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My Mum is in so much pain and nobody seems to be able to help her

(22 Posts)
lovemyMum Mon 01-Jul-19 03:50:06

My Mother struggled with a bad cough many months ago, this has happened before and a quick course of antibiotics sorted it out with no ongoing problems. This time, because antibiotics are not now handed out easily, she has suffered one or more fractured ribs due to her coughing. She has now been diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis and her rib fractures are the result of this. She is in intense pain and unable to find anything that eases it. Her doctor prescribed morphine patches which did nothing to ease the pain but caused her to suffer dreadful constipation, Mum decided the pain of her ribs was much lesser than the pain of her constipation. Mum was also prescribed cocodamol (not sure if I have spelt this correctly) but this gave Mum hallucinations which terrified her. Mum is now staying in bed for most of the day because that's where it hurts less, she is not eating well and says her appetite has completely gone. It is breaking my heart and I don't know how I can help her. I had heard that once you reach old age the UK medical institution is no longer interested and I must admit that this seems to be true as far as my Mum is concerned as nobody seems to be interested in helping her. Can anyone please give me some advice/

BlueBelle Mon 01-Jul-19 06:35:16

I m sorry to hear your mum is so poorly it’s horrible to see our loved ones suffer It’s certainly not true that old people aren’t cared for by the NHS both my Mum and Dad had wonderful care in their old age My elderly aunt too who had such severe oestroperosis she could break a bone turning over in bed
Broken or cracked ribs are very very painful and unfortunately there is nothing you can do except rest and wait for them to heal the doctor has prescribe things to ease her pain but she hasn’t been able to tolerate them but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been trying to help her she has been offered two lots of pain relief you cannot say they haven’t tried
Antibiotics are not the answer to everything if the cough is not caused by an infection then antibiotics are useless and shouldnt be prescribed
Hopefully staying in bed or resting in a chair plenty of fluids and whatever pain relief she can tolerate is about all that can be done for broken ribs she may be feeling depressed which is why her appetite it failing are you nearby to keep her company, listen to her, and offer her some small amounts of her favourite food she probably doesn’t feel like getting herself something prepared She needs tender loving care more than NHS
I hope she soon improves

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Jul-19 06:38:21

I would suggest see the GP again and if things don't improve ask for a referral to the local Pain management service. Is she still taking some pain killers? There are 2 strengths of cocodamol. Do you know which one she tried? Please encourage her to take 2 paracetamol four times a day regularly in the meantime. I hope things improve.

NfkDumpling Mon 01-Jul-19 06:49:51

Many years ago with a badly slipped disc I was on Cocodamol (6 hourly) plus paracetamol (4 hourly). Left on my own much of the time I really didn't know how often I was taking which despite having it written down. I was out of my tree - so I know what she means about hallucinations!

There are many different painkillers now and pain management is much better so her doctor should be able to find something for her. It may take a lot of persistence and calls from you though as most surgeries are rushed off their feet these days.

cornergran Mon 01-Jul-19 06:53:46

I’m so sorry your Mum is experiencing this and understand the difficulty with painkillers as I also cannot tolerate those you mention. . I agree with mumof, regular paracetamol and another consultation with the GP as a first step. Pain clinics can be incredibly helpful in some circumstances and a referral could be useful in view of the non tolerance of medication. Advice now could well stand her in good stead for the future. Please don’t think the NHS routinely abandons people because of age. I’ve currently got medical appointments coming out of my ears, have received much care and consideration with a chronic pain condition so certainly haven’t experienced a reluctance to treat because of age. I get the impression you aren’t geographically close to your Mum, apologies if I'm wrong, but if not that will make this situation harder for you both. You sound understandably worried, sending you both my best wishes that hope there will be a solution to your Mums discomfort sooner rather than later.

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Jul-19 07:07:12

Nfkdumpling I wonder if you remember that wrongly? Cocodamol contains paracetamol and codeine. So cocodamol must never be taken with paracetamol as it would give you an overdose of paracetamol.

NfkDumpling Mon 01-Jul-19 07:13:18

You’re right Mumofmadboys - it was Codydromol. DH is on cocodamol! I was definitely overdosing on something though as time went out of the window when the pain took over and I just randomly guessed which pill to take! Thankfully I’m still here!!

dragonfly46 Mon 01-Jul-19 07:15:56

Cocodamol is dreadful stuff. It gave my DH constipation and caused him to vomit. Unfortunately broken ribs just have to heal. You don’t say how old your mum is or if she is being treated for osteoporosis.

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Jul-19 07:17:26

Codydramol is a combination of dihydrocodeine and paracetamol so again codydramol and paracetamol should never be taken together.

NfkDumpling Mon 01-Jul-19 07:18:20

(DH has just said that prescription was only for a short time. It was changed within a couple of weeks to codydromol and nurofen. Is that safer?)

NfkDumpling Mon 01-Jul-19 07:19:57

Perhaps a slight touch of human error!

mumofmadboys Mon 01-Jul-19 07:45:08

Yes codydramol is fine with nurofen( ibuprofen)

Jane10 Mon 01-Jul-19 08:10:21

Morphine type pain relievers slow gut motility leading to constipation. I suppose it's very difficult to find really good pain relief without the side effects of constipation or horrible hallucination type feelings.
I refused all opioides after my last knee replacement and was very glad I did. However, I wasn't old and frail and really knew what I was doing.
Best wishes to your poor mum.

BlueBelle Mon 01-Jul-19 08:12:53

Can I add you don’t tell us your mums age, you don’t say if she has you or other friends and relatives nearby
What you Mum needs is tender loving care from friends and relatives plus pain relief. If she’s off her food cook her little favourites or just a small bit of anything she families here and there, little and often, company takes pain away and much better than being alone when pain seems twice as bad
If she has only recently been diagnosed with brittle bones ask for a referral to the falls nurse they will do a home visit and can get items for the home from occupational health bath rails, toilet heightened, bed rails etc etc they also have what we used to call ‘falls knickers’ I don’t know there real name but they have padded hips bits

Marydoll Mon 01-Jul-19 08:24:13

After I fractured two vertebrae, due to osteoporosis, (still unhealed twelve years later) I was in horrific pain. It didn't help that I kept on working, as no-one realised the severity of it. It was assumed I'd broken a couple of ribs.
After unsuccessfuly trying numerous painkillers, I was referred to a pain management clinic.

I now use a Fentanyl patch, topped up with paracetamol. I don't have any digestive problems from it. It doesn't totally relieve the pain, but it is now bearable.

Please urge your mother to seek help, she must be in agony. It is totally unnecessary for her to suffer like this.
I wonder if her GP knows how unwell she is or has she been putting on a brave face. Is there someone, who can speak on her behalf?

As Cornergran says, the NHS does not abandon older people because of their age. I too have medical appointments coming out of my ears.

I hope your mother gets help and pain relief soon. flowers

Daisymae Mon 01-Jul-19 08:35:11

Back to the GP, they are the portal that should get her more help. Make sure she moves every 2 hours otherwise she will be susceptible to bed sores, which are horrendous. Totally agree that it can be almost impossible to get the right care for the elderly, but you must try.

PamelaJ1 Mon 01-Jul-19 08:57:58

We have a pain clinic in our area.
Ask if she could be referred to one, if there is one close enough to her.

EllanVannin Mon 01-Jul-19 09:43:53

An X-Ray is needed here to see if there's any restriction going on regarding the misplaced rib/s. I know our NHS are good but there are times when you have to make a nuisance of yourself and be insistent if you're not happy.

FlexibleFriend Mon 01-Jul-19 09:49:29

I'd go back to the GP Morphine is the right drug it's used as both a pain killer and cough suppressant in patients with lung cancer and it certainly helped when I cracked a couple of ribs. Also they usually prescribe a laxative along with the morphine with luckily I've never had to take because I eat so much fruit.

Lazigirl Mon 01-Jul-19 09:55:42

Adequate pain relief can be a problem in elderly, and it's just trial and error. Regular paracetamol as MoMB recommends is possibly the best, but I agree re pain clinic. They have closed the one in our area! A daily meal replacement drink of Complan may help to keep her strength up if she doesn't feel like eating. They contain all the nutrients and have nice fruit flavours.

NfkDumpling Mon 01-Jul-19 10:04:23

Thanks mumofmadboys.

FC61 Tue 02-Jul-19 13:32:40

After a major op I had a cough, wounds and constipation. All that worked was Boots echinacea every day without fail, immune support ( vit Z zinc) fizzies, soluble paracetomol every 12 hours with two if I felt pain , chicken veg soup, dates, ginger tea and praying. I made an amazing recovery. Vitamin c is mild laxative and dates are a superfood minerals bomb. Dates are not to be underestimated it’s all people eat in some deserts . Chicken soup is gentle. Ginger tea calming. My hubby supplied me with funny things on YouTube because I love to laugh but that hurt so he converted to horses ( I love) and stories of bravery. As soon as I recovered I got on to the funnies. But at one time I was so bleak I only made the effort because I couldn’t face hurting my husband by leaving the planet ! I hope her spirit lifts and I’m sure your love and prayers are healing !!