Recovering from Bed Confinement

By Tim Gilmer: For More Info, Go Here…

I knew my six months of being sentenced to strict bed rest before, during and after flap surgery, doing everything 24/7 from bed — including eating, peeing, pooping and working at my computer — would be difficult. But I wasn’t prepared for what happened at the end of my sentence when I attempted my first transfer out of bed.

As I pushed off from the mattress, both arms and shoulders instantly gave way, as if I had gained 100 pounds overnight. The pain tore at my shoulders and torso, and waves of wooziness threatened to take me down. I landed with the middle of my back on the very front of my ROHO cushion, my butt hanging way below in a half-reclining position, clutching the tubing of my chair, hanging on for dear life.

My wife and daughter frantically pulled, pushed, lifted and clawed at me, barely managing to hold me in mid-transfer, but their combined strength could only be sustained for another minute or two. I had to muster my strength to help, regardless of the pain. Giving up would mean dropping to the floor, with no one else to help, no Hoyer lift to pick me up, and possible damage to the tender transplanted flesh that covered my left buttock, which had been remolded during my flap surgery.

I grimaced and pushed up with all my might. The pain intensified and I began to feel nauseous. Gradually, with help, I managed to inch my way up, resting my lower back partially on the cushion. I took deep breaths to fight off nausea and gave it another try, but only gained a few inches. I tried again.

This time I made it to safety, with my butt partially on the cushion. But the cushion, a ROHO high profile, had rolled back, making sitting there impossible. With better handholds on my wheels, once again I pushed up while my wife and daughter struggled to un-roll the front of my cushion and lay it flat. With their help, I completed the transfer. Then I hung my head, resting and bearing the pain.

You would have thought I had just completed the most challenging American Ninja Warrior obstacle course of all time, not a simple bed-to-wheelchair transfer.

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