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Old 11-22-2006, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hand Atrophy Pictures

One of the members asked what atrophy looks like and seeing as I have it in my hands I put a link up to see some pictures.

The fingers are curling due to contracture and the brace is worn at night to try to keep the fingers straight as long as possible. One for each hand. Hope this doesn't gross anybody out.

Pictures aren't that great but give an idea what wasting looks like. AL.

If you can't see the pictures go to page 3 of this thread and see post # 40. There is a blue link there that should take you to the pictures.
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Hand Atrophy Pictures-handatrophy_0249.jpg   Hand Atrophy Pictures-handatrophy_0252.jpg   Hand Atrophy Pictures-handatrophy_0247.jpg   Hand Atrophy Pictures-handatrophy_0258.jpg   Hand Atrophy Pictures-handatrophy_0244.jpg  


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Old 11-22-2006, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for sharing, Al. It is personally very helpful to me and not gross at all! As usual you came through with information and of the sort that we really need! Enjoy your turkey tomorrow. You did say you were joining us in turkey, right? Even though you already had thanksgiving last month?
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wife says no turkey. Get roast beef today. That's the best I can do I guess. No pie either. She is going to visit her aunt in the home so won't be here to do it. Guess I can't really complain. AL.
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Old 11-22-2006, 02:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well I'll have a slice in your honor. Just came from the home myself. My Mom is unusually sleepy today. But it is good to see her resting. I can't wait for dinner tomorrow. My sister in law is a great cook and I love this holiday best of all!
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Thanks a million

Al,
Thank you so very much for the pictures.
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Old 11-22-2006, 04:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you Al for your atrophy pictures. May I ask how long ago your hands began to atrophy?

I have the same thing. It started this spring. Now my fingers curl or cramp of their own accord. I can no longer do up small buttons, most zippers and small snaps. I had to rethink my wardrobe and Earth Baby's clothes too. No baking this holiday season. What a klutz I've become in the kitchen!
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's what my right hand looks like. Nobody suggested a brace - my fingers curl up so tight at night when I'm asleep that I have to open them with my other hand. Maybe when I get when I get to OT?

Earth Mama -

I am determined to bake my Tollhouse cookies and Snickerdoodles for Xmas. Don't know how well it will go - the last time I tried mashing potatoes with a beater (about two months ago) I felt like I was handling a jackhammer and flung potatoes all over the kitchen. I'm thinking since cookie ingredients are softer this may be do-able. My daughters are willing to help but I'm just not ready to give this one up. If I trash the kitchen, I'll let them clean it up.

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Old 11-22-2006, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default hand splints

This is a good discussion for those in early stages of hand/arm atrophy---get splints early and wear them! At Mayo Clinic they had the PT/OTs custom make some splints for my husbands hands to stretch his fingers. You can also get more generic splints from the medical supply places. Start wearing them at first signs of fingers curling up---it will give you months and months of extra time being able to function and be comfortable. Once they curl up bad it is almost impossible to reverse at that point. Exercises and stretching are great too, but having them on while sleeping is like getting 8 or so hrs of stretching! With my husband we took much care with the hand that went first and kind of neglected the other one and regretted---there was abig difference between the two.

Same goes for wrists--they will curl in too and splints will hold them straight too.

Also, after it got very advanced, where we are now, we got some nice sheepskin hand grips that my husband has on both hands to keep his fingers from digging into his palms, (like holding a ball in your hand ) they are very comfy and he wears them 24/7.
Gobble, Gobble, Beth
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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lunarruna -

Great tips - thank you.

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Old 11-23-2006, 01:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I checked back and was starting to have problems gripping pens and buttons and other fine motor functions in spring of 04. diagnosed in Oct 03. Just barely able to hold fork spoon and knife now. A fat long stem wine glass is still not a problem as long as I don't fill it. More trips to the trough. Still able to walk but started using a walker last week. Can go faster. And longer. Just like the energizer bunny I am. LOL. We put those small key chain rings on all my zippers or a piece of black cord knotted on all my zippers. I can still do some except starting coat zips etc. I was a great chef and miss being able to do that. But what the heck. AL.
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This discussion has helped me so much! Probably because it relates to the stage I am in. Beth, you just confirmed what I suspected, regarding braces. Before the docs suspected ALS they thought I had carpel tunnel. Well, I do, just a bit of it. So I have been wearing braces for over a year and find it really helps.

Liz and Al-I know what you mean about not being able to cook. Each time I make something I feel like it may be the last. What I have baked tastes so delicious to me, though. It helps me to know about your personal timelines. I know everyone progresses differently but I was needing some bench marks. Thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Smile Pics Of Atrophy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al
One of the members asked what atrophy looks like and seeing as I have it in my hands I put a link up to see some pictures. The fingers are curling due to contracture and the brace is worn at night to try to keep the fingers straight as long as possible. One for each hand. Hope this doesn't gross anybody out. If you go to the site and click on the thumbnails the larger picture will show. Pictures aren't that great but give an idea what wasting looks like. AL.
HI AL,
THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PICTURES OF MUSCLE WASTING OR HAND ATROPHY. IT MEANS A LOT TO HAVE PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT ARE THERE TO HELP ALL OF US WHO FEEL ALONE AT TIMES AND NO ONE TO TALK TO. I AM THANKFUL I CAME ACROSS THIS WEB SITE. IT MEANS A LOT TO ME. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR EDUCATIONAL HELP.

LOIS - MARYLAND
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Hi Al!

Thanks for sharing those pictures. You are such a bright star to have on this site.

My mama's hands were like that and nobody suggested a splint, she actually told my brother that if her fingers were curled when she passed away he better break them or make sure that someone did. She had such a morbid and dry sense of humor, that's what got us through.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default hand atrophy

Al thank you so much for this site and the information users provide. As you know I'm newly diagnosed, and just learning about the different stages of this disease. My symptoms started w/ atrophy in left hand and is progressing rather quickly for als according to my neuroligist. Does the brace help at all? I'm willing to try anything to slow things a little any info is appreciated. GOD BLESS YOU and yours!
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Al, thanks so much for your help. But now I am more worried than ever. Went to the gym today (takes my mind off things and makes me feel stronger). Actually I am freaking out...on the border of panic attack.

I placed my hands on the table a few minutes ago and my 4th knuckle next to my pinky on both hands is popping up and I can't get my hand to go completely flat against the table. I'ts in both hands, but worse on the right. When I pus something with that finger the knuckle pops right up. I'm pretty sure it was not there yesterday. Can ALS move that quickly? Perhaps subtle changes have been happening all along and I never really noticed them.

I have been exercising my hands very vigorously lately with spring grips because I was afraid of losing strength. But now what? I called my family Dr. and she couldn't see me today. I have an appointment with the neurologist on Feb.22 (so very far away).

I am so alone and scared right now. Actually my two kids are downstairs right now. How could I ever tell them that I'm leaving them?

Nicole.

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