My sister wrote to me again yesterday – she is a nurse and like you is following Wai’s recovery closely. She trained to be a nurse in a period before modern computer based diagnostics and many of their procedures were based on common sense coupled with sound medical knowledge learned in the lecture hall and on the floor. This way of nursing was very tactile – using fingers to take the pulse and visually looking for signs of health and recovery, making beds with nursing corners and cleaning and reusing things like bedpans and towels. So this down to earth nursing knowledge is very useful to a little farmer working with a wounded pig in the corner of her barn.
And as my sister explained it often these good nursing practices are common sense. We all have a good helping of this knowledge if we listen to our instincts. This, coupled with listening to the more knowledgeable, allows us to trust our instincts. But yesterday I was feeling quite at sea.
With this new stage of the pig ripping off his skin by scratching along the walls revealing swathes of naked bubbling flesh I am running way past my confidence level. The risk of infection is much higher now. John’s words have made me afraid. They felt like a curse. Yet Wai continues to heal very slowly inside his wreck of a body.
Yesterday my sister wrote something very interesting. Real healing comes from below – the blood. Blood moving through tissue is imperative to health. After all people who take a walk every day are generally healthier and fitter – stands to reason you should add walking when you are sick or injured to get that blood moving. Many burns victims are kept prone in their beds. Often slightly or wholly sedated. They lie there quite still while the nurses work diligently to keep them alive and sterile. Often they struggle with some pretty evil infections. And this is exacerbated by their lack of movement. Some cannot move of course but she believed that getting them moving as soon as possible (like they do with knee replacements) would actually help their recover. (I am paraphrasing of course).
Wai walks every day. Since he got here exercise went straight to the top of the list. My gut feeling right from the beginning was that he needed movement from his body to move his bowels, develop an appetite and kick start his metabolism again. He had not moved in almost three weeks that I know of by the time he arrived. So we began to walk. First he needed encouragement with a broom but now he comes when I call him. (He thinks about it for a minute but he does come). And often leads me on his walks – usually over to see Poppy and Sheila. (They just stare at him – he really does not smell like a pig – he smells like a rank rubbish bin that needs emptying). Gradually over the course of his short time here our evening walks have become further and longer and his health has become better. He talks as he moves about now, a very pig-like attribute. So she is right – exercise is helping enormously.
Of course a diet of raw vegetables and fruit is another important factor. Diet is another huge component in recovery. Ignore a good diet at your peril really. Just imagine if all the burns units were supplied with tons of raw fruits and vegetables and some tread mills.
However as Alissa said yesterday he looks way worse but he sounds much better.
I have added an early morning brisk walk and yesterday and today was and is cloudy, so we are able to go out in the day time too, yesterday he increased the speed of the blood running through his body four times.
So, even more exercise is in his future. I am not set up to do many of the procedures a person with this pigs injuries would receive in my sisters burns unit, but we can walk. I have all the antiseptic cream, the bag balm and the veterycin, my home made saline wipes and good nursing scissors. And so we proceed.
My sister said that burnt bodies take a long time to recover. So although there are daily physical changes (often for the worse) I should judge his recovery changes in weeks not days. This will literally take months. But his eyes are there. And he is lying out in the corner of his field at this very moment, under heavy storm clouds, covered in a sack.
The internet was down this morning so this page is up late.
I hope you have a lovely day.