Ankles Like Twigs

I have very little to do with Mums clothing, bathing etc… All I ever see is the end product the carers produce, then its down to me to keep Mum fed, entertained and generally happy throughout the day, something I’m very good at.

Today Mum lost her slipper and while bending down I gasped, I could put my Thumb and First finger around her ankle. I almost burst into tears… Mum hasn’t walked since June 2018. She eats really well, so I don’t understand why her ankles are fading into obscurity???

Stephen, I suspect its due to muscle wastage. if she is eating well and happy, you are doing a great job. Does she get weighed regularly?


I do sympathise. I remember the 1st time I saw my husband’s shoulder blades when the hospital gown slipped. The shock, and I covered them up, for the gown to keep slipping.
As Melly says, it’s probably muscle wastage. Very hard, but try not to despair.

Hi Stephen, My mother’s arms and legs got thinner when she was pretty much confined to bed, even though she did try to do some gentle exercise. At one point one of the district nurses who hadnt visited for a few months noticed mum had lost some weight. She arranged for a nutritionist to visit. In mum’s case he recommended boosting up fats and protein and ordered samples of milk shake powders for her to sip on. Her doctor gave her more on prescription.

It wasn’t possible for mum to be weighed at home and the district nurse spotted mum’s weight loss whereas those seeing mum every day hadn’t noticed the gradual decline.

I’d suggest trying to get a nutritional review to get some helpful hints perhaps. In retrospect, mum’s weight loss was probably caused by muscle wasting due to inactivity and a later diagnosed endometrial cancer.

Mum hasn’t been weighed since being home in late March, is it important?

Facially, arm and body wise Mum is “chubby” healthy, we were just comparing double chins a few days ago, which is why seeing Mums ankles shook me…

We do have a good GP, when I re-registered Mum she said she was going to come out and visit Mum, but it never happened.

As Mum is “off her feet” should I be asking our GP for a check up visit??? Sorry I ask so many questions, Mum has been home four and a half months, each day is a new experience…

Mum wasn’t weighed at home because the district nurses didn’t have the equipment to do it! They did monitor her size by measuring around her upper arm, I think.

If your mum’s gp said she’d visit, then follow up on it. Then she’ll be able to tell how mum’s doing later on. Whilst the gp is visiting, ask her about the continence pads and fortified milk shakes.

( You could show the gp a soaking wet pad or two!)

It’s no wonder you’ve got plenty of questions, you’re doing a great job.