Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oh where Oh where have you been?

Sorry I haven't really updated recently. I was having some "issues" with my swollen arm. Don't worry, I'm alright now, but it was a little scary. I left physical therapy on Monday (was that only 48 hours ago?) with great news! The therapy worked quickly and my arm below the elbow was normal! (The therapist took measurements each time I went) Above the elbow, only 2 cm (NOT inches) bigger, which was in the "range" of normal (easy to say when you already have a flabby upper arm) but I was being sent to the medical store to get fit for a compression sleeve. This was great news since the sleeve is like wearing support socks (not that I would know) but on your arm instead. I was more MUMMY WRAP during the day. I would have to still "wrap" at night to keep swelling away. OK I can handle this. Off I went to get measured on Tuesday. I left with the sleeve on my arm. I will now refer to it as the "arm girdle" because that's what it feels like. TIGHT. The good news is that from the wrist to the tip of my fingers, I was FREE and it felt good! :)

Fast forward to Tuesday evening. I was wearing the arm girdle and I feel asleep around 7:00. Early even for me, but I'll take the sleep when I can get it. I must have woken up in the middle of the night and pulled the arm girdle off because I don't remember doing it. I woke up in the morning and realized what I had done! I was supposed to mummy wrap my arm when I go to sleep! I looked at my arm and noticed it was just a bit swollen, so I wrapped it instead of using the girdle. (I'm supposed to wrap when I notice even a little swelling start because it will keep it in check) Well, later in the day, my arm REALLY hurt. A lot! I tried to ignore it, but it wasn't going away. I thought, "Joanne, you should unwrap and see what the problem is." So I did. I surprised you didn't hear my shocked gasp from wherever you are. I could not believe what I was looking at. There was an ENORMOUS swollen fluid filled lump by my elbow. I can't even begin to tell you how large it was. I was scared. I made an "emergency physical therapist" call to Marilyn and told her what the problem was. (who would think that there IS such a thing as a P.T. emergency?!!) She told me that I had wrapped my arm TOO tightly above and below the elbow (can you spell tourniquet boys and girls?) and there was no place for the fluid to go. Hence, it was all collecting in the elbow area! She told me that I had to do what SHE usually does, and physically move the fluid. Yeah, right. I tried, but it wasn't working for me. (I was also a "teeny" bit upset)

Steve came to the rescue and HE moved the fluid. I gave him instructions and he did his best. Which turned out to be alright. The lump started to go down after about 20 minutes and then I re-wrapped (not too tightly this time) and I went to bed. I was exhausted from the whole ordeal.
Thanks Steve.

I went to see Marilyn this morning. The lump had gone down almost all the way (thank goodness) and when she measured my arm, it was almost back to where it was on Monday. I wrapped my arm in front of her, and she helped me to see what I was doing wrong. I left happily NOT getting the feeling squeezed out of my arm.

I figured that since a few days had gone by, I should let you know that I'm alright. Especially now that it's all over. I know that I'm feeling better. I made Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake this afternoon. There's NOTHING that two sticks of butter can't fix! :)

(Yes, they taste as good as they look! Thanks Paula!)


1 comment:

  1. Joanne,
    I remain so inspired by your ever present strength as you once again confront this beast head on with determination and, yes, humor! You are my hero! Whenever you want company either in person or via some form of new-age technology, just let me know!