Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tough little momma is hanging in spite of broken femur

I just re-read my post from March 2010 when I was reasonably certain my Mom would quickly fail and pass away after suffering a broken sacrum.  Well, it's 1 1/2 years and she's still with us.  Her latest ailment is a broken femur; suffered when she slipped from her wheel chair as she tried to reach a newspaper that fell to the floor.

Though she seems smaller and weaker each time I see her, her spirit is still strong and her mind is still curious.  She  reads every syllable in the news paper every day;  she wants to watch educational PBS programs on the outdoors, animals and science.  She wakes up to have hope for something positive every day.  That's how I want to approach life.  I wish I'd realized it sooner, the first 50 years would have been much more fun and less stressful.

So - what to do about the broken femur. The goal is to keep her pain free; it's unlikely the bone will heal well enough for her to put more weight on it.  The break is along a diagonal line about 2 inches above her left knee and at 92, there is little that doctors can do for Mom. They can't put her under for surgery since the amount of anesthesia would likely kill her.  If they tried to perform surgery they'd attempt to screw the broken piece of bone to the larger piece above but her doctor is worried that any screws would simply shatter either piece of bone making for an even worse break and more pain.  SO -the plan is to keep it immobile for 8 weeks hoping that it will knit together enough to keep the broken piece in place and avoid pain.  Mom can never put weight on the leg again.   If it doesn't work, I asked the doctor if it could be glued into place.  I'm hoping it might be done with a local anesthetic.  My aunt had part of her spine glued when she chipped a vertebra, my cousin had a knee cap glued.. so, I'm hoping....  He didn't say "no" but he didn't say it's possible either...  All I can do is hope and pray for my little momma...

What caused the broken femur?  There are 2 obvious causes - osteoporosis and mom falling from the wheel chair.   The osteoporosis is a natural occurance of aging and the fall from the wheel chair is inevitable - but BOTH could have been minimized.  If Mom had remained more active, taken calcium and vitamin D and low dose estrogen her bones might be in better shape.  If the nursing home aides had helped mom to her recliner instead of leaving her in the wheel chair, she'd never have slipped out of it.   Again, it's another thing about to complain to the state but it's unlikely to change.  There are just too few aides to take care of too many patients.

Read my next post on how to prevention of osteoporosis...
How can i prevent osteoporosis?  How did mom break her femur How did dad break his femur  broken femur in elderly