Sunday, January 29, 2012
Ouch! Degenerative Bone Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
Ouch moments intermittently dominated this past week. While Patti can never actually tell me where or what hurts, I observed each ouch always somehow involved the use of her left arm either removing her coat or transferring her from wheelchair to bed. I say intermittent because out of 8 coat removals only 3 were ouch moments while two out of four transfers to bed involved an ouch. Looking for common denominators, each transfer ouch was preceded by a coat removal ouch, yet each coat removal ouch was not followed by a transfer ouch.
Ouch by deduction might even frustrate Sherlock Holmes. No it’s never “quite elementary” when asking Patti is unfortunately confounded by her Multiple Sclerosis symptoms of short term memory loss and cognitive impairment.
With anywhere between half to two-thirds of those diagnosed with MS reporting pain as a symptom it would be easy to assume this is about MS. Except that Patti has never in 25 years reported pain associated with MS.
In this situation the care facility era is a godsend. While Patti fell off to sleep I stopped to discuss my observations with the nursing staff. They ordered an x-ray of her left shoulder for the next day. X-ray machines come to you in the care facility era easier than delivery pizza in the home care era. The next afternoon I was looking at the radiologist’s report as I stopped by to pick Patti up for an outing.
On the good side the x-ray found no fracture or break, on the negative it did reveal 'mild degenerative bone disease'.
Degenerative bone disease is commonly known as degenerative osteoarthritis. Allegedly this affects more than 20 million Americans. It’s about the breakdown and loss of the cartilage of the joints which when working properly acts like a shock absorber helping the bones glide over one another. When bones begin to rub each other – ‘ouch’ may be an understatement.
Tylenol for pain and application/massage of a bengay type ointment will be the immediate treatment. Outings and such need not be compromised just adjusted to ouchless by minimizing left shoulder rotation.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
- ► 2013 (65)
- ▼ 2012 (88)
- ► 2011 (106)
- ► 2010 (114)
- ► 2009 (93)
- ► 2008 (127)
- ► 2007 (131)
- ► 2006 (153)
- ► 2005 (152)