Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lots of news

I want to start this post with a response to a comment on one of my old articles - the comment was made anonymously a couple months back to a posting from over a year ago, so it's just lucky that I ran across it today while looking for something else. I was asked if I knew where to find a fancy compression sleeve and gauntlet (the fingerless glove). I found the one I bought at BrightLife, and they have a lot of neat designs! Hope my reader checks in and finds this link!

Back to today - as I read and watch more of the terrible destruction from the fires here in Arizona that have consumed more than a million acres already, with no end in sight, I'm reminded of something I did several years ago, when I was still in my little house in the country. We were having another bad year for fires, and I could see flames licking at the top of a ridge line down a few miles south of me. I wasn't threatened by it, other than the level of fear that a raging fire always brings, and I didn't expect trouble from that one. But I thought to myself, self, what would you do if the authorities showed up at your door and said you had to evacuate in 20 minutes?

What I did was pour a healthy Jack Daniels on the rocks, sit down in my easy chair, and plan what I would do with that 20 minutes. It was an interesting and enlightening experience. It took a couple hours and a couple more JDs, and I ended up with a concise list of what was most important to me, and how I would pack it in my car efficiently in my allotted time. I was rather proud of myself.
Definitely time to update it.

For me, my photo albums were vital to my existence. With my damaged and non-functioning memory, my albums and my pictures are my only history. They absolutely had to be rescued. (after my doggies, of course!!) Since then, I've put all my photos on my computer, and they are also backed up online with Carbonite, so I would no longer have to take the albums. Had to have my dog's records and meds, and favorite toys and treats. I have a little fire safe, which I'm sure would actually melt into a big splot of plastic if subjected to a major fire, but it has all those important papers that are a pain in the butt to replace, so that had to go. My good jewelry didn't take much space and was easily convertible to cash, should the need arise. Same for guns - I had six at the time, and they had to go too. Partly for safety, so they wouldn't fall into someone else's hands, and partly because they could also be easily turned into cash. I suspect most of us have a 'go-bag' always packed and ready to go - all mine needed was my current meds and a couple changes of clothes - shorts and t-shirts. I had about 400 CDs, many with my favorite Hawaiian music, and in two shoe boxes, they didn't take much space - fit on the floor right behind the front seats! I've since put all the music on the computer, and again, it's backed up on Carbonite, so they wouldn't have to go this time either. My computer at that time didn't have much of value on it - and was 'old fashioned', as in tower, monitor, keyboard, speakers. That wouldn't go. Today, the laptop would surely go. and my iPod! That was pretty much all I needed. Everything else was just stuff. Turned out I had extra space available in that experiment (had a Caddy with a huge trunk), so I threw in a couple coolers with as much as I could get in them from my outdoor freezer, and as much water (and a jug of Jack Daniels) as I had room for. That did it. I had a list, and the order of loading the car, and I could be outta the house in 20 minutes. With all the unbelievable weather, storms and fires, I think it's good to have a plan.

Now, an update on the body - had my first appointment of six with the lymphedema therapists for the one year follow-up. One year? I'm been fighting this nasty arm for a year already? And I hate it as much, or more today, as I did when first diagnosed. But.

The gals were impressed with how well I've taken care of the damned arm - measurements were actually a tiny bit smaller than the last one's they took when I was presented with my official custom made sleeve and glove. I figure as long as I have to suffer with this affliction, I might as well do it right.

The custom sleeve was a horrible fit, as you may recall, and I wore it less than a week, I think, before resorting to the plain old compression sleeves you can buy on the street. I've quit wearing the 'glove' because I couldn't really use my hand for anything - had trouble holding a glass, definitely couldn't hold a pen or sign my name, working in the kitchen with a knife? Not. Instead, I've been wearing a gauntlet, and haven't suffered for that, apparently. So I've now received a new sleeve and gaunlet
, and they are hoping to get me a second set thru the Susan B. Komen Association, which helps out when insurance isn't totally useful.

I've developed something called Trigger Thumb - my right hand of course - which is not much fun. The joint locks in the bent, or straight, position, and then snaps open, or bent, of it's own accord. I've become quite good at snapping pills and food across the room. My arthritis doc gave me some goop to rub on it, with no helpful results at all, and recommended trying Naproxen to loosen it up - no luck there either. So today I received a shot of cortisone in the joint to see if that will help. We also did a blood test to see if I was developing rheumatoid arthritis, as the trigger finger sometimes is an indicator, but the results were negative, thank goodness!

Saw my reconstruction surgeon on Monday - three month follow
-up. He continues to be very pleased with his handiwork. The little teenage tittie scars are minor at this point. I'm lucky I continue to scar well. That pie-shaped piece in the middle is from the TRAM-flap surgery - it's a hunk of my belly skin, and the bulk is my belly fat.

The wound in my belly is FINALLY almost completely closed up. We have made a date to do the next ph
ase of the surgery - August 2nd. Same as last time, we have to have a set date for the surgery before the insurance company will determine if they will approve it or not!

This next phase will be to put in the skin expander and the implant (empty!). Then as the skin grows over a period of time, fluid (silicone) will be injected into the implant a little bit at a time, until the desired size is achieved. This surgery and the follow-up infusions are all done on an out-patient basis. Basic simple cut and paste and go home.

So - I think we're pretty much up to date. More flowers next time - much more pleasant to look at! :o)

The Animal Rescue Site
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