My mom fell, now what?

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My mom who has dementia, Parkinson's, and diabetes fell last week getting out of bed. She has a compression fracture of her lower back. She is in excruciating pain. She is tough as nails, so for her to be in this much pain is unbearable. She is in a really good acute rehab, but I can't bear to see her suffer like this. My dad is like a lost puppy without her home. They have been married for over 50 years. I have Addison's disease and the stress is really getting to me. Has anyone had an elder have a broken back before? Were they able to recover? How long did it take for them to get some relief from the pain? All the doctors say is everyone is differ et. I've googled enough around to know this is going to take some time, but the pain is killer her. She says she can't take it. She is on the maximum amount of pain meds they can give her. It is so awful. I still care for my dad and I worry about them both so. Any advise? Thank you.


Can they use local pain patches? They've worked amazingly well on my mom's compression fractures.
See the head nurse and lobby for better pain meds. The bigger problem is preventing a repeat. They will probably have to lower the bed all the way down to keep her from repeating the fall. Ask for injections of nerve blocking agents to ease the pain.
Babalou, yes she has two of them on. Nothing is helping her. It's so awful, she is physically shaking from the pain and she is super tough.
Pamstegma, I've asked about giving her something else or more, they said she is on the maximum amount allowed due to them being narcotics. I'll ask about the injection though. She hasn't had that. Thank you. They also don't want her laying flat all day because she will never be able to walk again. They have her doing PT and OT. I wonder if this is hurting more than helping at this point.
You may want to have them check again for other fractures. My mom had a broken hip that wasn't picked up for several days....
I don't know whether or not this would be a good option for your mom, but there are IV pain meds that are not narcotics. I needed to drive myself home after an ER visit last year, so I couldn't have a narcotic, and they gave me a non-narcotic pain med via IV. Also, would you be able to discuss the dosage of the narcotic pain med with her doctor (not just with the staff at the nursing home)? When my dad fractured his tailbone, he was in excruciating pain, and he was supposed to take only half of a 5-milligram pain pill. That didn't do anything much to alleviate the pain. We talked to his doctor, and they ended up prescribing a 10-milligram pill, which helped a great deal.
Are you there when the doctor does rounds?. You want to make sure that mom is not minimizing the pain for the doctor. Lot's of patients do this.
Babalou, that is a good idea. When I was rubbing her legs I could feel a real big bruise on her upper leg. I assumed that was the side she must have fallen on, but maybe there is something else going on.

AngieJoy, I will ask about that. They seem to be real strict. She can only have Tylenol 3x daily and that is not a narcotic.

Thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
Agecare, you might also check when the doctor comes on rounds again, if she has been evaluated for other diagnoses, more than just compression fracture going on. Maybe a thyroid or who knows, but a thorough medical workup? I can imagine for sure she's in a *lot* of pain, but sometimes also a second medical issue complicates things, like: cancer, or terrible fear, or excessive anxiety, or disorientation from dementia on top of the pain. If the doctor is not adequately addressing the pain issue, ask (insist) on a consult with a pain specialist or anesthesiologist or second board certified orthopedist...if that doesn't help, go to the patient advocate or ombudsman at the facility and tell them about this problem. Just telling you "too bad so sad" is not reasonable. They need to *work* to get her more comfortable and you need to push them to do so if they don't do it on their own. Or find another place for her. I've been down the same road with my dear Aunt; she had a complex procedure and was in terrible pain. I raised H3ll w hospital administration (after begging the doctor and unit staff) until they worked several different methods to get it under control.

Plus, talk to your own doctor about how worried you are to see if s/he has any help for you, too. If you become incapacitated, you can't be of any help to your Mom, so take care of yourself first. Take care...
Sophe509, thanks for the reply. Your advise is very helpful and I'm writing these, and the others, down in my book to ask tomorrow when I'm there. Thank you all!

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