Friday, May 05, 2006

Bea's Bedsore

Elderly people who are bed-ridden get bedsores. I knew that. What I didn’t know is that you can get bedsores all over your body. I thought they only appeared on the butt. Wrong. Bea got her first bedsore on her heel. I noticed it was red. Then, one day, a splotch appeared. Through the skin, I can see what looks like pus.

When you ask nurses about bedsores, they invariably shake their head with a very worried expression on their faces. One gets the idea bedsores can be quite nasty.

The way to avoid bedsores is to rotate the body. A few hours on one side, a few hours on the other. This is what I try to do for Bea now that I know better.

Our hospice nurse provided a great balm, which I apply regularly: Bag Balm ointment. The label says, “Apply to the affected area twice a day for skin irritation.”

I slop the bag balm on the bedsore, then cover it with one cotton sock. We have been treating the bedsore this way for three weeks. It seems better but has not disappeared.

I also buy a soft lamb’s fleece type pad that now cushions Bea’s feet. Apparently, you can find heel booties made out of the same material.

Bedsores are no fun. They take forever to heal.

Vigilance is in order.

We need to prevent more.

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