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.
it’s not all “Cheech & Chong.”
There is cannabis oil you squeeze a rice grain dose into an empty capsule and swallow it.
I take it twice a day following 2 lousy spinal fusions (5 levels total) with 0 constipation, & no chance of death.
I have nerve damage and it’s way better than Gabapentin which ended up almost killing me.
Alternate heat and ice until you ask her doctor which method he prefers, since he’s choosing to give her nothing that’s helpful.
Again, I don’t know what state you’re in.
Validate her pain verbally.
She needs someone to believe her.
Hugs to both of you- 💜
Be aware that the Norco might cause constipation issues.
If that doc isn't a specialist, then forget going to him. I have had spinal issues (mostly cervical, 3 discs removed/fused, but have a lower back issue where vertabrae slip out of place, not the disc - ooooeee, fun stuff!) It took over 5 years and trying various orthopedic and neurologists to get resolution for the first disc, with NO help.
My recommendation is to find a spinal orthopedist. Given her age, surgery may not be an option, but they can better locate the problem and refer her to a pain specialist. The injections they do can remove the pain, and then she might be able to do some PT to strengthen the area. I let them do one injection, as a diagnostic tool only. I was only about 40 at the time and did NOT want to resort to injections 4x/year for the rest of my life! Also, if the pain is deadened, how much more damage can I do? But, the relief was instant. It didn't last 3 months, but it was enough to convince the surgeon.
When my dear friend and fellow nurse was first diagnosed with lung cancer, I asked what she feared most. "When the time comes, because of the laws, I'll be in pain and won't get relief". I promised her that wouldn't be the case and I pledged to her that she would be comfortable.
If no referral is needed, seek out a spine orthopedic and tell them how urgent her need is.
Pain medication is HIGHLY regulated, and until she sees a doctor they won't be prescribed. Age of patient and other factors play into prescribing medication too, so she may not receive any narcotics.
Muscle relaxers are good, but, only certain ones can be prescribed to the older population without creating issue with confusion, balance and other health issues.
Did the ER prescribe a follow-up appointment with a orthopedic or the PCP?
he/ she is too busy to treat the patient- find another doctor.
I have just scheduled an appointment for a new doctor and I won't be seeing her until Jan 2022.
Kaki, you should really look at how all of this went down. The ER doctor is the real issue, not your moms PCP. They have to assume that the ER did something to stabilize her for the few days it took to get her in. You also need to remember that doctors have lives and families and can not always be available when we think we need them. It's unfair to expect that and you will always be disappointed and aggravated if you don't change your expectations. Especially since this is something that has been going on for a while. Why hasn't any more permanent treatment been pursued? See how different views change the situation? I would consider the overall care before I go doctor shopping. They did refill the meds prescribed by the doctor that saw her, they did get her scheduled within days of contact, they did guide you to go back to the ER if she couldn't wait, this isn't the behavior of a doctor that doesn't care.
Recently my 84 year old Mother contracted RSV. It nearly killed her! She had to be intubated for 2 days & spent ten days in ICU! The Dr. flat out told me, “We won’t be doing that again. “!! They felt obviously at her age I should not be having her shaken up in a mechanical vest to loosen the phlegm. I should not have had her intubated I told him last time I heard murder is still illegal.
You must be your Mothers advocate! Insist on immediate care as this disc pain is real & it’s bad! Drs are reluctant to use a general anesthesia on a very elderly one. I don’t know if your Moms state of health could handle a surgery. I do know that Drs rush to having a DNR signed for the elderly. I really don’t know the perfect solution to do when one becomes really aged. I do know that we euthanize our pets & hover over them at the vets until they peacefully pass. Humans no matter what age deserve medical treatment!!!!
Mother did fully recover. She does have a fulfilling life! I didn’t throw in the towel.
I went to my neurologist and he did, state of the art traction on me for months followed along with a medication called, Arthrotec 75 mg., 3 times a day.
Just recently I had my primary doctor prescribe it to me and was amazed he did.
I have major stomach issues and this by far was a blessing since I have horrible reactions to practically every drug and severe stomach issues as well.
It's also great for osteoarthritis as I have that really bad as well and due to being on medicare now, they always give you the generic drugs.
It is not a narcotic either. But if she's on any blood thinner's then you can't take this drug. Check it out on webmd.com as I always use this site to see other reviews from people for any kind of new medications.
Make them keep at it to find what is really wrong.
Maybe the PCP will order physical therapy in the mean time. They will most likely not prescribe narcotics to a 89 yo. Due to the new narcotic prescription as too many people have gotten addicted to them so the standards of care have changed. Try heat or cool packs. Tylenol is better than nothing.