The scald wound has finally healed. The scabs have been coming off bit by bit. Two days after the incident, I was invited to conduct a session on Disability Equality Training in Kuching next week. I worried if the wound could heal in time. It will be inconvenient for me to wear pants for a long period of time with the wound still raw and especially so far away from home in an unfamiliar place.
Scald wound after 2 weeks.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
One good thing about my body is that scrapes and wounds like this heal without much problem and I am thankful for that. I have one less issue to worry about when I travel. At the very least, I do not have to avoid taboo food like prawns, mackerels and eggs that the Chinese believe will cause wounds to heal very slowly, not that I eat a lot of those food anyway.
As a kid, I used to scamper all over, fell down a lot and scraped my legs more often than I can remember. The keloid scars on my knees are vestiges of those times. As an adult now, I no longer scamper around on my feet anymore but I still get injuries on my legs every now and then. Just yesterday, I spilled a whole bowl of piping hot porridge on my lap.
The angry looking scald wound on my right thigh.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S III.
There is one very large and angry looking wound on my right thigh. My left thigh and foot also sustained second degree burns although not as serious as that large wound. Some of the blisters have broken. The good thing is that the wounds are not painful due to the reduced sensation from spinal cord injury.
My mind must have been somewhere else when I lifted the bowl of porridge after ladling it out from the cooker. It slipped, and before I knew it, the porridge was all over my lap, my left foot and on the floor.
This is one of the risks of handling hot liquid or food for wheelchair users, especially when one is not careful. Past experiences with such wounds have taught me to keep them clean and dry, and they will heal in no time.
My trip to Penang to conduct the Disability Equality Training (DET) workshop at Universiti Sains Malaysia almost turned into a disaster. As always, whenever we travel up north from Kuala Lumpur to Penang, Wuan and I will make a stop in Ipoh to break the monotony of the long journey.
We went to pick up Wuan’s parents for lunch with us. At the restaurant car park, as Wuan was setting up the wheelchair for me, we realised that we had left the wheelchair cushion behind in Kuala Lumpur. I use two cushions of different thicknesses, the thinner Supracor Stimulite Sport when I am at home and a thicker Supracor Stimulite Classic XS when I am out and about.
The wheelchair was customised to be used with a cushion. Without one, my posture would be affected. It would be very uncomfortable and considering the long hours that I would be in the wheelchair at the workshop, there was a possibility of getting pressure sores on the buttocks as well. The first inclination was to make the 2-hour drive back to Kuala Lumpur for the cushion after lunch and then drive all the way to Penang. I estimated that we would arrive at the hotel in Penang at around 10pm.
The other option was to look for a cushion in Ipoh. There are no Supracor Stimulite dealers in Malaysia. I had to bring both of mine in from the USA. The next option was to get the ROHO, an air-filled cushion that I have pressure-mapped at the hospital with favourable results. I am not too fond of this cushion though because the air pressure has to be constantly monitored and being air-filled, there is always the issue of it springing a leak, more so when we are living with cats with sharp claws.
Top – Roho Quadtro Select High Profile. Bottom – Supracor Stimulite Classic XS.
The good thing about using a smartphone is that I could access the Internet to look for the address of Lifeline Innovators, a medical and rehabilitation equipment dealer, that I knew had a branch in Ipoh. I was surprised that for a shop that deals with rehabilitation equipment especially wheelchairs, it did not have a ramp to the shop. The helpful staff had to carry me in my wheelchair up three steps to the five-foot way and another step into the shop. It is ironic that while they sell enabling gears, they are also the source of disablement with the non-existent accessible facilities for disabled customers visiting the shop. The management of Lifeline Innovators should seriously look into this issue.
I wanted the Roho Quadtro Select Mid profile but they did not have my size. The staff let me test the Quadtro Select High Profile instead. I was seated rather high and felt wobbly and unstable. The good thing about this cushion is that the air can be released for better positioning. It felt more comfortable after some adjustments.
So, after haggling over the price, I parted with RM1,300 for the cushion and continued with our journey up north, praying that nothing else would go wrong after that. Considering the situation, it was a small price to pay. The decision to buy the Quadtro Select, although not as comfortable as my Stimulite Classic XS, was the better choice as opposed to driving all the way back home to pick the cushion up or the possibility of getting a pressure sore that could take months to heal sitting without the cushion.
Tags: Ipoh, Lifeline Innovators, Penang, pressure sore, Roho Quadtro Select High Profile, spinal cord injury, Supracor Stimulite Classic XS, Universiti Sains Malaysia, wheelchair cushion, wheelchair user Malaysia