Stuck in the bath

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Stuck in the bath

Postby velvet » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:59 pm

Tonight I got stuck in the bath and had to ask my 16 year old son for help to get me out :oops:

I have not been around for quite a while - everything seemed to have stabilized and I had a settled "normal". Then midway through July I had the start of a massive flare. It started with my right thigh feeling "odd" is the only word I can manage. Then this developed into pain in the distinct sciatic pattern - but without any back incidents. I saw the practice nurse and she considered it may be shingles even without the rash as the pain was definitely nerve pattern and recommended upping my amitriptyline. It then settled into the upper hip area and felt exactly like the pain I have when I get bursitis in the knee - and hip bursitis can mimic sciatica. By that point I was on the maximum of my prescribed pain killers ( Paracetamol and codeine phosphate) which would stop the pain but only for about 4 hours - and the pain was enough to wake me (previously a dose of codeine at bed time would give me 8 hours of rest) so I had a phone consult and was given tramadol 12 hours stuff. I found this took the edge of the pain but did not get rid of it completely - the paracetamol would kill it but again only for 4 hours. Tried adding ibuprofen and that did the trick. Then (of course) my digestive system just stopped like it does with tramadol and I had to experiment with laxatives until I found what worked. I then had a week of being totally unable to sleep - I could not stay still. It went 10 minutes trying to sleep to fall into a doze for 20 minutes to wide awake not exactly in pain but just having to move - so bed to chair to other chair to bed all night long and most of the day as well and I had lost all appetite and had to force myself even to drink water. Saw doctor (not my usual one who has just partially retired and now only works every other month) who thought it was still just a big flare (on the grounds I would take off when touched anywhere lol) and also dehydration. Pain levels were reducing so I moved back from tramadol to codeine and made sure I was drinking properly. Slowly seemed to be coming out of it when I noticed that I could not lift my right thigh properly. The knee worked but not the hip sort of thing so I could not lift the foot to go up a step. Also had numb patches. Kept trying to exercise it but it slowly seemed to get worse and I had noticeable muscle wastage. Saw my own doctor by which point I could not lift the right leg straight from a lying down position at all. He tested reflexes etc and said he thought it was still the fibro playing up, to keep trying to exercise it and to go back in November for a review.

So basically my left leg is having to do all the work my right leg used to - only now that seems to be getting weaker as well just not as obviously. I have a bath just about every day because I find it relieves discomfort - at the start of this flare getting out of the bath was a bit stiff and groany but not a problem. The right leg stopping working made it more difficult buy still not a serious problem. However it has been getting harder and harder - even though I do it every day. A couple of days ago I struggled and slipped/fell back but managed to get out - tonight I tried 4 or 5 times, slipped/fell twice, and in the end had to ask my son to get me out - which has to be excruciating embarrassing for both of us.

Had anyone else had anything like this with fibro - I forgot to mention the one thing that is absent in my legs is pain - they do not feel any different from normal. Nor am I getting any excessive back pain. Is this growing weakness just fibro getting worse? Will I be able to recover again? I did not have this problem with my left leg when my right leg as out of action in plaster for 11 weeks. Could it be something else? Should I be jumping up and down (ha ha) at the doctor to test for other things. How worried should I be?
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby fibro-lu » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:52 pm

hi velvet

good to see you around again
not so good to see you struggling

instead of having a hot bath could you use an electric blanket?

I don't think I would get all worked up to the brink of getting a heart attack

being not new to FMS (despite of knowing the huge amount of symptoms there are) and that it does concern you etc i would still go to see the doctor and get checked out what it is that makes your leg not respond

ease of mind means less stress and stress is a factor for a flare
all the best :cow-wave: Lu
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby LesleyD » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:40 pm

Hi, the exact thing happens with me in the bath. The heat eases the pain whilst in the bath - the pains being in my knees, left hip - flare up of sciatica, left shoulder, right elbow and hands! Really not much of my body without pain. Anyway, on trying to get out of the bath I have slipped back in a couple of times bruising my ribs and down my right side. I am terrified of getting stuck and having to ask my 16 year old son for help (it's only him and I in the house). I have tried putting the towel over the side of the bath so that I can lean on it to stop me slipping but it's not great! Don't know what the answer is! Hopefully, things will get easier for you xx :-D
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby velvet » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:37 am

Thanks guys. The electric blanket is a good idea and I do have one.

