Thursday, February 2, 2012

the snowplow

Mom has been slow to get up out of a chair for a few years. The muscles in the top of her thigh are just not doing their share of the work. For a few months she has been rocking herself to launch out of chairs, "one two three umpf" using her arms and the sturdy arms of the chair to help her up and out. Long ago, I realized that sitting her in a low soft sofa was not a good idea.

The past 15 months that she's been living in assisted living, she's gained about 20 pounds. That additional weight has not been helpful.

Now Mom's walking has become much worse. She was becoming a slow walker, now she is creeping. I notice that she is doing a lot more "cruising". That behavior that babies do when they learn to walk, they walk from table, to chair, to sofa, to chair, holding on to one thing after another. This is what Mom is now doing. 

She is also walking with her thighs and knees together, only swinging out her lower leg and foot. When I went to imitate her motions, I recognized it as the snowplow ski position. She has found stability in her snowplow position while she walks: bent at the hips and knees, leaning a bit forward, knees and thighs together, feet apart, toes pointing in.

Because she is still walking, she thinks there is nothing wrong. In her mind she is still running swiftly down the halls.  Trying to get her to use a walker would bring about a huge fight. Do you think she would accept ski poles?

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