Author Topic: Suicide  (Read 11609 times)

kwolfsheimer

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Suicide
« on: June 18, 2012, 06:03:45 PM »
This is an awful topic but I feel like I need somebody who is in my shoes to talk to. I have SJS, Lupus, RA, and now maybe Scleroderma. My doc says definite mix of connective tissue disorder. Things with my disease are progessing very fast, I am having organ damage, loss of feeling in my extermities, loss of vision,loss of my hair,  loss of my mind (that's the hardest). I am sooo tired. I wake up tired, I go to bed at 5:00 PM and usually stay in bed all night. I hurt really badly-- it is difficult for me to walk, to sit long. I have absolutely no tears or spit and even maxing out my Saligen, I still have to soak my food in water, gravy, and something creamy.I'm not allowed to wear contacts at all and when I do, I often can not get them out without tearing my eye or stressing it (I have to soak my eyes for an hour to even rehydrate the lens enough to not tear-- that's on top of using drops all night)!

I am a full-time teacher with many out of school obligations. It kills me. I can't do it and this provides the most sadness. I rarely cook dinner and when I do, I make my husband's plate and then just go upstairs. i eat only two meals a day.

I should probably apply for disability-- that might help take some stress off my life-- and then I could just work as I want, either part-time or volunteer.

But I feel like this sudden downfall with my body is a sign that I need to evaluate what is important in my life-- what is living and what is not living. I know that people are very opposed to suicide. I am not. One of my student's father committed suicide after suffering terribly with esophogeal cancer. It was right before her graduation and all people could say was how selfish this man was-- how dare he.  Except me. I was proud for him, sad for him, knew him and how he felt. I'll admit that I was jealous of him and his strength and courage.

I ordered the book "The Final Exit." It didn't really tell me anything that I didn't already know, but I felt so much peace being able to hear other people's questions and stories. It gave me hope-- which is something I have't had in awhile.

I'd appreciate knowing how you feel generally about this-- yes or no.  Would you ever consider it? Do you know anybody who was successful and what did they do?  Anybody who tried and failed, but had a reconsideration afterwards?

Don't considerate this a negative, complaining looking for attention inquiry, but instead a post where we can share without judgement. Thx!

Gayle

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 06:27:23 PM »
Hi Kwolfsheimer,

I understand completely. I also agree people should have those choices for themselves and even to be assisted by a doctor if possible.

 I also have had a suicide (completely understandable) in my family and KNOW firsthand, the pain and anguish that to this day continues, it has been 17 years. So while I never want to be so bad that I can't dig my way out and yet I know if I am - I want that option. The only thing that stops me - and it completely stops me- is what it does to those you love and who love you. It is not just a husband or a kid or a grandchild or the neighbor... it is the whole community who grieves. Your a teacher, so the whole school would be effected. It effects everyone. Yes, I agree that father may have had a good reason to be despondent but he was incredibly selfish to do this right before his daughters graduation. She is a kids for crying out loud... we all have to make better choices and decisions.

It is best I think to have a living will, make sure your dr's have it, the hosp, your husband, who ever is in charge and be proactive in your care. Let it be known that when your not able to be proactive, what YOU want. BE VERY CLEAR ON THIS>

Get a second (third or forth) opinion about your diagnosis and treatment. Make sure you are getting everything you can for help. Get an antidepressant - yes, you need one, we all do. If you are on one, it is not enough.

 You do have choices, just know you are not the only one to bear any result. Talk to your husband, maybe he could help with more. Maybe you SHOULD file for disability... then you can do things that you love when you feel up to it. If it is teaching, there are many things you can do even when on disability.

 You have many options still and yet, yes, I understand - completely. Sending you a hug and prayers up high to hold you gently through a tough time, that WILL get better.

 Quit wearing contacts... :)

Gayle

cargillwitch

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 06:42:51 PM »
interesting timing- not sure where you are situated on this turning globe but Canada just Friday legalized  doctor assisted suicide.

 I think we all like to have  some control in what feels like an out of control situation. I VERY much do.

I also don't know that I would choose this option- but I really feel that it should be my choice to die as I see fit.I do not want to endure years of painful suffering when no quality of life could ever be recovered.

I do think  that you can do some things to make you feel you have more control of your life now.

Could you work part time?  seek more aggressive treatment if you feel the risks outweight how you are doing emotionally and physically right now?
47 female, Sjogrens ,Raynauds,degenerative disc disease.Rheumatoid Arthritis, gastroparesis.

sass

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 07:10:15 PM »
OK,
 first let me be the first to tell you that I may not be the one to talk to.  But I hear your pain and I feel your anguish.  Yes, I have been there.  Many of us have. 
It is a difficult subject to talk about, but I applaud you for speaking out.

Personally, I suffer from many, many health issues.  And don't think that I believe any of this is easy.  Have I thought about how much easier it would be to not have all this and be away from here.  Certainly, it has crossed my mind.  I have felt like a burden to my family, as this is not what they signed on for.  Who wants a wife that can't hardly walk, can't cook, is tied to an oxygen bottle.  Who  wants a mother that drags around a tank, can't shop , don't like to get dressed up to go to a function.  One that falls asleep in a conversation.  One that can't help you with your newborn baby.  Yes, I know what it feels like.  we mostly all do. 

The thing about us are we are right there with you.  And we are here to try and pick you up out of the place that you have found yourself in.  And , it can't be done with a pick yourself up and wipe yourself off attitude that so many outsiders would offer.

We Got you!! We want you to spill your most tender thoughts, your most deep inhibitions that you would not talk to others about.  We are a most diverse group.  And I for on cannot type worth a darn..

There are all different things that pull us thru, humor, tears,  yes dry tears., prayer, a lot of prayer and the ability to talk to each other, to  turn to someone else. 

I get why you thought it was a release for the father that committed his life away to death.  I had an uncle that almost did kill himself.  And another one that many years later did.  Brothers.  Why did one change his mind and the other not?
The one that did not was in terrible pain.  Lung and Bone Cancer.  So many years ago that there was very little that anyone could or would do.  I was 16.  I am now 53.

I remember his story so well. like yesterday.  One of my most important lessons in life I have ever had.  Uncle Willard!  How I loved him. Smart and Fun.  His fingers gnarled with arthritis so badly that he had to drink coffee from a saucer that his wife placed between his bent and raggedly fingers.  All of my Daddy's family had those fingers.  Bent over crippled. 

Uncle Willard told my Father and I that he was racked with pain.  He had thought he just couldn't go on any longer.  He waited until his family had all left for the afternoon, begging off from being too tired,  He watched his wife, two daughters and four grandchildren..one boy and three girls drive away.  He coughed and hacked for a while and went to his bedroom where he removed his gun.  As he loaded it, he thought of how it was his fathers gun, handed to him the oldest boy of 12 kids, he said it crossed his mind, ha, how lucky he was to be the oldest boy, to get this treasured gun, the only one the family had and now it would get to go to his only grandson.  Ohhh, but wait,  would he want this gun that killed his grandfather?  They are so close!  No, he wouldn't.  He was 12 and would know the significance.  And what type of example was he setting for him and the other granddaughters?  That when the going got too tough to just quit, like he was doing.  He held the gun and began to cry.  His suffering was more than he can take.  But the thought of letting his family down like that was more painful.  And the treasured gun would become hated and cast away.  A poor thought for something his father had loved so much, that had fed their family of 14.  It would be a disrespect to his family and his father. 
Now that was his story, not mine.  It was something that stuck with me, of how I can be a stepping stone in someones life, instead of a stumbling block.  I did not know then I would have this illness all these years later.  But it has cradled me thru many a night and day.

see next post

sass

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 07:10:57 PM »
Now, my Uncle Wade,  much younger .  The baby of the family.  Loved being around him.He made me laugh.  Not too much older than myself.  Married, 2 kids, Great Job, Money, Drinking, Loss of Job, Loss of Wife, Loss of kids.  His Drinking was his downfall>  Bless His Heart!  He never heard his older brothers' story, as we were asked to keep it a secret.  Uncle Willard did not want others to know. 

