Today I can happily announce that Brendan Bjorn’s pressure sore has healed over! 140 very long, depressing, emotionally challenging days. But (and of course there is always a but to such things) now it means the very slow reintroduction of him spending time in his wheelchair. There is no manual, no guidebook, to tell me how long will be too long. It will be trial with hopefully no error.
Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.
But (yes, again!) the skin where the pressure sore is located will always be about 25% weaker from here on out, so while the sore being healed over is certainly cause to be joyous, I realise it is a cautious joy that I must feel. Not only is that skin forever more fragile, but considering the pressure sore is located at the bony prominence just under his left buttocks cheek, it is going to be a real challenge to keep it from breaking open yet again every time he sits. So, my plan is to start with an hour at a time a couple of times a day and ever so slowly work up from there.
Tomorrow, Brendan Bjorn and I shall go for a stroll – his first one since moving to Dundalk. His first stroll in 140 days.
My soul is screaming for freedom after 140 days. I don’t think people have really understood the desperate isolation that being essentially trapped inside a house, caring, for months on end, has made me feel…and what it has done to my overall well-being. The chronic pain of degenerative discs in my lower back, coupled with the re-emergence of rheumatoid arthritis pain in most of my joints, and having no ability to even go for a walk to get much needed exercise, has been breaking me down. The impact on my mental health from often going day after day with not even speaking to another adult has, at times, caused me to doubt if life is even worth living. The loneliness, hopelessness and frustration over the past 140 days has simply been too much, and not just for me, but also for my youngest son, Declan.
140 days is just over 4 and a 1/2 months. Read that again. Over 4 and a 1/2 months.
Can you imagine?
It is neither fair nor right that any person or family should be left in this way for so long with no help. We – as a society, a community, a culture, a people – must do better than this.
And those government officials and other professionals who have been entrusted to serve and guard the rights of the most vulnerable in our country, must clearly do better than what they have been doing so far.