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May 13, 2010

The visit at the PT’s office wasn’t fun yesterday. No glove for me and now I have the added bonus of a cumbersome piece of foam across the top of my hand to help with the swelling of my knuckles.

Good news: overall swelling has gone down.

Bad news: I cried.

Good news: The PT tried a different wrap around my fingers.

Bad news: It hurt and I have a sore between my right pinky and ring finger.

Good news: Judy Beauty brought me a loaf of Breadsmith Ciabatta bread and hormone-free butter.

Bad news (for her): I sobbed like a baby and Stella Mirra used Judy’s  black pants as a fur-remover.

I’m going to stop pushing for the glove. The PT claims that the wrap will help get rid of the lymphedema faster (fingers crossed, of course) and I’d like this hell to be over as soon as possible. I guess I’ll just have to hunker down and turn into a turtle until it’s gone. It’s impossible to do so many things now. (Typing is a nightmare except in the morning, while I allow myself time out of the wrap) This means that the support I’ve been getting from the computer isn’t available for me for a few weeks, and could explain why I’m sinking into a depression. I know it’s temporary, but when it’s moving at a turtle’s pace – it’s the longest fucking temporary, ever.

I’d go out more, to speed up the time, but now every stranger has to talk to me and ask me what happened to my hand. I want to go back to where I was just bald and nobody said anything to me. I’d go out more, to speed up the time, if my gauze didn’t catch on every damn thing. I’d go out more, to speed up time, if I could figure out a way to keep the germs off of my free, left hand – or figure out a way to wash the damn thing once I opened the door that everyone else had just touched. Have you ever tried washing a free hand when it’s the only free hand you have? When your immune systems is at risk?

Also – try doing everything today with your non-dominant hand. Have fun brushing your teeth – and going to the bathroom. Writing a check, blowing your nose, cutting a slice of bread, cutting up an apple. Heck try washing that apple with one hand bandaged – a hand that you can’t get wet.  Pretend there’s a bandage on your hand and try not to get that hand wet. Do it for 3 to 4 weeks straight. Let me know how it goes.


16 Comments leave one →
  1. Poolie permalink
    May 13, 2010 8:14 am

    These unexpected turns of events are disappointing and difficult. I am not going to tell you to stay cheery. I am going to tell you it’s okay to feel the way you do.

  2. May 13, 2010 8:56 am

    It’s a moment in time. There is an end. Think of how far you have come. These last few months may feel like a lifetime, but in the scheme of your life, it’s a very short time. Which means that once it’s over, you can savor every fricken-fracken minute of No pain, No swelling, No wigs because you’ll have hair, sunshine, puppies, unicorns and rainbows. (Well, maybe not those last few, but the Bits would certainly set up a pretty good tea party for you with those.)

    In the meantime, cry, scream, find some stoopid people to beat on and know that we’re all pulling for the clock to tick just a little bit faster for the next couple of months.

    Then, try to manage a smile and a laugh. Because those certainly can’t hurt.


  3. May 13, 2010 9:07 am

    When my daughter had hand problems — and she types for a living! — she experimented with a software that responds to your voice. It’s annoying at first, until it learns your idiosyncrasies. (What my friend Bunny used to call idi-OS-in-crazies.)

    I’ll try to find out the product name.

  4. May 13, 2010 9:16 am

    You have hit a really tough place. It is temporary. You will be over it soon.

  5. May 13, 2010 9:38 am

    Fucking hell. This sucks. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to do everything with your non-dominant hand. Bahhh. I’m sorry, Friend.

  6. May 13, 2010 9:39 am

    Ooo maybe you can carry around a fork in your left hand, and when people ask what’s wrong with your hand, you can stab them in the eye! Is your aim still okay using your left hand???

  7. Sue permalink
    May 13, 2010 9:39 am

    This is a hard time. Just keep remembering that you are half way through it. You can do this. Your strong, smart and stubborn. You’ll figure out a way to do without your dominant hand, temporarily. I have faith in you, you can do it!!!

