worried about stiffness in arms and legs

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lynnie771
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/27/2009 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
hi.....something scary is happening with my partner.......i have noticed a stiffness in her arms and legs over the past couple of weeks....i do the range of motion exercises (which is getting more difficult) and massage her arms and legs everyday......
today when i tried to put her in the chair to change her bedding, i had an awlful time trying to move her and not hurt her.......
at first i thought she was tensing upon me on purpose but now i'm not sure what is going on.......is this common with progression and is there anything i can do about it?

CharleyRice1931
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 1/28/2009 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi lynnie, Sorry to tell you yes it is part of the progression. Rigidity set in on my wife when she was in the Nursing Home. There they gave her medication for it, but as I said before I stopped all medication after I removed her from the NH. For a time she had the shakes, I thought that was part of the progression, but it soon stopped, it was withdrawal symptoms. Like you I kept up motion exercises and massages. Though there was little improvement it did not stop me moving her about by hoist in the house, on to the commode to wheel her into the bathroom to wash and shower her. I also hoisted her into her wheelchair, then strapped her waist and legs, took her for walks; lifted her into and out of the car to take her shopping twice a week. Where ever I went I took her along with me even to the dentist for my check-ups. For the final period, just short of five years she was stiff, but we got by and I learned so very much not only about Alzheimer's. I learned the right mind set on how to manage alone, also few men get the chance to look after a big baby, do the shopping, cooking, washing, ironing, cleaning and all the many every day things women for us for years. It sure makes one feel humble. The best she could do with one hand was to raise it chest high. You may also notice her hands curl and bend in at the wrists. Please don't let the progression scare you, treasure each moment banish the future from your mind. The future is what we all fear, i. e. the unknown just welcome each moment that comes. I wish you well. Padraig

lynnie771
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 1/28/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
padraig,
thank you....it's not the answer i wanted but it is the answer i needed....so many things are changing and it gets scary at times.....
i admire the strength you had while taking care of your wife....i have never met a man who would do as you did...you're a wonderful man....
i know my partner is progressing and it's breaking my heart........but i will be strong, i won't let her down.....
lynnie 

CharleyRice1931
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 1/29/2009 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
lynnie, None of us want to learn painful facts in life and as for being a wonderful man I don't think so. Like most other people I went through the whole range of emotions in the early years of my wife's illness. The worst period was from the day of her fall and my walking her into hospital from where she came out a month later in a wheel chair. Her year in the NH was sheer hell, I was paying good money and yet spending up to nine hours a day with her. I was at war with the staff all the time. They failed to understand the meaning of our love. The reason I first came on this site years back was to discover if anyone had, of was attempting to care for a loved one alone when they were in the final stage. All the information was to say that it was not possible. I still think that is the case for most people but I believe it can be done with help and support. It was my choice to go it alone. Life is lonely and empty now and it is painful writing the part of our story living with Alzheimer's. I could not just write about AD, because I accept that parts of the story may seem unbelievable, I guess that is why I was referred to as 'a one off that kept pushing the boundaries'. Little did they know how much a 'one off' I am. I'm no longer ashamed of having served fourteen years in Industrial Schools in Ireland. Whilst caring for my wife in 2006 I managed to write the first part of my story in bits (while she slept) and had it published in 2007. It was early 2006 I discovered for the first time the reason I was locked away. I was charged as a two year old with begging at Dublin DC and ordered to be detained. To this day I have never discovered why I was abandoned, I guess they were ashamed of me. Once I'd experienced, or would accept the loving touch of another human, my wife, I'd entered a new and strange world. That beautiful young quiet gentle girl was my inspiration to achieve goals that many only dream of. She was the Mom the friend I never had up to 21yr old. Why would I not consider her life more important than mine. We were one, what she lacked I provided. My purpose for living was to make her life the best it could be, that in turn made me happy. When you love someone it's all the way, 52 years two months and 19 days. I've had the rare privilege of learning first hand about the 'final stage.' Sorry to have gone on so long but if I can be of help to others that would be nice. Love is powerful, God bless. Padraig

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/29/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Lynnie
Charlie gave you the proper answer
I know you love her and I know this is
Very hard on you
I am keeping you in my heart ..........

