Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Grounded! Grrr!

I think I should have this hung around my neck, I am feeling quite volatile; boredom is setting in!

I went to see the Oncologist yesterday, and after some discussion we settled on a course of 25 sessions of Radiotherapy starting in a couple of weeks time. I will get the appointment sent from Southampton direct, so I am not exactly sure when. I mentioned that I was quite uncomfortable under my arm, and in my shoulder. I had a full range of movement, but there was visible swelling, that had initially subsided after the surgery, but had returned and was visible in my arm too. The area felt hot and hard, and I've since noticed it in my breast too. A dull ache that doesn't go away when you take Paracetamol. I was referred to the Breast Care Nurse(BCN), so waited to see her afterwards.

The BCN asked had I been resting plenty, I lied - yes! I neglected to tell her that I had washed the utility room floor and then spent an hour and a half ironing sheets and pillow cases and various other items that morning, giving up using my left arm as it was too slow and cumbersome, and using my right instead. I omitted to tell her that the previous day, I had taken myself of to the nearest large town on the train, and spent 3 hours rummaging around the shops, carrying 4 bags full; 3 books from Waterstones, a bevy of bras from M and S, and a fabulous wool blanket found in TK Maxx.

She looked at me sideways, I am not a convincing liar, and proceeded to lecture me. Upshot is, I have to rest, and she means rest, til Friday, and take pain relievers/anti-inflammatory every 4 hours, and return to see her on Friday at 2.30. If the swelling hasn't subsided, she will drain it; I hate to think what that will entail, but I have a reasonable idea.

To make matters worse, my Mother called in yesterday lunchtime, and the first thing she saw was the ironing board. Icy glare. Then she asked why was my arm puffy. I felt about 11 years old again, ready to rebel and protest. Today, my Father phoned me, and effectively read the Riot Act, albeit with humour, and told me if I didn't start being sensible he was going to phone my Consultant and tell her how stupid I was! Grassed up! Tsk! So how am I feeling? A mixture of being really cross with myself for doing too much too soon, and being arrogant enough to think I could get away with it, and mind numbing boredom. Even the new books I bought and dragged home on the train, have lost their appeal. I'd really like to go for a walk, and take some pictures of what I find in the woods near the cottage, but that will probably do more harm than good too. Moany, moany, whiny whiny me; I know!


Pipany said...

Oh but so funny too Zoe. Sorry, I don't mean that to sound unympathetic, but you write it with such humour- I love the image of you being grassed up like a child! You poor soul, just take the rest and think of all you'll be able to do without havin the draining done - yuk! xx

JJ said...

Oh poor Zoe! I bet you're climbing the walls now! Have you blitzed your way through this month's gardening magazines? All the bulb catalogues are out, and reading those cover to cover would pass the time!

Would you mind if I printed off your blog and sent it to my mum? She's in hospital at the moment (has been for nearly a month) with complications following spinal surgery. I know she is bored to tears too, and would love some solidarity!

Zoë said...

Pipany, I am laughing too, at my own stupidity! I'll grow up one day, but not today. LOL



yes - I have been reading all the mags and catalogues, get most the mags on subscription anyway, as nearest newsagent is 5 miles away. As for the seed catalogues .... an order from Sarah Raven arrived today.. delicious bruised purple sweet pea seeds .... I so want to get started on them, they do better for being planted now.

Has your Mum had fusion? I've spent the past 10 years evading it. I hope she recovers quickly. Please be my guest and print the posts of if you think they will amuse her!

I saw some pretty amazing seeds in the current T and M catalogue, some bat flowers and some proteas, I thought of your blog when I saw the seeds.

All the very best to you both,


JJ said...

Thank you Zoë. She's avoided fusion, but this has been her fifth decompression, and this time it was bilateral. The surgeon had such a tough job that he accidentally nicked the spinal cord, so she's had some fluid leaking. And to top it all off she was rushed back in with hyponatraemia, so she's been on all sorts of drips. We don't know if it was a coincidence or as a result of the leak, but she's feeling very sorry for herself indeed, and really anything I can do to cheer her up will help.

She desperately wants to be able to go to Dad's retirement do early in October, for which she has demanded fake tan, manicure, and cut & colour!

I seem to be doing a good job of killing proteas, so I'm in two minds as to whether to get protea seeds. I'm doing better with conifers and primitive flowering trees, so I think I'll give them a go instead!

Cait O'Connor said...

Have you been given an exercise sheet Zoe? For your arm? Surely you have but they are really important if you want to prevent lymphoedema.

Just lifting your affected arm straight out, holding the weight under the elbow with your oppioste habd and clenching and unclenching your other hand is a good one, gets the lymphatic fluid flowing.
Resting it on a pillow when yuo are 'at rest' is good too.

And rest!

Zoë said...

