Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feet Like Stuffed Calamari

My mother’s feet look like stuffed calamari before they get thrown into the gravy on Christmas Eve. The pinkish-white skin is pulled taut over the top of her foot and up past her ankles. They’ve been like this for a month now and though I’ve agreed with all the steps the rest home has suggested, getting my mother to comply is a different story.

The most immediate and obvious potential fix is to get my mother out of flip flops and into sneakers. I purchased the suggested neon white and clunky footwear but one look at them and Ma was having none of it. Who knew she was a footwear fashionista. When I asked the rest home to try their best getting the sneakers on my mother, I got the raised eyebrows. “We’ll try Lisa, but you know your mother.” I certainly do.

So we’ve moved to Lasix. Not much movement in terms of the swelling so the next step is to up the dosage to 20 mgs instead of the 10 mgs she is taking. We’ll see how that works.

Third suggestion, and the one that sends shivers up everyone’s spine - get her into those
death grip hose. The floor nurse and I had a good laugh over that. If we can’t get her into sneakers how could we possibly get her into those? (“You try.” “No, YOU try!”)

And here is one of the many reasons I chose this particular rest home - they will not violate the space or the wishes of the resident unless it is absolutely necessary. They are watching my mother’s feet closely, checking them multiple times a day. Whenever the doctor is in house, he checks them as well. If there is growing concern, the level of adamancy with her will increase. Otherwise, she gets to go sneakerless.

As for me, I avoid looking at her feet as much as possible. I hate stuffed calamari.


  1. My Mom is having the same problems with her feet .... can't ever get a shoe on ... at least the "Stuffed Calamara" gave me a chuckle! Reading your blogs every day helps me to understand more and more about Dementia. Please keep them coming Lisa .. youare absolutely wonderful :)

  2. Thank you Jayla! What are you doing for your mom's feet? Any suggestions are appreciated :-)

  3. Hi Lisa ... keeping her feet elevated during the day helps ,,, she only wears sox on her feet which is fine, seeing as she can not walk but confined to a wheelchair ... doesn't seem to be in any pain!!!

  4. It seems good that the staff isn't imposing their wishes unnecessarily AND are keeping a vigilant eye on the situation. It seems like a fair balance between staff and patient, filled with respect.

  5. Aw, you are handling everything so incredibly well. I do not know if this is an option, but Bath and Body Works has a sock collection that release aromatherapy scents upon wear. They come in cute patterns, too. I got them for a loved one in the hospital and she enjoyed them.

  6. Lisa, I have never seen stuffed calimari but I can certainly visualize it from your description - you are such a good writer! So sorry about your latest worry about your mother. I hope it's resolved soon.

  7. You are a great daughter. My wife works with the elderly and I help sometimes. I think there are great rewards for people who take care of the elderly. God Bless you and have a great weekend.

    Stephen Tremp

  8. Ok thought I posted to this but guess I hit the wrong button...again.
    I was going to suggest seeing if the home has a chair like this one
    Reclining Chair
    or this one
    Reclining Chair too

    My father would get swollen feet and legs as well. It was from the edge of the seat cutting off circulation in his legs as well as him being in the chair all day. So the reclining chairs will keep the pressure off the back of the legs and offer some elevation.

  9. Peaches, I haven't seen these at the home but I will definitely ask. Thank you very much for the suggestion!

  10. Hospice had to order if for me but you may be able to get it through medicare. Also talk to the doctor if the nurses dont seem to act on it. Last resort...Ombudsman for the home (should be posted near the main office of the home)