I would continue the ROM exercises if I were you
Luvs
LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


lynnie771
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 2/2/2009 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   

thank you both for your replies...i know it's the progression i was just hoping there was a miracle way to stop it......

it's late and i'm sitting her feeling very helpless and scared.....i'm afraid my partner has pneumonia again....she's having the fevers and the raspy breathing.....i don't want her to have to go back to the hospital....i know i won't sleep tonight so i'm going to find something to read to keep me occupied....and of course i'll be praying


CharleyRice1931
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 2/3/2009 2:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to learn your partner is so very ill. I've been there so many times when my wife had to be rushed to hospital. There were a number of times I had to have her rushed to ER. The first time I let them stop being present while they attended to her. The next time I made it plain that no one was going to keep us apart. It took a lot of explaining to the lady doctor who was attending to my wife that she would respond better to any treatment knowing I was present and to hear my voice. I explained that she had regressed to being a child and therefore she needed the comforting voice of some one she trusted.
When she recovered and we were leaving I thanked the doctor, she shook my hand: "No, I thank you, I've learned more about Alzheimer's to-day." The Government here have just started a five year plan to teach doctors more about dementia. I'd say you require more support than you are at present receiving. I managed simply because I'm a 'one off', it's a lonely place to be. It was a mind set that I adopted, there is no cure and like everyone else there is only one end, for some it is sudden others prolonged. I chose to see my wife and I travel the river of life. We were in a tiny boat I called NOW and kept reminding myself that all I had was that precious moment NOW to be stored away as treasure. When each of the special moments would be no more I would know I did not waste them. Don't know if this is of any use. I'll be thinking and of you both. God bless. Padraig

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 2/5/2009 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
What Beautiful words of WISDOM my mentor

Butterfly Kisses
God Bless
Luv
LYN


 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
              CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            Keep The Fight Going..Or YOu Will Lose
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
                                     LYN


lynnie771
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 2/10/2009 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
i know just what you mean about having to fight for the right to be present in the er.....my partner does so much better and is more relaxed when she can see that i am with her......even though i have poa and we have been partners for 20 yrs, i sometimes have to be very assertive and insistant about staying with her......
 
anyways.....she is back home today and mumbling away, the stiffness is worse since she was in the hospital but i will get some of that worked out i hope with rom exercises....
 
all is good on my little speck of the earth tonight.....i pray the same for all of you....

CharleyRice1931
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 397
   Posted 2/11/2009 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Once you decide that you have taken complete control of all aspects of your partners welfare the better both of you will feel. Seek advice of doctors for physical problems by all means, but in the end, with all the facts you make the final decision, because you will know her better than them. One thing I have learned, sadly too late, is that medical people believe in what they are doing, because that is how they are trained. One size does not fit all. Had I questioned the medication being administered to my wife in the beginning she would not have suffered as she did. I'm presently writing in my book about Alzheimer's years. With all the medical notes, film and photos it is clear to see that most of the medication prescribed was for the avoidable physical damaged inflicted on her. Damage that was considered to be part of the illness! The most serious damage inflicted was in hospital where she was sedated without my knowledge. Is it any wonder that after walking into hospital she came out in a wheelchair. My final decision to take my wife home, stop all medication and to not accept help with her care was taken out of frustration and anger. Life became less stressful being in control and when she did require treatment for her pressure sores and other injuries I administered them until she recovered. For most of her final four years the only medication she had was a drop of laxative in her drink. Rigidity remained during those years, but it did not stop me strapping her in her wheelchair and taking her out. It's very important to let them know that you and your partner are a unit and must be considered as such the same as they would a mother and child. Get as much support as you possibly can when the going gets tougher but stay in charge. Hang in there. Padraig
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