I considered entitling this blog post “Another Brink in the Wall,” but just writing Pink Floyd instead made me smile a little.
This morning was my very first physical therapy session. I approached it with a bit of hopeful anticipation and a smidge of nervousness. This session was designed more for my education than for any intervention.
The first thing I was told was that Lymph Edema does not cause pain. So my severely painful joints in my hands are due to some other, as yet unknown, cause and haven’t anything to do with the swelling.
The second thing I learned was that lymph nodes were (in all likelihood) harvested during my surgery in January. It’s quite a common thing to do, almost standard. Therefore, the issues in my left foot and leg are not related to my mastectomy.
The third (and perhaps most interesting) thing I learned today: ROSE BUSHES! They carry a bacteria that is generally unhealthy to ALL of us, but especially so for people with Lymph Edema.
I do, by the way, have Lymph Edema. I learned that as well. 🙂
The fourth thing I learned is that this is a lifelong thing to manage. I can do special massages to help drain the fluid, but the problem (like the song) will remain the same. It can’t be a bad day if I start with Floyd and go to Zeppelin, right?
Exercise, heating up, and housecleaning (strenuous activity) can and will exacerbate the lymph edema.
I asked if this meant my days of distance running are, at 35, a thing of the past…The good news is: NO. With external pressure (a singlet, etc) I can minimize that effect.
Current recommended path to wellness? Sleep. A lot.
I feel a little discouraged, although I am rallying.
My mind demands I go run five miles and then swim two miles just to prove I can, but my body is perfectly content to rest at the moment.
Blessings to you all…