Hi Cait,

yes, I have the Breast Cancer Care exercise sheet, and have been doing them religiously. I think it is more a case of having totally overdone it the past few days. I'll try what you have suggested; beats having a drain put back in anyway.

Thanks :)

Elizabethd said...

Oh Zoe, do take care of yourself. I do sympathise, as I watch my husband now after his stroke, being so determined to walk well again...and the consultant saying 'Dont push your self so hard'.....
Take time.

VP said...

Oh Zoe - it's good to see you've not lost your sense of humour even though things must be so frustrating for you. I think I too would be rebelling in your position. But that's a good sign too - shows, you've got plenty of fight!


lampworkbeader said...

You've got to give in and sit with your feet up and watch cr*p on telly. It's the only way and it's only for a short time.

Pomona Belvedere said...

Hi Zoe,

I recommend shamanic interdimensional journeying as a remedy for bedridden boredom. I think one of the hardest things about being really ill is changing your definition of what's a productive day. And you have to do that, or you go mad!

May your ironing magically get done and may the brownies wash your floor. And remember, stress creates inflammation, so relax, dammit!

Sarah S. said...

Oh! You do need to take it easy. It is very hard to stay still though. I did the same thing. Just be very good for a couple of days and take it easy. You will feel better soon! :)

alice c said...

Immerse yourself in Blogland! You have the time and the excuse...bliss!

You could go travelling to Marrakesh

or stay closer to home

or you could go and have a cup of tea with Lucy

Go on - treat yourself!

Frances said...

Hello Zoe,

May I add my agreement with many of the above comments.

It is wonderful that you so want to grab hold of all that you usually do. All the same, let some of (maybe a lot of) that stuff just wait a while.

Important now is to give yourself all that is needed to heal. You have got such a fine and creative mind, that is a good place to exercise. Maybe learn a new language?

I continue to thank you for putting up these posts. I am sure that many people will find what you share to be so very helpful.


Jean Bradbury said...

Zoe I have taken some time off from blog reading so I got such a wonderful surprise this morning reading about your successful surgery. Congratulations. I am so happy for you.

Withy Brook said...

Just got round to reading your last two blogs. Had to smile to myself as I read but so sorry for the effects of the over activity.
You have lots of good advice already, but I would add that perhaps, if you have had a couple of days taking it easy (have you?) you could perhaps allow yourself to walk as long as you DO NOT GET TIRED! Sorry to shout. After all, provided you do not swing your arms, walking is not going to stress the operated-on bits. I speak from common sense - not medical knowledge, so perhaps you should not listen to me!

Fern said...

Bad luck Zoe but I am sure it won't be long before you can get going at full steam again. Isn't it funny any other time the excuse to laze around reading would seem a luxury but when it's enforced it's like a prison sentence!

Grouse said...

Oh! Zoe! I'm sure I've told you what my sister has had to endure, having glands removed: You havent had the total removal she had so it wont be as miserable for you but this is a major thing- you have to spend time with your arm raised to drain what the glands normally deal with, until your remaining glands learn to cope. Massaging up your arm and down tour underarm will help, but do NOT carry heavy parcels!!!!!!!

mountainear said...

Just catching up after being away. Naughty you? By now I hope you're feeling less swollen and sore. Take time to heal Zoë - more haste less speed or something.

HappyMouffetard said...

Consider yourself wel and truly told off!
Take care,
HM x

CAMILLA said...

Hello Zoe,

Lots of good advice here already, just to add (and I am sure you know already) sorry Zoe, but please do not carry heavy parcels, your body needs that time to heal.

Take it easy Zoe, feet up and get into those fab novels.

Love and Hugs,

Esther Montgomery said...

When I first had epilepsy, I had lots of fits, so I stopped ironing. It was too dangerous.

When the fits were controlled better, I started again.

The world is divided between those who like ironing and those who don't. I love it. It's the only part of housework I enjoy.

Then, with children around, I had to stop again in case I keeled over and left children and hot iron together and unsupervised.

I haven't re-started.

Ironing is fun. Freshly ironed sheets feel wonderful to get between - but life without ironing seems otherwise unchanged.

Abandon it!

Esther Montgomery
(Of the Housework Liberation Front)

tillyboo said...

Hello, I found your blog via the lovely Pipany and wold just like to say your strength and humour is so inspiring.

I live just down the road from you in Spencers Wood and pop to HW quite often as I just love the Strawberry Fish Gallery & in the summer my little girl and I like to take a picnic and eat it under the ancient Oaks. The Mud Maiden is her favourite book together with the Heligan Giant book at the moment too.

Look after yourself ! Beautiful bathroom by the way.

Exmoorjane said...

Yet another acronym, I'm afraid, from me...MLD. Manual lymphatic drainage. Fabulous, fabulous thing....GET IT!!!! Don't know if Dee Jones is still practising - but if so, go see her (she's a darling).....pretty please. jxxx

PS - would google her myself but know you'll be quicker!