Tuesday, June 11, 2013


IMAG1021{warning: this is long, ranty, and whiny. Sorry about that}

So. Here I am. Once again, feeling completely stuck.

I think my hormones have shifted, but I didn't get the headaches this time that warn me of this so I'm also feeling caught off guard. It started about a week and a half ago. The mood swings get more intense, the stress/anxiety level go off the chart, my hot flashes have changed very dramatically, etc, etc.

To be fair, there is a lot going on and I do not in general tolerate stress very well.

But. I can't lie. I'm stuck. And also, I'm feeling frustrated and angry and bitter.

Let's back up a few weeks. I had an appointment with my breast specialist. I complained to her about my right arm, which has been getting progressively worse (by that I mean it's tighter, I've been losing range of motion, more achey/crampy/pain, etc). In hindsight, I should have complained about this much sooner. However, I've been able to compensate for this pretty well and didn't realize just how bad things were. Anyway, doctor did exam and said I definitely needed to get some therapy - she felt there was probably some webbing, maybe some cording and we needed to get things going ASAP as we should treat as much as possible prior to surgery (which is now next week).

So I came home and called the therapist I have worked with twice now since the original mastectomy. Therapist #1 (T1) was no longer working where I had been treated. So I called doctor back and asked for a recommendation as I knew there was another therapist who she referred her patients to. She was able to get me in right away and we did the initial exam and whoa - I hadn't realized just how affected my arm was. She was pushing (gently) to check range of motion and I was shocked. As I said before, I had been apparently able to compensate and I think had just assumed this was how it was supposed to be.

Anyway, in that first appointment we talked. We went over history, and talked about T1 and how that therapist had treated me. And well, it's never simple is it? Basically, T1 didn't treat me how I should have been. T1 didn't give me proper care instructions. T1 didn't have me doing things I should have been doing. Right away I was instructed to start using my compression sleeve, like more than once ever in my life.

On the second appointment, I brought the said compression sleeve to learn that it's not even the right one. Awesome. Despite being wrong, it is currently helping (but not as much as a correct one, which I will be getting hopefully by the end of this week).

So, late last week I went back, after the Avon walk and the achy, heavy feeling I had been feeling was back. Turns out my arm was swollen. So the new therapist did some massage/manual drainage technique and it helped. Which can only lead me to believe I should have been wearing (a properly fitting) compression sleeve more often than say, oh, never.

I can't lie. This is so frustrating to me and I'm so angry. I feel like if I had proper, or maybe just better, care from the beginning I wouldn't be dealing with all of this. And maybe I would be. Who really knows. But it's hard to not think that things might be different now.

As long as I'm venting: I HATE my compression sleeve and gauntlet (hand piece). I'm told the correct one will be much more comfortable and work better. I really hope so, because the one I have now sucks. I don't like wearing it. I will wear it despite really really disliking it. I am going to order the new ones and I will now wear it whenever I am doing "risky" activity (which seriously, is things like gardening) or when I'm exercising. I will wear it when my arm feels achy and heavy. For a while though, I might be pretty darn crabby about it.

I'm trying not to be. We can't go backwards, only forwards. I know this. It sounds hollow at the moment though. And of course everyone has been great about it (especially Eric who has had to deal with more than his fair share of me crying and being upset and complaining). Some awesome friends gave me a gift certificate to get a fun compression sleeve.

It helps to have good people around me. I think, though, I just feel so done. And so over everything. Also, I'm feeling anxious about surgery. Because I'm starting to feel like something is going to go wrong with surgery as well. (It won't. Probably anyway. And yet the worry is there).

So there you go. I'm stuck. Once again. It's like the same old song, stuck on repeat. And while I know the song will eventually change, this cloud will lift, I'll get used to the compression sleeve, um, is there a way to fast-forward to that point now? 

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