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What I learned from dying; Bed sores/You’ve gotta keep moving

I figured out recently that I have a bed sore. It turns out I’d had it for quite a while but I had largely ignored it, hoping that whatever it was would just go away.

It got me thinking that my raw tailbone is a little like lifeif you don’t keep moving things get a little worse and if you ignore them they get more and more raw and you just sort of rot in place. 

I earned this bed sore. I’ve settled into a pattern of lying in bed watching Portlandia and Forensic Files reruns, content to just be awake and say that’s better than I used to be not long ago. It’s true it is better than I was at one point where I did nothing but sleep, but why am I comparing my current situation to one of the worst ones in my life? Why aren’t I comparing myself now to times when I was up getting things done and interacting with others, enjoying life? Back when I was moving?

Apparently this sore started when I was in the hospital dying, but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was some remnant from any number of the horrifying things they did to me while I was in there, so I thought that with enough time it would go away on its own.

As time progressed I thought it was some kind of stain that I could scrub off. That absolutely didn’t work. Then I thought it seemed like something I could chip off like an old scab. I’m not sure why I even tried that but I did, which turned out to be a pretty bad idea.

I continued to ignore it until one day when I got out of the shower and I was standing in front of the mirror and I realized that all I had to do to know what was going on was to turn around. There it was, two spots on my tailbone. Why hadn’t I ever looked before? I’d never looked because I was too busy ignoring it.

Now I’m taking care of it. I’m moving a little more. Rolling on my side while in bed and trying to sit in chairs to take the pressure off of it as much as I can. I’m slathering salve on it.

Guess what? It hurts more now than it ever has. 

I could tell myself that I was better off when I was ignoring it, but it was slowly getting worse and endangering my health. But it was so easy and comfortable. At least now it’s getting better.

I’m finding that it’s a good parallel to my current situation because moving, literally and figuratively, is hard. I’m tired and I don’t want to stand up and walk around, but I have to for my health. I don’t want to stay engaged in the world and get out and talk to people because it’s so much easier and comfortable to just zone out to TV.

Going out for a short walk in the yard sometimes is difficult and sometimes it hurts, sometimes it wears me out. But it never hurts me and it’s always beneficial. I need to move more or else I’ll just rot in place.

Are you in the same spot right now as you were hours ago? Are you in the same place in life that you were five years ago?  You’ve gotta keep moving, even when it hurts.

By Dave Taylor

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