She is having severe pain in her shoulders due to a fall. She saw a doctor who prescribed pain pills for tendonitis. No X-rays. She got better then worse and now is sleeping in her lounge chair because of the pain. She allowed me to call her doctor to say the pain pills weren't working and she was worse, but the doctor did not return the call. Now mom just wants to wait and see. She has always been stoic about pain. I worry about the quality of her life now. She has bad knees too that give her a lot of pain when she walks, a favorite pastime. She is 88 and said recently to me she is going downhill. I think the quality of her life could be better with some pain management, but I don't think the doctor she sees now is helpful or sympathetic. We don't have a geriatric doctor in the area who might be able to look at her overall condition and give some advice.

My mom seems passive in all of this as if there is nothing to be done. Should I just step back as she seems to want and not push anymore? It is distressing to hear about her pain and problems and then even more distressing when she doesn't seem to want to do anything to help herself.

Or am I just a worrier?


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I tell an adult one time, that I will take them to the doctor. After that - there is the phone. make your own arrangements.

My mother complained for years about a shoulder and did not go to rehab. I know where you are coming from.
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Blackpine, get your Mom in the car [make some excuse] and drive her to the nearest urgent care office. Tell the doctor there that your Mom had a fall, pain pills were given, but no x-ray was taken. Better safe than sorry. If she bulks going into the doctor office ask her if she wants to still be in pain, that it will only get worse.

Heck, last month I took a fall and was x-rayed within an hour, yep broke my shoulder. The fact that your Mom is more comfortable sleeping in a recliner tells me she might had broken her shoulder/upper arm as doctors will recommend sleeping in a recliner.

Maybe your Mom is afraid she will be put into a cast or have to have surgery.... now a days the doctors rather have the shoulder/arm heal using just a sling, it works just as well [unless the bones are so badly broken that surgery is the only means of fixing it].

I still can't believe a doctor never ordered x-rays for your Mom. How foolish of him. Time to change doctors.
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It's only normal to be worried. I don't think its good to treat symptoms with pain pills without a good medical exam as to what is going on. My mom developed debilitating pain about five years ago. Her doc dismissed it as .old age and arthritis and had her on the oxy crap for years. Long story short, turned out she needed hip replacement and had it done at age 83. It was an ordeal, surgery, rehab, pain pill addiction, but she got through it and now is more mobile, alert and active than she's been in years. She had been living in a fog of pain meds for years, hardly getting out of bed and falling when she did get up. In all fairness it was hard to diagnose because she would complain about her knee, leg, angle, back etc. Finally got her to a good orthopedic guy who had her do an MRI and found that she had a bone on bone situation happening in her left hip. My mom was motivated to do something. She was always saying, just tell me if there's anything that can Be done, if not just let me die. She was miserable. If you're new to this site, hang around. Lots of experienced folks to talk to here.
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