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I have been my mother caregiver for three years. She is in constant pain from severe back pain and arthritis. She takes to different prescriptions for this pain, but they no longer give her any relief. Her doctor does not want to give her anything stronger.. She has been to a pain management doctor and has tried many different medications. Nothing seems to help. The only thing that helps is her brandy. But she is asking for more and more. She makes me feel guilty when I refuse to give her a drink before lunch. I try to limit her consumption, but it is so hard to watch
Her suffer. She is 90 and wants to die. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated..

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Hugs blackcloudone!

You will find wonderful support here on this site
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My mother (88years old) is in constant pain for the past ten years. Her back is bone on bone. From the last week it's been the worse. She's been taking four tramadol and one Percocet per day. In the last months these meds are not working so gradually I removed the tramadol and replaced it with three Percocet per day. I thought that would help her misery but it doesn't. For the past two days she's been dragging her feet because the pain from the back is going down to her legs. She had a doctor appointment last Monday but couldn't make it because of the pain. We'll try this coming Monday. On our last appointment I asked the doctor what was next when these meds weren't enough. She told me we'll worry about it when we get there. This was three months ago.... well the time as come... what's next... So far we tried everything mentioned in these posts. I'm all for it to give whatever will help them stay away from pain. I call her my little drugie... and I'm sure she is addicted to these meds, at this age I don't worry about it but don't want her to feel so horrible, and I'm so worried what's ahead for her and for me. Thank God she leaves with me but it's hard to have kids (they're older but still need me, husband my biggest kid lol) bottom line I feel soooooo bad for her but my anxiety is pretty high do to the fact that I am alone in this. I don't mind doing anything for her but wish I had someone that maybe ones a year I could trust and leave her with so I could have a few days away with my family. I just had to vent to someone. I have no one to talk too. Thank you for listening
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My dad has been having lower back pain for months and his doctor just calls it arthritis. Dad (82, legally blind and neuropathy in the feet )asked him if he could wear a back brace and the doctor said no it will just make you become more inactive and not use muscles that you need to still move. Grrrr...... Doctor upped his tramadol and told him to take more Tylenol... got dad a new primary doctor yesterday and going to an Endo for his uncontrolled diabetes that this old doctors been supposedly treating him for for years....I have learned more from this site than any doctor I have ever been to
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I suggest the pain patch from doctor too, i also have alot of back problems, and arthritis in my back and other areas, and it does give relief along with 1 Norco and 800mg motrin.. if your mom is anything like me laying constantly does make it worse and it is very painful.. im going to ask my dr about lyrica or cymbalta so I dont half to go on stronger pain meds.. what ever your mom needs at her age let her have it because I know she is in agony im only 60 and I hope i dont live with this 30 more years.. God love it!! Give her the Brandy..
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This is actually an old post, as I see I posted a response about the benefits of Cymbalta some time ago. I still support the benefits of that drug, but I have learned even more about back pain and medications.

As it turns out, one reason that an antidepressant may help back pain is that depression can often cause actual back pain. I learned that during another family member's illness. It seems that depression can cause all kinds of problems, including headaches, back pain, sweating, etc. So, as others here have said, assess for depression and treat it. It could help the physical pain considerably.
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I'm in a state that allows medical marijuana and it has been a blessing for my father who has prostrate cancer that has spread to his bones along with a poorly healed hip fracture from a fall during a seizure that he stubbornly refused to have looked at or dealt with. I use indica strain edibles and a topical that actually works. He goes from moaning to silence in three two one. Aside from the topical The one thing that I don't like is that the edibles are not instant fixes, but once they kick in the last a long time and do not cause constipation. As he is severely underweight the increased appetite is another blessing. Each to their own, but if it is available in your state I'd recommend it highly. the best things for inflammation and arthritis from what I have read are the high CBD with a smidgen of THC.
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My mother uses strong pain killers and a Lidoderm pain patch,but she is starting to have a hard time putting the patches on.
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People who suggest topical rubs and herbal remedies for arthritic pain have NO clue regarding true pain.
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I found that when my mother's back pain was no longer managed well, we got the visiting nurses in and they agreed that it was not acceptable to be in that amount of pain. They got the doctor to prescribe different and/or stronger medications that worked better. Back pain is so difficult. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this.
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Have you tried a back brace or medicated creams, like Tiger balm? And I think that a good home health physical therapist could possibly show your mom some gentle exercises that might help a small bit. Good luck!
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"Most importantly please realize when elderly people feel more pain its only bcoz of depression, try keeping their minds busy. Introduce them to puzzles, Alzheimers is very quick to set in if depressed." Only someone without arthritis would make such a ludicrous accusation.