All his brothers and sisters reached out to him, gave him places to live, got him jobs, bought him vehicles, but they couldn't give him back his job or wife or family or his self-respectl  They had no idea he was considering thisl  He died alone in a hotel room.  The family was frantically trying to find him when he didn't show up home.  He paid for 2 nights and laid there alone.  He had no one left for him to set an example for and none to set.  He thought he had nothing to live for.  But his wife felt so guilty she drank herself into oblivion and theb to death.  His children were lost,  they turned to liquor and pills and one eventually got himself together and became a minister.  To help stop others from this pain. 

Now I see why you feel like this father you know had courage.  He was in pain and was out of his mind in turmoil.  But what did he leave his daughter?  His family?   Did he lift her up with his death?  I don't know> I can't say!    I am only giving you something else to think of while you are thinking and reading along these lines.  Will you give your students a gift for life in taking your own.  Will you show them how to be strong and courageous? 

I for one, certainly hope you stay around and join us in helping others.  Your story can save many lives.  When you are at the bottom, you can't fall any further.  Let us help you to find the ladder out of there.  We hurt, we hurt with you.  We love and we love you!

I am certainly not judging you, for that is not my job!  My job is to offer you hope.  I will Pray that you stay!    ~sass~

Meld256

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 07:29:16 PM »
Kwolfsheimer,

I'm glad that you know we can bring up any topic to discussion here, with no judgement.  That said, I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling so with your health, and that your issues have become much worse lately.

I think you're right; from time to time we need to assess what's important to us and what is living to us.  Of course, we all have things we have control over and those that we have no control over. 
Unfortunately, with our illnesses, it seems that's a bit out of our control somewhat.  I try to look at what I CAN still do in spite of things, and now that I am no longer working, it gives me more time to do what I feel like when I feel like doing it.  This is a huge positive to my emotional and physical health.

I think you still have quite a few options under your control!  If I remember correctly, you're not just a teacher, but a professor and it's a rather overwhelming position.  Not that teachers aren't wonderful, but I seem to remember you are in a high-stress position. Please correct me if I'm wrong. :)

I know you must love teaching, but as you say, if you aren't able to enjoy life while still doing it, perhaps it's time to quit and file for disability.  Or perhaps there is a teaching position part time that would help.  It sounds as if it's really time to make a change in regard to your work, first of all.  That's just my take on it.

Yes, in answer to your question; I have known someone who took their own life, my oldest sister.  Please understand that my experience was life-changing for me and my entire family.

She was married and had 3 young children, and had dealt with depression for years.  She shot herself one morning after her teacher-husband had gone to school.  She was a beautiful, intelligent woman, a registered nurse.  She left us all wondering and always grieving.  Her children grew up with no mother, we got older without our sibling, and our parents never recovered. 

I know mine is an extreme experience and you're talking about people who are very ill physically and see no other choice.  I would ask that you please look at all your choices; you really have a lot to give as a person whether you are teaching or not and I'm guessing your husband would prefer to see you feeling more alive on a daily basis. 

Please know that you can share anything here with us, we care and we will listen. 
Melinda

Jennyfoo

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 07:58:15 PM »
I do not oppose suicide as a means to end extreme suffering. I wish assisted suicide was not illegal. I've contemplated it. I will do it when I'm older, if things get too awful with no hope of relief. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the spine, but I'm one of the lucky ones who has pain in nearly every joint in my body. It also causes enthesitis, inflammation where tendons & ligaments meet bone. I've suffered from severe carpal tunnel in both wrists, ulnar nerve compression in both arms from golfer's elbow, Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, etc, etc. I also have Fibromyalgia, some form of dysautonomia that makes me sweat buckets when my body is under any kind of stress & unable to regulate my temperature, inverse psoriasis which is horrifically painful, chronic migraines due to a Chiari malformation(brain herniates into my spinal canal & screws up cerebrospinal fluid pressure), & the list goes on.

