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Aster's avatar

Can his leg and life be rejuvenated or is it a downhill slide?

Asked by Aster (17704points) December 26th, 2016

My husband is over seventy. Last year he wasn’t being watched and , after major surgery, jumped up from the hospital gurney and broke his femur. Six months later he was walking pretty fast and I was thrilled. Then he took a doctor prescribed sleeping pill with a pain pill and fell down at 2am and cracked a bone next to the femur and now is very unsteady on his feet, wants me to bring him everything and is very sedentary, sleeping half the day. He never says one word about regaining his muscle strength to the point I think he enjoys his tv/napping lifestyle. His mood is fairly upbeat, thank God. I won’t let him drive if I’m a passenger or go to the store or even the mailbox. I can take the truth. Is there hope for him to walk normally again? I’ve missed you guys. Happy New Year to all.

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16 Answers

jca's avatar

He needs to be evaluated by a doctor and/or physical therapist.

zenvelo's avatar

I won’t let him drive if I’m a passenger or go to the store or even the mailbox.

I am curious, are you coddling him to not work on his therapy? Maybe if he carried out these routine chores he would start getting more active.

Aster's avatar

@zenvelo I am coddling him because I am terrified he’ll fall again on these tiles. I’d feel responsible for refusing to get him something. If he falls on his head he’ll probably die.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I hope you are not letting him gain weight. If he is less active his caloric intake should be reduced accordingly. If he gains a lot it will be that much more difficult to recover.
Weight gain is insidious. It is the sum of thousands of small choices that add up to a lot.

Aster's avatar

@LuckyGuy , he has had steady weightloss and has many health problems. No matter what or how much he eats he continues to lose weight and muscle mass.

CWOTUS's avatar

It seems that the cause of the most recent injury that you described was the combination of (prescribed) sleeping pill + pain pill. I would have thought that the combination should have been avoided. Was that not warned against, or did he do that against doctor’s orders? Because that kind of self-medication can be deadly – as you have nearly discovered now.

So, what recommendations have been made for physical therapy? Because “over 70” is not so old. He should not be reclining and napping for full days if he’s in otherwise good health and capable (even if it takes some PT now) of routine ambulation. I would expect that the continual loss of muscle mass, unless caused by illness, is most likely an effect of his general lethargy.

@jca said everything that needed to be said, I think.

Aster's avatar

” I would have thought that the combination should have been avoided. Was that not warned against, or did he do that against doctor’s orders?” The doctor never said a word . Maybe there was an insert with those tiny letters he was supposed to have read. Do people really read inserts ?
He had physical therapy for weeks at home with the first break. Only the male therapist was worth anything. After the second break we only had some women who did nothing but walk next to him down the hall. I thought it was stupid.
He has taken naps since we met. His son told me he’d do it. But it was never half the day meaning two hours up, one hour asleep, two hours up, one hour down.

Cruiser's avatar

certified yoga therapist could help your husband…look for the IAYT accreditation. Good luck

Aster's avatar

@Cruiser he has very little balance. In no way could he do any yoga posture. Just picking something up off the floor is a risk. He cannot climb stairs or ladders anymore. He has a very limited range of motion. The fall changed our lives. * I knew* he should not have taken a Restoril and a Hydrocodone but had no idea he did it.

Cruiser's avatar

@Aster That is all the more reason to go to a Yoga Therapist. My wife is one and she had an MS patient come to her and this lady in her fifties walked into her studio with the dual forearm crutches. She was once a dancer and had MS for 25 years at that point. After just 3 months she was able to do a pirouette for the first time in 25 years.

Yoga Therapy is all about accommodating and overcoming the limitations of our bodies and regaining balance would be the emphasis of the therapy sessions. Here is a YouTube video of what a real yoga therapy session would entail. They will tailor it to your husbands abilities.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Aster Are there some things you can have him do? Is there a task that needs to be done and will give him purpose?
Something like: sorting out the old photos, or doing the taxes, cleaning out a box or two in the attic, or sorting tools in the basement, or…
Anything that will get him up and out of bed with a goal in mind. Can you take him to visit relatives, friends, or even the library.
Is there a restaurant you’d like to visit? Don’t you have a coupon that is expiring?
You get the idea. . . .

janbb's avatar

Does he use a walker? That would certainly help his stability and let him get around some.

Aster's avatar

He has an electric wheelchair he stopped using, a walker he won’t touch and a cane that he needs but stopped using. I see men all the time using a cane and ALL of them walk better than he does.
He sat and did the taxes. Taking him out to eat is frightening for me. The last time he said, “I can’t get up.” I thought I’d faint. Then he finally did.
We went to my daughter’s family for Thanksgiving. He did fine ; I brought him a plate. I don’t know how he can enjoy visiting anyone since he’s so deaf. Not totally deaf but he’s too “good” to wear hearing aids or use a cane.
He likes to get up in the morning because he has a mental menu=that is, he can have biscuits or pancakes or waffles or bacon or sausage or anything he wants. And I have fresh blueberries to incorporate into those if he should so choose. After he eats he goes back to bed as did his father before him. His dad died at 79 from pancreatic cancer and was a heavy smoker.
He has not read a book in 35 years. He is an ex duplicate bridge player==he is ranked as far as you can go. One place over Gold. Very smart man; it’s a shame. I think I’ve given you the impression he’s bored. I really don’t think he is.
He has two grown sons, wonderful men, who come visit twice a year. My daughter has done more for us that both of them put together.

janbb's avatar

@Aster I guess once someone has given up it’s hard to be of help. I’m sorry that you’re in this difficult situation.

CWOTUS's avatar

What kinds of end-of-life conversations have you had with him or with his sons? It sounds as though he has given up on life except for maybe a few hours each day, and that mainly in his choice of breakfast and then in his head. Though no one should expect a man in his age to necessarily be a ball of fire, it doesn’t really sound like he has much desire to go on living, if he won’t even attempt to increase his mobility or his aural interaction with the rest of the world – especially if he has the means to do so.

For that matter, despite how you may have felt about him at one time, and despite how wonderful his sons and the rest of his family may be, why are you still with him?

Those are rhetorical questions. I’m not expecting a response here. But your own life has value, does it not? Why limit yourself to his self-imposed limitations?

All rhetorical questions, for your own consideration only.

Aster's avatar

@janbb he doesn’t “appear” to have given up. That is, he is actually happy and content watching Indiana Jones, looks forward to football and eating, just got a new cell phone and is wearing his new shirt from my daughter. I think one thing that affected him was the “bone doctor” said, “bones repair themselves so this time I won’t operate” and I think he misunderstood. I think when he heard that he believed that no matter what you do the leg will simply get well as the doc implied. He just turned on our air conditioning as I can’t figure it out. He really seems content. He spent two “terms” in hospital and in a nursing home and maybe since he signed himself out so to speak he feels very lucky to be alive and not in pain. He and I know that many people have it so much worse. Until he falls down again we take it day to day and make the most of it. But we can’t travel or go out much. He was raised to not complain. He just is not a complainer. He wasn’t permitted to do it.

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