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My mother, 89 years old, has a herniated disc. She aggravated the disc two weeks and has been in constant agony since. The pain led me to take her to Emergency at our local hospital. They diagnosed the slipped disc, told her to take Tylenol, prescribed muscle relaxants, and sent her home. Tylenols and muscle relaxants are not making a dent in her pain. Called her doctor on Monday, two days after her ER visit. Her doctor is fully booked, does not want to prescribe any pain medication without seeing her and finally, begrudgingly, agreed to see her on Thursday, 6 days after her ER visit. In the meantime, she is whimpering in pain, stays in bed, has no appetite, and is totally miserable. I asked my sister to come over and help her shower, which she did fairly unwillingly. This a vent, but I cannot believe the doctor has waited this long to see her. He is unwilling to see her outside his regular hours and has only agreed to refill the muscle relaxants. I am at my wits end, trying to deal with her pain. Any ideas? She cannot take Ibuprofen or ALEVE due to stomach bleeding issues. The Tylenol is useless.

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My Mom 95 was given CT at the ER when in screaming pain, then referred to pain Dr. who did facet joint injection. Pain still there so he ordered a special type of MRI so he could find out more. Finally found old compression fracture that had been hidden and then exacerbated by a history of falls. She had Kyphoplasty surgery (no anesthesia) and pain was gone and stayed gone! Scary at 95 but worth it, and recommended to relieve pain by all medical people I talked to.
Make them keep at it to find what is really wrong.
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Chickie1 Jul 23, 2021
What is kyphoplasty ? Is this where a substance is injected?
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Take her BACK to the ER--maybe a different one this time. Tell them what's going on. INSIST on something better than Tylenol for pain. (Personally, I find Tylenol to be completely worthless). AND file a formal complaint about your lazy dr!

Sometimes we have to be a little pushy to advocate for our LO's. Your mom should not be suffering b/c her doc is stingy with pain meds.

Even IF she got addicted to something--at 89? Who cares??? Sorry, this 'opioid crisis' is such a farce. You know who the biggest abusers are? DOCTORS AND NURSES. And that comes from 2 doctors who KNOW.

Street drugs are another thing. Prescribed narcotics taken correctly can remediate pain and allow your poor mom to heal.

Her dr sounds like and idiot.
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If you said to the doctor: "my 89 year old mother has been in pain since [date] following [describe incident/injury]. The ER found a herniated disc and prescribed Tylenol and muscle relaxants. In 3 days these have done little to alleviate the pain, and she remains unable to sleep, eat or move around for ADLs. On a scale of 0-10, her pain level is [ask your mother for the number], she is becoming exhausted, and she is urgently in need of relief" and he still refused to see her for another three days or to recommend an alternative, then I would be making a formal complaint.

But unless you were very clear and very specific about what you wanted and expected him to do, you'll just have to hang on 'til Thursday (unless God forbid anything gets worse). There are anti-inflammatory gels which might help, get advice first because if she's not allowed to take NSAIDs some of these won't be suitable for her; but anyway I often think it's the massage that comforts rather than any magic ingredient.

What kind of bed is your mother on? Is she able to adjust her position, with or without help? You may find it better if two of you assist her when moving - many hands make lighter work of this.
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XenaJada Jul 23, 2021
It might be worth it to rent a hospital bed, private pay if necessary
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Take her to an orthopedist, not her general practitioner. She probably needs a cortisone shot. Pills won't do anything. (I've had a herniated disc that finally blew, so I'm speaking from experience.)
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GardenArtist Jul 20, 2021
MJ1929, good suggestion on the cortisone.   I've only had one, for a torn rotator cuff, but the relief it provided was amazing.
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I hope you are VERY seriously considering firing this doctor. He works for you, after all.
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Sarah3 Jul 23, 2021
?? He has other patients that had scheduled appointments with - he can’t shorten or cancel their appointments. Re read the op- it says she waited 2 days after her mom got out of the Er to call the doctor, and he offered a time to see her on Thursday which was 6 days after her visit to the Er! What are some of you people expecting a doctor to do other than what he did? If one demands personal immediate attention they need to hire what’s called a concierge physician or go to Er or urgent care. Doctor offices don’t accommodate patients outside standard practice hours, her mother was offered an appointment within 6 days of her visit to the Er
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HI Everyone,

I took her back to the ER. Her doctor's assistant informed this would be the vest course of action. He doctor is out tomorrow completely and wont be back until Thursday. I don't have the ability to monitor her health given her problems. I am seriously considering finding another doctor.
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BarbBrooklyn Jul 20, 2021
Kaki, you need a doctor who has a covering physician, at the very least.
Consider finding a geriatrician.
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Short and simple answer, get a new doc!
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Update- She went back to Emergency and they prescribed Norco. This has proven effective in lessening the pain so my Mom can relax. Lidocaine patches for sleeping. She is having problems walking so I have to stay at home 24hrs to help her. My sibling (sister) refuses to help as she and I cannot get along. As usual, family crises bring out the fissures in family structure,
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Kaki, I checked your first thread:

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/help-with-89-year-with-severe-pain-468773.htm

I see you're in Santa Maria, CA, with a population of a little over 100K.  I checked this b/c my first thought was to find another hospital and ER, and equally as important another doctor who's more responsive.  

Even if it's a long drive, and out of pocket cost,  I would consider calling an ambulance and asking that she be taken to a larger hospital, a teaching hospital perhaps, and seen in their ER.   

Forget about showers; use no rinse soap and shampoo.   If your mother is already in agony, she doesn't need the challenge of getting in and out of the shower; bathrooms can be dangerous especially for someone in agonizing pain.

Other than quickly finding another ER, or Urgent Care, and/or another ortho doctor, I don't know what else to suggest.    And personally, if this doctor doesn't seem to be very interested, I'd certainly dump him and find someone else.

I do know how painful it is to see a loved one in agony, and aggravated by a doctor displaying limited responsiveness.   Other than going elsewhere, I don't know what can be done.   

Is this current doctor an orthopedic doctor?  Personally, any doctor who treated my family or me as yours has been treated would be on the "fired" list by now.
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Kaki, when you refer to the "assistant", are you referring to another doctor in the practice, or a Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant?   And, since it was suggested that you not see a GP, what exactly is this doctor's specialty?   If he's a GP, he may be out of his league in treating your mother's type of back condition.
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