What a relief. Ryan had a better night last night. In fact, he was so comfortable that his heart rate never climbed above sixty. I was happy to see him having a restful night after a few rough ones. I feel the source of his agitation is slowly resolving.
I’d like to say Ryan is becoming more alert, and this was causing the restlessness. But, I can’t. At least not yet. I think some discomfort over the past several days is more likely the cause. He developed some really nasty blisters between several of his toes (on both feet) that still haven’t all popped or dried over. I noticed these on Wednesday. My guess is multiple factors contributed to these blisters forming (like his night-time foot wear — to keep the foot drop from progressing — being too tight), but I’ll probably never know.
To treat these during the day, I keep his shoes and socks off. I clean the area well with iodine, then apply an antibiotic cream and topical steroid. Unfortunately, this condition is causing havoc with his therapy. Since he can’t wear shoes, he can’t get into the standing frame (which is great for his respiration, circulation, digestive, and foot drop). I also need to shorten his time on the ActivCycle, or risk skin breakdown from the cuffs rubbing his feet.
At night, after he showers I use a hair dryer (on cool setting) to dry between his toes. I use a blow dryer on him every night anyhow (to thoroughly dry his bottom and g-tube site), so this is not a big deal. Then I do the same topical treatment. Again, I leave his feet exposed. The drawback to not wearing his boots is he is not being treated for foot-drop prevention/correction.
I’m doing my best to substitute these therapies by spending much more time with him on the exercise table. Still, it’s hard to replicate the benefits of these other therapies. Very difficult, indeed. I guess I should just stop lying to myself and admit I cannot do what this other equipment can. Try, as I might.
Brain injury — and it’s collateral damage — is so damn challenging. Miniscule things to us are magnified and compounded many times over to Ryan. It’s a cascading effect, that falls like dominoes. Somethings as tiny as blisters creating such turmoil, commotion, digression, and extra work? But, it does.
In a big way.[poll id=”57″]