Monday, August 13, 2007

Even Tiger Woods Could be Beaten, If We Tried This Hard.

I feel like the fellow in the song my father used to sing about when he was feeling frisky. It was something about, “ Of course you can go swimming. Hang your clothes on the hickory tree, but don’t go near the water.” I don’t remember the tune nor the words, but the revised lyrics would have to do with taking a bath without getting wet. There is an old Army term for that maneuver which involves a steel helmet cover.

Anyhoo, my orders are to take a shower --- without getting legs or arms wet. The standard instruction is to encase the exempted extremities within a plastic garbage bag and bind tightly with paper tape and rubber bands. There are some flaws. a) A good definition of slippery is the instability associated with a wet shower floor in contact with a wet plastic bag . b) Strong plastic bags are expensive and rare. The plastic bags, which arrive around the Sunday Paper, fit nicely, but can be almost too rigid for tight wrapping. c) The wounds we are treating stem almost exclusively from poor circulation. Cutting off blood flow to all four extremities seems illogical.

After struggling for months to have a shower and keep the wounds dry, Sally and I worked out a system. We simply don’t try. We figured out that the medical objection to the wounds getting wet is the length of time they sit around with wet and bacteria- laden bandages covering the wounds before they are re-dressed. (Six days a week a nurse comes into the apartment and “does” the wounds and once a week I go upstairs to the doctor’s office to give the doctor a look-see”) Sally stands guard outside the shower and listens for sounds of a rotund body crashing to the shower floor. I have a very satisfactory shampoo and shower. I then let Sally help me out of the shower; tear the, now wet, bandages off. I wave at the “hurts” with a dry, folded up newspaper until they are reasonably dry. With months of experience we can pretty well tell what time to expect the different nurses to show up. We time the shower to minimize the dry-wait . Everyone is happy. It is a win-win situation. FORE!


Archana said...

Neat method :-))!

This talk of garbage bags reminds me of my friend when she had mehendi done on her hands and legs for her wedding and had to keep them water-free for more than half a day. She was one funny sight to look at when she went to have a shower with all those bags ;-P!

Good to see you back :-)!

kenju said...

I remember trying to take a shower with a broken elbow in a cast, and it was not a pretty sight. You have come up with a good solution!