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Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Little Bit of Compression

Who in the world wouldn't want to be THIS girl? I mean, I can hardly wait for summer to be able to put on my capri jeans and button down collared tank top and buzz around town in my compression sleeve. Life is so good. In fact, I bet some of you are jealous just looking at her. Yeah, well, I have just arrived at this level of happiness and joy!

Funny thing, I have yet to feel as happy as she looks when I wear my sleeve. Actually, I am pretty happy that it is winter and I can hide my sleeve inside a long sleeved shirt. Let me tell you the story of my compression sleeve and glove.

A couple weeks ago my trainer and I were talking about my fluid build up. I had gained 15 pounds in two weeks during the last part of chemo. I don't know if I had reported that to all of you or not but it was awful for my body. I could hardly walk up the stairs because of the fluid in my legs. When I was in using the bicycle during an open gym time he asked me if I had seen physical therapy. No...and he wondered why.

I found out the next week from the physical therapist that in October they made it part of the protocol for those who have had multiple lymph nodes removed to see physical therapy and get fitted for an arm sleeve. I was diagnosed in June and had surgery in July so I started with all of this before that came into effect.

It took some doing to get the script written and sent over to Fittings Unlimited. But after checking in twice last week, I finally got in on Friday to get what I needed. What an interesting hour and a half. I was ushered into one of their fitting rooms and given a silky gown. The sweet woman who was helping me worked at half speed which I thankfully picked up on quickly because knowing that made me settle in for the long haul.

There are quite a few measurements that are needed to make sure that the sleeve and glove are the right size. At one point she asked me how many lymph nodes I had removed and I told her 24. She responded by looking me right in the eye, leaned in and saying "you will be wearing this for the REST of your life". Hmmm...how encouraging. As she measured and during the process at numerous other times she looked me in the eyes and repeated my fate to be sure I didn't miss it the first, second or third times. Like I said...happiness and joy!

I just nodded and let her continue. She did mention at one time how young I was to have to be wearing this for the REST of my life. Well, I know that I will be wearing it through radiation but after that I haven't been told that it is a requirement by my doctor so we will see. I was under the impression from the physical therapist that I would wear it when the lyphodema acted up.

Thankfully, it looks like insurance will pay for part of it. I actually think that I could be happy tootling around in my sleeve, it is the glove that drives me crazy. It is good for my yarn and sewing projects because it gives me some extra support when my fingers are working but other than that it is in the way when I am in the kitchen cooking, typing and any jobs that include water.

My time at Fittings Unlimited ended with my new friend adding and subtracting by hand on a little slip of paper instead of quickly punching the numbers into the calculator that sat right next to her right hand as she calculated in her head...slowly.

I just smiled and put together this blog post in my head while I waited thankful that I didn't have anything else to do all afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. I had to wear one but now I don't. I just try to be careful. If I wear prosthesis I swell in abdomen,arm,and chest. Radiation will make you swell. If may take a couple of years. This is my third year. I have swelling in abdominal area. You may be bloated for a good couple of years. I was sad Friday when they said I had to wait for my new prosthesis because insurance had to approve it. I have a duct tape one now. It will get better. It will take time.