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  • Falling...

    Ok, my Mother who will be 71 in September has fallen 3 times in two weeks.
    NOT GOOD.

    She now has a irregular heart beat. Slow, weak...
    She may need a pace maker but is use a this time.
    So the first time she lost her balance and fell near the door way on her way out. She craped her knee but that was it.
    Next, she fell asleep on the throne, and when she woke up, she went head first into the tub. She stated her legs went to sleep and she lost her balance when she stood up due to this. luckily she did not hurt herself, but has bruises on her shoulders and arms. She was grateful.

    Friday morning/ Thursday night...
    getting out of bed, she stated she doesn't remember falling, just she stood up, and then she was on the floor with all the things from her dresser on the floor with her. She.....is black and blue on her chest and stomach.

    today she says....I don't understand why I'm losing feeling in my legs, and my feet. Its weird. all of a sudden it just loses feeling and thats when I am most likely to fall.
    She talked about getting a two bed room apartment with a friend, bu she is reluctant due to this friends "problems" of following through. I don't want to move her again.....its hard on her and me....and cost money to boot.


    Good god I cant do this again. Its been three years since my Father.
    I know we might have her get a pacemaker soon, but any suggestions?


    I really need help.
    ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
    Oscar Wilde

  • #2
    Well - regarding the pacemaker... my mom was "falling" but really it was passing out. She DID end up needing a pacemaker... she was around 82 at the time. We were reluctant to go for it (including her) because of the age, and she figured why have the surgery etc.

    She did have the sugery because it was minor sugery... the pacemaker made a HUGE difference in her life. She had cancer at the time, but was still able to have a few more years of life, and didnt have the awful weakness and lightheadedness like she had before. The thing that ended up destroying her heart was the chemo.

    I would vote for the pacemaker, if she'll do it. The surgery was quick and minor, and only under anesthesia for a short time. Good luck... i know how it is.

    Comment


    • #3
      I too vote for the pacemaker....maybe it's a snowball effect with her other problems.........hopefully it will aleviate the other problems.

      Good luck and best wishes are sent to you as you navigate life's roads.
      This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

      Comment


      • #4
        Make sure you take her in for a blood work up.
        Make an appointment with her doctor to discuss your concerns and when you go make sure to document:

        If she is on medication (don't know if she is, but most older people are) follow this link for a printable medication chart.
        and
        Time of day, approximate length, what she was doing about 1 - 2 hours before and up to the time it occurred, and any sensations (or lack of sensations), any injuries, loss of continence, and if there was a loss of consciousness for each episode.

        It may tie into her diet, medication, or nothing at all. Just make sure you get her seen and make sure that the doctor takes your concerns seriously. If he/she doesn't then find a doctor that will.
        R.I.P. Sgt. 1st Class Raymond J. Munden

        You're service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

        Kieth M.
        I once knew a guy who said, "I'll step over any nine to get to three threes!"

        I knew at that precise moment that he and I would never get into a fistfight over a woman.

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks guys.
          she is willing to do the pace maker. I explained its really no big deal. she thought they still cracked you open for all that.....nope.

          She is on meds, and they d have the side effects. Her doctor is really good about blood work and monitoring her meds. I think I might call him and see what can be done. I know that she at one point had a low thyroid and has meds for that.
          she is in the bed alot, she is always tired. She was told that was due to the low heart rate.
          my dad died of COPD.. basically he smoked for years and years, stopped. then had all the late reputations for the actions. He had edema (the water in the legs) which my mom has not had. what sent my dad to the hospital the last time....falling in the bath room, and pulling my mom down too. It took 10 minutes for her to get out and get to a phone. He wouldn't let go.

          She went down hill by refusing to leave and not eating right or taking meds that were needed. She ended up being admitted to the psych for depression. not eating for darn near three days and that got her some sleep....but not much..
          He was in a skilled nursing unit and she was in the bed next to him when he died. She has never really recovered from the lack of eating or sleeping from that.

          all this and I was just starting to put together a resume and find a new job. one closer to me!
          ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
          Oscar Wilde

          Comment


          • #6
            Like i said... i can relate.

            One time my mom had the flu for a few days and didnt take ANY of her meds... she also went downhill fast at that time. But her stomach was so upset that she wasnt able to take the pills. We just didnt put two and two together at the time. No one was living with her, so it was hard to always watch everything. Once she got back to eating and on the meds, things got better again. Then we just always made sure she had her favorite things around to eat, even if they werent always the healthiest. Her appetite got bad, and it was better to know she was just eating SOMEthing.

            I was amazed at the pacemaker surgery... and how close to the surface of her skin the pacemaker was! Amazing how stuff is done nowadays.

