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Old 02-27-2011, 12:54 PM
 
5,547 posts, read 8,289,159 times
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Firstly, this deals with my 89 year old mother. She has very severe pain in her right hand to the extent she cannot dress herself. Dr. gave her a wrist brace but seems to be getting worse. She even said she doesn't want to continue to live with this pain and she takes Tramadol which is not doing the trick. I told her go to the Dr and maybe ask for something stronger? Oxycontin? Morphine?

The concern is my dad passed on in late August. Now I have to worry about my mother going soon too, which is not an uncommon occurrence.

How can I best support her and what types of questions or suggestions should she be making to the Dr?
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,152 posts, read 9,578,000 times
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Has she had any neck injuries? Pain down the right arm and in the hand can be indicative of radiculopathy and degenerative disc disease (given her age).

The pain in her wrist could very well be referred pain from pressure from the discs in her neck and upper back that are impinging the root nerves that run down the arm.

Is it her fingers as well? Thumb or all of them? Is it primarily the outside of the hand and wrist and pinkie finger?

Either way she needs to be seem by a doctor and at the very least have an examination if not an xray/MRI.

The pain is excruciating. I'm sorry for your mother's pain. Please get her checked out asap.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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If she is not satisfied with her doctor's recommendation, she should be telling him that. She should be asking him if he knows what the trouble is, precisely - an actual diagnosis. And she should be asking him to treat the diagnoses, rather than the pain resulting from the diagnosis. If she has a pinched nerve, then compresses and chiropractic -could- be the most beneficial thing for her. If she has muscle problems, then physical therapy -could- be the most beneficial thing for her. If she takes pain meds, the ONLY thing that will happen, is she will STILL have the problem - which could get worse and spread, depending on what it is..but she won't notice it until she, or someone else, discovers she's taking more and more pain meds, because she is in increasing pain.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:52 AM
 
4,628 posts, read 9,025,724 times
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Take her to an orthopedic specialist. Don't play around with anyone who is less than a specialist - and make sure it's a competent surgeon (because they are forced to keep their education up-to-date).

If her pain is that severe, be it a pinched nerve, degenerative disease or frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis, which also results in the excruciating pain you've described) a general practitioner is not enough. I read the doc gave her a brace and her pain is getting worse - forcing immobility in frozen shoulder is the worst possible thing that could've been done.

In terms of being supportive of your Mom, be patient. Do not allow the doctor to be dismissive of her because of her age. Be a strong advocate.

Obviously, we don't know understand what she's going through and can't diagnose ailments. Please, go to a specialist. I hope that your Mom gets better.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:10 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Personally I wouldn't bring her to a surgeon. But that's my personal bias. I've learned if I have congestion, and the doctor on duty (the office is a "group" not an individual practitioner) specializes in allergies, then my diagnosis will inevitably be "you have allergies, here, take these." If my doctor specializes in cardo-pulminary problems, he'll recommend lung x-rays and an electro-cardiogram. If the doctor is a general diagnostician, I have the best shot of getting an accurate recommendation. He might even call in his allergy pal to check for allergies.

So I recommend an orthopaedic specialist (someone who specializes in musculo-skeletal problems, not -just- a bone guy), but not necessarily a surgeon - because a surgeon will be looking at it from a surgical perspective and the mom's problem might not need surgery of any kind.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:20 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,319,241 times
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Any chance you can go to the doctor with her?

Once my parents started having serious problems I always went with them. And, yes, right into the exam room. Elderly people often need an advocate for them. My parents were always grateful there was a second set of ears and another voice speaking up for them.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: PORT ANGELES, WA
806 posts, read 1,954,359 times
Reputation: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistygrl092 View Post
Firstly, this deals with my 89 year old mother. She has very severe pain in her right hand to the extent she cannot dress herself. Dr. gave her a wrist brace but seems to be getting worse. She even said she doesn't want to continue to live with this pain and she takes Tramadol which is not doing the trick. I told her go to the Dr and maybe ask for something stronger? Oxycontin? Morphine?

The concern is my dad passed on in late August. Now I have to worry about my mother going soon too, which is not an uncommon occurrence.

How can I best support her and what types of questions or suggestions should she be making to the Dr?

Hold on Misty..

Are you not aware of the negative effects Oxy's or Morphine will have on your lovely 89 yr/old mom???

Unless she is SUFFERING, I would recommend talking to her Doctor for treating the problem...
She isn't on Hospice Care is she????
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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There's Hospice Care, and there's palliative care. Hospice Care is -exclusively- for giving pain relief and physical comfort to terminally ill patients with less than 6 months to live. Palliative care is for pain relief and physical comfort to seriously ill patients, even if they are not terminal (such as chemo/radiation patients who have a chance to recover).
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Florida
725 posts, read 1,320,922 times
Reputation: 1146
All of the above and
deterioration of the nerve sheath is also possible.
Try giving her Vitamin B6..Every day.
It may help.
If she were younger -- it could possibly cure the situation.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Hernando, FL
749 posts, read 2,016,311 times
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That's too bad, i feel for her, I'm only 44 and experience similiar pain. I wouldn't recommend Oxy's or Morphine (too strong) and she could get hurt just slipping or falling around the house on those meds.

Perhaps something in the middle , like a 500 mg Vicodin with a 5 or 10 mg Valium and monitor her......like no driving and be very carefull just doing household tasks until she gets used to the medication.
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