A New Kind of Grief in These Times

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Apr 7, 2020

If you are like me, you might be feeling uncomfortable, unsteady in your daily activities, perhaps unable to pinpoint just why you feel “off”.

Our lives have been turned upside down recently, and this might continue for the near future, but it is not permanent. How we relate to people has changed, how we spend our days is quieter [unless you have kids at home!], a nonchalant hug to a friend is not a good idea. Gatherings, like a meeting, a health club, a place of worship, a sports activity, even school, are but a temporary memory. We have had to become better versed in technology to stay connected, if we want to visit. Celebrations and memorials are on hold.

I was recently given this article, and it really makes sense to me! While my personality lends itself to social isolation, I still miss the occasional interaction with my fellow humans.

– That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief

What do you grieve in these times? How are you handling this discomfort/grief, what are you doing to minimize lasting effects?

 

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group.

Hi Colleen, thank you for your kind comments. Mamacita's post touched me deeply.

If I recall correctly, I found Mayo Connect by accident while researching digestive problems caused by stress, or maybe suddenly higher blood pressure, both of which new, disturbing probs have joined my heretofore manageable, regular list of a 69 year-old body's woes, which included being hypothyroid, hard of hearing, and bipolar 1. (Those were the good old days!)

Two weeks ago, a racing heart sent me to the ER, scared. Since then, my n.p. prescribed metoprolol, which I have not yet taken, being somewhat drug-phobic. I'm keeping the BP in check with Magnesium citrate. My worst problem, and the one I really seek advice and comparisons on, is the digestive chaos.
Following the ER trip, I lost all appetite, shed 16 pounds quickly, sleep much less than is healthy, became very weak, and am now, when the extreme constipation lets up, pooping a sickly light yellow ochre poop. (my most sincere apologies for having to mention this) I am fairly desperate to hear from people who have coped with, and/or found remedies for these kinds of symptoms. I kind of imagine such symptoms are running rampant in these days of high anxiety. This is the wrong thread for this, but since it's typed, I'll leave it and ask for forgiveness. Wise people out there, are your guts similarly out of whack, and what do you do for it? (I just reread the upstairs comments, which are all about worriers, so maybe this mess does tie in to the discussion for other worriers out there, I hope so) Thank you for reading.

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@mamacita

@gingerw, I wonder at times if anything will ever be the same again. Being quiet and doing things on my own never bothered me before. But times have changed. Almost everything that I try to do involves an extreme level of effort and expertise.

As I write this, my oldest daughter is in an LTAC facility, following her six week stay in the hospital. My husband has been hospitalized since March 9th. Hopefully he will be released sometime next week.

When I shop for necessities, I wear a mask. I use hand sanitizer. Any packages I buy are "in quarantine" for 24 hours. I disinfect my shoes after a supply run. I wash my clothes and take a shower after going outside to a store.

When I speak with my family I have a pass code that I have to give the nurse before they can talk to me. My husband is being treated for depression, following his three surgeries. He has been through so much.

The anxiety that I feel from having to learn all these new protocols has left my head spinning. I pay my daughter's bills. And there is a certain protocol for that as well. So often you cannot speak with a real person. You never know if a business is open or not. So you have to call ahead and hope someone answers.

All this seems trivial to some, I am sure. But it is so much pressure on me, as I am rhe only one who can do any of these things. I dont like going out to take care of business, because I fear bringing back a virus. I want my home to be safe for my Grandson.

These are my fears. Mostly, though, I am ok. Oh, did I fail to mention that I cannot vist my loved ones? Nope. No visitors allowed.

Holding the fort,
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita, I am exhausted just reading this and I did that 3 times to make sure I understood. You have to jump through hoops every day.

I have just one tried and true piece of advice. Take time for yourself…..even 15 minutes. Be self-compassionate. Wrap your arms around yourself and say "I am here for you". Show yourself to the door of positivity.

You have opened your big heart and allowed so much to rush in………save some room for yourself or you won't be much good to anyone else.