            Comment


            • #7
              i'm sorry to hear texas, from my experience with my own grandparents, the pacemakers made a big difference in quality of life, but if she is complaining about numbness in her legs and feet it may be something else if the pacemaker does not help that, my grandfather had a pacemaker and he was falling alot and complaining about leg numbness, the pacemaker helped in all the other aspects..fatigue, certain chest pains...etc..but he was still getting the numbness, he had back problems, pinched nerves and degenerative disc disease, and type 2 diabetes for 20 odd years also contributed to nerve damage leading to the numbness. there was just nothing much that could be done for him, but my grandmother on the other hand had a pacemaker and bypass...after a while the stronger heart led to better circulation, and better mobility. though my grandfather never got rid of the numbness he never regreted it, he physically felt better and he claims he felt his mind was sharper though how a pacemaker could contribute to that i don't know...lol good luck with everything!!!
              sigpic
              "From now on, all your opinions will be ignored!"

              Comment


              • #8
                having an irregular and slow heart beat can greatly affect her blood pressure causing it to drop when she stands up, moves too fast, etc. have her change positions slowly and it can help some. the pacemaker sounds like her best option. best wishes.
                "Only by acceptance of the past can you alter it."
                – T.S. Eliot

                Comment


                • #9
                  my grandpa had similar problems and got a pace maker and has been doing great for the past several years now. if your mom lives alone get her life alert. had it for my husbands grandmother and it worked great for the couple of times she needed it
                  This is my Glock, there are many like it, but this one is mine

                  "Anything is possible to he who dares" A.G. Spalding

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by texaschickeee View Post
                    Ok, my Mother who will be 71 in September has fallen 3 times in two weeks.
                    NOT GOOD.

                    She now has a irregular heart beat. Slow, weak...
                    She may need a pace maker but is use a this time.
                    So the first time she lost her balance and fell near the door way on her way out. She craped her knee but that was it.
                    Next, she fell asleep on the throne, and when she woke up, she went head first into the tub. She stated her legs went to sleep and she lost her balance when she stood up due to this. luckily she did not hurt herself, but has bruises on her shoulders and arms. She was grateful.

                    Friday morning/ Thursday night...
                    getting out of bed, she stated she doesn't remember falling, just she stood up, and then she was on the floor with all the things from her dresser on the floor with her. She.....is black and blue on her chest and stomach.

                    today she says....I don't understand why I'm losing feeling in my legs, and my feet. Its weird. all of a sudden it just loses feeling and thats when I am most likely to fall.
                    She talked about getting a two bed room apartment with a friend, bu she is reluctant due to this friends "problems" of following through. I don't want to move her again.....its hard on her and me....and cost money to boot.


                    Good god I cant do this again. Its been three years since my Father.
                    I know we might have her get a pacemaker soon, but any suggestions?


                    I really need help.

                    Any chance you could get a visiting nurse to go by the house to check up on her every now and again?
                    "When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      From what you said, it appears to me that she might have diabetes. That's not hard to test for. I wish the best for her and hers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Update, next week Tuesday...she goes to the Dr. I think the cardi doc but I know she has an appointment.
                        She is going to ask about home health care, maybe two/ three times weekly for help and someone there when she showers. (she finally told me she is not real comfortable to shower by herself. She is scared of falling in the shower...rightful so.)
                        One of my Best friends is a RN and she stated that a weak irreg heartbeat could cause light headedness if she stands too fast.

                        I will get her tested for blood sugar. I am hypoglas,(low blood sugar) and Her Mother had diabetes. So its worth a shot.
                        ‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.’
                        Oscar Wilde

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Right about standing too fast, especially if she's on certain meds. You might consider installing handrails in the shower. The glucose tolerance test requires fasting for 8-12 hours prior to the test. You might want to mention the testing you're seeking, in a phone call to the physician's staff prior to the appointment. The cardiac specialist should be able to set up the diabetes testing for the same day, perhaps with another physician.
                          Last edited by Monty Ealerman; 08-11-2008, 08:47 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            texas i like the avatar...monty makes a good suggestion just in general if they run a full blood panel fasting will give them a better baseline for diagnosis. good luck with everything. home health aides can be tricky, VSN's are better trained but insurance may not cover the complete cost for VSN. make sure to drop in unexpectedly from time to time to check on a health aide to make sure they are doing the right thing by your mom...i've had a bad experience with one in my fam so i get a little edgy...not saying they are all bad, the last one which replaced teh bad egg we got, was a fantastic, well trained, compassionate professional....
                            sigpic
                            "From now on, all your opinions will be ignored!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Texaschikee, My grandmother had this same problem. She would feel tingles in her leg and fall. She has a disk putting pressure on a nerve in her back which causes her to fall. I would make sure she gets into her doctor ASAP.

                              Kyia

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