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What is the usual prognosis for the elderly?

I am a 68 year old female.  After 10 years of being diagnosed mulitiple times with degenerative disks, bulging disks, ruptured disks, and arthritis, I sought yet again another opinion.   I was finally diagnosed correctly with neuropathy earlier this year.  To be blunt, I am confused over what to expect in the coming years.  The doctors just seem to avoid this question.  

I am currently on Lyrica, pain pills, muscle relaxers, vitamins, etc., and they all help,  but I know I am continually getting worse.  I am having loss of balance and dizziness along with the pain., I now need a cane just to get around. I no longer can do any of the things I used to do (shopping, house cleaning, doing things with family and friends).  I just want someone to tell me there is hope for me.  Will I just continue my decline until I am an invalid.  What is the usual prognosis for someone who is older?


This discussion is related to Sensory Neuropathy does it ever go away?.
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Avatar universal
I am a little younger than you, aged 60, and I have had endless problems as a result of a car accident years ago that fractured my spine in three places and hospitalized me for two months.  As we age, we settle a little, and since my back is already busted up and twisted and some of the disks are gone, well, it hurts all the time, I also have neuropathy so I limp a little, I tend to lose my balance, I cannot concentrate on account of my discomfort. and I'm sick of all this struggle and rather sad, wished I could go back 10 or 20 years and be full of energy and able to do lots of stuff.

But after I wound up on disability, I moped around the house for a couple years, and finally I realized if I didn't get myself up and about again, eat a little better than I had been, and quit noting all the negative in my life, I was a gonna waste away and fade away and die.  So, I decided I would get my strength back.  I quit with the donuts, and I started eating balanced meals, and I also started going for short simple walks in the neighborhood, not very far.  I take a vitamin/mineral supplement just once a week with everything in it.  I started pouring on the proteins.  I wear a little back brace for when I'm up and about, to help support my back, but at home I do not wear it so as not to lose muscle tone.  All these efforts have paid off.  My back still hurts, of course, which I ALSO take Lyrica, but it is absolutely amazing how far I can walk now, altho I go slow, and I have plans to resume my artwork, and I think for my age I am doing what is expected.  

People age and there is no way we can go and climb Mount Everest.  We can't do what we did 20 years ago!  We have to cut back on our obligations.  We need to BE older.  But that doesn't mean we throw the whole life out the window.  No.  Even when I was healthy and younger, I had an exercise program.  And I ate nice meals, too.  It's just I kind of fell in the ditch and decided I wouldn't get back up for a while.  But now I've gotten ahold of myself and figured I can  at least do a few things that make me happy, and to do them, I have to get my strength back.  

You and I, we're hampered by our goofed-up backs, but the best thing in the world for injury is to be as active as we can manage, and it helps us feel good and allows us to do SOME things like before, just not as fast, not as often.  I would suggest since your back is all tore up, you might ask to get into a physical therapy program, to where you can safely move with easy exercises, to begin to strengthen your muscles.  I also would suggest you ask for a proper back brace to prevent further injury to your back.  Also, it is possible you could use a little operation where they can replace a few disks, perhaps shore things up a little better in your back.  Could be a doc will want you to increase your calcium/D3 intake, so your bones won't crush as easily.  There are more treatment options for you than you're given now.

Now, as for cleaning your house, THAT is something I can definitely relate to.  I finally hit on the idea of hiring someone to keep my house clean!  But to tell you the truth, since I managed to get myself a little strength back, I think I shall be able to take care of it myself again, just not as good.  And as for visiting family and friends, hey, remember when you were younger and the family would go TO the older person's house?  That's becuz we older folk can't go as far as we used to.  In fact, there is a good restaurant just a mile from my house thru the neighborhood, and I will often meet other people there for lunch or dinner.  And if you will take up walking every other day for a few months, by gosh you'll be able to go shopping again for a short period now and then (with your new back brace on!).  I hope you will try what I am suggesting and make SOME effort to pull yourself together as best you can.  See, I have what you have, I went thru the same ruin as you, but I made just a little effort and I am much happier now.  I hope my thoughts help you.  
180749 tn?1443598832
You can do something to help your body and improve your quality of life. Do this breathing technique, twice a day and you will start to feel the benefit in days. Continue this pranayam for rest of life, and you will stop thinking of prognosis.You can tell me your progress, whenever you feel like it.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom pranayam –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril  
then – close left nostril with two fingers and breath-out through right nostril  
then -keeping the left nostril closed  deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30  minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed.Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
September 6 ,2011
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