I went from crazy busy, driven OCD supermom to being mostly housebound. I have 3 kids who all have special needs due to prenatal drug use by their birth mothers & my bio kid has Aspergers. They exhausted me before my AS took off running & I developed all these other problems. Now I'm just thankful my husband's work has allowed him to work almost exclusively from home in order to help me, but I'm tired of sleeping in his office. I want my bedroom back. I can't take decent naps because he's on conference calls all the time.

It's been so hard to lose the ability to do all I did. I landscaped, gardened, & was fixing up my house before I gt so sick. My yard that I broke my back(literally) landscaping, is completely overgrown & a giant mess. My house is a mess & it drives me nuts! I was an OCD neat freak. This disease has taken so much from me, robbed me of the ability to be a good mom to my kids.  But a broken, housebound mom is better than no mom. I hang in there for them & for my husband. If it weren't for them, I'd not be here. They keep me going. I love my family. & I could not do that to them. But when my kids are grown, if this disease keeps progressing so quickly, if I'm so miserable I can't stand living, I won't any more. I will OD on my pain meds & muscle relaxers.

Aquarius

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 08:10:41 PM »
Hello kwolfsheimer,

It is understandable the great pain that drives someone to suicide.  I hold no judgment.  But I have done a lot of reading on metaphysical subjects.  Very well known mediums who claim to communicate with souls that have passed over, write repeatedly that a person who takes their life regrets it.

My own personal belief is that there are a few things in life that are fated.  These include the day we are born and the day we are meant to leave.  Suicide interrupts the blueprint.  This seems risky on a whole lot of levels. 

If you are deteriorating rapidly and the diseases are affecting your organs, you may not need to do anything proactively.  In your advanced health directive explicitly state you want no extraordinary measures to prolong your life.  You let nature takes its course which is not suicide.  If you do not have a health directive, it would be a good idea to establish one now.


   

slccom

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 08:30:35 PM »
Kwolfsheimer, I'm so sorry you are suffering so. I would like to echo the advice to get your depression treated effectively. It often takes many tries of different medications to find what works best for you. And do get yourself an electric wheelchair or scooter. It will make a world of difference for you. And no, it isn't "giving up." The only thing walking is good for is getting from point "A" to point "B." If you are too exhausted or in too much pain when you get to Point "B" to do what you intended to do, or to remember what you intended to do, it is time to start using wheels. You can see an occupational therapist about ways to compensate for a missing mind. I lost mine 20 years ago, and have come to realize that the brain damage I suffered at birth was far more serious than anyone realized. My ability to form memories is greatly damaged, but I have decided that my spiritual self is doing the remembering for me, and I'll be able to know then. In the meantime, I have found that an absent mind is a great exercise program! And it often leads to amusing situations. I refuse to be embarrassed about any of my disabilities, or to feel inferior because of them.

I truly can't imagine the burden you are carrying. Unfortunately, this society does not value people with disabilities and illnesses, which is tragic. Many temporarily able-bodied people think, "I could never live like that. If I couldn't do [fill in the blank] I would not want to live." Well, when the loss hits, you learn to find new things that give you joy. I know one man who was a professional musician who went deaf. He became an audiologist and worked to help others with hearing loss. He is always laughing.  In the end, it isn't what you do that counts, it is who you are.

You are a very important person to a large number of people. Your family: what I remember of my parents is their character, how they dealt with having a child with disabilities, losing another child at birth, aging parents, and many other challenges. They found a way to find the joy (for the most part -- my mother refuses resolutely to ever treat her hereditary depression) and grow as people. The influence of my adopted grandmas was wonderful advice and memories they shared, and conversations that I would never have been able to have with my parents. My friends with disabilities constantly amaze me with their insight, advocacy, creativity and laughter. We share some tears as well, and grief as our abilities diminish with aging and the progression of our assorted conditions. Your students look up to you as a person with information and wisdom and insight and advice.It isn't what you DO with others; it is who you are. You can be sure that they see the strain on you, as do your coworkers and friends and family.

