spinal-cord injury

AWP: more bed rest and a dummy spit

my hope for a short bed stay seems to be diminishing. The mark remains. The difficulty is trying to work out the cause so I can try to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Do I have a seating problem? Was there something I lay on in my bed? Was my skin pinched in the hoist sling? Too many possibilities and no clear answers.

Of course I can’t really complain about bed rest. I am certainly used to it by now, and am able to amuse myself on the computer.  The challenge is that I feel more handicapped in bed. In a wheelchair I have some freedom. In bed I am utterly trapped. Obviously, I cannot move but also, because of the angle at which I’m lying, I cannot feed myself (I am not actually very good at that out of bed – I am a very messy eater, but it least I can do it myself). Worst of all is “pooing” in bed. I should note at this point that nurses are amazing. It might be a humiliating experience – the inability to control wee and poo and the like– but nurses treat you in a manner that leaves your dignity intact. Nevertheless, it is still a terribly icky experience to lie in bed with faeces.

now, before you imagine that I’m dealing with these things in a praiseworthy manner I need to let you know that I lost it today. I had been allowed up for one hour and on my way back to bed one of the surgical dressers informed me of a hospital policy that I had sidestepped. I had a mini tantrum and stormed out the room. We made up, but the fact is that, just like everybody else, I ride on the winds of emotion, trying but not always succeeding to stay calm and treat my carers (or family or friends or workmates whatever the case may be) with the respect they deserve.

About Author

Shane is an ethicist and theologian, Honorary Associate for the Centre of Disability Research and Policy, the University of Sydney, and Assistant Director, Policy, at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation against People with Disability. Shane is proudly disabled, and an occasional blogger on

1 Comment

  • Lauren
    March 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Shane thank you for exposing yourself and your very grounded humanity – unsettling and deeply engaging words.
    someone you might like: Tasha Diamant at
    love from lauren


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