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My Dad's life is a living hell with back pain/shoulder pain/no sleep. Nothing works.help!

(11 Posts)
citybranch Mon 29-Oct-12 11:02:25

My Dad has suffered from chronic back pain for 30 years. Within that time he has had three back operations, it is thought that the first one in the 1980s actually caused more harm than good. Over the years he has tried pretty much everything, physio, acupuncture, osteopaths,chiropractors, painkillers.

My Dad is now 68 and for the last 2.5 years he has deteriorated massively, there is now shoulder pain that is even stronger than the back pain, he sleeps for maybe one hour every couple of days before the pain wakes him again. He's on morphine pain patches. He has tried the stronger patches and they make very little difference. He is also on morphine oral tablets, he is supposed to take max 6 a day but often takes 8 out of sheer desperation. He is under the Pain Management team at the hospital and has had some injections which haven't made the slightest bit of difference.

Pain Management appointments take months to come through (and their treatment isn't working anyway) and GP says there is nothing he can do as the stronger patches don't work. My Dad attempted suicide a couple of years ago with the pain he lives in being a huge factor, and the situation is worse now. I know my dad can't carry on this way much longer.

It is the lack of sleep more than anything. If he could just get a couple of hours that would help. He has zero quality of life, can't get out much, just lives a life of terrible pain and no rest.

Is there truly nothing that can be done? There must be something? He doesn't expect a miracle cure or to lead a pain free life but if he could just have some sleep.

The idea of going private is a worry for him as he doesn't have much money saved, but I tthink I could persuade him if it gave him some hope. I'd need to find him a good doctor in London though and its a bit of a minefield.

I need to help him urgently. He lives alone and i'm an only child so all he has is me sad

thanks.

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 29-Oct-12 11:12:46

Gosh, I honestly have no idea what the next step is if Pain Management team is not helping him. I have/had chronic pain after cancer and its treatment and it's just awful, so I have huge sympathies for him, and for you.
I'd say talk again to the Pain Management team, could you go with him to an appt and make sure that they are HEARING the impact it's having on his quality of life? I know with my dad (80's), he seems to underplay things with docs, he doesn't want to be a bother, etc etc, and he ends up not getting the treatment that he needs.
And if his current pain team are no good, or have no further options, ask them what they would do next, what if it were them?

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 11:13:01

Has he had an MRI scan? Has he had any diagnosis?

citybranch Mon 29-Oct-12 11:24:01

Thanks to you both.
He has had various MRI scans and is due for another (to make sure that the injections have been going in the right place) and he is terribly worried as he won't be able to lie still for 40 mins for the duration of the MRI.

No specific diagnosis.

I do want to attend an appointment with him but the next one isn't until 21st Dec. i emailed his consultant once before, as they were terribly slack about arranging his injections, and my email did seem to do some good. Maybe I could email his consultant with my concerns? Would that be acceptable do you think?

flyoverthegoldenhill Mon 29-Oct-12 11:37:28

I think its worth asking his GP or nurse about tens machines. I know someone who used this - on medical recommendation and it was brilliant. Hope it all goes well (you could ask his consultant about this)

Headiteddie Mon 29-Oct-12 11:39:11

Your poor Dad sad

If you could persuade him to go privately, this is a private pain clinic. No personal experience of these doctors, but they have trained at well thought of hospitals and have held NHS consultant positions at teaching hospitals (that would be important to me). With his pain being so desperate, might it be worth a shot?

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 11:41:13

I had 12 years of shoulder pain - not to the degree that your dad seems to be in pain, but significant to me.

I then went to see a local guy who was recommended - he is an alternative massage therapist and Osteomyologist - he resolved that long standing issue and tennis elbow that I had had for 20 years on and off.

Here is a link to the professional body - not sure where in Essex you are but there are 3 people practicing in Southend so no doubt others in Essex.

I have recommended this to other people and they have always seen benefit - might be worth a try?

osteomyology.co.uk/?page_id=11

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 11:41:42

The fact that a scan fails to identify the issue may mean it is muscular?

Tazmosis Mon 29-Oct-12 11:51:30

This who I saw. He has treated a number of my family, friends and colleagues too. All report exceptional results.

www.newportcomplementaryhealthclinic.co.uk/

citybranch Mon 29-Oct-12 12:05:07

Thank you. I'll look at all these links and speak to my dad. I'm pretty sure he has a TENS machine and it doesn't help him either.

ClareMarriott Mon 29-Oct-12 18:07:22

This may be an obvious question but have all the people your father has seen seeing over the years got a FULL record of what happening the 30 odd years ago? Did something in particular happen from which all this subsequent pain has stemmed ?

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