Monday, 3 September 2012

Lymphodema Nurse

Thought I should tell you about my visit to the Lymphodema Nurse last week. In case you wonder what one of those is, she is qualified in Lymphatic drainage. As I have had my Lymph nodes removed in my right arm I am at risk of developing Lymphodema as fluid can collect in my hand and arm, if it gets really bad I will have to wear a compression arm covering, and if it gets really bad my arm can expand to huge proportions. If this happens it will never return to the same size. So I do realise its a potentially serious thing. I rang and made an appointment because fluid does collect in my hand just below my ring and little finger, and being responsible I know its best to get help before it gets worse. My appointment went like this;
Nurse; Hope you are not going to sit on that bed with your legs crossed !
Me; I uncrossed my legs.
Nurse; I hope thats not a suntan.
Me; Decided not to tell her about my shop said, yes Ive been on holiday.
Nurse; And who said you could do that
Me; Jenny Smith , my consultant said it would be OK. My Oncologist said go off and enjoy yourself.
I couldnt bring myself to tell her just how many ' holidays ' I have been on this year.
Nurse; Whats that on your nails.
Me; Its Gel and its ok, the girl knows not to push back my cuticles.
Nurse;  And what type of massage are you doing.
Me; Deep tissue and Hot stones.
Nurse; Whats Hot Stones
Me; You know stones get heated up in a thing like a slow cooker and I hold them in my palms and massage.
Nurse; Dont do that ever again
Me; Dont say anything but thinks - yea right !!
Nurse; And what about hot baths?
Me; Well I like a soak on a Saturday night ( with a cold glass of Cava, listening to Bottcelli)
Nurse; Not hot water though.
Me; thinking; Bloody hell- whats left. What can I do.?
Nurse; Are you doing your exercises
Me; oh yes ( when I remember)
Nurse; Starting to gently massage my arm and hand says, You see youve got to remember you are damaged now. You will never be the same.
Me; thinking; Ive always been damaged, nothings changed. Oh I see she means my arm, oh damaged thats an interesting concept. Here was me thinking I'd got rid of stinking Cancer that was intent on killing me, didnt realise I was damaged, I thought I was 'cured'. Silly me. So I say -damaged?
Nurse; oh yes you will never be the same ( yes thats true, but no need to remind me), you have been damaged beyond repair. You have to look after yourself.
Me; thinking; Silly old me, I thought I was looking after myself. Says - Ah well I'm only doing a few clients and I only do one massage a day. And I only work 4 days a week and thats only if I have clients. And only a third of them have massage. So I dont do much.
Nurse; Good because you are damaged, dont forget. And what about your mind, how do you feel if you feel unwell.
Me; Well its a mind fuck, I immediately think its come back. Then I take a deep breath and talk to myself. I realise its part and parcel of living on planet C.
Nurse; Well it will always be that way Im affraid. Now lets see how you get on. If it gets worse we shall have to get a ' garment' to put on it when you are not working to help with drainage. ( She means a compression thingey that covers my arm completely).
Massage over, I gave my thanks and left. I went in happy with my lot, feeling good about myself, having a nice day. I left with' Damaged' ringing through my head. Now I'm strong and positive, and totally prepared to take the mickey out of myself. But what if I was the opposite? What if I wasnt in a good place. Now I'm not knocking her knowledge or her advice, in fact Im glad she's there.  Its the delivery that could do with a little tweaking me thinks. Anyhow got into my car,  turned up my radio and smiled. Damaged! Thats just her Fucking opinion.

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