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Chopping and Changing

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
I'm sure some of you will be perplexed at my thought processes. In my last post I was all for keeping MH at home for as long as possible, especially now that I have home help and hopefully in home respite care, BUT. One thing I don't think I've mentioned is that MH has fluid retention in his legs and cellulitis for a second time this year. I am supposed to apply a moisturiser twice daily to his legs to help stop them itching so he won;t scratch, but he frequently won't let me apply it. The home help came today and just chatted, trying to gain his trust. The minute she left he went to go to the loo (he's on a diuretic) and wet his clothes. I had a lot of things to do, shopping etc, but managed to get him to remove his clothes, that is until we got to his underpants which were also wet and smelly. He simply refused to remove them in spite of me coaxing and cajoling for a half hour at least. In the end I got impatient and left him half clothed and went out and did my shopping. The room was warm and he had the top half on, just no trousers. That was about 5 hours ago and in the end when I returned home, I put his track pants out for him to put on over his still damp underpants. However, he is refusing to put them on. The GP told him he must elevate his legs in order for the fluid to drain - he won't do it. He is on a higher dose of furosemide for about 10 days and is on antibiotics to clear the cellulitis, both of which I conceal in food/drinks. His legs are swollen, covered in scabs (where he has been scratching) and blisters. About 6 weeks ago, the GP commented that if we couldn't get on top of this condition at home, he would end up in a rest home permanently where they could monitor and treat it. I am finally beginning to think that I'm not going to win. I can see this condition simply repeating again and again and again and going into care is looking more and more likely by the day. Any advice you can give or suggestions would be most welcome.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,765
Nottinghamshire
Hi @Pusskins I had the same thing with my dad and his furosemide was increased which didn’t help his legs at all but did mean he wet himself all the time. Eventually the GP agreed that it was pointless and he went back to his previous lower dosage.

Is there any chance your husband would wear pull-ups? I know it won’t help with his legs but it might make things a bit easier for you..
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
Hi @Bunpoots Sadly, no. I tried him with them a few weeks ago and he just kept ripping them off. :( I will suggest it to him again though in case he sees that it would save all the wet clothes and having to change all the time.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
239
It sounds to me as if you have hit the nail on the head yourself. It must be awful trying to care for an uncooperative patient. Residential care may be the only option.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
If it was me I think I would need to imagine him free of of any leg problem.
Do I want him home with me or would I prefer residential care ? I would need to be honest with myself at the progress of the dementia.

I had understood that the best way to cure Cellulitis was Antibiotics administered via a drip?
A hospital stay would have the additional benefits of keeping him bed for more time with his legs elevated.
When it comes to discharge, his dementia will have been observed and at that point you could voice your concerns about him coming home to your care.

I don’t see how much better residential care will be at present, from the point of view of his leg care.
You are doing a magnificent job with the medication.
They are not allowed to tie him to a chair and footstool ! How are they going to achieve it any better than you!
The main advantages are assess to nursing staff with bandaging skills.

Obviously on the long term residential care could come inevitable ?
 

Vic10

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
161
I was also going to suggest pull ups, if that’s not an option would you get away with pads?
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
@Weasell Yes, with his first bout of cellulitis he was admitted to hospital where they eventually administered IV antibiotics after unsuccessfully trying to get him to take pills. I was half pie expecting he would be re-admitted, but got a different doctor at the practise who simply prescribed pills. I don't actually see much improvement in his legs, if any and can see me having to take him, kicking and screaming back to the doctor in the very near future.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,765
Nottinghamshire
My dad was the same with pull-ups @Pusskins . Eventually I told him they were extra comfy pants prescribed by the doctor to stop him getting a sore bum cos he had to sit down so much with his poorly legs...someone else here gave me that idea ;)
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
@Weasell Yes, with his first bout of cellulitis he was admitted to hospital where they eventually administered IV antibiotics after unsuccessfully trying to get him to take pills. I was half pie expecting he would be re-admitted, but got a different doctor at the practise who simply prescribed pills. I don't actually see much improvement in his legs, if any and can see me having to take him, kicking and screaming back to the doctor in the very near future.
Don’t forget how expensive it is to admit Someone to hospital.

