Monday, August 17, 2009

Caution, Speed Bumps Ahead......

Or it could just be my arm that has been mistaken for a speed bump. Lymphedema, the wonderful side effects of the radiation. This started quite innocently. In case you didn't know, I'm a stress eater, so everything it tight! (What a surprise!) but when my arm seemed tight to bend it at the wrist, I thought it was was worth mentioning to the doctor. Skin should not feel too tight!
I'm now at physio and what a joy that it.
1. Take one long cotton tube and insert your arm into it....all the way to your armpit.
2. Take cotton quilting batting,(ok, even for a quilter this is tough to take), cut into strips. make a thumb hole and wrap whole arm in cotton batting.
3. Unwrap batting and insert the foamy disks in hand and inside elbow.
4. Re wrap arm, getting right up under the armpit.
5. Cut all your tape.....necessary to do this now!'
6. Take the narrowest compression bandage and start wrapping, making sure you are NOT bending your arm.
7. Keep wrapping, keep it all even, and keep wrapping until you have finished all the bandage rolls, (4 to be exact). Tape and just try to get a fork to your mouth.
8. Do this every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Don't get it too tight,your fingers will turn purple. Don't get it too loose, it will shift down and be very uncomfortable. Like it's really comfy when it's on correctly!
9. Enjoy!
10. Wear to bed at night. (I LOVE this step in the program)
All this is to get me to the point of using a compression sleeve. 3 - 4 weeks? Who knows when. This is a long drawn out process and it's a real pain. Advice? Yes, put on the bra BEFORE wrapping the arm in the a.m.
As me how I learned this one!
I'll save my Tamoxifen fun for my next far this "new normal" isn't very normal!


  1. Sharon,

    Sorry to hear that the swelling in your arm has not improved. I will be praying for a quick recovery. I did laugh at the end of your post when you mentioned putting your bra on before wrapping your arm. I would be one to forget to do that and would probably not want to waste the time to unwrap and rewrap my arm so I would just have to go braless!

  2. Hey Auntie Sharon!

    Hahahaha yes the bra before the wrap may be a little easier! I'm going to thank you for the hillarious image I got in my head after reading that, of the look on your face when you realised the bra first would have been better!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

    Love ya,