The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: My father's Pain  (Read 2743 times)

Offline rubantin

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« on: 26/07/2007 14:16:14 »
This is concerning my father. About 3-4 years ago he was cutting down a cedar behind his home with a chainsaw. He was not wearing a shirt and some of the sawdust/pitch got on his shoulder. Over the next few days he developed sores that turned into deep “cut like” patterns in his skin on his right shoulder/neck area… striped “cuts” about 5 – 6 inches long. He went to the veterans hospital and they said it was a dermatological reaction (I can find out the name if that would help)… over the next several weeks he was given different treatments. The pain was unbearable and he couldn’t sleep. The doctors, over the next 2 years, eventually told him that there was nothing they could do. He is living with constant pain in his shoulder (feels like a propane torch).  2 years ago he was also diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Last year his wife (my mother) of 56 years died of multiple myeloma. My father’s legs and feet have swollen over the last 6 months to the point of immobility. He was such a strong man, it is really hard for me to see this… never-the-less, I want to make sure that I seek every avenue I can pursue to try and help restore him to health. It is the pain in his shoulder that is the real debilitating factor along with the loss of hope to find some way to relieve it.

I am living in another state and all I can do is talk to him and encourage him over the phone. 

Is there any other thing we should pursue?

Your help would be greatly appreciated.



 

Offline dentstudent

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3146
  • FOGger to the unsuspecting
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #1 on: 26/07/2007 14:51:03 »
Hi there rubantin - you say he was fellng a cedar. Please can you tell me what type of cedar it was? There are many trees that use the name "cedar", and it may help to know the actual tree type. If you don't know, post a picture of it, and I'll try to reference it for you.....Some trees have weird and wonderful properties - we get turps from pines, and of course, cedars are known for their properties that prevent moth attacks - this is why clothes cupboards were made from cedar.

I'll do what I can, and good luck with your continued search for help!
 

Offline rubantin

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #2 on: 26/07/2007 17:58:16 »
I called dad and he said it was actually a 20 year old Nova Scotia Pine.

Thanks
 

Offline dentstudent

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3146
  • FOGger to the unsuspecting
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2007 10:47:01 »
OK - I've seen references to this tree species, but I can't find much about it. If you can find a copy of this book:

Trees of Nova Scotia by Gary L. Saunders

it may be in there. If you can find the latin name for it, then I'll be more able to research it. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy here - there's not much demand for Nova Scotian trees in Germany! Let me know how your search goes...
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8132
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #4 on: 27/07/2007 16:53:56 »
He went to the veterans hospital and they said it was a dermatological reaction (I can find out the name if that would help)....

Skin reactions to plant material is called "phytodermatitis"
http://www.lni.wa.gov/Safety/Research/Dermatitis/EdMat/PhytoSlides/

However I think an allergic reaction 3/4 years ago seems an unlikely cause of your elderly father's problems.

Quote
Last year his wife (my mother) of 56 years died ...
Bereavement counselling where your father could talk someone, other than family members, about his feelings, perhaps via telephone or internet if he is immobile. 

Quote
My father’s legs and feet have swollen over the last 6 months to the point of immobility.
If only the joints (ankle,knee) are swollen then you should investigate anti-inflammatory treatments, (e.g. corticosteroids). If the entirety of legs and feet are swollen, (i.e. including calfs and thighs), then you should investigate the possibility of a heart or kidney condition causing accumulation of fluid (lymph) in lower extremities, (such heart and kidney conditions can sometimes be treated with oral medications). 

Your father's burning shoulder pain could be due to a heart condition:
Quote
The symptoms of a heart attack vary, but are most commonly described as a squeezing, burning, tightness, fullness, or pressure across the chest. This discomfort may radiate to the shoulder, arms (especially the left), neck, jaw, teeth, earlobes, as well as the upper back between the shoulder blades.
http://www.heartsurgeons.com/ed2.html
« Last Edit: 27/07/2007 16:56:25 by RD »
 

Offline rubantin

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #5 on: 27/07/2007 21:06:48 »
The severe burning pain is continuous for the last 3 years. The Edema is from his kidneys reacting to the drugs he is taking for his swollen prostrate. His swollen prostrate seems to be the cause of his leg pain as well-- pinched nerve. He seems to be convinced that his doctor at the VA was the final authority on the situations.

Any Advice would be appreciated
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8132
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
My father's Pain
« Reply #6 on: 01/08/2007 16:30:54 »
If the burning pain was due to a heart condition ("angina") then it would worsen with exertion,
 e.g. climbing stairs.
If the pain is angina then it could be treated with "GTN spray" during severe attacks.
http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/Page.asp?PageID=1975&ArticleID=5122&Src=heart&From=SubCategory

Surgical stockings are used to reduce edema in legs.
Diuretic medications can help clear edema.

Only a qualified physician who is fully aware of you father's medical history is in position to change his treatment.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

My father's Pain
« Reply #6 on: 01/08/2007 16:30:54 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums