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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
chronic pain and other issues aside from dementia
A year ago I read the story on CGvr board about a woman whose husband or father was hospitalized for a meltdown. The first thing the doctor in charge did was take him off pain meds he had used for over 10 years FOR A PAINFUL CONDITION. They switched him to something else and he went totally berserk. She could not understand why he was so out of his mind. Were they all unaware of withdrawal symptoms? His fate has haunted me.
If you have chronic pain and medication allows you to have a life, I believe you have a right to continue to use it. It is possible that with advanced dementia the person's inactivity may actually reduce pain. In my case exercising often causes bone and muscle pain, migraines, exhaustion. I still love to move and walk when I can, go to class or swim. I no longer use any pain meds although I have MM for migraine pain and help to sleep. I want to stay strong and not break bones so I force myself.
Pain medication allowed me to work as a massage therapist for 12 years longer than I could have without. Every time I picked up my prescription there was a look, like I was some pill head. Some times it gives people a life.
Maybe important to write down things that have helped you if you do have chronic pain and ask to not be cut off in the future cold turkey.
Many of us have other conditions aside from dementia, seems easy for CGvr and medical people to forget that.
I also suspect some people in despair are suffering from painful conditions no one is aware of - headaches, arthritis, tooth fractures, and so on. Taking a person with dementia to a massage therapist could be helpful - the CGvr gets an hour off, the massage therapist will notice injuries or painful conditions and other changes. Massage also calms the mind and spirit.
But with reduced medications, the woman at the Two Harbors home did seem to awaken. She was able to speak — haltingly and not always understandably, but enough to communicate. And what she let Ms. Lanigan know, after years of being virtually nonverbal, was that she was suffering physical pain, the cause of her crying out.
It took doctors a while to find effective medications for her nerve condition, but they were eventually able to make her more comfortable without further fogging her mind. She stopped taking psychotropic drugs altogether.
Thanks Lane! My Dad was briefly in a nursing home after he fell and broke his hip. He had the hip replaced !! My Mom went to the nursing home every day the first week. I remember walking into his room and seeing his face all contorted. He was moaning. I asked what was wrong. She said, "Oh nothing, they say he moans like that all the time."
I looked into his eyes and he was BEGGING for help. I took off his blanket and checked his hip wound. It was a black festering hole the size of a soft ball filled with MRSA. He was out of there very quickly. My Mother was ok with hospice (I volunteered with them) so he was put in the hospital to die under their care.
I spent nights with him for 2 weeks as he died. We had a really wonderful time alone those nights. He had pain meds, no food no water. I suctioned him as nurses were busy. We held hands and he squeezed my hand when I asked him if he was ok, pain better. I loved my Dad. It was all good between us during his dementia.
before the broken hip my Mother would drive him to my office where I gave him massage and a massage on weekends at their home. People communicate 90% with body language and facial expressions. We do notneed words to feel the energy of those caring for us. He was never an empty shell and people do not "moan all the time" over nothing. We know who you are so stop asking.
LANE : This is a great story on the same subject: