78 year old husband has osteoarthritis

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Can anyone help. Husband has terrible back pain especially on getting up and sitting down and this has been diagnosed. He has been told to take th ehighest dose of paracetamol 4 x 2 a day plus highest dose of Dihydrocoedine 4 x 2 a day. If this is not enough, GP suggested we consider the morphine patches. Has anyone here tried these? I am worried but if it gives him 'quality of life' then  maybe it is wortt considering. He has had kidney problems and his function fell to 9% last May so feel a little worried about the amount of painkillers he will be taking long term. He also seems to have a lot of pain round his hip bones and not sure if this is related or not. I really struggle to accept that the amount of pain he is in is down to aging and 'wear and tear.' I was borderline on asking for a stomache scan and a colon scan but do not want to ask for these things and put husband through this if it is not necessary. Cannot help feeling something else is going on.....  

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  • Posted

    sorry to hear of your hubbys problems. i am 60 i suffer with oseo in lower spine (20 yrs) both shoulders (15 years) both knees (10 yrs) i take zapain (co codamal) gababentin tramadol. still have the pain. anyway you dont say if he has had his blood taken and checked. kidney problems and any tablets dont really ¬mix¬ did u inform your gp about his kidney problems when he prescribed the medication because he should of asked really.. ok my wife suffers with osteo in lower spine, hips she tried the patches  and they was ok at first then she felt they wasnt really easing the pain then her gp up the dosage of the patches then same again worked at first then didnt ease the pain she then went on morphine tablets but they were too strong and she was sleepy all the time. so she is on cocodamal effervessnt tablets now which she prefers. good luck and take care. oh by the way please make sure he gets all the disability aids he is entitled to . fred

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  • Posted

    Have any non-medicine options been suggested?  I would think that there must be something "mechanical" which could help relieve the pain, which may be nerves being compressed by the aging spine.  Can you get referred to a pain specialist, and/or a physiotherpist with experience treating the elderly?

    I had a family member who had an operation, she was about 91 at the time, but they didn't check her kidney function first and dye used damaged them, and she spent the last months or year of her life on dialysis, so anything that can be done to minimize your husband''s exposure to possibly unnecessary chemicals would be good.  I do hope you can find some alternatives which help.  

    By the way, do the painkillers actually help him?  If not, he may have something else, like polymyalgia rheumatica, which is treatable.

    Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Your husband's back pain MAY be related to his kidney issues. Also, osteoarthritis can cause terrible back pain particularly in the lower back and across the hips. I have this and get relief for several hours by applying IcyHot roll-on to the area. The IcyHot is a "counter-irritant" which produces a heat sensation that tricks the brain into ignoring the PAIN and feeling HEAT instead. The roll-on is handy because then your hands never have to touch the liquid. It is easy to carry in a purse or pocket to reapply as needed. I use Ibuprofen in the morning, around 3:00pm and before bed to take the edge off my back issues and when my other areas of arthritis flare up.

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  • Posted

    Thanks. Yes he does have his kidney function checked because he also has psoriasis and lupus and they want to make sure the Acitretin does not cause problems. He also has gout and Acid Reflux so we are dealing with a lot of things. I am not sure if the painkillers help frankly but just taking it day by day. Walking is very difficult for him especially getting up and sitting down plus he is now mentioning a weak ankle and weakness in one thigh. He also has what i think is a bed sore coming due to him not moving around much due to the pain.888888888888
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  • Posted

    Those are a LOT of tablets - all those chemicals going into his body - and if they are not helping!!!!!

    We read on this forum that excercise and diet are the only things that really improve the quality of life.  OA is a beast in itself without all his other problems.

    Does he excercise his legs when sitting down - stretching, etc?  It's hard work standing up/walking, I know.  I make a point of getting up once an hour, wandering round the room, stretching, etc.

    Hope he finds some release soon.

