Different Pain Medications – Episode 182

Kathe and Les talk about the different pain medicationsMedications Do Not Eliminate Pain Completely

There are different pain medications out on the market. Pain medications are drugs used to relieve discomfort related to an illness, an injury or surgery and it is a complex process. Kathe and Les are back in this episode to talk about the article, Real Pain Relief, Now! There are different pain medications that provide relief by acting through a variety of mechanisms. When you are taking any kind of medication, you should start with the lowest dose possible. This is to alleviate your pain and not jump into a large dose. If you start with Ibuprofen for instance, which is usually 200mg per pill. The doctor will prescribe 800mg but you should start with the 200mg, if the 200mg does it, that’s what you should live with.

A section of the article starts out by saying, “The goal of pills, patches, and creams is to take the pain down a couple of notches, not eliminate it completely.” This is to allow the person to exercise, work and socialize. Because, when you can take the pain down then you can do the movement which we talked about in the last episode. The typical doctor is going to just prescribe pain medications because the typical doctor is not necessarily trained on chronic pain. Just like we’ve said on the first episode, there’s 1 doctor in every 28,500 people that’s trained in chronic pain. And chronic pain is not helped by these short term drugs that are being tried. That's the downside when taking these different pain medications.

Different Pain Medications that Relieve Pain

Supplements. There are different pain medications that are prescribed and there are some that are necessarily not prescribed but can be helpful. Which falls under the category of supplements. Marijuana may relieve certain types of pain. The drug industry is not funding trials on supplements because they want to sell their drugs. Supplements like fish oil help reduce inflammation type pain and pain that is neurological. Another one is vitamin B and D. If you have deficiencies in these vitamins certain types of pain are going to be worse.

Over-the-Counter Drugs. One of the other things that I found interesting that drugs like Ibuprofen and Aleve reduce swelling whereas Acetaminophen (Tylenol) makes you think that you’re not feeling pain. For Les’ personal experience, Ibuprofen works better than Acetaminophen for most of his pain. For headache pain though, Acetaminophen works better for Les than Ibuprofen. Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are good for muscle and joint pain but they don’t seem to be very effective against nerve pain. A combination of Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen has had an effect very similar to opioids but you need to talk to your doctor before doing these combinations.

Topical Creams. Topical creams like Tiger balm don’t necessarily make the pain go away as much as they make your body react to the burning/cold sensation, taking away from the other pain. There are these compounds called salicylates that produce the feeling of heat or cold to keep the nerves busy transmitting those sensations of pain instead of pain.

Prescribed Drugs

Antidepressants. There are different pain medications that need a prescription. Some doctors prescribe antidepressants for pain, which seems to be dangerous. There’s only one of that drug that has any connection with pain and that is duloxetine (Cymbalta). But it has a side effect of weight gain, constipation, and suicidal thoughts. Small doses can help with fibromyalgia, headache prevention, and pain dueDifferent Pain Medications to nerve damage.

Anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsants are dealing with the nervous system. If you have nerve pain it would have some effect but it doesn’t help if you have back pain. Also, like antidepressants, it can cause suicidal thoughts. These things that are working on your nervous system can cause weird thoughts. Samples of these drugs are pregabalin (Lyrica), and carbamazepine (Epitol and generic). Epitol can cause deadly allergic reactions. Not only you have these suicidal thoughts but you could die taking that drug.

Muscle Relaxants. When you have a muscle that cramps up, relaxing that muscle is going to help with that pain. Also, When Les has Sciatica, which he has every once in a while, the pain is not a nerve that is being pinched as much as the muscle that is cramping up. He thought that a muscle relaxant would be the right thing to take but he doesn’t like to take it very often. It makes him tired and groggy. Muscle relaxants only work for 3 weeks. And you should never take these alongside opioids.

Opioids. Considered to be some of the strongest painkillers available. It can have a positive effect when you have pain but you should not take it on a long term basis because they can have serious consequences like increased sensitivity to pain, which may result to dependency and overdose.


With these different pain medications, you have to take them very carefully. Most of the medications you take have different side effects on your body. These are just one part of a pain treatment plan and there are many things you can do to help ease the pain.

Mentioned in this Episode:

ConsumerReports.org – Real Pain Relief, Now!

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Therapies That Ease Pain – Episode 181

Kathe and Les talk about therapies that ease painHow Can Sleep Help Your Pain?

In this 2nd episode of our 4-part series on pain, Les and I talk about an article on pain relief. Did you know that sleep also helps with dementia? When it comes to easing pain, It will depend on what the pain is. If the pain is caused by inflammation, it tends to go down as you sleep because your body is trying to heal itself. But there are other things that cause pain in your brain. For example, neuro pain. Your brain is running during the day on full but in sleep, your brain is resting so oftentimes the neuro pain also rest along with your brain. This is a combination of healing and calming your body when we’re talking about not skimping on sleep.

If you’re working while you’re sick your sickness is going to last longer. You’re going to feel horrible longer because you didn’t give yourself time to heal. That is why, in any case when it comes to chronic pain sleep is really important.

Combining the Treatments is the Key to Ease Pain

In the last episode, Les touched on the fact that he’s been having pain at night and he’s been taking Ibuprofen so that he can sleep. It’s been helping him wake up with no pain. Also, removing some devices like cell phones, lights, before you sleep, helps. Sometimes when Les is in pain he just gets up and walks around. But a lot of people don’t want to move because it hurts to move. Oftentimes people would have pain and they’ll not use that area of your body that has pain and that is when atrophy comes in. Maintaining an active lifestyle or being proactive will help you feel better if you want to ease the pain.

Physical Activity Can Ease Pain and Improve Your Ability to Move Through the Day

A physical therapist can help you with this, it doesn’t have to be lifetime physical therapy but they can help you. They can offer strength and stretching exercises that are tailored to your own needs and on your own abilities. There are also certain posture improvement programs such as the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais. These posture improving programs can really help ease the pain. Because as you get older a lot of the pain is in your back and it’s usually because of the bad posture. When Les tries to improve his posture even when he’s walking, it makes a difference.

The article talks about Tai Chi and yoga and how it helps manages pain. But what we’re doing is Qigong, it’s kind of like Tai Chi but it’s more on meditative movement. The article talks about the mind, body connection. That’s what that kind of movement with meditation does, it connects the body and mind. It’s definitely relaxing and you feel less pain after the session.


Typically, in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, you get 7-10 sessions and the therapist can teach the patient to identify thoughts and behaviors that actually worsen pain and Therapies that ease painreplace them with a new thought pattern designed to calm the nervous system and ease the pain. You can ask your doctor for a referral and you can look for a therapist that has training on this kind of therapy.

When you go to a massage therapist it’s helpful to know what kind of training they’ve had. A chiropractor, for instance, would be helpful because they understand anatomy and physiology. It’s important to pay attention to that because you go to a massage therapist that doesn’t help you might be because they don’t understand your body that well.

Acupuncture also helps with pain but you have to go to somebody who knows what they’re doing and that’s not easy to find necessarily.

Acupuncture, massage therapy and the type of chiropractic that Les was doing are not covered by Medicare. Sometimes when we're dealing with our health, we don’t necessarily want to just do things that are covered by insurance. We have to take upon ourselves to go outside of what is covered by insurance and we’ll be better and healthier in the long run.

Mentioned in this Episode:

ConsumerReports.org – Real Pain Relief, Now!
Alexander Technique
Feldenkrais MethodFel·den·krais/ˈfeldənkrīs
Qigong – /ˌCHēˈɡäNG

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

How Pain Affects People – Episode 180

Kathe and Les talk about how pain affects peopleToday's subject affects 20% of the US population because 1 of 5 adults experience pain. In our audience, it’s probably more than that because as you get older, it's more likely that you’re going to have pain. For the retirement years, this is also a good subject to talk about. My husband Les Briney is joining us for today's show as we discuss, how pain affects people.

Acute and Chronic Pain

As a result of Les’ cancer. He has pain that is semi-chronic. By the way, there are 2 types of pain, there’s acute pain and chronic pain. Acute is usually very sharp pains and they don’t last that long. Chronic pain lasts for more than 6 months. This is according to the definition by Cleveland Clinic.

Les has stage 4 advanced metastatic prostate cancer. Meaning his cancer has spread to several places in his body. But he seems to be doing ok yet feeling some pain. He has acute pain from time to time. When he went for his chemo he has a lot of pain. Mainly the pain was a nerve type as opposed to joint type. The pains are sharp and shooting that occurs on different parts of his body.

Pain Affects People Differently

About 50 million Americans report pain every day. 20 million of that 50 million can’t do their activities of daily living because of that pain. We also have friends who encounter that same problem.

Pain is both a sensory and emotional experience that affects people differently. What's more, there is a difference between how you are confronted with pain and how you go on to tolerate it. Your body has different reactions to try to reduce the pain. That is why it affects people differently.

How Physicians Treat Their Patients

A report prepared by Congress said that for every physician certified in pain care there are more than 28,500 Americans living in chronic pain. Also, doctors treat patients differently depending on what their gender is, ethnic background and all kinds of things. Women, for instance, don’t get necessarily the same reaction to pain when a doctor is a man. 70% of doctors are males. So, you already have some bias there.

Acute pain is treated normally through drugs and it’s a temporary thing. Chronic pain drugs cannot make the pain go away. Also, when you use opioids for chronic pain it becomes less effective over time.

When it comes to older people with pain, they are put off by doctors because they think that it’s expected as you grow older.

Treat Pain Through Combination of Things That You Do

Each person's pain should be treated by a combination of things that you do. It’s not something for chronic pain in particular. It is also not something that you can do once and How Pain Affects Peoplethat will be the end. This is something that you’re going to have to do for probably the rest of your life to try to get rid of the pain. The combination of all the things that the article talked about makes very good sense.

The fact that it’s personal says your combination is going to be different from my combination. In Les’ case, probably the key thing is a combination of sleep and exercise. Because when Les does those things, generally, he feels better. With sleep, if you have pain, you can’t sleep. So, Les’ use Ibuprofen to keep the pain down as such a level for him to sleep. You have to think about other things than pain. That is why you have to move around and occasionally use pain killers.

It is important that you understand the symptoms of pain and how to reduce pain. Dealing with pain whether acute or chronic is difficult but proper knowledge will help a lot in alleviating your problem.

Mentioned in this Episode:

ConsumerReports.org – Real Pain Relief, Now!
Cleveland Clinic

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Stress-Free Multigenerational Family – Ep 179

Kathe Kline and Jonna Overson talk about a Stress-Free Multigenerational FamilyIn this last episode of our 4 part series, we talk about the article, Multigenerational Families Provide Benefits for Everyone. In the first episode, we talked about Families Living Under One Roof. The second delves into the Pros of Families Living Together. Also, while multigenerational living has its pros it also has its downside, which we discussed in the third episode.

Multigenerational living is one of the hottest trends in housing nowadays. Putting multiple generations under one roof could be a difficult task. However, if done with planning and open communication, it can be successful. A multigenerational household could be meaningful and happy for everyone involved. Anybody who is thinking about entering into this type of living arrangement should follow the tips below to make sure the transition is smooth and stress-free.

Have Family Meetings

Having family meetings depends on the family. In Jonna's household, it’s very calm. There’s a lot of conflict diversion. Not a yelling household. It’s very placid and we don’t do well with hashing out and having a big group discussion. What seems to work for us is to have quiet sharing sessions. One-on-one seems to work better for us.

You have to understand what your loved one is going to be receptive to. After which, create a conversation around that. Your family meetings might be in a big group or they might be a one-on-one conversation so that people are more open. Everybody can have their own style of a family meeting.

Communicate any household Issues with the family members

If you are living in a multigenerational household, communication is key. This goes along with family meetings. In Jonna's house, her husband was doing the laundry and her father also wanted to do the laundry at the same time. So they had to have an intervention. The three of them had to sit down and learn how to communicate with each other on these things. Being open about that communication and being willing to say this isn’t working for me but this way could help. They even had a calendar up so sometimes things get written on the calendar so they know that there won’t be a conflict.

Set Up House Rules in a Multigenerational Home

At the outset of a multigenerational home, you need to be open and honest and set out some ground rules. Jonna tries to avoid conflicts in her multigenerational home. So, what her family did was they created a neutral zone. Early on they just said, your beliefs and values are yours, our views and values are ours. If you want to talk about those beliefs and values do that away from the children and in your own space and vice versa. No politics, religion, and those things that you’re not supposed to talk about at parties. Some families are going to be on the same page and it’s going to work out just fine. They just set the standard early, they had the house rules really clear. It was to protect not only her and her husband but also her father from misunderstanding a conflict.

Establish Financial Responsibilities

For most families, multigenerational or not, money is a sticky subject. Try creating both individual budgets and a shared household budget. The financial bit can definitely be challenging. This is because as an adult child Jonna want to give to her family the whole time. She also had to be very realistic about how long the arrangement might last. Also, why they were doing it in the first place.

Part of her father’s agreement living with them is that they’re building out a second living structure that he’ll have on his own. So, they agreed that he would give them a very small rent. Not even what you would pay for a studio apartment in Southern California to help with the costs. But each family is going to be so unique and different based off of their specific arrangements. People should not feel embarrassed about talking about money or asking for money. Even hashing that out before.

Have a Separate and Shared Spaces for All Family Members in a Multigenerational Home

Make sure your home is ready for sharing. Create some private space and time for everyone. Ideally having separate spaces and having communal spaces are amazing and valuable. In reality, though sometimes when Jonna walked into multigenerational houses where there’s an aging parent that has health issues they might take over the whole floor. The communal spaces are essentially gone. Sometimes it happens that that doesn’t work out. But Jonna thinks that in those situations it’s really important to be cognizant of the space. Sometimes creating a mental boundary can be efficient. Even if you don’t have a clear physical boundary.

Be Good Role Models by Teaching Children to Respect Older Family Members

Children may need reminders to recognize the special bonds and benefits of close grandparent-grandchild relationships. Jonna has a 13-year-old daughter. She has different views than her grandfather. That is why sometimes they will go head to head about opinions. It’s very eye-opening to her to hear Jonna say, maybe it’s time to back off. You can’t talk to him like he is up here, he is your grandfather. He deserves different respect. She’s been learning to deal with that and he’s been learning to talk to her like she’s a person.
Be Flexible

You need to be very clear about where you’ll intervene, what things they need to fix on their own. There are bound to be conflicts and frustrations. Also, there are moments when you long for privacy and freedom. Accept this as fact, and when it happens it won't be so unexpected or catastrophic. Get a little time away, get clear on priorities and go back to your family with a loving approach.

Be Nice

Be kind, be nice to family members regardless of whether they are living with you or not. Especially if they are. It takes a little compassion because it’s hard on everybody in Stress-Free Multigenerational Familythis culture that we live in.

Creating memories and long lasting traditions that will live on is what’s important. Trying to live in a multigenerational way does take some time getting used to. But by making decisions together it can help you have a meaningful and happy life together.
About Our Co-Host

Jonna Overson is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new. You can check out her website at https://greentreehomecare.com/

Mentioned in this Episode:

MissouriFamilies.org – Multigenerational families provide benefits for everyone


This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

Downside of Multigenerational Homes – Ep 178

Downside of Multigenerational HomesIt Can Be a Daunting Task

People who experience multigenerational homes know that it can sometimes have its downside. But it isn’t all that rare in our close-knit society. Where we often find 3 generations of families living under the same roof.

Sometimes, there comes a time that older adults make the decision to give up their home and move in with their adult children. They may not need complete care at all. But the deeper reason here is that they are unable to stay by themselves anymore. This results in a multigenerational household where seniors, their adult children, and young grandchildren are living together under one roof. It can be a daunting task but so can the benefits. And many families are making this thing work.

The Downside of Families Living Together

When you’re living in a multigenerational household, you are stepping outside as we used to as our cultural norm a little bit. Because there are some differing expectations from what we may have thought we were going to have of our future self-picture. There is some emotional conflict that comes from that. This article goes through how the adult child might feel. How the younger people in the house might feel and how it will affect the oldest adult in the generational house. That is why it wraps up by talking about kind of the emotional bullet points. Points of how to maybe make the transition better or easier. Acknowledging that some of these feelings are going to exist helps with how you manage the downside of multigenerational homes.

Downside for Seniors

My father came to live with us last year. We’ve been a multigenerational household from teens all the way up to 60s for that year. There are some really great aspects just like what we’ve talked about on the last episode. The downsides though are also very real. Before my father moved in, I’ve spent some time creating a contract. The contract was more of an acknowledgment of the emotional place of each person in the household.

Having that very different perspective starting place made some difficulties. While the contract was a good intention, sometimes the fine bits got pushed to the wayside. One of the things that I found really interesting about the integrations is that you have a second chance to learn your parent. You have your child perspective and then your adult perspective. The downside though is that sometimes I think that we become our child self with our parent more than we would in any other situation. And they will adopt those same roles.

Downside for Kids

Depending on their age, it can also be difficult for kids to get accustomed to living with their grandparents. They may enjoy spending time with them and have a close relationship, but they will have to get used to a new routine. They will have to share their parents’ attention with their grandparents. It's because their parents may not be able to do with them as many things as before.

Being Really Honest with Your Loved One is Important

I work with adult children bringing in older adults quite often. Those people that have been most successful are the ones that first off come from a place of charity, and giving, and openness. Even before you ever have somebody live with you. Making sure that your heart is in the right place and that it’s not a chore because it can become a chore. It can get to that place. And if you’re not or already in a place of love and openness, then it makes it that much more complicated.

Also, remember to be an advocate for your loved one. Not feeling like you’re doing them a certain favor by having them in your space. But actually, that you’re advocating for their health and happiness. That you want the best for them and you feel like that’s living with you. That you actually implementing that charity of heart and advocating for that happiness. If you’re bringing your mom and your dad in your house, do not be expecting them to be a default babysitter.

Have That Open Dialogue

Having that open dialogue, and asking before you assume. We did go ahead and put him on a monetary agreement. So, we put in a small agreement that he was going to help us with a certain amount of rent and groceries each month and we will cover the rest. Because we had that conversation in the beginning. It set the groundwork really nicely.

If It's Not Meant to Be Just Let It Be
If maybe the relationship wasn’t great and maybe childhood left a bad taste in your mouth. Then it can be difficult for people to integrate into a multigenerational household.Kathe Kline and Jonna Overson on the Downside of Multigenerational Homes

More often multigenerational households are strange. Because they feel that there isn’t another choice. Some because of health or age, maybe a parent who is abusive, or neglectful. Then suddenly becomes the responsibility of the child who's not willing to say I want no responsibility but also has all these conflicting emotions.

If you do not feel comfortable having somebody living in your home. You do not have to do that. No matter how dire and the situation of the health might be. It’s ok for you not to do this. It’s ok for you not to take on this responsibility. If your parent left you in a place where you don’t feel emotionally interested, capable, or well enough to handle that. That’s ok, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human and you have to take care of you first.

About Our Co-Host

Jonna Overson is the Founder of Green Tree Home Care – a business that provides Care Professionals in the homes of clients so they can stay safe, cared for, and comfortable at home.

Jonna discovered a passion for working with the senior community 7 years ago. She is also part of the sandwich generation. She understands the challenge of balancing the needs of marriage, growing teens, and aging parents.

She is an expert on helping family members stay in their own home and was on the show before. You can hear her original interview on episode 24 when the show was still pretty new. You can check out her website at https://greentreehomecare.com/

Mentioned in this Episode:

RelationshipMatters.com – Challenges of Multigenerational Family Living

This post about retirement and retirement lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com