I am just scared at the moment by a suddenly shrunken world. You think you get adjusted to limitations and prepared for them maybe slowly increasing but this has been sudden. I have gone from being able to cover a reasonable distance slowly with rests (I would take an hour to cover just over a mile as a circuit watching and photographing wildlife) to struggling to make much over a couple of hundred meters. From being able to be cussedly independent to having no choice but to ask for help (the other day I found I could not get out of my camping chair and a stranger helped my up). Its crossing the line between OK its bloody difficult buy I can do it on my own to being unable to do it however much I try.

I worry it is something other than fibro, I worry it is permanent, I worry it will get worse.

I will go back to the doctors - but now have to decide whether to stay with "my" doctor who is great and who I have worked with for years and who knows me very well but who is now only available every other month or switch to a new doctor and take the time to build the relationship up again. The timing on this is murphys law in action.
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby Jasperheidi » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:42 am

Hi, personally I believe your symptoms warrent investigation. MRI of sacral, lumbar spine would show if there is compression on a nerve causing the symptoms you describe. Best of luck.
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby galio » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:02 pm

this is ringing a big bell with me, I dont have the problems like you but getting out of the bath is an issue now, I need the heat to help the pain but it relaxes the muscles and then im struggling due to my hypermobility, on discussion with my husband tonight I have decided to ring and get an appointment with occupational health to see if i can get a perching stool to help me in the kitchen and a bath cushion to help me get out the bath, I hope to get the cushion option as it inflates to help you up, and is easy to remove for others to use the bath, learnt about it and used one for my daughter before she died it was great I used it myself a few times when i was really tired while looking after her.its been a big decision to go down this path i have been thinking about it for a good few months, but came to the crux one night last week when hubbie was out and i had a bath and was stuck there for 20 mins till i got the strength to get out. would something like that help, you can then be in a sitting position level with the top of the bath to swing your legs out. I feel for you I get so mad at myself when i suddenly cant do things, but so far its been a slow process, and i have recovered from flares but each time i seem to have recoverd but not quite fully so loose a bit of something or other along the way.
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby whoami » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:35 am

Velvet, I read the first line of your post and it brought back memories that I now chuckle about. I have come to the conclusion after having this for over 25 years we have to laugh once in a while.

LIke most of us a hot bath soothes the pain. I was in the bath just after lunch one day. Relaxing and adding more hot water as needed. I was in well over an hour. When I tried to get out I couldn't. We have a very deep tub and I just couldn't pull myself up. We'll for the next 4 hours I layer in the tub. As it got cold I could just raise my leg enough to turn on the hot water with my toes.

The first one home was my son. He called me and I said I was stuck in the tub. He came in with eyes closed and placed a lge towel in the tub and i put it over me and then opened his eyes. He then proceeded to lift me out of the tub, wet towel around me. I felt like a prune as he helped me to bed. We laugh now but at the time it was not funny.

Velvet, I think you need to pay a visit to your Dr and make sure that there is nothing else going on. Sometimes it seems easier for us to blame fibro for everything. Hope you get sorted out soon.
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby velvet » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:50 am

I must admit I have been looking at some of the aids to getting in and out of the bath - I cannot imagine a life with no baths!!! At the same time it is a unpleasant process (as everyone on here knows only too well) considering that such help may actually be necessary.

The family is certainly having a giggle about the whole thing and the son who got the short straw is getting some light teasing - it is light because all the boys (there are 4) have had to help me in various ways and it could have been them at home. My motto is you gotta laugh cause if you dont laugh you cry and then you are in trouble. I did empty the water out and put a dressing gown sort of on (it wasnt mine and was a touch small) before my son came in which is a bit daft as I have not only worked as a carer but been to naturist areas and am comfortable in my own skin. I was more worried about making my son uncomfortable as it seems kids that grow up with parents naked at home go off the idea a bit during their teens.

I will definitely be seeing my doctor again - I guess he is the same as me in hoping it is just a fibro flare and I will come out of it and improve again. I am not sure but there may also be issues with further tests as since my last MRI I have gained a couple of metal pins in a broken leg (that will not be removed).
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Re: Stuck in the bath

Postby galio » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:32 pm

hopefully they can do an MRI my daughter had 3 after having a metal plate in her head all of which were on her head. it was abig step today phoning and self referring to OT to see about getting a perching stool for the kitchen and a bath cushion (hopefully can get that not one of those awful things that fold as they go down.) luckily i have also been able to request the OT I want to see, she is lovely and is my sons OT so understands the problems I have due to my hypermobility she was also my daughters OT she knows me well and knows i will only ask for something if i realy need it and havent found a way round the problems this i think is going to be a great advantage for me and her. i hope you get some help. i have been taking the phone into the bathroom with me recently but to be honest it would take hubby an hour to get home and my son only 4 doors away would probably not be able to physically help but im sure would keep me company while laughing his head off at me!
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