I have to admit I would be doing my best amateur dramatics right now!
my heart goes out to you at what you are going through at the moment. The fluid drips on the carpet and in this heat the smell must be terrible. Also be alert for scratching causing open wounds on the legs, as in this weather the flies can get in and lay their eggs in any open wound.
I would be auditioning for Shakespeare in my effort to obtain the help I needed!
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
@Weasell I'm in NZ, Weasell, so free admission to hospital and it's winter! :) I am having a telephone consultation with our doctor tomorrow, so who knows what will happen. Evidently prostate problems can cause swollen legs, so I need to query when MH's PSA levels were last tested and at least be able to rule that in or out. The itching legs are a problem as he clearly scratches them which causes the cellulitis. He's still resisting elevating his legs or allowing me to apply the moisturising cream. The fluid retention started off just in the lower legs, but now it's right up to the top of them. he doesn't appear to have congestive heart failure. As he's 81, he probably has poor circulation in his legs which is possibly the cause, but how to manage this situation is the problem. He is very dependent on me and I worry how he would cope if he was placed into permanent care. We worked together for most of our married lives and have been retired for 20 odd years so still together 24/7. Going into care would be a huge wrench for him.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
I can understand to conflict of emotions.
I feel so sorry for you.
It would be so good if the legs were sorted.
My comment about the cost of hospital was that I think sometimes doctors don’t always recommend a hospital stay! They would rather find a cheaper route, especially if the person giving the care is as good as you.

I observe others have given excellent advice about trying pull ups.
I may be stating the bleeding obvious but when you use them it is easier to cut the sides With scissors ( particularly if they contain treasure)! rather than pull them down.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
Thank you!
Better still!
I haven’t used any for so long, mine were most likely woven on a loom !
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
Yes, well @Weasell you were right, the doctor has not recommended a hospital stay and it's all down to me. I am to watch for worsening symptoms such as weeping or bleeding in the legs. Fortunately the home help is very good and is gaining MH trust. Today she managed to get him to let her view his lower legs, give him a shave and comb his hair, plus wash his face with a warm flannel. I have also now been given 4 hours in home respite care a week. I can either take it in one lot or as 2 bites of 2 hours each which is what I think I will do. Good heavens, I'll finally manage to get my hair cut which is about 6 months overdue. After a brief hiatus, we here in NZ are now facing a second wave of coronavirus. Oh joy.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
A second wave of Corona virus?
I thought NZ led the world in keeping it out?
Poor you, you have quite enough problems!
I have been busy and missed the news for a few days!
Hope your Prime Minister can put back on her superwoman cloak! And kick it into extinction!
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
@Weasell The scary part is that so far nobody has been able to work out where the initial infection came from and the first person to have this it time has now infected several family members. They all travelled from Auckland to Rotorua a few weeks ago, visiting lots of touristy places and eateries. and visited other family in another town, so it has spread quite rapidly, but our PM has put Auckland back into Level 3 for 2 weeks and the rest of us are in Level 2. We're all being urged to wear face masks if in close quarters with others, but I'm going to wear one anyway if I leave the house to shop etc. All rest homes are in lockdown for 2 weeks so my planned visit to view a RH is off for the time being.
 

Weasell

Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
565
Any ’leg‘ news?
Talking about poor circulation, my dad had a product that was like two rotating dinner plates under the feet ( terrible description, sorry!)
He used it every dad and rated it quite highly!
Thank you for the Corona update! It is so interesting to hear how it effects people in other parts of the world!
My friend has had Covid for weeks and goes to have tests on her heart in ten days which doesn’t sound great. it gave my other friend tinnitus! They both describe it as the Disease that keeps giving!
 

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
76
New Zealand
@Weasell The infection in the legs is improving, but the fluid's not going anywhere. I don't always get to massage the moisturiser into his legs either and I know that as long as they're swollen, he will keep scratching, so I'm pretty sure this is going to be an ongoing situation. It would appear that MH's condition (mentally) is such that he just isn't interested in helping himself in any way, shape or form. I'm not well enough to coax him out for walks either. I had a bit of a brain wave (?) last night and decided I would have to somehow acquire a foot stool. Can't afford to buy anything expensive and I've thought of making one myself, but not sure if I have enough ability to do that. I might come up with a smart idea though. I love a challenge!
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,422
South coast
decided I would have to somehow acquire a foot stool. Can't afford to buy anything expensive
You can buy something like that very cheaply secondhand in a charity shop, or try gumtree. You could always recover it or repaint it if you wished.