How do you handle it?

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Mom went into the hospital last night for unbearable pain. Her pain doctor was sure she had another fracture, but so far they haven't found one. They did a procedure today to clear out some of the scar tissue in her spine, and tonight she said to me, "I don't want to live like this. This isn't how I wanted to go out". How do you respond to that? I've often wondered why she would want to live with the awful pain she had, but she still seemed to get some pleasure in life. Now, I think, she has reached the point that she doesn't. What now? When your bones are literally disintegrating inside you, no amount of pain medication can keep you comfortable. Any suggestions or words of wisdom?

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Ferris1 - I will definitely suggest that.
pstegman - Chemo? Mom doesn't have cancer. Right now, in the hospital, she is getting dilaudid every 3 hours. I think she is blocked too. She's only passed a small amount of stool.
Mom has an excellent pain management doctor. He is the one that insisted she be admitted to the hospital to get her pain level under control when things went south for her this past week. He understands Mom's reluctance to overuse narcotic medications, and knows that when she says she's hurting, she is hurting, not drug seeking. She's a tough lady, and doesn't complain or whine. If you hear a grunt or a whimper from her, it's something that would get a scream out of someone else. When Mom fell and broke her hip, the paramedics that came out told me they didn't think it was broken because "if it was broken she would be screaming". I told them they didn't know my Mom. I was right. I knew that it was broken because she wasn't getting up. This past week my Mom cried in pain, whether she knew I was there or not. She's never done that before. I'm very grateful that we have a pain management doctor that knows my Mom well enough to know that when she does that, she needs to go in the hospital. Period. End of discussion.
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This might be a really dumb question, or one asked by someone else (and you've answered), but have they checked her for bladder issues or urinary tract problems? My grandmother was in and out of hospital emergency rooms four times over the past year and finally now, we know what it was- she has a bit of a prolapsed bladder, so sometimes she doesn't void correctly, yielding bladder stones and UTIs. We're going through that now again. They're the devil.
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My gut feeling is she is blocked, it would explain the pain , the vomiting and the seizure activity. My prayers are with you, it's a roller coaster ride ahead. Ask for Hospice, that way she gets the best pain killers. And if she doesn't want chemo, support her decision.
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Oh, I forgot to add, my spine doctors at Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) are the consulting doctors for the AZ Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Reds, the Rattlers, Phoenix Suns, and me! I was an athlete in my younger days...
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Since I have degenerating discs and bones in my lower back, my spine surgeon invented a minimally invasive procedure that eliminates all pain to the back by cutting the dorsal ramus nerve that innervates pain signals up the spine. First one has some numbing injections (6 to numb) (6 to inject the numbing solution) using the x-ray of the back while inserting said needles while you are lying on your stomach. After the procedure which takes a little over 20 mins., I was able to drink some liquid, stand and drove myself home. No pain. Two of these series are required by the FDA and if they work, then the real surgery can be performed which will be permanent. So check with the spine doctor about Dr. Anthony Yeung's procedure, it is FDA approved and minimally invasive. There is hope for your mother and many others!
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My heart goes out to you, it's hard to hear a loved one feel and speak defeated. Since we want nothing more than for them to be happy. Pallitive care is an option rather than Hospice, it may enable her to have home health and physical therapy since it would prevent her from digressing and provide pain management care.
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I would just like to reinforce the advice to consult with hospice. Having hospice is never giving up. It is giving the patient the best quality of life available. You do not sign your life away if you get better you do not have to continue to be their patient. if you mother is not a surgical candidate with hospice you can shoose and i stress choose to take her home. Hospice can be much more liberal with pain medication than is usual in the hospital setting and they will be available to support you 24/7
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Is mom throwing up? If she is, that isn't depression and I don't understand what it has to do with her back. That sounds like a stomach or bowel issue...
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I meant to say that, even if she starts to feel better, that she still might NOT be able to concentrate on the Nook, even though that isn't what I typed.

My point was that books might be something she could still enjoy, might help distract her a little. It's something to try.
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If her pain lessens enough to concentrate a little, maybe books-on-CD would be an option. If she starts feeling better, she still might be able to concentrate on reading the Nook, but something in a type of book she likes might be nice to listen to. My suggestion would be to pick something that doesn't require lots of concentration or can be listened-to in short increments, maybe a few pages or a chapter at a time.
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