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SEVERE STRESS


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#1 Catty

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:11 AM

I wanted to ask all of you how severe stress effects you? When I say severe stress...I mean like having someone pass away that you loved.
It seems I cannot handle severe stress at all. My next door neighbor recently died from Lupus...she had had Lupus as long as I have had SD...
over 25 years. I cried off and on for 3 days...not constanly but off and on...I couldn't sleep at night either. This does not sound normal to me.
I just had to ask all of you how severe stress effects you? I am blaming it on SD. I feel like I need to have something on hand to take whenever something like this happens so it will not make me so sick. I feel like my Dr. will not understand.
Hugs,
Shirley

#2 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:25 AM

Hi Catty,

I'm very sorry for your loss. Your reaction to the death of your neighbor doesn't sound extreme to me at all. My best friend is dying slowly and painfully of cancer and I look on my tears as a safety valve. Grieving is hard especially when the death of a friend causes you to come face to face with your own mortality. That can be difficult for those of us with a chronic illness that can be fatal for some.

I think you should talk to your doctor, but I doubt he'd think a prescription "to have on hand to take whenever something like this happens"was a good idea, nor do I. If it were me, I would ask for a referral to a counselor along with the prescription. We end up having to endure very stressful events throughout our lives and getting some assistance to develop good coping skills will be more healthy for you in the long run, than relying only on chemical assistance. Having said that, after a good evaluation for depression, if medication is called for, taking it is as good for a person as taking any other prescription.

Again, I'm sorry for your loss and your distress. I'll keep you in my thoughts and send you good wishes.
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#3 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:58 AM

Hello Shirley

I am sorry about your neighbour, her death is bound to cause you grief as well as make you aware of your own mortality, I don't think you should under estimate the impact of it on you.

We have a good resource about stress you may find helpful including tips for reducing it.

If you are concerned about you ability to cope, or lack of, and you think you doctor wouldn't understand maybe you need to seek referral to a counsellor. You say that you have something on hand to take in stressful situations and I am not sure this is a good, long term approach.

Severe stress now makes me feel physically ill, tired, sick and more aware of pain. Apart from trying to avoid situations I have not really thought out a coping strategy, perhaps I should.

I hope this helps and take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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#4 Catty

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:11 AM

Amanda and Jeannie. Thank you for answering me. The reason I ask this question is because I have noticed before that severe stress makes me sick I get very very tired depressed, I am not that way at normal times. I am in remission with SD and have been for quite a while now. Losing my neighbor did make me think of my own mortality because we both had connective tissue diseases and we had a bond between us because of that you know? I don't want severe stress to cause my SD to get active again you know? That is what scares me. Stress can kill us.
That is the reason I thought I might need something to calm me down to help me through situatons like this then stop taking it because I don't like taking medicine unless I absolutely have to. I am afraid that severe stress can make my SD get worse again or come out of remission....
That is my concern....
Thank you both so much,
Shirley

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:21 AM

Hi Shirley,

I'm sorry your neighbor has passed away. Please accept my heartfelt condolences; I know what it is like to lose close neighbors and friends.

In my personal (non-medical) experience, I think that insomnia and crying are perfectly normal responses to grief, and it affects us most deeply when we closely identify with those we've lost. Such as, really, this could have been you! That is a frightening thought, and normal to be upset about that, right alongside the grief. I think the usual rule of thumb they use is to give any emotional upset (a new diagnosis, grief, a big change) two weeks to get somewhat better or return to normal.

I cried my eyes out for three days, just when we gave our pet parrot up for adoption. And I thought of it as being normal, even though it was a bit embarrassing that my parrot hadn't even gotten around to dying, just being re-homed. Still, it was a loss for me and the loss of a constant source of joy from something that was part of my everyday life.

I agree with the others that it is a great idea to use this as an opportunity to find additional ways to cope with stress. We can never have too many anti-stress arrows in our quiver! But grief is what it is and it can sometimes be oddly out of proportion to our relationships, too, either seeming like it is either too much or too little, hardly ever does it feel like just the right amount. Crying is a great stress-reliever and should not be overlooked as an actual helpful coping mechanism, since it releases some calming feel-good chemicals in its wake...chemicals that are just as good, if not better, than the bottled kind, with no side effects, either.