  8. Leslie permalink
    May 13, 2010 9:45 am

    Ugh, a veritable case of adding insult to injury. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It really sucks and it’s totally not fair.

    Can I send you some really, really excellent dark organic chocolate from California? Please let me know – I have the address, but not sure what you’re liking these days.

  9. lap permalink
    May 13, 2010 10:03 am

    I don’t even know if I could wipe myself with my non-dominant hand. But I can dribble a basketball left-handed and do a nice left-handed layup! But that doesn’t get you out of the bathroom fresh, does it?


  10. May 13, 2010 10:19 am

    a guy around here wrote a book called another shitty night in suck cit y I think and the rhythm of that has really stayed with me. postcards on the way!

  11. Celeste permalink
    May 13, 2010 10:53 am

    Could you use a SpinBrush to see if that would help? All you would have to do is hold it rather than any more complicated movements. The SpinBrush is under $15, unlike the Water Pik etc. which is more like $100.

    I’m so sorry about the loss of typing. I had wrist surgery once and it was horrible to go without being able to do my regular speedy communication via keyboard.

    For the wiping, I would suggest baby wipes just because it’s easier to pull them out of the box than it is to pull and tear off toilet paper. Unfortunately these are not supposed to be flushed, so it’s an imperfect solution.

    I have an idea for handwashing. Maybe you could try a big soft sponge that you could get wet and soapy, and squeeze it a few times with your one hand, rinse and squeeze to dry out, and then rinse off your hand. It would give you more of a mechanical scrubbing action. If the sponge idea doesn’t sound practical, how about a washcloth? These are easy to launder and you could just use a fresh one every time. Maybe buy a package or two of cheap ones so you don’t mess have to wear out your good ones during this temporary time.

    I’m just thinking out loud here; I haven’t been in your exact situation but I’m hoping you can find a way to cope one day at a time until this is over.

  12. May 13, 2010 12:59 pm

    Lymphedema is the suck. I’m so sorry. I’ll thinking healing thoughts and consume some chocolate in your honor. Can I give you props for being two thirds of the way through chemo?

  13. Diane permalink
    May 13, 2010 2:50 pm

    I’m very surprised the the PT told you to stick with wraps since this could be a chronic problem and everyone knows that gauze and ace bandage crap stretches out and is hard to wrap one handed. I would think a glove would be perfect if you caught it early and it would keep the pressure even everywhere. I would sneak one anyhow!! Grats on 4/6th of your course completed. You’re coming down the final stretch!

  14. beth permalink
    May 13, 2010 3:21 pm

    I have spent the morning reading all of the posts that I have missed and just wanted to tell you that I am proud of you. I could care less if you wig it or go bald because it is what is in your heart that counts for me.
    I do wish that I could help you out with your Lymphedema, think of a solution or something. The only thing that I can think of is to buy one of those toilets like the rich people have, what are they called, a bid-ay and yeah I know that is not spelled right at all, but I have a good excuse, lol. I lost all my marbles years ago and I am still as dingy as ever.
    I love your new purse and yes you got a great deal. Congrats and I have to tell you that I totally fell in love with your bracelet.
    I have more to say but very little time left. Just know that I am thinking of you (Not Praying) every day and I have been doing everything that I can for the Cure and I hope that the weeks fly by fast and this is all over for you soon.
    I will try to be online again soon. I just have a very weird schedule right now. I am working 3 jobs right now, but the crazy hours will cease soon and I can have more time. Hugs and double Hugs!!!

  15. goatbarnwitch permalink
    May 13, 2010 5:03 pm

    Suck, suck suck… not sure what else to say but I feel your suckage and I hope it is better soon. The wrap sounds like a nightmare… perhaps you could come up with a really wild story about how your arm was injured while on safari or that was the part of you the aliens were most intersted in…. could be an interesting study in human nature when you tell your tale to the strangers who invade your personal space.

  16. May 13, 2010 5:14 pm

    I’d cry, too, Kathy.

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