It sounds like the best expression of your wisdom now is to quit and go on disability. After you have had some time to recover your bearings, and get more rest, you'll see your life differently. You'll see new opportunities that you can't see in your current exhaustion.

You are so important to so many others; you teach in so many ways, and reach so many people. You have immense worth, and I hope you don't decide to end your life without getting all the help you can and spending some quality time with others with serious disabilities.

I do understand some suicides. My Grandma June killed herself as an elderly woman when she developed an untreatable disease that caused massive pain that could not be controlled. She truly had reached the end of the road, and her decision made perfect sense. There was no future for her that was not pure agony.

It doesn't sound like you are there yet. I like the advice of Dr. Phil. He says of divorce, you have to earn your way there. You have to seek counseling, to do everything you can to save the marriage. I believe that the same is true of ending your life. You have to earn your way there, and it looks like you still have options.

Hang in there! Hugs, Sharon
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:51:58 PM by slccom »

Carebear

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 08:34:39 PM »
Dear Kwolfsheimer,

Wow.  I thought for some time before beginning my reply.  Please understand that this comes from my heart, from my own personal experience.  It is not meant to be a judgement of you or anyone else. 

I believe that all life has value.  I believe that your life has value, because you were born.

My only sibling committed suicide thirty years ago.  He was brilliant, well respected in a highly technical field of research, had two beautiful little children and a lovely wife.  He was my big brother.  One day, while staying at a friend's home, he locked himself in the garage and started his car.  He laid down on the concrete floor with his head near the exhaust, crossed his arms and died.  During that time, a telephone call came in for him.  His friend's wife thought that my brother was working on his car, so she just took a message.  She has never gotten over that.  My family never got over it.  It literally took my mother's life, she was so grief stricken.

All life has value.  I value your life.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:37:16 PM by Carebear »
Sjogren's syndrome, RA,  Raynaud's phenomenon, Celiac Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Grave's Disease, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Cervical Stenosis

Gabapentin, Methotrexate, Synthroid, Dexilant, Domperidone, Metronidazole, Pennsaid, folic acid.

slccom

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 08:54:05 PM »
I'm so sorry, CareBear. What a huge loss! But how much pain your brother must have been it to do that. And how sad that he didn't seek help for it. Hugs, Sharon

Carebear

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 08:59:28 PM »
Thank you Sharon for your kind comment.  I didn't mean to hijack Kwolfsheimer's thread, but as you can tell, it remains a highly emotional issue for me.   Unfortunately this happened in a time when mental health was not taken very seriously. 
Sjogren's syndrome, RA,  Raynaud's phenomenon, Celiac Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Grave's Disease, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Cervical Stenosis

Gabapentin, Methotrexate, Synthroid, Dexilant, Domperidone, Metronidazole, Pennsaid, folic acid.

irish

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 09:03:41 PM »
k, I applaud your ability to tell us how you are feeling. It must have been hard to share this as it is a very private thing.

I have considered the "s" word and I would not hesitate to say that anyone who has not had at least a fleeting thought of suicide is probabaly lying to themself and to others. No one has a life that is without suffering and most of us get up against the wall at times--this is the human condition.

I look at this from a different perspective. First of all, I have never, and probably never will, thought that this is a sin, althought doesn't seem to be up there with one's proudest moments. My thinking comes from working as a nurse with patients in all sorts of pain and anguish.  I also worked with a lot of hospice patients and this sure affected my thinking on death specifically and in general.

I have to say that being in pain is not what any of us want. The big thing is to get the best pain control possible by finding good people in pain clinics who can work with you. The second thing is to accept what is happening to your body. Is it what you want?? No way! Will it kill you?? Probably, but I have learned that the human spirit is so strong that it can learn to accept and live with many limitations and still be of intrinic value in this life.

