Friday, June 24, 2011

"there's nothing we can do"

We took my mom to see a back doctor this week to get a more expert opinion on her back pain. He looked at her x-rays and couldn't find any new fractures, thankfully (she had two hairline fractures back in 2004), and basically told us, that as far as she is concerned, with her age, and arthritis and osteopenia (not quite osteoporosis), there was really nothing else we could do that we weren't doing already —  basically pain management — and we could add some heat, a back brace, and hitting the pool (in a gentle way).

It was depressing to hear, yet at the same time liberating. It's always hard to hear that you've hit the wall, and with my mom, it seems that this is a message I am going to have to get used to hearing. But on the up side, it also means that we are doing everything right, so there's no reason to continue to poke and prod - she's an old lady (sorry, mom) and she's going to hurt, and now we know what to do when she does.

My mom is actually finally starting to do a bit better with her back, which is a real relief for all. I've managed to get her out every day this week, which may not sound like a big deal, but if you were around here at the end of May, it was something just to get her from her bed to the bathroom. We have been to the movies, a museum and out to lunch, etc. Summer is starting to finally feel like summer.

Painkillers are still a big part of the program, and they come with a whole other set of issues - appetite suppression, plumbing clogger. But they have definitely helped her get over the worse of her pain, and for that I am grateful. The pain was quite extreme in the beginning when this all started, Memorial Day weekend — geez, has it been a month already? When you're plus 70 years, the spectre of addiction is just that, a spectre. The old lady hurts, so bring on the pills, now. And who knows, maybe tomorrow everybody will hit the pool.
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