There have been lots of times when people would say the above title applies to ME! I can’t deny it — there are times when I AM a pain! No, that isn’t what I had in mind here. The title refers to the type of pain I am experiencing every day — have been for more than just a year or two.
When I started using a wheelchair, about age 10, I had muscle-tone in my backside and thighs — The muscles were weak, but not unusable. I didn’t need any other cushion or padding during the 25 years or so that I rode around in manual wheelchairs.
However, when I got my first power-chair it came with a very comfortable foam cushion — it was a wonderful change for my shoulders, and my bottom, when I became an electrically-powered-wheelchair user. You see, all those years sitting and pushing, dangling my legs, had taken quite a toll on my shoulders and buttocks.
Over the course of my life, I became aware that I had great sensitivity and feeling throughout my body — like in the story, “Princess & the Pea!” So much so, I had begun brushing my bed before I got on the sheet each night — there always seemed to be grit or sand that I could feel against my skin unless I brushed it off the sheet. I guess I got over that — or the new places where I was living didn’t have as much gritty stuff to end up in my bed! At some point, however, I did quit the nightly sheet-sweeping!
In February 2004, I had emergency abdominal surgery, due to a growth around my appendix and intestines — I remained hospitalized for 3 1/2 months. (I plan to detail that experience in my next post.) I was at 234 pounds shortly before discharge from the hospital.
Following my return home, I had some difficulty with my intestines which I addressed by cutting my food intake. Then, in the spring of 2007, I entered the hospital (not related to 2004) for 4 days — I weighed 160 pounds at that time. (Hospitals are the only places I’ve found to get weighed since I can’t stand.) I had lost around 70 pounds in about 3 years — between hospitalizations. Since my teen years, I had been called a hearty eater. I was still eating pretty much what I wanted, but I just didn’t want as much as my old former-self did.
So, now my body doesn’t have the fat to provide the cushion between bone and muscle/skin — I hadn’t considered my weight loss might bring about a pain problem. Perhaps it didn’t… But, now I’m trying to eat more often. The one thing I do know, however — my sense of feeling is a burden like never before.
I’ve recently learned of a facility nearby which can perform “pressure mapping” — I could sure use some of this 21st-century technology to help with the pain of sitting or laying-down. Maybe I can find a new hi-tech, customized, drug-free, solution!
During my first 62 years, I’ve had plenty of adversity and challenges… one of them being an expected life-span of less than 25 years. Most of the guys I knew with Muscular Dystrophy had died (5) earlier than that.
Seems I have defied the medical predictions — I’m still here and kicking! 😎
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