Will you be setting the world on fire? No! But, your body is but one part of what makes "you". You have a mind and a spirit and these are what is important in this life. It is almost unimaginable what a person can do with both a mind and spirit. You may not be able to do much for your family, but the most important thing you can do is to be there to give love, understanding and support.

These 3 things are so important to adults and very important to our kids of any age. The thing I learned working with hospice is that people want to die when they hurt, and when the hurt isn't as bad they lose that urge. Human life is very precious and fragile and people need to be around as long as possible to help with the continuation of the maturing and "finishing" of their famly.

I can't tell you how heartwarming and spiritual it is to see broken relationships healed when people are in hospice. If they had commmitted suicide this never would have happened. We all need to have these moments in our lives on the way to dying. Let nothing ruin our relationships with others of importance. If "we" do what "we" want and commit suicide we have prevented natures masterpiece---the intertwinning of souls with resultant peace.

The most horrible death I have ever seen was not a suicide, but it might as well have been. I took care of a 30+ year old Japanese bride (army wife) with a small child. She had terminal breast cancer. Her in-laws had the child. Her husband had divorced her. Her father in Japan had disowned her because she had married outside her race and left her home land. She knew very few people and could not speak much English.

The Methodist minister from that town knew of her and would visit. He spoke of her aloneness.
She suffered mentally(beyond belief) and physically because there was no hospice in those days in the US. This girl had a broken spirit and so did her relatives. It has stuck with me all these years as being one of the most horrible ways to die. The fear on her face was terrible.

Page 2 coming up Irish

season

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 09:09:15 PM »
I have had suicide occur in my family and it is so painful. the person is gone and it only leaves heartaches for those that loved them.

Why didn't I love them enough?

Why did they want to leave those that loved them?

How could I have helped them more?

Am I partly to blame because I couldn't be there when they needed me?

Why is their pain so great, that they want to leave?

I have asked these questions and more. If assisted suicide is legalized, I think these and more questions should be answered by the person requesting assistance.

I have lost two brothers, neice, nephew, and an uncle to suicide.

irish

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Re: Suicide
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2012, 09:17:28 PM »
The emotional impact of a parent commiting suicide seems to me to be unacceptable. I would not want my children to remember that. I would not want my husband or my friends to have to deal with it either.

But, it seems that you have a lot of options. As you shared your information I could see a very tired, depressed, stressed out, bitter, angry and sick woman. You are exhausted from your illness, the medical visits, trying to look like a mother and a wife and trying to hold down a job.

The answer!!! Quit the job and get your emotional self taken care of and some of the physical things will most likely improve. Most of us are too proud to accept the fact that our stress and overwork will kill us off. I would guess that you need to put your medical treatment first and get some heavy duty meds to stop the assault on your body.

I am going to be so bold as to say that if you don't quit work you will not have to commit suicide as you will drop dead in your tracks. Out bodies are not made for this kind of punishment. If you haven't seen a psychiatrist I would fast track to one asap. It helps a lot to have treatment for a depression as deep as yours.

I don't know if you realize it or not, but a depression with lots of stress and lack of sleep plus pain can make us act and look crazy. Memory loss gets bad and our behavior gets goofy also. One of the symptoms of lupus is depression and getting treatment helps!

I am also going to add that part of depression and psychiatric issues associated with autoiimmune disease is the inability to make sound decisions. Stop and smell the roses. Live cheap. Get your hubby and family on board with a change in lifestyle and more fun. Find a cheaper way to fix meals and have the kids help. Your fatigue is overwhelming because you are trying to wear many different hats and you are not taking care of yourself. Add the pain and wow, you are ready to implode.

Get yourself more healthy and then you can sub or even find a new job that is fulfilling. Your life is not over--you just think it is. Do not be afraid to make a decision that could bring you more joy than you thought possible. Bless you and be strong. You can do it girl. Hugs IRish