Viewpoints

Wheel Power

Published: Thursday January 1, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday January 1, 2015 MYT 8:52:56 PM

All set to take on 2015

2014 was a tough year but it taught our columnist to face challenges head-on.

In case no one notices, we are into a spanking new year once again, folks.

Please excuse me if I don’t feel like shouting it from the rooftops right now.

I don’t think I – or anyone for that matter – could be blamed for treating the occasion like a sombre one this time around in the wake of the devastating floods and the latest aviation nightmare.

The past week was so bad that one politician tweeted that he wished 2014 would make its exit sooner – and take away all the bad luck the horrid year brought along with it.

On a personal level, 2014 was rather tough on me.

A good chunk of the year saw me battling pressure sores. Pressure sores, also known as bed sores, are the bane of wheelchair users. They can be life-threatening, if ignored.

I have them on the soles of my feet and on my buttocks.

These are the primary pressure points of my body and I have to put on protective shoes and do regular lifts in my wheelchair to keep pressure sores away.

The sores have to be promptly inspected and regularly cleaned, and my best friend Andrew Martin has been helping me with this.

And during those times when he absolutely can’t, it’s amazing to note the creative things you can do with a mirror, some gauze and normal saline in your bed!

I’ve learnt never to worry about my sores, or ask how long it will take before they are completely healed.

The point is to keep attending to them – and move on with life afterwards.

Worries do nothing to make wounds heal quickly. They only bring on depression and, little by little, destroy one’s peace of mind.

My service and therapy canines who are with me 24/7 and sleep with me in my room under my wheelchair and bed, are my most effective stress-busters.

I am motivated to stay healthy because I love my dogs.

I take care of myself because I don’t want to be separated from them – not even for a minute.

I will never forget the precious advice a brilliant rehab doctor gave me with regard to pressure sores.

He said: “When your sores finally heal, wait for the next one – and start working on getting the new ones healed, too!”

In a strange and rather weird way, 2014 taught me to embrace my problems.

Rather than despairing over them, I accept difficulties as challenges and opportunities to learn and grow.

The past year has also taught me a vital lesson: to see beneath the surface of things.

Just before Christmas, a friend of mine attended a Yuletide party that was specially organised for rescued dogs.

Even though I couldn’t be there myself, I decided to update everyone via socia media about the great party.

I did this through pictures and reports sent to me by my friend at the scene.

Everything went well and then it suddenly rained.

Within minutes the flood waters had reached the roof and disrupted everything.

Many dogs died. Others were fortunately rescued by the more than a dozen animal lovers who were at the party.

My friend was the only one who managed to save her mobile phone whilst the rest lost theirs in the flood.

She rang me from the scene and wept as she related a wonderful tale of bravery amidst the sadness and devastation.

The rescuers risked their lives to save as many canines as they could from drowning.

Though some could not swim, it did not stop them from putting the safety of the animals above their own safety.

And although I felt totally helpless at home, being so far away from what was happening, I didn’t realise that my SOS call to the local councillor had made a difference.

I heard he made his way to the scene as fast as he could, armed with new T-shirts for the rescuers who were drenched.

I am told that he is now looking for a shelter where the rescued dogs could stay before they are adopted.

So I have only this to say to 2015: Bring it on!

Tags / Keywords: dogs, anthony thanasayan

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Rising to the challenge: The year-end floods may have placed hundreds of thousands in knee-deep woes, but they are not alone. Thousands have stepped forward to offer help in various forms.

All set to take on 2015

1 January 2015

2014 was a tough year but it taught our columnist to face challenges head-on.

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