I should be sleeping.
I am not.
As part of the next step in never letting Julia be alone to be able to pick at her skin, I’ve taken her back into my bed to sleep and I am staying with her until she falls asleep. This feels like an awful step backwards. It took almost five years to get to the point that I could tuck her in and leave her alone to fall asleep. And it took 14 months after David’s death to get her to sleep in her own bed. And now, I am reversing this movement in the hope that my presence will stop her from picking at her skin for a few minutes.
I do not sleep well with her under these circumstances. I am aware each time she turns in her sleep and dive for her hands when I hear her stir. Yeah, that and now I am up at 3 and unable to get back to sleep. How long can I keep this up?
The doc said it would take four to six weeks for her sores to heal, but I an relatively sure she meant four to six weeks without picking. I continue with the bandaids and bandages but the healing even when Julia doesn’t touch the wounds is painfully slow, she does pick if anything is uncovered for an instant, and there is now secondary irritation from bandaids and tape. There are also the bending places -- elbows, knees, etc. -- that don’t take well to bandaging in any way. Bandaids fall off those places and the wounds get worse and worse. Last week, I used 350 bandaids and a few rolls of bandages. Can I keep this up for weeks? Months? The cycle is relentless.
The care of the sores takes up way too much time. I am bathing her every other day -- with the idea that more than that could cause her skin to dry too much. If I can, I do it before we eat supper. This weekend after her bath or shower, I put a very heavy moisturizer -- aquaphor -- that seems to be primarily petroleum jelly. This was recommended by her doc but it may be causing an allergic reaction -- hives -- and if that is the case, it might be exacerbating the itchy feeling.
After we eat, we go into bandage mode and cover sores -- 50 bandaids plus bandages takes awhile to get on. I am at a loss as to what more to do.
And in a few hours, my contractor will start ripping apart the kitchen. I thought I would hang around for the beginning of it to see if there were things I needed to take care of and then go to the Y and work out. Another reason why, not sleeping is not really good for this body.
Damn! Self pity is settling in and I don’t know how to climb out of the pit of it. It just doesn’t seem to take much to throw my into despair. As if I don’t have many reserves. When am I going to start taking mishaps and unforeseen circumstances in my stride? More pity. Wasn’t there a time?