Story by Naz Erdem

In an article we posted a few months ago, former printer and professional jockey Ian Duckling told us about his life and his experience with managing a persistent pressure sore. Eventually Ian was admitted to hospital for surgery and spent months in rehab, and I’ll admit I was surprised that he had let things get to that point.

Let’s just say I am a wiser man today. Just a couple of weeks after we published that article, I started getting sweating on my forehead after sitting in my wheelchair – an early sign of hyperreflexia (where your body shows a reaction to unfelt damage).

This sweating continued for two weeks before I paid enough attention to work out what was causing it. I knew the sweating was my body’s way of telling me something was wrong. I just assumed – and hoped – that my shoe was too tight, or that I had a urinary tract infection (UTI). I didn’t want to accept the worst.

The fact was, my bum was in pain because a pressure sore had developed. I only realised this when I checked my skin after getting out of the shower.

I had not even taken my own advice that I had offered readers in the article about Ian. My advice was to get your bum checked each and every night, to make sure a pressure sore wasn’t developing.

I had kept just doing my thing, and not checking my skin, even though I had sweating.

I started to think about what I might have done to generate a pressure sore. For a start, it was holiday season. So I had gone away for a weekend, driving for hours on a standard car seat.

I had also spent more hours than usual in my wheelchair. And I had pumped up my ROHO cushion much more than usual, because I had wanted to sit a bit higher in my chair. That had made the cushion harder.

Perhaps a combination of these things caused the problem.

Recognising I had a developed a pressure sore frightened the daylights out of me. I started to connect the dots. I was just hoping it wasn’t too bad, because I knew it had been there for at least a couple of weeks.

I accepted that I might have to spend months in bed until it healed.

  • June 30, 2020

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