University of Southern California Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Billy got a spinal cord injury when he was 21. He was shot by a gang member. Billy was about to go to college on an athletics scholarship. His injury stopped this from happening. Billy took this badly. He felt angry and lost. He didn't want to take part in wheelchair sports. It didn't feel the same to him.

Billy sometimes does very risky things. One time he "raced" against a train, to try to get through a barrier before it closed. He fell and hurt himself, and needed to have a toe amputated, that is, cut off. When Billy starts to get a pressure ulcer (which is what a doctor or nurse calls a pressure sore or bedsore), it makes him scared and he hides from it until it gets serious.

Read more about Billy in these articles...

Billy was going to play ball in college. Then he got shot. He got a spinal cord injury. He believed that his life was stolen from him. Billy had an attitude of feeling sorry for himself.

Billy let his attitude of feeling bad stop him from doing things. He didn't want to play wheelchair sports. He didn't want to become a coach. Billy said it would make him think about what he lost when he got shot.

→ read more in Feelings, Attitude and Believing

Billy got a spinal cord injury when he got shot. Billy didn't like doctors. He was afraid to get bad news about his health. Billy saw a small pressure ulcer. He chose not to see the doctor.

→ read more in Working With Your Doctor

Billy didn't take the best care of himself. He didn't go to see a doctor when he first got pressure ulcers. He said he was afraid to admit he had pressure ulcers.

→ read more in Feelings, Attitude and Believing

Billy saw a red spot on his skin. He knew that could be the start of a pressure ulcer.

Billy felt afraid of going to the doctor. He thought it was already too late. Billy didn't want to find out the truth about his health.

→ read more in "It Just Happened"

Billy's nieces came to visit. His nieces left their pencils on a chair. Billy sat on the pencils. The pencils rubbed his skin. Billy got a pressure ulcer.

→ read more in What Causes Pressure Ulcers: Injury and Rubbing and Doing Things

Billy's jeans had thick stitches on the back pockets. Billy sat on the thick stitches. He got a pressure ulcer.

→ read more in What Causes Pressure Ulcers: Injury and Rubbing

Clothing with ribs or thick seams rubs your skin. Billy had jeans with thick seams. Billy got a pressure ulcer.

→ read more in Things to Do to Take Care of Your Skin

Billy's wheelchair was in bad shape. Billy fell out of the wheelchair. He dragged himself on the floor to call for help. Billy got a pressure ulcer from the injury.

→ read more in What Causes Pressure Ulcers: Injury and Rubbing

Billy got a bump. The bump caused a pressure ulcer, too. This is what Billy said about it:

"Sometimes, like transferring or going out, I bump my body, right? Bump it. Then I look at it and touch it - 'Oh, it's nothing.' It's like a little red spot, and I let it go away.... The next thing you know, it's like a little pimple. And I clean it and pop it, and I clean it and it's cool. Next thing you know, the inside is so infected that pus starts coming out. That's how I get my pressure ulcers, from the inside, 'cause I don't know [it's infected]."

→ read more in What Causes Pressure Ulcers: Injury and Rubbing

An example of sliding is when you slide over a bed or chair. Billy and Dave both got pressure ulcers from sliding.

→ read more in What Causes Pressure Ulcers: Pressure and Sliding

Billy took a big risk. He was at a railroad crossing. A train was coming. The safety gates were coming down. Billy chose to race the train. He tried to get his wheelchair across the tracks before the train. He crashed into the gates. Billy broke his toe. Billy's toe was hurt very badly. His toe had to be amputated, that is, cut off!

→ read more in Taking Big Risks and "The Blame Game"

Some people who helped with this project thought a pressure ulcer was no big deal. Alley, Billy, Helen and Rachel thought, "It's no big deal." Their pressure ulcers got really bad. They all got very sick. The next time, they knew better!

→ read more in "It Just Happened"

Some people live with their parents. Billy, Dave, Mitch and Steve all lived with their parents.

→ read more in When You Don't Live in a Home

Billy rents a room from his mother in her garage. He has moved almost every year because his family keeps moving. This is confusion and disorder.

→ read more in Confusion and Disorder and Home

Billy lived with his family. His folks moved around a lot. They went to live in new places. Billy had to move with them. He felt a lot of confusion. Billy got a pressure ulcer.

→ read more in Life Events

Billy took part in sports before he got his spinal cord injury. Now he lifts weights at home. He also does strength training. It helps him stay healthy. It helps him heal pressure ulcers when he gets one.

→ read more in Working Out

Billy played sports before he got hurt. He was sad about the changes to his body. He chose not to play wheelchair sports. Billy said, "It wouldn't be the same." Now Billy says it is "time to wake up." Billy wants to get stronger. Now Billy wants to adapt some of the things he does.

→ read more in Home Care