It's normal for us to find it harder to cope with stress than the average person and all our symptoms can go crazy in the process. That's where/why we all need as many additional coping skills as we can possibly muster. And here's a coping mechanism you'll love -- a extra big warm bear hug from me, just for you!

:emoticon-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#6 ladyhawke

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 09:39 AM

I find that "any" kind of stress, makes my symptoms flare up. If I get really stressed (as in having an argument or bad news and I'm very upset, etc) I find my throat starts to cease up, my facial muscles get weird to the point where I can't pronounce my words properly, I feel it in my body muscles (weakness) etc. I would imagine that severe stress would take me off of my feet. I've blamed it on the medication more so than the disease itself. I think being on steroids for such a long period of time can do strange things to you. I'm also on imuran (150mg's). Anyway, just my thoughts. - Hugs to all - Lisa
Life is NOT meant to be a struggle. Life is meant to be joyously abundant.

#7 Catty

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:32 AM

Thank you Shelley and Lisa

Shelley....You have the ability to make a person understand things so much better. Thank you for that.

Your words made so much sense especially saying that it may take up to 2 weeks to get over this. I am already better.

Crying does make me feel better.

Also yes it could have been me and I know in time it will be me. Carol (My neighbor) had Lupus and got pneumonia. She was on a lot of medicine with one of them being a Chemo drug ( Meth something....cannot spell it? ) Anyway her pneumonia would not respond to antibiotics.

Also as far as you getting upset over your Parrot I ADORE my pets and I would have been a basket case. So I totally understand what you mean about your grief. Thank you Shelley...I am so sorry you had to lose your Parrot hon. I know that was so painful for you. Sending you BIG BIG HUGS ((((((((((HUGS))))))))))


Lisa, going by what you said that is why I wonder if Severe stress CAN make us worse. A normal person can deal with stress better then we can and it may not make them sick whereas it would us that is my concern. If I was NORMAL and I was under stress I would just go to bed and cry until I got better. I would not want to take anything as far as medicine goes but with me having SD and it being in remission....I want to keep it there.

Thanks again,

Shirley

#8 Snowbird

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 10:42 AM

Hi Catty

I too am very sorry to hear of your loss. That type of stress is perfectly normal in your circumstances of losing someone you love dearly, rest assured...but you're also right in recognizing that stress is not good for scleroderma or anything else for that matter. Give yourself a little time, if you still have great difficulty then by all means, see your doctor and discuss it with him/her. I agree, they will not likely give you anything to keep on hand...but I'm sure he/she will help you immediately cope whether it be by a small prescription to carry you through and/or counselling. You might even feel 100% better just speaking with your doctor to help alleviate your worries about making yourself sick again. My thoughts are with you.
Sending good wishes your way!

#9 Catty

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 04:20 PM

Thank you Snowbird, I appreciate your input. I was mainly concerned about the stress making my SD Worse and I don't want that.

I am not taking any med's at all so I am not one to want to take medicine...I am quite the opposite. My doctor is out of the country right now. He will be back in a couple of weeks then I will ask him what he thinks about it. I have a good friend who has had SD for 30 years now. When she is under severe stress she has a pill that helps her relax and she may take it for 2 or 3 days then she stops taking it because she is like I am in that we don't like taking meds. I just want to protect my body from what the stress can cause. I will let all of you know if he thinks I should have something to take during these stressful times.

Big Hugs to all,

Catty

#10 alice1

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:04 AM

Cathy, My doctor at Johns Hopkins keeps me on Cymbalta. He says our body are under normal stress whether we realize it or not and our SD is effected by stress and it is important to be calm. In fact, last year I had light laser on face for my telangiectasia. My husband had emergency surgery (he is fine) and all the red spots reappeared overnight. That is what stress does for us....alice1

#11 Catty

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 10:40 AM

Hi hon thank you for posting.That is what I was trying to find out from all of you who actually have this disease before I see my doctor.

I KNEW I could not handle stress because I know what it does to me. I believe that stress helped cause my SD or else played a HUGE part in it.

I don't want this disease to get any worse with me now that I am in remission. I have suffered long and hard enough nearly 30 years now.

All of us have. If anyone else pops in here please tell me how severe stress effects you.

Hugs,
Catty