Thursday, January 4, 2018

Time thief

My lymphedema has gotten out of control lately and it's partly my fault. Daily I'm supposed to use this programmed compression pump to help alleviate the swelling but I haven't. Why, you ask? Well, sitting stationary for an hour is difficult. I don't enjoy my arms being painfully squeezed as I'm being held hostage but what's a girl to do. I can't function when my arms are swollen. I don't have a choice.

Breast cancer is the gift that keeps on giving. The surgery wasn't so bad, really. You'd think having both breasts removed would be extremely painful and while it was very uncomfortable, it was more of an emotional trauma than anything. But the physical wounds have healed. Rarely do I have discomfort in my chest. The lymphedema is a different story.

From the moment I rise til I go to bed each night, my arms begin swelling. If you didn't know the situation, you'd think I just had some really huge fat rolls in my armpits and upper arms. Through the day, the swelling increases with activity until I can barely function. Compression sleeves and gauntlets help but as soon as they're removed, I balloon.

Doctors prescribed a really expensive electric compression pump for me. It's been programmed precisely for me. You'd think I'd be grateful for this equipment that my insurance provided but it's just a constant reminder of what cancer took from me.

I use it because I have to but I don't like it. I've named the pump Time Thief and I think that's quite appropriate. Sometimes I think I should have name it Octopus or Straight Jacket because it's a huge tangled mess of hoses and once I'm zipped in, I can't get out by myself. That poses a huge problem especially when you need to go to the restroom...

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