The joys of bed (seven days in paradise)

I am on my seventh day of bed rest, lying on my side waiting for a pressure mark to disappear. When it first appeared it was only small and I assumed it would heal up after a couple of days. A week later and my carers have only just started to see some improvement; what was a small enough mark on the surface is obviously more substantive underneath. Being in bed is one thing but lying on my side is another. It is not only the niggling painof the body cramping from being oddly positioned, but that it is so hard to do anything lying sideways. Voice recognition software means I can use the computer but reading text on an angle is surprisingly difficult. The brain seems to be trained to track texts left to right but when proceeding bottom to top I keep repeating or skipping lines bottom to top I keep repeating or skipping lines.

As each day goes past, and my dreams of being up and about on the next come to nothing, I am getting increasingly grumpy. When my carers check my bum in the morning and tell me that the mark is still there I am tempted to tell them to @$*& off. In the spirit of the idea that positive talk is transformative, here are some reasons to celebrate being in bed:

  1. … (Very long pause as I wrack my brain) the Cat has 24-hour bed service – see photo
  2. I have the opportunity to sleep whenever I choose
  3. I am allowed to watch the test cricket, Australia vs South Africa (although a five-day test that Australia should have won ending in a draw didn’t help my mood)
  4. I’ve been able to finish my marking and even do some of my own writing
  5. the boys are able to stay away from me to avoid getting jobs (a blessing to us all; they avoid work and I dodge a fight)
  6. I missed travelling home in the rain earlier in the week, and will be able to remain inside when heat-wave temperatures hit us (predictions of 41°)
  7. I get waited upon hand and foot – even more than normal. And Elly insists that this is literal, and that my feet and legs are bloody heavy

I’m feeling better already… But God help the carers if they find the mark still there tomorrow.

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


  • aussiemef
    November 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Hey Shane, I am an e- book fiend on an I Pad and it enables me to read while lying on my side… Is there any way you could maneuver an iPad???

    • Shane Clifton
      November 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      now there is a good idea. And the answer is yes – will try that tonight

  • phil moore
    November 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    maybe better luck with Waca test. we started well but the SAs keep fighting back. will we have another (interesting) draw?

  • Kerry Sanders
    December 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Shane… thoughts are with you…….yes… is all flashing back to long hot days with you watching the cricket and waiting for pressure sores to heal. HANG IN THERE…….IT WILL HEAL. Best wishes to Elly and Yourself…. Kerry……..
    p.s.. Just remembered you challenge to an act of defiance……paper planes … 🙂

    • Shane Clifton
      December 3, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      7 days is nothing eh Kerry. You are the queen of grace during bed rest. How long was it? 3 months?

  • Daniel Fuchs
    December 18, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hi Doc! I just wanted to say thanks for being the man! Your Christology lectures birthed in me a love for theology. Love ya work mate,

    Dan Fuchs

  • Jenny Murray
    April 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Do you have an alternating air mattress? It makes all the difference in world to people who are prone to sores. My husband has one and has been sore free for 2 years, quite a feat for him. Sores have been his major health complaint since he became a T4-5 para 33 years ago. Might as well prevent them vs. trying to heal them after they occur. It is worth the investment.

  • Shane Clifton
    April 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Jenny, I do actually sleep on an alternating air mattress, thank fact, my latest pressure mark occurred because the mattress went down overnight! But I do agree with you, they are very good. I have been getting little marks from my chair, but things seem to have been going good for a while now.


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