• entries
  • comments
  • views

Bruce fell



I get a call from Cathy who tells me she has called 911 and Bruce is on the floor in the bathroom. Off I go from work and met Jen in the parking lot, who figures out immediately what is going on and actually beats me there. This has not happened in a long time, as a matter of fact, we all have been working on letting Bruce do more for himself.


As we are waiting for 911, Cathy and Jen remind me that we just upped Bruce's Baclofen dosing. In all fairness, we girls could have gotten him up, but 911 arrived just after me and we let them do it. Bruce was transferring to the toilet, when he listed to his weak side and Cathy just eased him down. Medics got him to the shower bench in the shower and then Jen and Cathy got him to the toilet, while I did the paperwork. His right arm is bruised and his butt, but having professional and well-trained help made it much easier. Cathy could have said, he weighs 200 lbs and I weigh 100 lbs, so just let him go. This is, afterall, a part time job and I can't jeopardize my full-time, real job. But as a pro, she knew just how to take him down to avoid injury to both of them.


Lessons learned: the new Baclofen dosing is kicking. He is more incontinent, a side effect of the Baclofen and his muscles in his leg and arm "feel" different. This, I am hoping, is the medication kicking in. Bruce is used to the leg being a "log". Now it has tone, is looser and just "feels" different. He does not know what to do with it. Does he trust it to weight bear like he is used to? We, as caregivers, still need hands on until the new dosing kicks in. I will spend the weekend working with Bruce to allow him to feel and become comfortable with the new tone.


I know, as Bruce works towards more independence, that falls will happen. This reinforces that he still needs help here and just maybe he will consider some new PT-OT help now that the Baclofen is helping. One thing I am sure of is that we are starting from square one and all need to be on deck as to the new situation we are in. Back to the spotting and hands on movement. This will be tough for Bruce, he is so used to us all just backing offand letting him do it.


The incontinence-only 2-6% experience this as a side effect of Baclofen, but Bruce's immune system is so sensitive and I am sure he is in this category. I have packed extra Depends and maybe we will have to double pad him for a bit. The Texas Catheter is always an option, but it will take him back and perhaps even never allow him to consider working on the incontinence, since well I have the catheter, who cares? He has a Urology consult next month, so probably will just insist he toilet every 2 hours until then. I can do that, as he won't refuse me, but with the caregivers, that is another story.


I blog this as a Nurse: what do you see, what is the response. Objective vs Subjective. I go to bed at night, crying. Again he has no sensitivity as to what I am trying to do, what it costs me emotionally. All I want is one gesture of knowing how hard this is. Being responsible for another life. Trying to make decisions objectively when one only feels that she is alone and spitting in the wind. While I am driving home tonight-one mile mind you-I am out of my mind that he is hurt-is he really OK, should I have stayed home, let him go to the ER? And when I get home at 7:30pm, he says no, I was OK, not scared and you made a big deal out of nothing.


Recommended Comments

Guest hostwill


dear ethyl,

I'm sorry to hear about Bruce falling. I was on Baclofen for my spasticity, but all it did was made me sleepy. Don't blame yourself, i understand Bruce wants his independence; but he also needs to be safe. I believe OT and PT could be the answer to his probs. I'll keep you in my prayers.


Link to comment

Debbie, when I read the title of your post it really scared me. I am so sorry he fell - bless Bruce, he tried to help himself. It is good he didn't break any bones. Since you know the meds are kicking in with his leg, you can concentrate on his being able to walk and get in some PT therapy. I would be freaked out too if a caregiver called me and said Larry had fallen. I dread that day. Falls, another stroke, blood clots, etc. are always looming.


I hope to get my car back today. It's been so hot here, and just getting Larry from home to car to exercise or doctors is a challenge. No relief in site until next Tuesday. I took Larry to a hematologist to see if he can get off the Warfarin and go to aspirin only. He will have the blood drawn before his colonoscopy next Tuesday as he has to be off the Warfarin and asprin anyway for both. Today he has an appt. with his periodontist. So much fun here!


Hope this weekend is good for you. Hugs to Bruce.



Link to comment

Debbie falls are scary as you know neither the cause or the ultimate results. I woke up tonight because I kept seeing Ray fall in my dreams. It is a constant worry for me. But all is well that ends well.


No Bruce like Ray will never acknowledge the effort the caregiver puts in. To Ray it is just what I should do.


I'm glad Bruce was bruised but not hurt, be assured that many here understand what you are going through.



Link to comment

Hi Debbie: Sorry to hear about Bruce's fall. Maybe this a blessing in disguise since the baclofen may allow him to resume therapy. Another SN caregiver reported that baclofen helped her husband a lot by improving movement in the leg. Anyway, I appreciate your advice in the past--all the best to you and Bruce. Henry

Link to comment

hey Debbie:


I am srry to hear Bruce's fall, but glad he did not break any bones & new lessons learnt. in my mind as long as we are learning from our experiences, no experience has gone waste. hopefully with therapy & baclofan Bruce will soon adjust to his new leg feeling till then keep eye on him.



Link to comment


Falls are inevitable. But they are scary. Wm has only had a couple. But, he is very careful now. He know that he needs to have somebody near by to help. Thank heavens that Bruce did not hurt himself. I am always afraid of falls because my son always reminds me that Wm is on Coumadin and should not fall. Bleeding problems.


The baclofen just means that things will be different. I do hope that it helps with the spasticity and the incontinence gets better.


It is hard to be the one to make all of the decisions. You are doing great.


I have people tell me all the time that William would not be where he is in is progress except for my hard work with him. Yes, we as caregivers need to work to get our spouses back to a better level of recovery.



Link to comment

So sad to hear that Bruce had fallen, and hope that he will use this instance to improve.


Like you,. I struggle with whether to go to work or not, and like you I spend untold hours of crying. I believe that as caregivers, we are entitled to our own pity party, and should not feel guilty. My Sam would never understand how much additional work there is each day, each week; but he did tell me this weekend that I am "doing too much".


True, I have been under the weather this weekend; don't know if it is heat or stress related, but I so want to tell him that there are no elves to come in and do the laundry, grocery shopping, the meds, etc., but don't want to start a WW III over this.


A kind word goes a long way and we must look inward sometimes to receive them. I know that I am satisfied that I am the best person to care for Sam, but his family could help out. They are of little to no use.


My prayers for your continued strength and good health, kind words to brighten your days and peacefulness to comfort your nights.



Link to comment

You are doing a great job, no matter whether Bruce understands or not! Every decision made revolves around him, and you can cry as much as you need to. Life is so tough.

Link to comment

Sorry Bruce fell but glad there was no permanent damage. When I feel earlier this month, I ended in with a compressed fracture of L-1. I pray I'll never fall again; I've been careful but now need another change soas not to duplicate this fall. I, like Will, tried baclofen for tone of my weak leg but it made me so tired I couldn't do anything. I have yet to find anything which helps the tone in my affected leg. I was in rehab with the last fall and I now qualified for home health so with a new prospective from a new PT and OT, perhaps they will know of something which will help my left leg. Sure would be nice; the neurologists all have said my brain isn't communicating with whatever it is that lifts the leg. Good luck with the continued use of baclofen. Leah

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.