Be safe and protected from inner and outer harm.
Chris

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Hi, Zep, Like you, I discovered the MayoConnect group while searching for support for a new diagnosis of kidney problems last summer. An infrequent doc appt. didn't give me enough of the tools I wanted to learn to manage my Stage 3 CKD. MayoConnect and its various forums have proved worth their weight in gold for me. And, yes, I am also very proficient at worrying about some things. Smiles

What got my particular attention in reading your post was your mention of your recent unexpected weight loss. When a sudden and continuing unexplained nausea and wt loss happened to me, I underwent many different tests and eventually concluded mine began after starting a drug for diabetes. While stopping the drug and taking ginger supplements stopped the nausea, the wt loss continued. My doc eventually prescribed an appetite stimulant which helped immediately. Seeing a dietician provided me with a combined meal plan guide for the diabetes and kidney which was a terrific aid.

Certainly we are not doctors here and doctors are the pros who can test and diagnose. With three new diagnoses during the year, including diverticulitis, I was more than eager to put 2019 in my rearview mirror! However, what helped me day-to-day was/is posting on the Mayo forums because the members in the various groups provide suggestions and links that have helped them.

I agree wholeheartedly with you that many more are probably experiencing digestive problems now because of the uncertainties and stressors posed by the virus. The MayoConnect forum called: Digestive Health (found at the homepage and by clicking on Groups) has been very helpful in my dealing with digestive problems.

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@zep

Hi Colleen, thank you for your kind comments. Mamacita's post touched me deeply.

If I recall correctly, I found Mayo Connect by accident while researching digestive problems caused by stress, or maybe suddenly higher blood pressure, both of which new, disturbing probs have joined my heretofore manageable, regular list of a 69 year-old body's woes, which included being hypothyroid, hard of hearing, and bipolar 1. (Those were the good old days!)

Two weeks ago, a racing heart sent me to the ER, scared. Since then, my n.p. prescribed metoprolol, which I have not yet taken, being somewhat drug-phobic. I'm keeping the BP in check with Magnesium citrate. My worst problem, and the one I really seek advice and comparisons on, is the digestive chaos.
Following the ER trip, I lost all appetite, shed 16 pounds quickly, sleep much less than is healthy, became very weak, and am now, when the extreme constipation lets up, pooping a sickly light yellow ochre poop. (my most sincere apologies for having to mention this) I am fairly desperate to hear from people who have coped with, and/or found remedies for these kinds of symptoms. I kind of imagine such symptoms are running rampant in these days of high anxiety. This is the wrong thread for this, but since it's typed, I'll leave it and ask for forgiveness. Wise people out there, are your guts similarly out of whack, and what do you do for it? (I just reread the upstairs comments, which are all about worriers, so maybe this mess does tie in to the discussion for other worriers out there, I hope so) Thank you for reading.

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@zep Wow, you sure are caught in a frightening spiral. Added to the current chaos we are experiencing, no wonder you are feeling anxious.
May I ask what led you to try magnesium citrate to lower your blood pressure, because I have not seen that suggested before? This medication is typically used to clean out the digestive tract before colonoscopy or other procedures, so perhaps it is the cause of your digestive distress. Please contact your np and discuss what you are experiencing. In order to get good advice you will need to let her know you tried a different drug instead of the prescribed metoprolol. Also, once a harsh laxative such as magnesium citrate has been used for a while, it is not unusual to experience intermittent diarrhea/constipation while your body tries to readjust itself!
Let us know how you are doing
Sue

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Fiesty76, oh my goodness, thank you so much for your very helpful reply. (for one thing, it reminded me I too have diverticulosis, or itis, I forget which) It's so interesting that a doc-prescribed drug for diabetes gave you all those problems, and that ginger helped. You never know. And you are right; the weight loss is the most worrying of the symptoms I have. In ordinary times, I would have seen a doctor about it already. But then, in ordinary times, it probably wouldn't be happening.

I am so sorry you have CKD, and the other diagnoses. Thank you for reaching out to me. Best wishes to you in your struggle.

