Butt Crimes

The ceiling fan is spinning at full speed. There is no other way to cool down, except the air-conditioner. That is a luxury reserved for those exceptionally unbearable days. With Malaysia’s perennial heat, I do not want to be addicted to it when I can get by. My buttocks are hurting. Those long hours sitting without a cushion are claiming their toll. The sofa looks inviting but I am too lazy to transfer onto it. Sinking myself into one would make me very immobile. Hence, I am still in my wheelchair, surfing and catching occasional peeks at the television.

“H” is chasing down clues for yet another murder. His confident poise coupled with chic suits and a pair of equally smart shades makes him a chap many would want to imitate in real life. I know I do. This is so shallow. I am basing my standards on television characters. Somehow, sleek black suits have that mysterious allure that captivates me. I hate to admit it but every time I watch these fictional heroes, I wished I am living those exciting lives.

CSI is such an interesting series because the good guys win, always, undeniably. It is a feel good show a lot of us wished would happen in reality. Regrettably real life does not imitate fiction. When the credits start to scroll, I am left with a sense of awe and disappointment at the same time. It signals a wasted hour with the idiot box when I could be resting in bed reducing the pressure on my buttocks.

Aching buttocks is just a minor discomfort. Sitting without bed rests in between poses a very high risk of getting pressure sores. These can take as long as 12 months to heal. The other concern is postural oedema. I sit without standing or walking from the time I am awake until I sleep which can be up to sixteen hours sometimes. This causes the feet and ankle swell up because, by not walking, my calf muscles are not pumping the blood back from the lower extremities, allowing fluids to accumulate there. Elevating the feet higher than the heart while in bed solves the problem.

Sitting for long hours without a proper cushion is like playing the Russian Roulette. If I do not get pressure sores, I win to sit the next day. The good thing is I have sensation which greatly reduces the probabilities of getting it. Still, it does happen. In my case, not getting pressure sores without taking recommended precautions is something extraordinary. The chances are extremely high and I am really asking for it when I have already broken the first cardinal rule of using a wheelchair cushion all the time when sitting up. I tend to slip down the wheelchair seat when using a cushion. That was why I discarded it. I shift my posture often throughout the day to reduce the pressure. Hopefully that is sufficient.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

5 thoughts on “Butt Crimes”

  1. For a minute, I thought you are going to blog about the evils of TV (‘cos I just did).

    Thanks for opening my eyes ‘cos sometimes, we do take things for granted. I know how nasty bed sores are (‘cos Vincent got pressure sores before) but did not realise that getting a sensation reduces the chance of getting it. Does that means that part of the body hurts before the sores flare up? Pain does have a lot of uses in our lives.

  2. Lilian,
    When I feel pain, I shift my buttocks or lift myself up to reduce the pressure for a while. That helps. It should hurt on a person with normal sensation because there is a consistent pressure on that specific spot before the tissues die off. But a person with normal sensation will not usually get pressure sore unless he is bedridden and not turned every four hourly.

  3. I appreciate your sharing this with me. I take so many things for granted. Every time I feel numb or uncomfortable somewhere, I shift and that’s the end of it. Thank you for reminding me that life is a great gift – the daily little details, especially. God bless you.

  4. Sweetspirit,
    I will be looking forward to your mail. Take care.

    We should be thankful for little mercies. These are the things that make our life easier although we always take them for granted. Peace be with you.

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