"You can try alternative treatment methods like yoga or chiropractics.You can try alternative treatment methods like yoga or chiropractics." Really? a 90 year old woman. wow....
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Well, I read the first page of "answers" and to tell you the truth, it is like someone who has legs that hangs out with someone with no legs. You do not have a clue what they are feeling. Well, I know for one thing--it is H*LL. Why do you sound like they are infants, need to be monitored? The person who is living it - that is able to say - HEY, I WANT... well, by all means they are old enough to have it. Stop treating your relative, patient or whatever your situation is like they are ON RESTRICTION - AND YOU KNOW JUST WHAT THEY WANT, NEED OR DESIRE! You do not! What I do is -- the best I can. What mom does is the best that she can, given her h*llish circumstances. I would ever disrespect my mom, treat her as though she were a babbling idiot, tell her what she WILL or WILL NOT HAVE. Physical Therapy! That was quite intelligent. Obviously garden a... has not a clue with the acupuncture, meditation. This is not crunchy granola time folks! This is hard core - the person I love is terrified. The person I know is so disgusted with herself, the person that is my mom is sick and tired of the pain and hardly can walk any longer. I am afraid with her. I would do anything to ease the horrendous pain, torture she endures--every single day as I watch her fade away and wish to end the suffering. Tell her to do this - tell her to eat this - tell her she can't have that - TELL HER THAT YOU LOVE HER and stop being an a** and try and remember that the person you love, care about is still the same person. What has happened to her physically, with time, that is not so kind to some is not a time for anyone to play WARDEN! What you need to know is just this: Do whatever it is, no matter what it is to make them feel the best that is possible now. Stop trying to "manage" and try to start treating your loved one with respect. It is very, very difficult to deal with all of the changes they have to endure while still trying to cling to "who they used to be and what they used to be able to do". It really is just simple. Do what you want to do together--no limitations--no rules--no way! Stop your ridiculous comments! Yoga! HA-oh yeah, I can see mom after she crawls from her bed to the floor--her hands, her feet, her arms, her back - her EVERYTHING so badly ravaged
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Hi , just briefly, i you'st to suffer with arthritis to a good friend suggested i take feverfew this is a plant with medicinal properties it's an anti inflammatory. You can also get this in capsule form, i suggest you read the ingredients on the label as there are one or to companies who bulk up with other ingredients which renders the capsule as useless 100% feverfew is what you require, pls consult her gp to make sure there is no conflict with any other medication she may be taking,regards Rob.
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You should consult a doctor, ask him if there is anything you can do to help her out. Make sure you do not encourage too many medications. You can try alternative treatment methods like yoga or chiropractics.

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Depending on what's arthritic in the spine, there are sometimes injections that can help. These are not too hard to go through, something she might could tolerate. You need to go to a spine clinic about these shots. You might check. I guess Brandy and pain pills is pretty dangerous but then she's already tough or would not have made it to this point. Tell the doctor the pills are not enough. Keep telling her/him that and even send a fax to him with that comment so it's in the record. Tell him she is suffering. There are some really strong pain pill out there.
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I highly recommend Cymbalta. Discuss it with your mom's doctor. Have they considered it? It has been approved for the treatment of musculoskeletal and back pain. I have a link, but can't post it here. Just google cymbalta for pain and you'll see.

My cousin fell and fractured her spine last year. She had considerable pain with it. Cymbalta made a huge difference. She has dementia, but she was able to tell her how her back hurt a lot. After the Cymbalta, she said it didn't bother her anymore. She also has arthritis in her back for which she was on disability, but the Cymbalta keeps that pain down too. It has been a great benefit to her.

I would not stop to find your mom some relief for her pain. At that age, she should not suffer. I hope they aren't afraid of dependence or something ridiculous like that. Is she seeing a geriatric doctor? My experience with orthopedic doctors is that they aren't that familiar with how to treat seniors. That's been my experience. They were not the ones who recommended Cymbalta for her back pain. They weren't that helpful.
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How about physical therapy. They could use kinesology tape and make a huge difference in the pain. Also water therapy. But if brandy is it, so be it. At 90 its okay.
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Acupuncture? Meditation? Sometimes the alternative medicine therapies can help.

Does she have a permanent condition that causes the back pain, or is it treatable with therapy or something other than pain pills? TENS - has it ben tried by a threrapist?
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Has she tried topical pain patches..prescriptions strength or otherwise?
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Hello.

I often find with my elderly patients ... heat is the best option. Some prefer dry heat, and some prefer wet heat, this is more a matter of preference. The most important thing is that it is warm. If you haven't tried this yet. Please do.

Use a heating pad (many different kinds - electric, microwavable, hot water bottle, etc.) Make sure that there are some layers of cloth. We use 6-8 layers of towels between the heating source and the skin. Burns can occur, especially with the elderly who may have thinner skin and decreased sensation in the area.

I also suggest trying to apply this heat in a seated position, as lying on it can be uncomfortable, and the pressure on the pad can cause increased pressure that can cause a burn.

Perhaps best to use this regularly in the mornings as most people are most stiff then just when waking up.

There are other things you can do like watching her posture and gentle movements that can relieve stiff joints.

Lastly - as for the Brandy... well I guess in moderation if that helps. I think your mother is just looking for something! anything that can take the edge off the pain! Try the heat. Let us know how it goes.
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What happens is that our bodies get tolerant to the pain pills to a point where the pills no longer work. I can understand why a doctor wouldn't want to give your Mother stronger meds because of the side effects.

I remember my Grandfather decades ago use to use whiskey to help curb his pain and Grandma thought nothing of it. I say if brandy helps your Mom, let her have a small glass AFTER lunch, I wouldn't want to give her that on an almost empty stomach.

The way I view this, if a person is 90 and wants ice cream for breakfast, go for it... same with the brandy but in moderation :)
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What is her overall quality of life? How long has te pain been an issue? How much brandy are we talking about here?
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