My husband has been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease 7 years ago. He is 80 years old. His latest symptoms are: burning and pain around the groin area, thighs and sometimes backside. The only way to make him comfortable is by taking Neurontin and Darvocet. Confusion is then increased. Any suggestions?
Ready to give up,
First, let me give my customary warning: I am not a medical doctor and am not qualified to diagnose and prescribe. My response is founded on my research findings and should be taken to a medical doctor for further discussion and evaluation.
My first reaction to the description of symptoms is that the pain may be caused by lymph that is backed up and clogged around the groin area. The only way to move lymph out of the body is through exercise.
Does your husband get exercise every day? I am guessing not.
What if exercising is too painful for him at this point? It may be painful at the beginning, but if my guess is on target, the pain will subside when he begins to move. A great technique for moving lympth is to jump on a trampoline. Everyone should do it. You can purchase small ones for home use for $30-$40 in the U.S.
Another possibility is for him to use a body inverter which he can use to shift the body so that his head is lower than the feet. There are little valves throughout the lymph system that prevent the lymph from slipping back down, so when you place the body upside down, the lymph moves up and out. There is no organ that pumps the lump as there is for blood (which of course is the heart).
A total inversion would probably be unwise, but positioning the body so that the head is lower than the feet can be helpful. Various health care practitioners might have such equipment you can experiment with. If he has other health problems, this idea might be unwise, so check it out with his doctor.
The challenge for him is likely that the lymph in his body is a thick mucuous. Hydrating his body will be a great asset. Dr. John Coleman, ND, recommends that everyone with Parkinsons hydrate their body using a homeopath remedy called the Aquas (www.aquas.us). The thirst mechanism for all older persons shorts out, so the body needs a backup signalling system that will helo the body tell him when to drink. At a minimum he should drink a lot of water.
My guess is that the more he can move his body, the more relief he will get from the pain. You of course might also want to examine very carefully the side effects of any medications he takes. This can also be a confounding factor which can directly contribute to the problem he is experiencing.
Finally, the sentence jumps out at me
Ready to give up.
I note that you do not say whether you are ready to give up or he is ready to give up. If he is ready to throw in the towel, then I would say to you – honor his wishes. A time comes for everyone when a decision is made to begin shutting down the body. Is this his time? If so, he will not move or exercise or do anything of the things necessary to relieve the pain.
Are you ready to give up? Believe me, this is totally understandable. It is so difficult to take care of someone you love who is ill. If you are ready to give up, it is time for you to take a break from care taking.
Take a short vacation with your friends. Get away. No one can take someone who is ill 100% of the time. Ill people take the energy away from healthy people. That is the natural process of what happens.
You need to get away to rejevenate yourself. This sounds counterintuitive, but by taking care of yourself, you are actually able to do a much better job of taking care of him.
My guess about the cause of the pain may be wrong and you will have to move to another possibilty, but I can guarantee you that when he moves his body, he will feel better. It is the one surefire suggestion I can offer that I know will yield relief.
Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
© 2009 Parkinsons Recovery