My mom's doctor cut her pain meds way down. She is 81. Her pain is so bad the she really has no quality of life. I know that opioids are habit forming, but at her age, I just want her to be comfortable. She has compression fractures in her back, has rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, COPD, plus other things. Dad just died and they had been married for over 60 years and now dealing with all this pain. She was doing ok until the doctor cut her pain meds. All we want for mom is to be comfortable and not crying and suffering. Don’t know what to do.

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We're dealing with the same issue! My MIL has a compression fracture at her L4; she's on an opioid; it's too early so they haven't reduced it but her pain is all over the place. She's fine one day and bad the next (and, the opioid doesn't really do much). A heating pad seems to give the most relief.

But, the healing process could go on for 8 weeks; I'm only here for another week and trying to find in-home care (she's resistant, of course). I'm also thinking of therapeutic/geriatric massage - any thoughts on that?
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Reply to colliemom

Why did the doctor decrease your Mom's pain medications?  Did she see a different doctor than the one she usually goes to?  Your Mom has several medical conditions that cause severe pain and warrant or justify the use of opioids and other strong pain medications.  Contact the doctor and find out WHY he/she decreased the medications and if the doctor will not change the pain medications back to what was prescribed previously, find a different doctor ASAP.
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Reply to DeeAnna

When my FIL had unbearable pain from spinal fracures due to cancer, he went on hospice care with an at home morphine drip. Of course family had to have the right referral.
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Reply to MACinCT

Talk to the doctor, and if you don't get anywhere, try another doctor. My husband has chronic migraine which he controls under doctor's supervision with quite large amounts of codeine and aspirin. He says he probably is addicted, but so what? He isn't robbing banks, and with his migraine under control he is a productive member of society. He has tried every specialist you can think of, and has tried twice without avail (and with a lot of pain) to wean himself off the codeine. He has nearly 50 years experience of what works for him.

Much of the current hype about codeine is about as sensible as gluten-free water. The deaths are usually from overdoses of the ibuprofen or paracetamol included in the tablets, as the dangerous dose of codeine is considerably higher than the additive's dangerous dose. Yes some of the stronger opioids are more of a problem, and yes doctors have in the past over-prescribed, particularly post hospital release. Yes again, some chronic pain has a strong mental element that can be minimised by mental techniques (though oddly enough the doctors who write books about that rarely seem to have had much pain themselves). But failing to manage the serious pain of an 81 year old is stupid. Change your doctor if you can't get a more sensible and humane approach.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

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