worried about my mum

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bridesmum
bridesmum Member Posts: 181
edited 4. Aug 2014, 14:07 in Living with Arthritis archive
My 80 year old mum had her 2nd tkr 3 weeks ago. She also has angina and fibromyalgia, she is struggling with the pain on 30x500 co-codamols. Today we took her out in the car and then put her in a wheelchair to look round Dunhelm. She had only been in the wheelchair for about 6 or 7 minutes and had to get out because it was too painful. She walked for about 10 minutes pushing the wheelchair then we had to get her back in the car. It took us about half an hour to get her home as my incredibly selfish sister decided to "nip" into the supermarket and took about 20 minutes leaving me and mum in the car. Mum was almost in tears and I kept ringing my sister to hurry up which she ignored. When she finally returned with 4 carrier bags she didn't apologise for the wait, she just complained about the dopey cashier. I then had to drive mum home and was really worried as she was groaning in pain. I texted my sister to tell her how bad mum was, but so far she hasn't bothered to ring her.....this the woman who wants to train as a nurse!!!!
When my mum had her previous tkr 5 years ago, two days after her op she was wheeled to the bathroom and left, whereby she fell and broke her back. It was a stable fracture so didn't need surgery but has left her in long term pain. That is why it has taken her 5 years to face having the other knee done. When she had the tkr 5 years ago I was living abroad so didn't see her until 5 weeks after the op and don't remember her being in this much pain....I think maybe this was because the broken back was more of a concern. She struggles to take morphine as it makes her terribly sick even with anti-sickness tablets, does anyone have any suggestions for more effective pain relief?

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  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi hun. Sorry that your mum is suffering so much. That sounds awful. Send her some gentle Yorkshire Blokey Hugs from me.
    Your sister sounds extremely selfish. I would have to have words with her.

    As for the pain relief I use fentanyl patches. A lot stronger than morphine but without the side effects. I use these with paracetamol and naproxen. Nothing is ever a miracle pill though. Could you take your mum to her gp and explain the pain the poor woman is in? He might refer her to a pain clinic. They are the ultimate specialists. I have been under them for years and they can prescribe meds the gp can't or isn't willing to.

    I do hope things get better for you and your mum.
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I'm guessing your Mum has OA. Mine's RA (ie most joints affected) and my last TKR was a revision but, even given these differences, it seems to me that, yes, stuff still hurtsa lot three weeks post op (just think of what's been done :shock: ) and the trip, though a kind thought, was maybe a bit ambitious.

    Three weeks post op there's loads of inner healing still to happen, especially with an 80 yr old as we take longer to heal as we get older. In this period the knee is much more comfortable elevated than bent as it must be in a wheelchair. Elevation also allows built up fluid to dissipate.

    Ten minutes would represent a lot of walking to me. I think the whole thing was just too much for her, with or without your sister's shopping trip.

    I hope she's feeling a bit better today. Get her to elevate the leg when she's resting and do her exercises 4-6 times a day. Until the knee's really strong I'd limit the outings. With luck the cocos will then be enough.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bridesmum
    bridesmum Member Posts: 181
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for your replies Tony and Sticky. She seems a bit better today although she says that she feels like she's put herself back a bit. It was her idea to go to Dunhelm and against my better judgement I went along with it....won't be doing it again in a hurry. The pain whilst in the wheelchair was due to not being able to bend her knee enough to put it on the footrest so it went into spasm. She like all of us doesn't think of herself as being "older" and often refers to other (probably younger) women as little old ladies :lol: She wouldn't be seen dead with anything like a rollator, she hates to even use a walking stick. I use a stick and I'm 26 years younger!!! She walked better pushing the wheelchair than walking with the crutches so I think a rollator might be better for her.
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    If the wheelchair is a long term thing. You can buy extensions for the legs. They are fully adjustable and have calf supports. I have these for mine but am determined to use it as little as possible. PS,they're not cheap. I think mine cost sixty quid :shock:
    e050.gifMe-Tony
    n035.gifRa-1996 -2013 RIP...
    k040.gif
    Cleo - 1996 to 2011. RIP
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    An unsupported knee in a wheelchair is very difficult at the best of times and a definite no-no just after a TKR.

    NHS foot supports do adjust though not much. As Tony says, supports can be bought.

    If your Mum is so independent she'd better get her exercises done rather than a lot of walking. If she does go for a rollater or stick(s) make sure she's measured properly for them.

    Glad things are improving :D
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bridesmum
    bridesmum Member Posts: 181
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I've just had a conversation with my mum regarding her crutches. She seems to think that she should be stopping using them...I wouldn't have thought so 3 weeks post op. She worries me when she does use them though as she puts them too far in front so that they're at an angle and I'm scared that they'll slip. I mentioned a rollator which went down like a lead balloon, but I said that it would only be for the short term. I told her Tony about the fentanyl patches and as she is seeing her gp tomorrow hopefully she will discuss stronger pain relief with her.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Bridesmum, that's ridiculous. Of course she shouldn't be ditching the crutches yet and, as you say, she should be using them properly for balance not for stepping out. When does she have a physio check up? (Six weeks springs to mind :roll: ) I don't envy you your task but she really should be walking less and exercising more. My guess is that extra pain relief will only enable her to do what she shouldn't be doing. Get her to ask her GP about where she should be at? And good luck :wink:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • bridesmum
    bridesmum Member Posts: 181
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just spoken to my mum Sticky and told her what you said...I don't think for one minute she will take any notice though :x she's been ironing today and stripping the kingsize bed. 3 days after she had come out of hospital and 6 days post op I went specially to m&s to buy nice fresh ready meals so she wouldn't have to spend time in the kitchen (her husband is next to useless) only to find that she had been to another supermarket whilst I was gone :x she's so frightened of missing something, but can't seem to understand she's making things worse. She's also type 2 diabetic, but because she thinks that isn't"real diabetes" she doesn't make any changes to her diet, even though her younger brother died several years ago in a diabetic coma. She's gonna drive me to an early grave at this rate :?
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Its awful to watch your mum in so much pain, old people can be so stubborn and come for the era were you just get on with things,little do they know that damage can be done..I agree with Tony I would take her to seethe GP or have a word yourself about the pain relief...everyone's so different with whatever rmeds we take..I hope things improve very soon ..pain wise and getting about....
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    bridesmum wrote:
    Just spoken to my mum Sticky and told her what you said...I don't think for one minute she will take any notice though :x she's been ironing today and stripping the kingsize bed.

    :shock: With all due respect, bridesmum, she sounds like a nightmare to deal with. Quite honestly, if she can do that I'd be tempted to suggest you take her pain relief away instead of letting her get more.

    Can you go with her to the GP? I'm sure she won't like it but....
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright