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 Fisted hands causing finger to dislocate from joint. 
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:51 am
Posts: 31
Post Fisted hands causing finger to dislocate from joint.
My mother has been clinching her hands into fists for a couple of months. I understand that this is common with the disease according to the physical therapist. Her little finger on one hand is very swollen and painful. She cries and shouts out when we touch the hand or even move the arm. X-rays show that the hand is not fractured but the finger could be dislocated. The therapist said that it could be adjusted but because of the clinching it would just keep coming out of the joint. They are trying to continue with the physical therapy but it is difficult because of the pain. The sitter has Mom hold a rolled towel to try to keep the hand open, which helps, but nothing is helping the little finger that is so painful. Has anyone experienced this and do you have any suggestions on how to relieve the pain?


Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:46 pm
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Hi Cmiller,
No real good advice here except the wash cloth rolled up, has the Dr thought about possibly splinting the sore fineger at least until the pain lets up and as far as suggestions for the pain I think again a Dr is better qualifed to help you there. Good Luck!


Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:47 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:51 am
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Thanks Irene. The sitter told me that when the physical therapist worked with Mom today the thereapist told her that she did not think the hand and arm hurt as much as my mother said it did. She said the pain is because she clinches the hands so tightly that when they open them the tendons that run from the fingers up through the hand and arm stretch and it is painful. It's hard to tell because sometimes you just touch Mom's skin and she says that she hurts. The physical therapist suggested using gloves when touching her. She said for whatever reason the feel of the gloves are less painful than touching skin to skin. Interesting. The disease is progressing so quickly. She is 100% dependent on us and the sitter. She can no longer stand, walk, eat, etc. Her appetite has started to diminish again. I just spent another exhausting night with her trying to get her to eat. She fussed at me the entire time. She tells me, "You little girl, you are always hurting me". She adds a curse word in there too. My Dad can't handle it anymore. He's wanting me to step in more and more where he can't and I'm just drained. I feel for him but I have a husband and child that I'm neglecting, and a job. Sorry for venting, it was just a very hard afternoon and I know I have a rough weekend ahead of me. I used to look forward to weekends on Fridays. I had such energy and I was in such a good mood. Now, I dread them because I know I'll be just as tired when Monday rolls around. I pray for energy.

Cindy


Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:54 pm
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Hi Cindy,
I know how hard it is for you, or at least I can imagine how hard it is with your own family to care for. LBD is a cruel disease and can be so draining on families because when they get to the point of constant care it is 24/7, My husband was like that for a 1 1/2 yrs and I'd just pray for the stamina for just one more day.
I am glad you are venting here, thats what the forums are for , we are all people who really understand what it's like .
As for the foods, maybe just give her things she likes, no need to be balanced at this point in time, I used to do alot of fruits and puddings, I had to puree all my husbands foods and of course he had to be fed but as I was doing it I would try to talk about other things because he too gave me a hard time with eating most foods, I have a large sliding door in our kitchen with a pond outside on the property line and it is always loaded with ducks and all kinds of birds, I would try to divert his attention to out there, it sometimes helped or I would put the TV on, anything just to not focus on the food, try it , it might help!
I will also pray for guildance and patience for you and that energy you so need!


Fri Jan 19, 2007 10:55 pm
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Hi Cindy,
I forgot I wanted to ask if you have contacted Hospice yet they can be a great help and comfort to the WHOLE family! :)


Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:03 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:51 am
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No, we haven't contacted Hospice yet. My sister was going to do that. She is friends with someone that works for Hospice. She's a single Mom, working and trying to obtain a college degree and has a teenager too. Everyone has their plates full. I'll have to reminder her. The new sitter is a CNA who worked at another nursing home. She's been wonderful teaching us how to properly care for Mom. This morning when I arrived at the nursing home they were just bringing Mom from her room for a whirlpool bath. I laughed with the aids because I told them I sure could use one. The nurse came in later and looked at her hand and she agreed that it is not normal. She told me she would try to reach the doctor to see what else could be done. She said by now, three weeks later, she should not be in that much pain and her hand should not be swollen. She felt that if it was dislocated it should be corrected. We talked awhile about the doctors and I asked her advice. We both agreed that we need to find a doctor that is patient with geriatric care and willing to just provide comfort care for Mom. I'll have to talk my Dad into it. He is just so afraid to load her up on medications again and bring her back to the point she was at two months ago. We shall see. Thanks for the ear.

Cindy


Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:23 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:01 pm
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Hi Cindy,
My husband and I just got my Mom into Hospice. They brought a hospital bed that we put in our downstairs office and we are moving all her things down so that she doesn't need to go up and down the stairs (14 of them). I think because she "shuffles" when she walks, she used to get only her toes onto each stair. We had to either stand behind and push the foot forward, or hold her under the arms on each side to get her up. This will be much easier for all of us. Hospice provides Depends like diapers, all of her meds except we will continue to pay for her Aricept. But the best part is having someone we can call 24/7 if we have any questions or concerns. We are only on day 3, but we are very happy so far. No pressure to change meds or do anything that we feel would be giving up on her. Just improved quality of life for all of us. And still able to have her at home. We are all just very pleased.
Sallyann


Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:11 pm
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Thanks Sallyann. I reminded my sister tonight that she needs to make the call. I'll keep you posted.
Cindy


Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:40 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: New Hampshire
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Hi I too have my mom on hospice they are a blessing. My mom had a couple of good days where she was alert and not so confused. Well last two days we are right back at it. Had a hard time keeping her awake yesterday and today her hand is also swollen from clenching. My mom only clenches her right hand, her left hand is always unclenched and never swollen. I find that odd, any ideas on that one. This disease has so many wacky symptoms you can never stay ahead of the game. My mom also has on and off again headaches, I wonder if it has something to do with the tangles causing misfirings or damange to parts of the brain. Oh well just a thought. Hope everyone hangs in there and we all have a good week.

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Shelley, Lills daughter, taking care of Mom for 5 years now......


Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:21 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 5:01 pm
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I am always suprised by the odd way this disease progresses. I shouldn't be, but I try to sort of track it as if it was a typical disease and it is so so different. Hospice came 1/18/07, Mom was up, dressed, and fairly responsive. Today, shakey, unable to walk without assistance. She was awake and calling all night which she has never done before. This, I am sure, is because she slept in the new room last night. I pray that this will pass because I don't think I can deal with all this if I am sleep deprived!
At least I have someone to call if she continues to do poorly. That's the best part of Hospice.
Sallyann


Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:58 pm
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:07 pm
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Location: New Hampshire
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Hi Sally - It could be she was awake alot because of the hospital bed and new room, any changes set off problems. We haven't gotten a hospital bed yet, but we are close. We have hired aides to stay in the overnite with mom, we have a spare bedroom that was my dad's till he passed away. The girls are on sleeping overnites with a baby monitor in their room so they can hear if mom gets out of bed. She is very confused at night, 750 sq. ft apartment and the poor thing cant find her room. I was sleeping there but I understand what you mean with the sleep deprivation. Some nights she is up 3-4 times a night, I am the type of person who cant fall right back to sleep, it was awful. So we are digging into her savings to help out with this. Thank goodness she had the money to pay for it. Hopefully your mom will adjust to the new room/bed and you will get some rest tonite. Shelley

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Shelley, Lills daughter, taking care of Mom for 5 years now......


Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:29 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:51 am
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Hi Everyone:

Today was a very long day but a good one in a lot of ways. We had our initial meeting with Hospice. There were very few decisions to be made because the type of care plan we wanted for Mom fit perfectly as to what Hospice suggested for her. It just so happened that Mom's primary care physician was making his rounds today and he agreed 100% with us going with Hospice but asked us to please let him continue caring for her and he would be happy to give his standing orders to the nurse to provide comfort care as quickly as possible when needed. We were so touched by his genuine compassion for her. He said he had been her physician for over twenty years and he wanted to be with her until the end if we would let him. We have noticed the thick saliva and the nurse said there were drops to help with that. She also suggested that we add Thick It to Mom's water and other drinks because she's been chocking a lot. She's ordering an air mattress and said she will post a schedule of times and positions Mom should be placed in to avoid bed sores. Mom was running fever again today and crying out in pain, indicating yet another UTI. The nurse jumped on the phone with the pharmacy and ordered anitibiotics. Talk about a WOW moment. I am so grateful to everyone on the website who suggested Hospice and shared their experiences. God Bless all of you.

Cindy


Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:29 pm
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Location: Wake Forest, NC
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My mother and I care for my Mother-in-law in my house. We had a conversation yeasterday about hospice. I right away answered that maybe it was to soon to go that route. But reading everyones postings today maybe that will be a big help to our day. Jackie needs 24-7 care maybe having hospice here will give me a chance to go out and get shopping done and maybe some me time. we are thinking it might be time to get her into a nursing home. Giving her showers has gotten nearly impossible. Just walking to the bathroom and to bed has gotten real difficult. It now takes 2 or 3 of us to do it. Her legs just collapse out from under her. We now need to make sure that 2 of us are here at all times because she is so unsteady on her feet or if she has messed it takes both to give a shower to clean Jackie up.


Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:25 pm
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Dear Phyllis:

Putting my mother in the nursing home was such a hard decision. It was hardest on my Dad but there was just no way possible that he could care for her, even with our help. At the time, we just could not find a reliable sitter. No one was working at their jobs. We were either taking off of work to take care of her or running to see about her during the day because it was getting too bad for just one person to handle her. It had also reached a point that she could not bathe. As hard as it was I guess the nursing home was the right decision. Combined with the full-time day sitter and now Hospice, I know she is getting the best care possible. Mom is rarely left alone. Either the sitter, family or a few angel aids are with her. The nursing home staff has been absolutely wonderful and gives Ms. Betty extra special attention. Some aids take their breaks in her room and others sit in her room throughout the night. They have come to realize how very special she is to us and why. They are always saying how sweet she is. When she wasn't so rigid she would hug each aid when they would check on her. In our meeting with Hospice we asked if it was feasible to take her home. They answered that honestly she was in the best place. Our hopes are that with their support as the end approaches we can take her home in her last days.

Cindy


Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:37 pm
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Dear Phyllis,
In my opinion the best thing I could have done for my Husband was to call Hospice, it is never too soon in a terminal illness and if for some reason your MiL is not eligibale then try again in a month, but they were such a relief for me we had a nurse come 2x a week and the aide came 5 monings a week, they would shower jim after getting him up and dress hime and get him settled in his chair, it was a blessing and most importantly they supply everything you need ie: Hospital bed, bedside commode, wheel chair everything they cover many meds and supplies you need. There is always someone on call 24/7 if things arise.
Good Luck!


Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:26 pm
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