Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Variation of lymph massage

Feeling a little alienated from this blog. Think it's because I do not want to write about what's been occupying my mind (I did mention it in my last posting). Well, it's not just something I would prefer not to write about, I cannot. (Gosh, now doesn't that sound dramatic!)Luckily, it has nothing to do with my health.
Well, anyway, want to document that I have now had to add an additional move in my twice-daily manual lymph massage. The other day I was waiting to see The Lymph Lady. I had already taken my top off and as she was delayed, I lay on the massage bed and read my book (I tend to schlep a book everywhere, sometimes for months without opening it....). When she then walked in, I was lying on my side with the book and so she then saw me from a different angle to usual and noted that my left boob was bigger. "It could always have been like that," she said. And I think it was. I think one was bigger, in the same way that my left foot is a slightly different size to my right one (cannot remember now if it is smaller or bigger).
Anyway,I think that it is a little fuller. Which could be part of the borderline lymhedema from the radiatherapy I had. She said the main way to determine that is in the feeling - does it feel sensitive and tingling, does my bra feel tighter. There is no different feeling thank goodness but to extra careful, she has added in a move. Moving the hand from the bottom of the left breast but still on the breast rather than below it, in a swipe up the sternum, to the top of the right breast and under the armpit.
Oh and my arm was up half a centimetre on the top when I saw her on Monday but as other parts of it were down, it is ok. But that feeling I had of it being awful was not imagined - it is up on the top but luckily nothing to be fearful of, provided it goes down again next time I see it. And it's all within my usual range, she said.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Took a local flight and....

Went to Cape Town to see my dad. Think the combination of pushing him around in the wheelchair - how he now gets around when he goes out - plus the two short local flights (2hrs each way), have messed up my arm a little. Oh, and the fact that I had a little bit of an eating spree shortly before I left. And that little weight gain - 1and a half kilo - is bad for my arm.
Plus I didn't exercise on Monday 'cos was away (usually gym on Mondays), then didn't go today because had to go a funeral and had to make up the time (funeral of a 40-year-old former colleague and mother of two boys aged eight and six who died from an anneurism). Then cannot go tomorrow (well, want to go, but need to collect tickets for a jazz festival from the city centre and The Yoga Man has just persuaded me to miss tomorrow as I am on deadline at work and under pressure...
He has also told me that whenever I fly, I complain that my arm is up.
And it really is. It is slightly warmer during the day - but freezing at night and at the moment am glued to the heater - and put on a short-sleeved knit top this morning, and the bloody thing pinched slightly on my arm. I immediately took it off and threw it back into the cupboard.
Anyway, was over-eating cos was doing it compulsively (look, had one day of had eating and am sure will look the weight within a day or two) and that is also linked to why I haven't been writing: been preoccupied with something which is not related to health issues and isn't anything I want to write about. Not life-threatening so nothing to worry about; just something I need to sort out and which has made me super-stressed. And it's not relationship hassles either... anyway, all will be resolved.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What I have learned in the last three and a half weeks

I have had a sore throat which developed into flu-like symptoms and then sinus problems, been on antibiotics for nine days (finish them tomorrow) and have not been to gym or yoga for almost a month.
I have learnt:
* that despite doing only sporadic lymph massage - twice at visits to The Lymph Lady and about once at home, I have not developed lymphedema;
therefore, I need to relax about my arm, about being high-risk/borderline lymphedema; and
* if I don't exercise, my coping mechanisms are radically diminished. This has not been a surprise to me; I always say I could not lead my busy lifestyle, often doing things/chores/whatever before work, going out every night except Mondays, even if it is just to an exhibition opening in the evening, and doing manual lymph drainage massage for 50 minutes to an hour per day, if I didn't exercise. This recent bout of minor illness but with not being able to exercise, and each time I did/had lymph massage, getting sicker so having to discontinue doing it again......showed me how ratty I get, how unable to get things in perspective. And it didn't help that have been through a rather trying time in one context (not health luckily).
Was so anxious about my arm that I eventually went to the doctor. "I don't give a shit about being sick," I said. "I just wanna be able to do lymph massage. And exercise".
Ironically, now that I am 98% better, might not go to gym tomorrow as need to do a couple of urgent things, eg, have the gate buzzer repaired as the locksmith replaced the battery and now it doesn't work, and go to The Listeners' Library (am addicted to listening to books in my car).
* Oh, forgot the 3rd thing I learnt: humidifiers are not for finicky, wacky, fragile people. They work. The entire bedroom floor was wet this morning 'cos I had it at such high intensity but after two nights of having it one throughout the night, I was able to do lymph massage this morning - without becoming sicker. Viva humidifiers!