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@sueinmn

@zep Wow, you sure are caught in a frightening spiral. Added to the current chaos we are experiencing, no wonder you are feeling anxious.
May I ask what led you to try magnesium citrate to lower your blood pressure, because I have not seen that suggested before? This medication is typically used to clean out the digestive tract before colonoscopy or other procedures, so perhaps it is the cause of your digestive distress. Please contact your np and discuss what you are experiencing. In order to get good advice you will need to let her know you tried a different drug instead of the prescribed metoprolol. Also, once a harsh laxative such as magnesium citrate has been used for a while, it is not unusual to experience intermittent diarrhea/constipation while your body tries to readjust itself!
Let us know how you are doing
Sue

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Sue, thank you for your reply. First, I should say my memory is really messing with me. I checked my little med notebook to see when I started taking the mag, and remembered that it was likely that a new scrip for Cytomel, on top of my usual Synthroid, had triggered the weight loss. How could I forget that? The Cytomel plus a single Citalopram for my bipolar, dredged up after I'd discontinued them as unnecessary, but popped one for anxiety (stupid, I now know) precipitated the high BP ER trip, they said at the ER. Then the digestive probs took over and have caused continued weight loss. The magnesium supplement I take (Mg Bright) is poorly labeled, but apparently is malate, not citrate. I take no more than the RDA, and it doesn't put a dent in the constipation. I do think it is ameliorating the high BP, but I could be wrong. It is supposed to be a relaxing sleep enhancer also, another reason I am taking it. But your comment has caused me to realize I need to be more careful. Going back in person to the N.P. is a tricky option these days, but calling her would make sense. Thanks for the sound advice. I will transfer this gut problem to the digestive problem discussion, since that is its main thrust. Glad I found Mayo Connect. Such very good people here.

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@zep

Fiesty76, oh my goodness, thank you so much for your very helpful reply. (for one thing, it reminded me I too have diverticulosis, or itis, I forget which) It's so interesting that a doc-prescribed drug for diabetes gave you all those problems, and that ginger helped. You never know. And you are right; the weight loss is the most worrying of the symptoms I have. In ordinary times, I would have seen a doctor about it already. But then, in ordinary times, it probably wouldn't be happening.

I am so sorry you have CKD, and the other diagnoses. Thank you for reaching out to me. Best wishes to you in your struggle.

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You are so welcome, @zep and thank you for the good wishes. Divert. is a bear as you know!..and so is constipation!

With divert. I ff'd a very strict re-introduction of certain foods, charting my meals and frightened of another bout. We each are so different with maladies and symptoms but in my situation, diarrhea vs constipation was the big culprit.

I'm just wondering, if a call to your doctor, who knows your health history, might make it possible for a prescription for something by phone which could be delivered?

When stressed, I've always tended to lose my appetite; others report they eat more. I'm just wondering if others are experiencing and reporting more digestive upsets now. Regardless, sudden, ongoing, undiagnosed wt loss and more frequent constipation are concerning. I'm sincerely hoping you can do some research, reach out to your doc and find some relief and help. Best to you.

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@Chris Trout, @Colleen Young, @gingerw, and everyone out there in Mayo Clinic Connect Land. Miss you, love you, and need you.

Feel like I have to start over at square one. I cannot say that I am depressed. But if I saw my symptoms in someone else, I fear that would be the case. I did not even want to get up out of bed this morning. Our area was hit by tornadoes last night. No damage in our small town.

I question a lot. But one thing I absolutely do not question is why me. Why Not me?

Hopefully we can all come out of this wiser, humbler, and more caring. More resilient.

Courageous.

XOX,
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita

@Chris Trout, @Colleen Young, @gingerw, and everyone out there in Mayo Clinic Connect Land. Miss you, love you, and need you.

Feel like I have to start over at square one. I cannot say that I am depressed. But if I saw my symptoms in someone else, I fear that would be the case. I did not even want to get up out of bed this morning. Our area was hit by tornadoes last night. No damage in our small town.

I question a lot. But one thing I absolutely do not question is why me. Why Not me?

Hopefully we can all come out of this wiser, humbler, and more caring. More resilient.

Courageous.

XOX,
Mamacita Jane

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@mamacita you are most definitely courageous. Thank you for letting us know you are safe from tornadoes that ripped through the south. Praying for family and friends that live in the area. Mostly thank you for your words that encourage your mentor, moderator and member cyber friends. Blessings on your day.

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