Pain with arthritis. What do we do? - AgingCare.com

Pain with arthritis. What do we do?

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Well this is my 3rd attempt and if I lose this message I'm done. I've been caring for my mom for 16 + yrs and she just turned 100 this past May. I get one fire out and another one pops up. At 70 I'm just struggling to get thru this last phase of life while I sit and watch my siblings living life. They very seldom ask if there is anything they can do. They know theres plenty to do. I've had several breakdowns. Wonder why? And I tell them but still they have a blind eye. Mom has been in pain with her back for the last several weeks. Doc took xray and saw nothing and after still complaining they did an MRI. He found arthritus but that's all. They put her on prednisone and she felt so much better for two days and now shes back to moaning and moaning and moaning. I have put ice, heat and pads behind her back and NOTHING helps. The doc said he doesn't want to put her on pain meds because at her age if would be risky and she would fall. So what do we do? After giving my life up for 16 + yrs I don't want to put her in a NH that last phase of her life. I'm at a loss. I feel angry all the time and cry a lot. My siblings know what I deal with but yet are not around. I'm in counselling working thru the anger and I had a good two weeks them boom I seemed to have regressed and I'm angry at the world again. If I hear her moan one more time I think my head will explode. I feel like an unloving daughter. I don't like how I feel but can't seem to rid myself of these terrible feelings. i run to Kroger for a few groceries and that's my respite all while she counts the minutes I'm gone. Why are siblings so blind? Any suggestions are welcomed. God has to give me the grace to get thru these remaining days, week, months or years. My body, mind, spirit and emotions have all been torn to shreds thru the process. At 70 I wonder if I will have any life left for me? I want to take care of the pain but have no idea what to try next if there is even anything else to do. Thank you for letting me pour my heart out. One last thing...last Sat would have been my mom and dads 69th anniversay, today is my brother's birthday and he's not here and my dad died on July 17th. Wonder if this could be causing some of the pain?

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Thank you ALL for wanting to help me. I am going to call the doctor in the morning about the patches and over the counter and see if there is something out there that may help. He doesn't want to put her on med pain at home because it would cause drowsiness and I wouldn't be able to get her around. I think its more about me than her. She's about 200 lbs and he knows I can't help or hold her up if she was dead weight. Her regular doctor was out of the office last week and the other doctor there was the one who tried the prednisone so I will talk to her doc tomorrow. You have to have a diagnoses of 6 months to live to receive hospice and mom is healthy except for aches and pains. Thank you everyone. I will keep you posted.
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Reply to DonnaGH
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I second the Lidocaine patches. My mom got those and they worked wonders for her back pain. They are expensive and my mom's insurance had to approve them, but they're definitely worth asking about. They essentially numb up the area where they are applied. An easier thing you can try is BioFreeze. I just got some more yesterday at my wellness center (gym) through my hospital. Its active ingredient is menthol and you rub it on and it really helps with my shoulder pain which is supposedly from arthritis. You could also try something like IcyHot, which is a similar product I think.

I also have taken a prescription NSAID, Etodolac. My brother just got another NSAID prescribed and its name is Mobic. They're both for arthritis. They help quite a bit. But they can be hard on your stomach. Good luck, it sucks to have so much arthritis pain.
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Reply to blannie
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My mother finds relief from 325 mg of encapsulated aspirin - most of her pain is from arthritis inflammation. Since aspirin tends to be hard on the stomach, Mom takes one encapsulated aspirin after eating her morning bowl of cereal - usually for 1-3 days per flare. Because aspirin interacts with or magnifies the effects of other medications, please check with her doctor.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Can you call your department on aging? Ask is there are some state funds that offer a few hours of respite care...someone who can sit with her while you get some time off
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Reply to MACinCT
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I've done a little reading about prednisone as a treatment for arthritis - it is used for inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis but is not recommended for osteoarthritis.
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Reply to cwillie
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Have you considered hospice?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I question the doctor's aversion to treating her pain - is she just supposed to grin and bear it? You might consider a consult from pain specialists or a geriatric doctor who may have a little more sympathy for her discomfort. Some on the forum have mentioned pain patches, and I wouldn't completely rule out oral pain medications since the benefits may outweigh the risks, plus not all people suffer from side effects.
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Reply to cwillie
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Shes on a powder that keeps her regular. The doctor said it was arthritus. I am calling the doc tomorrow. Thank you so much for your kind words.
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Reply to DonnaGH
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Donna, you may just have to absolutely INSIST that sibs help out. They won’t ask even though they know you need help. It’s the “squeaky wheel” and all that. God forbid, but what would happen if you were unable to care for her? They’d HAVE to step up, right? Call, text, write emails, get their attention and give them a list of where they need to be, what needs to be done and when.

As for Mom’s back pain, I was told I have arthritis in my joints too. However, my worst pain comes from muscle spasms. When those hit, I can’t even reach for a pen in the end table drawer. The pain is sudden and breath-taking. I was told not to take Ibuprofen due to kidney function, but I do take drug-store brand aspirin. That works the best of anything.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Hi Donna

About the pain.
I’m glad you had the X-rays done. If she was impacted from constipation that would have shown up. Or at least it did with my aunt. Big time.

My mom had a fracture and the thing that worked the best for her was lidocaine patches. Ice and heat rotations and physical therapy. Exercise helps arthritis. A tens machine would also help. It’s like a pulsing electrical charge on the body if you aren’t familiar. It gets the circulation going in the area that hurts. There are many alternative treatments for pain.

If she’s like most people the pain meds would probably also make her constipated.

I, myself, am trying GBD oil and finding it works amazingly well. There is another poster here who is giving it to her mom and finding that it really helps her pain.

I was introduced to this by a cousin who is giving it to her mom who has Parkinson’s and dementia and has been on hospice for the past few months. My aunt started talking again and has improved in many ways. You want to make sure you get a quality product.

I think it’s the inflammation in the body that it helps with.

Do a little research on GBD oil online and if you want to know more about it let me know. My cousin who has been a 24/7 caretaker for her mom and dad for several years was really stressed. She takes it also. Her sister who has terrific migraines just started in an effort to get off of Excedrin. Both cousins are worried they will get dementia since their mom and grandmother have/ had it so are also taking it for that.

At 100 I would try anything that made her comfortable.

About your siblings. I know it’s a lot easier said than done. Forget them.
Don’t judge them. They have made their choice just as you have made yours. Own it that you chose to take care of your mother. Right, wrong or indifferent, in the final analysis you made the decision to take care of your mom. Believe me when you accept that, you will have dropped a load of anxiety and stress. Quit expecting people to be who they aren’t.
Since you are having such a hard time with it, make arrangements for your mom’s care should something happen to you before she dies. Then put it aside.

Tell your mom’s doctor you would like her evaluated by a physical therapist in your home. My mom had this for years. My aunt has it now. Medicare will pay for it and it helps.

Come back and vent anytime you need to. People here understand where you are.

There are many little places in life to get stuck. Small actions to move forward can really help.
Hugs to you and mom.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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