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Pain management for seniors

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That is a good suggestion, Ahab.  Iirc Mom used that with shingles and found it helpful many years ago.  Thanks for reminding me.

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On 8/19/2019 at 10:33 AM, clarkgoble said:

Be careful about interactions as well. My wife's mom just was dealing with tons of interactions which were causing problems. There's lots of doctors out there who aren't terribly good and who's go to is just prescribing medicine without looking at what other medicines are there. Supplements can be good, but again you have to really worry about interactions. And while interactions with major drugs often has at least some information, lesser used drugs frequently are a crap shoot. So you have to be very, very careful. 

As to supplement quality, all I can say without getting specific is be careful. Health companies - whether oils, pills, or so forth - tend to have a lot of companies that aren't the most honest. Track carefully how what you are taking works. 

I have been using the Consumer's lab that tests to make sure they have what they say.  Doesn't always cover quality or what works best for what, but a good site for starting out.

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Posted (edited)

Just now seeing this, so the acute need has  probably been addressed.  Palliative medicine is increasing in demand, given the aging of the population.  You don't necessarily have to be a cancer  patient to see a palliative specialist.  That and hospice are two things I would recommend.  There is no reason to be near the end of life and be miserable.

As was mentioned earlier, use supplements with caution.  There is no regulation, and you literally do not know what you are buying.  No controlled studies show benefit, the CBD enthusiasts notwithstanding.  There may be benefit, but it hasn't been demonstrated; and no one knows what concentration, dose, frequency, age restrictions, dose adjustment for renal/liver function, medication interactions, etc., etc.  Remember, the plural of anecdote is not data.

Edited by ERMD

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The doctor recommended sticking with Tylenol 8 hr ( Arthritis).  I learned something new about Tylenol in that it works better when it builds up, takes 2 or so days for maximum effect and then you need to be consistent throughout the day for taking them.  Too many people see it as quick pain relief ( and it is marketed that way) or as needed.  Of course, long term use can cause other issues, but at Mom's age, pain relief so she moves more is of greater import.

Mom had been moaning and groaning less in her moving in and out if the car, which I had noticed but ignored as she was still commenting about how much pain she is in.  But she doesn't have the ability to compare the Now to even a day before these days, so asking her to evaluate it is useless.  She did stand up to walk down the hall, but then said if I was in a hurry I needed to push her.  Looking back I think standing up at all might be a good sign of less pain.

So for now we will just stick with this and see if the addition of more activity (backed by the doctor) will help.  Since she is so sensitive to meds, I think it best to limit those changes at least until we get the other changes established.  There have been no calls of complaint from her or concerns from her caregivers for the first day in a week and I got to stay home all day...another first I think (I may have slept Tuesday away...the past week is kind of blurry)...I slept the afternoon away today and by the time I paid attention to the clock it was too late to call, so tomorrow I will find out if she still feels good about our choices (people coming in to help her get going in the morning and to remind/ push her to go to meals).

I need to write up a supplement list for her now, since it is obvious she shouldn't even be doing that.  She has been getting nasty cramps in her legs, I am wondering if she is getting too little calcium as I know she gets more than enough magnesium.  I think I will just go with a decent multivitamin and maybe vitamin d as she isn't going outside much at all or drinking milk (though eats cheese quite a bit).

I discovered she isn't eating raw vegetables much (unless maybe in a salad) as she had three plates of carrot, peppers, and other sticks sitting in her frig from meals that had been taken in.  Rather shocking given her obsession for eating fresh food in the past.  Got to ask her why when I remember.

I appreciate being able to talk about it here.  It helped a lot to calm me down and get me through the turmoil.  There will still be crisis, but now there are others who are not only first responders, but long term ones, so if other family members are not available, I know there are other options already in place to step in as needed...though I do need to get clearer about what that entails now.

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:59 PM, Calm said:

Whatever works.  :)

Her arthritis sounds serious and painful.  Mine feels painful but doesn’t sound as serious.  Here in Washington I’ve tried several OTC products without much luck.  I finally tried Hemp CBD cream with some positive effect.  The CBD with some THC (called Body Bliss, available in pot shops, costs $32.00) and is about 4 plus times as effective as Hemp CBD, IMO.  It’s a topical gel that takes away my pain almost immediately.

I don’t take internal meds due to discomfort, foggy brain and possible internal bleeding issues.  One thing that works as well for me, maybe a little better than the CBD with some THC,  is Diflocenac Sodium 1% Gel.  It’s an NSAID that requires prescription.  ( I thought it was an opiate, but apparently not.). Apply directly to the affected joints.  Relief lasts a few to several hours.  

I also steer clear of sugar and other inflammation causing problems.

Regarding Turmeric, I buy about a pound at Winco for $4 or less.I add pepper to make the turmeric more available to the body to fight inflammation  causing foods.

Edited by Meerkat
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On 8/18/2019 at 6:54 PM, Calm said:

I know this belongs in Social, but I really need as much advice as I can get on this and am starting here to get this widely viewed. Apologies up front, mods please let it stay for a day at least, maybe two, then switch.

I figure there are enough older posters as well as those who have parents in much the same place as mine, that I could get some feedback   I like to cover personal experiences as well as the med websites when looking at new stuff 

My 89 year old mother is in excruciating pain all day and night as far as I can tell (she sometimes is crying as she walks to the bathroom), would just sit and veg if she could which is making it worse.  She also has poor memory so can’t be trusted with meds on her own or to ask for them in a timely manner. 

My right elbow was aching last night, so I used Arnica gel for good relief. Felt relief in about 5 min - probably tendons and ligaments. Running down to one tube, so I was poking around to reorder, and found Arniflora Arnica cheapest on Swanson's. Also found  a pill specifically for arthritis https://www.puritan.com/homeopathic-058/pparnicare-arthritis60-tabs-019246 , but I cannot vouch for it, as I have never used Arnica in a pill form.

Of course there are the arthritis-specific drugs. Some newer ones you probably have seen ads for which are supposed to work by blocking the body's biological responses: like enbre-l and humir-a. Then there are glucocorticoids which should only be used for flareups like Celeston-e. But, I'm sure doctors know about these.

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