kitty, Just wanted to tell you that ALL narcotic pain killers make me sick. Actually, that's pretty common. The doctor gives me PROMETHAZINE to take with the Vicodin or whatever. It's similar to Dramamine. If that doesn't work, then you could try ZOFRAN, which stops vomiting. However, it is VERY expensive and my insurance won't allow but 12 at a time. I got some when I recently had shoulder surgery and the Pharmacist said 12 would cost $256.00 without insurance!!! Even with ins. the co-pay was $50. I think the Promethazine works just as well and is quite inexpensive. Call your doctor, tell them the drugs make you sick and ask for a Promethazine prescription. Post your results. Good luck.


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