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    • Posted

      No he does not move around much frankly due to the pain. He now says it is getting worse despite the tablets. Bit worried it may be kidney as I am sure I saw blood on front of his underpants two days ago.  He has said he will phone 111 if it does not get better although frankly I think he should see a GP. He is very stubborn though and tends to downplay things. I cannot talk for him as it is not my body and he has 'mental capacity' although I am his carer. His diet really is just Fortisips and a croissant most days. Dietician been very good but we cannot get him to eat a more varied diet and we have both tried. He is also mentioning ankle weakness. I would have thought his GP would have been aware of the kidney problem last year - we never really found out the cause although he had 7 days ina kidney unit but i think  it was put down to the psoriasis medication, the painkillers and the antibiotics for a UTI - it was AKI rather than progressive and as far as I know the last tests shows the function around 80.....      

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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear of your husband's problems.  Sounds to me as if he should have a thorough overhaul of all his medication and be under a consultant specialising in care of the elderly (I know I'm probably living in cloud cuckoo land to expect this but there are specialist consultants in hospitals).  NICE have apparently said that paracetamol does nothing for osteoarthritis and exercise is the answer.  My osteoarthritis is helped with movement so perhaps he could have some physio (probably again I'm living in cloud cuckoo land).  One thing I would suggest, if you have not already considered this is a review of the chair he usually sits in.  Perhaps even a recliner, he needs firm, upright support with a high seat (according to his height of course).  I would ask your GP to get an  occupational therapist to visit to assess his needs.  Specialist equipment is loaned out by thge NHS.  There's been a lot of talk about the lonliness of the elderly recently and not enough about the quality of life and relief of pain.  If your husband won't agree to be helped though I don't suppose there's not a lot you can do.  Remember also that as his carer you are also entitled to be cared for by your GP and he/she should be aware of any stress etc you are being caused.  Good luck, it's difficult battling the NHS but I do think you have to be a bit vocal and find out what is available and question any decisions/treatments made and prescribed.

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  • Posted

    Thanks Linda and Constance .Unfortunately he insists on sleeping on the sofa. He used to go to bed when I got up at 5am for a few hours - he tens to like watching tv late where as by 9pm I have had enough. Now he cannot get up the stairs so I am sure that is not helping. I have tried to suggest a sofa bed or a single bed but he won't let me clear out the office and has threatened me with the police if I dispose of his old computers/tv/printers ect.....or he would burn my clothes. He has also said I can clear it out when he is dead. I think frankly we may be dealing with dementia here as this is not to me 'normal behaviour'. I do not want to get rid of his things without his agreement but he won't help although friend has a van and wouuld take some things to the tip....I agree Linda I need help in dealing with someone who cannot or will not help themselves. But not always easy as husband fell out with my GP at my surgery and is at another surgery. I willt ry to get to see my GP though and get on file how hard things are and that there has been abuse and threats as it looks as if I am neglecting him letting him sleep on the sofa! Today he has had fecal incontinence in the night - he was not aware of it and it is very bad. Cleaned him up and washed two dressing gowns - he wears two. amazed at volume given that the painkillers cause constipation! yes a consultant or maybe a pain relief clinic might be the way forward - will be seeing his GP on August  3rd when she is back from holiday. Also it could be due to the lupus or psoriasis but Dermo keeps telling us to see GP for pain relief.       

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    • Posted

      Oh dear Krug,  you really are going through bad times, both of you.  So difficult!  I do hope you get help very very soon.  Keep posting, we cannot really help you but we are always here to listen and commiserate.  
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  • Posted

    Dear Krug22, so sorry to hear of extra complications/difficulties you are facing.  I can only suggest that you see your own GP urgently.  He/she should be able to tell you what help you can ask for from your husband's GP.  I have lost touch now with how things work in the NHS (my husband had multi infarct dementia but it was a long time ago and things change) but I had a lot of help from the local psychiatric nurse team and there should be a multi discipline team, which is how these things are handled these days, I think, somewhere in your local NHS area.  I always found the Alzheimer's Society extremely helpful and I should think your nearest branch should be able to tell you who to contact locally to get help if you can't get to your GP soon.  I also think you can ring Social Services direct without even having to go through your GP.  It's nothing to be worried about, they are there to help you, not to judge or criticize and they are quite used to these sort of situations.  The Alzheimer's Society's national helpline number is 0300 222 1122 or email "helpline@alzheimers.org.uk". He may not even have some form of dementia, infections, especially bladder, can cause confusion and difficult behaviour.  Please contact someone, you should not have to carry on alone with these problems and both you and your husband need help and advice.

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