Today's topics are completely unrelated, but timely. Winter weather brings out the holidays. People facing medical challenges tend to become stuck indoors, even in bed, for long periods of time during wintery weather. Life does not always feel as happy as commercials say it will feel, especially for someone who is ill. So, let's look at two relevant issues of the day...
When a person is in bed too long for their skin to bear it, bed sores appear. This is a sign of breakdown in “skin integrity.” It is painful and dangerous. Germs can easily enter the bloodstream through the oozing wounds. The singular medical term for these unwanted holes in the skin is “Decubitus Ulcer.” It’s pronounced Deh-kyoo-biht-us. Decubiti is the plural term. It’s pronounced Deh-kyoo-biht-eye (as in eye ball).
Bedsores are graded into one of four categories that indicate if the sore is simply a reddish pressure mark on the skin or an open and painful sore (medical professionals tend to use the terms “skin break down” or “skin deterioration” when discussing the problem) or worse. Without careful supervision, bedsores can become life-threatening.
Worsening bed sores can become oozing areas that expose the muscle below the skin (a very serious medical problem). The worst situation is an infected wound that might reach down to the bone. It's as ugly as it is serious. Be sure to discuss the situation with a health care professional until you understand the problem 100%.
Bedsores result from too much pressure. A person in bed for long periods of time (weeks, months) is experiencing lots of unusual pressure on the body parts touching the bottom sheet: ankles, elbows, hips, shoulders, buttocks and the area above the buttocks (what is commonly called a “tail bone”).
Here are some easy, quick cures and prevention techniques for bedsores. Check with your medical professionals before using any of them. You need to understand that potential dangers might exist and how to handle them. Those dangers must be handled correctly for patient health and healing:
Use prescribed medicine as directed.
Have the affected person eat fish, turkey (NOT beef) meat and/or peanut butter daily for the rich protein content. Any kind of nut butter can help. Nuts are full of protein. Puree the food if necessary. Chewing can be difficult for the very ill person. And bed sores are likely to make them cranky.
Place an egg crate or air mattresses atop the bed mattress. Cover that with a fitted sheet and let the person sleep in increased comfort that lets their skin heal.
Gently massage around, and direct sunlight upon the affected body parts that bear weight when in bed. Try to situate the affected person near a window filled with sunshine and expose the damaged body areas to that light for several minutes, one at a time, daily.
Gentle bathing. DO NOT immerse a person with bed sores into a tub without medical supervision. Bed sores require that a person be bathed gently and with what Americans call "sponge bath technique." The person lies snuggled in warm towels or blankets in bed as one part of their body is cleaned at a time. The bathed area should be immediately dried in a gentle manner. Again, check with your medical advisors about how to do this correctly. Perhaps a home health aide can do it best for all concerned.
Learn from medical professionals about how to safely turn the person in bed a few times daily. This lets affected body parts rest from pressure it usually suffers.
All of this promotes blood circulation and/or good skin integrity. These techniques prevent and cure bed sores.
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XMAS TREE MOLD ALLERGIES
This seems to be a pretty Grinchy idea to pose at this time of year, but the evidence is in. It's true even if some folks deny it (watch your nose, Pinocchios). Some folks are allergic to the molds from Xmas trees. See Allergy Free Holiday Christmas Tree Allergy Dallas Plano Fort ...
Consider safer alternatives. And be sure to keep children, pets, decorative lighbulbs and electrical cords out of harm's way.
Okay, let's hear it for papier mache and posters!
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To your good health,
Coping with a Medical Crisis?
Make the Changes You Need in Your Life.