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Mom wont take her meds

Posts: 68
Joined: Dec 2010

My mom was dx with breast cancer that has spread to her spine, pelvis and hips. She has several fractured ribs. She is schedualed for a colonoscopy because they think it is in her colon too. She was given the smallest dose for morophine.

My mom has been in excruciating pain and her back is visably messed up. She has a hospital bed in her living room and sleep next to her in a recliner. She doesnt want to get out of bed because of her pain, but says that laying in the bed she has none. Home Health, her doctors, our family and I all want to see her regain as much of her life as possible (she "says" she does too). But she refuses to take her pain med because she says she is afraid of getting dependent on them (even though over and over everyone assures her this wont happen) and because she never used to take pills even for a cold.

When I have flat out told her that she has 2 choices, one being to have her body seize body up and be bedridden maybe forever or two is to take pain meds and regain her life she argues with me and because she IS in pain and it is upsetting and she is my mom afterall, I dont want to argue with her and let her win. Argh!!!

I am sooo thankful for the internet and this group and not feeling so alone right now going thru this. Thank you all

Vicky DeRosia
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2010

I also have been having this discusion with my mother and beleive she knows every pill she is taking.I finally got my mom to take her medicine telling her it was half dose and it will help her to move because she has worked hard her whole life and the pain medicine is not going to prolong anything and that she is helping me to help her because I no longer bear to see her in pain.God does not want her to have pain.Now we have her on reg does with medicine.We do not give her a choice we just walk in and say time for your medicine.We finally started this since yesterday.She would tell me she was in pain and than tell the nurse no finally I mention to nurse in front of mom and she admitted that her pain was a 10.If you have a visiting nurse let her be your advocate they have a lot of knowledge in this field.Just keep trying and I know it is very hard and that you are only trying to help her.Remember to be good to yourself we both have a long road to travel.Keep me posted on how things are going.I will keep you in my prayers.

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Every time my mother gets a new "something wrong," she tries to hang it on one of her medications. Several times she has taken herself off of things she needed and gotten herself into trouble, but she doesn't learn. It's just something she does. Today she wants to take herself of off of her pain medication because she says it's making her sleep too much. This after not taking anything for 12 hours.

I struggled for months to get Mom to take her pain meds, but part of the problem was that the pills weren't really working. Even the oxycontin didn't do it for her pain. Morphine has been much more effective, and now that she has something that works, she's much better about taking it. Most of the time.

Good luck!

Posts: 68
Joined: Dec 2010

Since she still drinks fluids pretty good, Im thinking about disolving her morophine pill in something I know she will drink....... I wonder what it would taste like or if it would be effective still. I would have to trick her though or threaten her to send her to a home if she doesnt take steps to get feeling better but I think that might be over the top and she probably knows I wouldnt do it anyway...

DrMary's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Nov 2010

The advantage of these is that you only have to have the argument every 3 days. If she is not really an expert on pain meds, you might be able to tell her that it's a way to get pain relief with less medicine (more or less true). I'm not sure my mother even realizes it's a drug.

Many folks equate "pills" with bad, and so the patch can help that way also. The only problem is that it would be a change in her medication so you'd have to get the doctor on board for this. Also, be aware that heat (hot shower, heating pad, etc.) on the patch can make it deliver the drug faster.

My mother's been on the patch (she's up to 2, actually) for years and it has made a huge difference - no "holes" when the drug wears out and no "zonk peaks" when it hits maximum levels, as it is a constant release. It's also harder to OD by mistake.

Posts: 68
Joined: Dec 2010

mom went to the ER today because of extreme pain and another tumor that came up on her lower right side rib cage. They gave her the fentanyl patch and doped her up real good with hydromorophone for the ride home. Tonight she was in pain of only a 2 or 3 she said. She really enjoyed having no real serious pain for the first time in a very long time. I think she forgot what it was like to not be in serious pain. She actually sat up straight in her wheelchair instead of slouched and had an easier time transitioning to the bed. She ate a little more tonight too. She also said she wasnt going to argue with me anymore about taking her meds........ hmm, I just hope she remembers that and sticks to it tomorrow. However, the pills are still to be given to her just like originally prescribed along with the patch.

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

Good for you and good for your mom, Teresa!

skipper85's picture
Posts: 231
Joined: Sep 2010

Looks like your prayers have been answered. Hope your Mom stays comfortable so you can stay sane :0

I don't know about the others in this group but it makes me feel good if I can show support for someone who is having a rough time. I tend to forget about my own situation and like to show that together we can get through this. We have each other - we are not alone.


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