This is a fairly long post - but the main point is that yesterday, I decided to add FREQUENT exercise to my lifestyle because I have severe/daily pain which is depressing... and I have a history of depression. I am 58 years old. I am a teacher and a student - this spring I will complete the coursework toward my doctorate degree in Educational Technology. I am a workaholic by all standards.... my mind.... does not slow down... well, and when it does, I hurt physically.... I realized yesterday that I MUST add frequent exercise & continue to improve my food choices in order to live a long and happy life.
I have recently started to change my eating habits. I know - and have always known in my heart and soul - since I first read about Dr. McDougall - that his plan is the best plan for my best health and well being. I have recently lost about 10-12 pounds and I am down almost 40 pounds from my highest weight (210). I think I weigh about 170 pounds tonight.
I have severe pain problems. I have two herniated discs in my lower neck (they do not warrant surgery) and mild-moderate arthritis in my right shoulder. I also have an injury from a fall I had in the summer of 2007 that causes me severe pain in my neck, shoulder, and right arm. I see an homeopathic osteopath who does work on a muscle group in my right shoulder - says that these muscles are in a constant state of spasm. I also get upper body massages frequently to help with this pain. I also have severe and frequent migraines. My neurologist, after years of nagging finally pursuaded me take preventative medication last summer. He started me on Neurontin in July and then told me to add Topamax. I have stopped taking the Neurontin (It didn't help, and I only taking a low dosage of Topamax now).
The combination of the pain from my neck/shoulder & arm AND the almost daily migraines were causing me severe anxiety and depression. My neurologist, pain management doctor, psychiatrist (who for three years WAS agreeing NOT to prescribe antidepressants. I see her primarily for med checks because I also have severe insomnia and take a high dosage of Ambien every night), and my primary care MD were all in agreement that I was becoming severely depressed. I was (am) depressed.... BUT... I am in pain. I do not believe that I need an antidepressant to add to the mix of Topamax and Oxycodone and Ambien.
I cannot tolerate this pain nor the anxiety and depression. I want to live long enough to retire from my present job and teach online, travel with my husband, and learn to relax. I really DO NOT know how to relax.
I am hopeful that I will come to enjoy exercise and that it will provide me with an outlet for the tension that builds up in my neck and shoulders-- and that perhaps it will also help with my difficulties sleeping.
Sorry about the rambling post....