I have been a nurse for over 40 years. I have worked in Hospitals, Long Term Care Facilities, Home Health Care Agencies and Hospice, most recently I have a business as a Care Manager Certified. There have been many articles in the news and on television about the misuse of opioids and the rising risk of addiction/overdose. My concern is just the opposite, I worry that because of this overreaction to the use/abuse of pain relievers that individuals will suffer pain needlessly because society, lawmakers and some health care providers are more worried about addiction than pain control. As a registered nurse and a Hospice providers I have always been an advocate for clients and their pain control. I don’t understand why clients who are in pain have to suffer because some individuals have a dependency problem with Opiates. If a clients does become addicted/dependent on pain medications couldn’t we deal with that through Mental Health Intervention etc. Instead we make it harder for clients who are in acute/chronic pain to receive adequate pain control. That makes no sense and is unfair to those in severe pain. Treat the pain and if necessary provide intervention to individuals who become dependent on alcohol, opiates, nicotine etc, that seems like a reasonable approach.
Following a Hip Fracture it is paramount to get a bone density exam, calcium and vitamin D levels and most likely start on medication. There is a new drug romosozumab/Evenity. Most of the old drugs (biophosphonates) stop the loss of bone density. Evenity actually increases bone density, the first medication which does that. Bone Density Exam, Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements then talk to your doctor about Evenity.
New studies and a review of older studies reveal that exercise can be of significant value in any effort to lower body fat and/or fight high blood pressure. These studies imply that exercise is medicine. Physicians are now considering officially prescribing exercise for people with high body fat especially around the abdomen and individuals with hypertension.
The researchers gathered 391 randomized, controlled trials–these are the gold standard for testing treatments–that looked at either medications or exercise to control weight or blood pressure. Exercise and/or lifestyle changes should always be the first intervention, one doesn’t need clinical trials or have to deal with the side effects which come with pharmaceutical interventions..
This is not really “hot off the press news”, we’ve known about this for years. Some individuals find it hard to exercise and increase their physical activity. If that’s the case with you the most important thing is to start slowly and gradually, try to make it enjoyable, do it with friends and try to have fun. Having fun alone could lower your blood pressure but having fun while you exercise it is even better medicine.
Elderly people are most at risk for shingles, this blistering disease, with its often in intense pain, it’s threat to vision and the associated nerve pain sometimes lasts months even years after the initial rash fades. Almost all Americans harbor varicella zoster virus that causes shingles; they acquired it with childhood chickenpox whether they knew they had the disease or not. The virus can stay dormant until, for unknown reasons it erupts decades later. The risk rises sharply after age 50. When one reaches 80 There is a one in two chance of getting shingles. Zostavax can a eliminate/prevent 50% of the cases of shingles among the elderly. Shingrix Which will be available by early 2018 with an 97% effectiveness rate in adults over age 50 and then 90% effective rate for adults over 80. This is an extremely vigorous response in the elderly to a vaccine. So you have a choice and Shingrix is the most effective and lasts longer than Zostavax.
Chronic pain is not good for the heart, lungs, endocrine system, musculoskeletal system and it can also cause depression and emotional problems. Responsible use of opioids is crucial to managing the pain of millions of Americans. Hospice programs and “comfort care” options are of a key part of any health care system. Individual human beings need to know that when they get very sick and are dying that their pain will be controlled. We are going to make it harder for these individuals to get adequate pain control. There are many elderly people who aren’t actively dying but have chronic pain who need to be able to sleep comfortably at night. We need to let them have access to opioids. We can’t deny pain relief to suffering people because we’re worried about drug abuse! I don’t know if the ‘War on Drugs’ is working or if it’s a failure but I do know that chronic and acute pain cause an awful lot of pain in our society, not only for those who suffer directly from the pain but it also affects their loved ones and family. Pain is not natural and it needs to be controlled. Let’s not confused adequate pain control with the ‘War on Drugs.