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My mom is 84 with multiple health issues. She has dementia, wants desperately to drive again, she hasn't driven in 2 years due to her health. She has a bad back so has leg pain from the pinched nerves, falls a lot because the one leg gives out due to pain.
How do I address this issue? I have done everything to try to figure things out but to no avail...but she will suddenly start to cry and say she wished she would die....

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My father was in his late 80s when he would ask when he would die. He was old, tired and feeling useless as he physically declined. He also suffered from AD and fell a lot due to undiagnosed (at the time) strokes. He unlike your mother was not suffering physical pain.

I too have suffered from pinched nerves. I've had 2 series of steroid injections in my back. Before the second series the flare up was so bad, I said the pain was a 12 out of 10 - I even broke out in a rash along the line of the nerve - possibly shingles. I don't wonder that your mom is crying and wanting to die. I was miserable - I couldn't lie down, sit or stand or walk without excruciating pain - usually standing and walking eased my pain, but not this time.

While she doesn't want any drugs that make her dizzy, how about going to a pain clinic - that's where I got the series of steroid shots (see if PCP can recommend one), or find a chiro who uses GENTLE methods. I even found the over the counter TENS units and used them. Does anything help ease her pain? ice, hot packs? My mother has had 2 back surgeries and still experiences pain - she uses those hot patches that adhere to the skin - though CVS does have one that doesn't adhere to the skin - there is a belt sort of wrap and air activated heat packs that insert into the pockets. They may give her a modicum of relief, I've also used them and found them helpful.
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Reply to cweissp
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Would she consider physical therapy, which wouldn't involve medication? With dementia, she might not remember the exercises to do at home, but if she can afford to have an aide go with her (assuming this is not something you can or are willing to do) and to help her with the exercises at home, even if they only help a little, possibly she would feel good that something was being done for her pain. Now many P.T.s have videos as well as pictures of the exercises that you can use to help do the exercises at home. Physical therapists often do not have firm diagnoses to work with, so I think that could be managed. At a minimum, it's worth asking.
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Reply to caroli1
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Ignore!! They are looking for sympathy, I used to say, “don’t say such a thing “ but they want your sympathy and attention !! Please believe me and just ignore it and change the subject 🤦‍♀️
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Reply to Hummingbird246
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If the doctors can not address the pain from the pinched nerve, and do not know what s causing it, then just listen and empathize.

I had a pinched nerve in my late 20s, and it is very painful. I did not wish to die, but quite honestly it did not care, if I did, as death would have been a relief.

I do not think this lady is depressed, I simply think she is in legitimate pain.

My pinched nerve eventually move out of entrapment and the pain went away.

Has she been to a physical therapist? They may have some suggestions for natural methods of pain relief.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jun 7, 2021
My daughter recently had a pinched nerve and physical therapy helped her.
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Your mom is struggling dealing with her pain. My daughter recently told me about being miserable in pain with a pinched nerve. She’s only in her 20’s and was crying. Just listen to your mom to let her get the frustration out.

Dealing with pain and frustration is hard. It’s hard for us to see them suffering. Wishing you and your mom well.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Address what can be addressed.
Is she in pain?
If so what can be done.
With chronic pain can come depression so..
Is she depressed.?
She should see someone and possibly medication can help.
She is dealing with the facts that she is aging, she is in pain, she wants to do things but can't. (perfect recipe for depression...)
Help her acknowledge the losses, independence, the chronic pain she has.
If it would not upset her you might want to ask her if she could drive where would she go? What would she do? Has she gone there before...
Also acknowledge the fact that she says she wants to die, tell her that you will miss her when she does die. If you have not already you might want to ask her what type of funeral she wants. (If you and she can handle this conversation it is a tough one but important)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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As to crying, it's worth crying over, but she should check with her doctor about depression. As to wishing to die, some of us are kinda ready for it, a bit tired, have been here and done this and OK with leaving. It is our truth, if hard to hear.
Your Mom is mourning her many losses, and while she lives they will continue. I am 79, and long ago gave up my license due to eye issues. It is an but one adjustment on a long slow slide down for us elders, and that's simply a fact of life. We face losses of bodily function, increased aches and pains in the body, losses of senses, losses of abilities and mobilities. We face losses of control over our own lives, our own minds, and inevitably and eventually losses over our mental faculties to remember who we are.
Not a pretty picture, not a situation for "fix it". Some issues belong to our doctors to work with us on. Certainly the balance is one of them. Some issues have answers but some answers have side effects. And some things can never be helped.
What can you do? Very little, but to accept that it is a torture to witness this, and to witness our grief and anger and hopelessness and depression and helplessness as these losses increase. No amount of "But Aunt Irma is SOOO much worse than you; she can't walk at all", "see at all", "function at all".
Simply tell your Mom you are so sorry these issues are occurring in her life. Help her with the few things you CAN and are able to IF you can, help her set in place plans as things progress, make certain all her paperwork for DPOA is in place, speak to her, but more than that, LISTEN and tell her you are sorry.
Help her know what she can still do. Take her to lunch, to a movie. Help her shop and make it fun more than a chore. Get her a once a week housekeeper to get under those beds and sofas, clean those windows on the stepstool, etc. if you can afford to help out in that way.
Basically know she is just talking about all of this; it is luggage she is carrying. When she sets it down don't pick it up for her. My daughter is almost 60 so oddly enough when we are talking on the phone about this or that bunion, we BOTH have them! It is almost a comfort! She can't pick up my luggage because she is already hauling her own, and hobbling as well!
I wish you well.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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JaneRN Jun 7, 2021
Well said AlvaDeer! I'm a Geriatric nurse and your description of aging is spot on for many of us.
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Wow. It sounds like your mom is suffering from depression. Chronic pain can make one feel like life is not worth living which only increases depression. Both Cymbalta and Lyrica are meds that can help with nerve pain and they have anti-depressant properties also. I've taken Cymbalta for years and in 3 days after I started taking it, the horrible non stop nerve pain in my left lag totally disappeared. Can you ask her PCP about trying it?
From personal experience, once the pain was lessened, my mood improved 1000%!
Sending you a big hug.
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Cntryrn Jun 6, 2021
she refuses all meds becausevin her mind they make her dizzy...been there
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I'm so sorry you are having a hard time.

"I have done everything to try to figure things out but to no avail.."

I am not quite sure what you are trying to figure out? Your Mom has bouts of sadness, or grief about aging?
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Reply to Beatty
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Cntryrn Jun 6, 2021
no. she has as i stated multiple health issues that are yet to be handled to her liking. Drs are unable to get her comfortable and figure pain management...don't suggest meds as she refuses to take anything as in her mind they all make her dizzy.
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I would try empathy - "Yes mom I know, getting older really sucks, doesn't it. I'm sorry you can't drive any more - where is it you'd like to go?"

And I would ask my doctor about trying some form of antidepressant, because being in misery shouldn't be part of aging. if your doc is resistant find one who isn't.
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