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Contracture

He holds onto something precious, something invisible pinched between his thumb and index finger.

“What’s in those pinky fingers?” she asks.

He giggles.

She cups her hand under his.

“Give it to me. I’ll keep it for you.”

He drops the invisible artifact into her palm. She places it into the pocket of her gray sweatshirt.

His dying mind sees things she never will.


My mom showed signs of contracture within eight months of her dying. We brought in a physical therapist but the PT didn't help much. In fact, it pained her to go through the stretching exercises much more than just allowing her hands to contract.


Bob's contracture is manifesting itself differently. He holds onto invisible things, pinches them between his first finger and thumb until I ask him to hand it to me. He drops the invisible thing in my hand and I pocket it. The above excerpt is from a memoir I've written but have yet to publish. It will have its own good time as most things do.


A contracture is a fixed tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin. It prevents normal movement of the associated body part. An injury such as a severe burn can cause contracture of the skin. The skin becomes scarred and nonelastic which limits the range of movement of the affected area. From Mount Sinai's website: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/symptoms/contracture-deformity

Contracture also occurs in the feet and tend to appear as if the person is pointing their toes. Bob has started showing signs of contracture in his feet too. For now, he can still stand but there will come a time when it will hurt for him to place his feet flat on the ground.


For now, I will simply claim the invisible objects he holds so he can use his hands to steady himself as we walk--him forward, me backward--to different places upstairs whether the bathroom or the stairlift, or downstairs to his big comfy recliner. We will walk this path together until we cannot. Then? Well, we will adjust. Like we always do.


God bless you all, Susan.


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Jo szcz
Jo szcz
2月14日

Unfortunately, it can be quite painful :( Sad. Praying for you both. 💕

いいね!
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