We’ve been in Sedgwick, Maine for a few days now. It’s amazing how much the oxygen and moisture are helping Don’s skin. Now if I could just get him to get in the ocean……. the water’s 62 degrees so I’m not sure what the problem is……
I have this theory that because cuts heal faster after you’ve exposed them to sea water that Don’s skin will miraculously improve if he takes a swim in the Maine ocean. But I do understand it’s a *bit* chilly. I tried today to get him to go kayaking. Even though I swear my intentions were pure, I was accused of wanting to tip him over into the water… so the excursion was nixed.
Another great thing about being here is seeing family and friends in the neighborhood – they haven’t seen us since before the accident (BTA). My parents haven’t seen Don since he was in the hospital wrapped up like a mummy. When Don showed my Dad his scars he was shocked at how extensive they still were. My perspective is they look so much better than they did, but I understand that to someone who only briefly saw Don’s bare, unbandaged wounds and mostly just saw him covered head to toe in bandages, it’s quite startling to see his bare scars. This was indeed a huge, traumatic, life-changing injury that takes years to heal. This is of course our first experience with such a long marathon of healing. I believe it’s crucial to the healing process to not only maintain a positive attitude and to visualize positive outcomes, but to maintain realistic healing timeframe expectations so as not to be constantly looking for improvements and feeling disappointed. I learned this in the ICU scrub room actually. When I saw Don’s wounds about 2 weeks into the hospital stay, I was horrified — traumatized really. The burn tech corrected me, saying “Oh no, this is GREAT! Look! He’s almost totally healed – look at this area,” pointing to an area on his leg that was less bloody looking and had what I thought was the faintest evidence of a the skin grafts “taking” and starting to grow new skin buds in the meshed spaces. So it’s all relative. Don has a complete and unbroken envelope of skin covering his body and that’s huge progress. Now we work, through twice daily lotion and massage, on making that skin smoother, paler, more pliable, less ridged and bumpy.
Ending on a more positive note, Don’s face has healed wonderfully and I think he looks 10 years younger than BTA. He always says it’s the world’s most expensive and traumatic facials.