Monday, October 18, 2010

So How's Skip Doing?

In the last 3 months, while I've posted on a monthly, rather than daily, basis, I haven't mentioned much about Skip.

She is happy that I'm less stressed-out since getting laid off, but worries a bit about our finances. She trusts me to figure this out, though!

It's a lot nicer for her in the mornings that she doesn't have to "share" me with a work schedule filled with conference calls and deadlines. I enjoy our mornings together. We're both creature of habit and love the new routines we have.

She has been getting a bit restless to get out. Unfortunately, with the cooler weather upon us, the patio isn't the wonderful, relaxing spot it was all summer. Last weekend, we decided to try out a "chowderfest" at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut. It was a lovely day, weather-wise, a bit cool and breezy, but sunny. We enjoyed the drive there and back. Surprisingly, the food at the chowderfest was just "ok." We did take a walk around part of the museum after lunch and saw an exhibit of antique ship figureheads that were quite cool and I took a quick tour of a tall ship docked there.

MS does slowly but surely progress. Of late, Skip's hands are experiencing the biggest impact. Her fingers are weakening, making it harder to hold silverware and use the computer keyboard. On the left hand, the fingers are curling as well. We're working on stretching them a bit; I'm happy that I have more time so special projects like stretching exercises can be done without having it feel like one more thing being piled on top. I'm confident we can get them straightened out again.


Muffie said...

Oh, I love Mystic Seaport -- haven't been there in quite a few years though. I understand what you mean about the fingers curling -- my bad hand (the right one) does that all the time now. I do try stretching it out, but it's like a rubberband -- just snaps right back! Good luck with the stretching exercises.

zoomdoggies said...

Cranky, in addition to stretching Skip's fingers to preserve passive range of motion, you might check with an OT about a hand/finger splint that will hold her fingers in an extended position. A low-tech substitute is stretching the fingers around an empty TP tube. I stumbled on this after the dog chewed up one of my splints. The TP tube seems to work about as well for my right hand as the splint does for my left. I don't know what a therapist would think of it, but the price is right and it's a lot easier to replace :P

Patrick@Caregivingly Yours said...

"MS does slowly but surely progress" ... ain't it the truth! Glad to read you have the time for the special projects together. Sometimes those little ones can slow the juggernaut better than any magic bullet.

Caregivingly Yours,

Cranky said...

Muffie - it's a drag that the stretching doesn't show any impact. Skip says when I stretch her fingers, she can feel them straighten out a bit right away.

Zoom - great idea, I hadn't thought of a split. We have an MS clinic appt next week, so I've asked Skip to set up a mtg with the PT/OT combo there to talk about splints.

Patrick - the little, special projects make me feel like I can help make a positive impact. It's all well and good to help with bathing, dressing, etc. but something like this feels therapeutic.

steve said...

I love hearing about your outings. Mediocre chowder? Not so much. :-)

The Halloween decorations have gone up here in Texas. I bought a new pair of heels, and am looking forward to my first drag holiday in years. Wish me luck!

Diane J Standiford said...

Ah, the old curling fingers, yep. Contracturs are the worst, no stretching can help that, splints--a little, but a specialist told me all he could do was botox injections, and the possible side effect was TOO loose fingers/hand/arm, with no strength at all...great choices. Skip is so lucky to have you. You know what she needs, the needs of her soul.

Cranky said...

Steve - yep, mediocre chowder is a drag. Speaking of drags, good luck! Enjoy yourself.

Diane - botox - I hadn't thought of that. You're right - not much in the was of choices. Skip is lucky to have me and I am lucky to have her. Your note caused me to go over and give her a big hug. thanks.

Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,
Good to read you are not as stressed as you were.
Hope all your stress goes away as you enjoy your new routines.

Marie said...

Good to see you back, thanks for the updates. :)

I am sorry about Skip's hands, but you have some great suggestions here. Does warmth help at all? Like warm compresses? Or just plain massaging? Just a thought.

This is a perfect time of year for a ride to Mystic! Too bad the food wasn't great, but I am glad you both generally had a good day.

awb said...

I am experiencing the same finger curl on my right hand, what's up with that? Strange feeling to look at your hand, look at a something and say OK, you know how to do this.


Cranky said...

Marie - sorry for not responding earlier. Warmth/cold doesn't seem to make a difference with Skip's hands.

Andy - we found out that the hand curling is due to spasticity, just like in Skip's legs. Maybe that's the problem for you as well. She got some very fancy splints to wear on both hands. When she does wear them, they make her feel better for a bit and open up her hands a bit.