Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Pain Scale

The Dowager Duchess was experiencing severe pain when we arrived Friday evening. She could find some temporarily comfortable positions on the sofa. And she was fairly comfortable lying flat on her back in bed. But most movement was excruciating.

Sunday morning, when she tried to get out of bed, the pain was so awful that she had to lie back down. I tried to help, but she couldn't bear even trying to partially sit up. So, I called for an ambulance. 

The good news is that we now know the pain is not from the compression fracture alone, but from pressure on a nerve. So, she's staying in the hospital while they manage the pain and do further tests. The hope is that they will be able to perform a repair of the vertebra (possibly a kyphoplasty), whereby they insert cement directly into the vertebra to repair it. Hopefully we'll know Tuesday if that's possible. 

Meanwhile, my mother continues to be the most gracious and pleasant patient. Her pain tolerance is phenomenal, so I was surprised by her response to the neurosurgeon today when he asked, "On a scale of zero  to ten, how would you rate the pain?" Without hesitation, The Duchess said, "Oh, definitely a ten."

'Holy crap,' I thought.

If the Dowager Duchess rates it a ten, then on that same pain scale, San Geraldo would call it a 25!


  1. Oh, Mitchell! Oh, heavens! You know I'm sending my best wishes and hopes for less pain and successful treatment. At least you maybe got to have some fun seeing July 4 celebrations in Coney Island?

  2. So sorry to hear this - hope they can repair this and ease her pain very soon. Sending love and hugs to all of you.

  3. your mumis a brave woman

  4. Agonising time, Mitch, not just for D.D. but for all those around her. My thoughts are with you, with the hope that they may, even just a tiny bit, hasten the healing.

  5. Oh I feel so bad for your mother... sure hope they get the pain under control soon. I know this can't be easy for you... sending positive thoughts your way. Tell the Duchess she has a lot of folks sending love.

  6. We could all use an attitude like the DD.
    Here's to her feeling better and getting back on her feet soon!

  7. Well - good that you are there. Having both of you near must comfort her and help distract her from the pain. Hope she gets effective and long-lasting treatment soon. Please let her know that she has lots of folks out here in the blogosphere wishing her well! Hugs all round.

  8. How is it that women have a higher pain threshold than we men?
    I know, I know, we are a bunch of wimps!! lol
    And don't forget they have babies! Can you men just imagine THAT!? i can't!

    Happy you are keeping a sense of humour through all this Mitch....even at SG's expense.
    Best wishes to your Mom from the 3 amigos in Nova Scotia.

  9. Your mother is a force of nature but certain kinds of pain don't spare anyone. Thoughts are with all of you...so difficult to see a loved one in pain particularly one of distinct royalty. Hope solid diagnosis and proper treatment are soon to come.

    Don't melt in the NY metro summer humidity. Hope San Geraldo brought an "evaporative cooling" towel with him!

  10. Wow, sorry she is in so much pain, but glad you were there to make the decision about the ambulance. Unfortunately, sometimes those who have a high tolerance for pain can do even more damage thinking things are ok when really they should get things looked at again. I hope they can do something for her and FAST!

  11. Aging isn't for wimps. So sorry the DD has to experience this. Please give her my best.

  12. Thinking of you all and hoping for a speedy recovery for the DD! I also hope SG doesn't have to experience anything on his adjusted pain scale. :)

  13. Thanks for the update, I hope she is feeling better soon,


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