My dad got the word yesterday that he will not be receiving spinal gel injections after all. The latest MRI showed that there has been too much recent healing of the newest round of fractures on their own and not enough fluid is present for the injections to proceed.
I assumed Dad would be devastated and yes, he is disappointed, as are we all, BUT I found out he has been dreading the actual procedure ever since he was at the doctor's and found out what it entailed. There was a chance that in the process of "pounding out" the place where the injections would happen, more damage COULD happen to the vertebrae.
So, that is pretty much the end of the line for Dad as far as any way of treating him further for his fractures and his daily pain. He will have a follow up with his back specialist in a few weeks, go over his regimen of exercises and morphine drugs to see if there is any tiny change that could help anything at all, but there is little hope of that.
The main thing for me is that Dad is at peace about this latest disappointment. He is content, as much as anyone can be, to continue doing whatever he has to do each day to rest and be still to help keep the pain from becoming overwhelming. He has accepted that he will be on his morphine pills for the rest of his life and that unfortunately his body cannot tolerate any higher doses.
My mom is a brick, handling the vagaries of Dad's condition...of his several health conditions. While I pray for Dad to be able to manage his emotions as he enters this phase of aging and ill health, I pray for her as well. She has her own health issues and we have to be careful we don't all just assume she will be able to continue with her present level of coping with and caring for Dad. Dad is 87 and Mom soon will be.
Sometimes it is difficult to live this far away and other times I realize it is likely for the best in terms of the drain on me. When we lived in the same city a few years ago, long before most of my and their health issues arose, there was a lot of stress and we realized that some distance can be more relaxed and less of a drain on us all.
Hopefully I can go to see them soon and help them out with some things, give their drivers and shopping assistants a break for a few days.