Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ooey gooey messy magical Duoderm

So I've got a pressure sore. My occupational therapist had made some changes to my chair a few months back. One of them was to put a board under my Roho cushion. Since then I keep getting pressure sores on my coccyx. I've removed the board as a result, and hope this doesn't cause more problems with my back/shoulder/neck pain as it puts me a bit lower in the new hard back I have on my chair. I've always had foldable backs. But my toushie skin must be looked after too. So I'm using Duoderm. It's wonderful in the sense that nothing I've ever tried has ever worked as wonderful as it. It's almost magical that way. However, Duoderm's downfall is that it's messy. As it interacts with the pressure sore, it gets gooey and leaks. And the odour is foul. The rub is that Duoderm only seems to work optimally if you leave it on for about 3 days before changing it. The goo is needed in the healing process. So I keep adding tape around the leakage parts and wash around it. However, taking showers and getting it wet seems to impede the effectiveness of the tape and makes it easier for the goo to seep out. It's a huge nuisance, especially if you work and have to interact around people, wondering if it's oozing. Does anyone else have this problem? Are there any Duoderm secrets that people have for making it work best?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chronic Pain

So I've got this bad shoulder. I can remember clearly the exact moment it appeared too. I was walking home one March evening from dinner with a friend. There wasn't any pain, it was just this tired feeling that went right up my left arm. In the 5 years that have followed, I have seen 4 physios and 1 occupational therapist. All have pretty much given up. The verdict? I'll probably have to live with this from now on.

But I've been thinking. I spent a long, long amount of time with the occupational therapist going over changes in my chair. We changed the back from a soft foldable back to a hard one. They changed the canes on the back of my chair to angled ones because it was felt that part of the problem, aside from outright overuse of my arms in general, was that my arm hit the cane as I was reaching back to grab the wheel and stopped my arm from going back in the direction it should naturally go in. The interesting thing was, in this whole process, I have found it incredibly difficult to identify and verbalize exactly where and when the pain comes and if it gets better or worse over time. I think my O.T. was incredibly frustrated with me. I'd try a back and it felt fine for a while, and then just when I thought it was good, after about 10 days it started to hurt. Excruciatingly.

So we finally settled on this hard J-something back and I can't say unequivocally that it is better than my old back. Sure, I do notice some difference, like more support to my lower back. But I still have the shoulder and arm pain. I'm actually home from work today as a result of it. Although it may have been aggravated by lifting my Macbook repeatedly in the past 2 weeks with my bad arm only. I've stopped doing that to see if it makes a difference. One thing I do notice is that my height was a problem. I'm really short and I wasn't hitting the right parts of the back, even when it was installed as low as possible on the chair. It wasn't custom made for this particular chair. To add height and stability, my O.T. added a wooden board under my ROHO cushion. Even with a medium profile ROHO, I still get pressure sores on my coccyx with the board.

It's been a really frustrating few years. And I can't help but think the inevitable outcome will be an electric chair soon. I'd like to try these swanky Motion wheels that have batteries in them and give you more push for your push. I tried them out and they were awesome! The problem? $6,500!!! Did I mention I don't have insurance?