Search This Blog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's the little things in life...

It's the little things in life that can make or break you.  For the last six months or so, a little thing has been wearing away at me, and I'm nearing a breaking point.

an example of extreme lymphedema
I've had problems off and on with "Golfer's Elbow" in my right arm.  However, somehow, in trying to be healthy, I injured my left elbow sometime last winter or spring.  And now it's driving me insane.  This is complicated by having had lymph nodes removed on that side, so treatment is challenging.  That band that you might see some people wear isn't a "safe" option, as anything that limits the potential movement of lymph fluid can lead to lymphedema.  There are a lot of reasons to want to avoid lymphedema, but suffice it to say, it's ugly and uncomfortable.  I'd rather avoid it.

I've done occupational therapy with one of the best lymphedema specialists in the area.  I've done exercises.  I've done iontophoresis.  I've gotten up way earlier than anyone should have to get up to have ionto done.  I've pretty much stopped all exercise (I'm sure I'll catch you all up on the issues I'm having at the other end of my body that are also interfering with exercise).  I've done ice.  I've done rest.  I've done massage.  I've given it time.

Generally, this condition clears up over time.

Finally, and only because of the incredible trustworthiness of my breast surgeon and the wonderful nurse practitioner Nurse Pez as well as the most wonderful practitioners  at NWOhio Orthopedics, I decided to break one of the inviolate rules of lymphedema avoidance (no needles).  And I submitted to a cortisone injection.

Those of you who have been following my health saga know that I hate needles.  I fear them.  I despise them. I do not happily succumb to injections.  I tend to not succumb to them without the aid of anti-anxiety meds.
So, with a little help from Mama's Little Helper Xanax, I got an injection last week.  Nurse Pez did great.  The pain of the injection, as all so far, was way less than the week of anxiety leading up to it.  The thought still turns my stomach.

And it worked.

For three days.

Now the pain is returning.


So far, it's not too bad.  And maybe it's not getting worse.  Hopefully, it will resolve over time.  Meanwhile, I continue to rest the elbow (as much as one can rest an elbow...I still have to do things that cause pain, such as hold things in my hand and grocery shop).  Yesterday, carrying a water bottle caused shooting pain.

However, it's not as bad as it was, and it's not getting worse.

So, that's all good.

No comments: