Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Physical Therapy and Other Info

Venita started PT yesterday. So now we have a new player, and we'll need a new name to ID her. All suggestions welcome.

The therapist is a soft spoken woman, but she has something of a "take no prisoners" attitude. She warned Venita that she's menopausal and can have "postal" days. Also warned Venita that Venita also is, with chemo, now menopausal and will do the same.

Walked Venita through 4 arm/underarm stretching exercises that she has to do 3x/day, 5 reps. Discussed how critical posture is to avoiding lyphedema. Demonstrated how Venita needs to start gentle massage on her left breast biopsy scar and on the healed portions of her right breast mast scar to avoid having the scars "adhere" to the underlying tissue. The therapist also wants to see Venita ASAP after Dr. Boob drains her right breast wound so the therapist can demonstrate how Venita can "massage" the area to lessen the amount of fluid that accumulates. (Later in the day Dr. Boob said this was all stuff and nonsense in V's case because the fluid is collecting in a cavity in the "capsule" that is forming around her implant.)

PT is 3x/week for 2 months. There are 5 basic objectives to the therapy:

  1. Scar flexibility
  2. Posture (the pain in the incision and nearby sites/fear of being "bumped"/and embarassment can cause women with mastectomies to develop round shoulders
  3. Range of motion
  4. Strength
  5. Cardio-vascular improvement (bodies that are CV healthy heal better and tolerate chemo better)

The therapist is a gardener and sees yard work as a possibility to expand therapy activity. Therapist thought it was right wonderful that Venita mowed her front yard yesterday.

Yes, V did mow the yard thanks to John K, a local man who did the spring service on V's mower free of charge and showed her how she could vice-grip the blade cut-out lever in the on position so that the mower (which has a slightly bent crank shaft after a run in with a stump last spring) would start easier. Thank you John!!

Dr. Boob drained V later in the morning. Jim went along; the first time he had seen this process. V's drainage is slowing down. Only 100cc in the 4 days since the last drainage. Dr. Boob says maybe only two more drainings.

Chemo #2 this morning. V is fearful for some reason, so Jim is going along. V thinks the fear is of the upcoming side effects, not the infusion itself. The mouth lesions with Chemo 1 were pretty serious, and we sure don't want a repeat. V bought antibacterial gel and has a bottle in nearly every room of her house, one for the car, one for Jim's house, and one for the neighborhood bar we frequent. She may develop OCD over this.


Martha and Alley Cat said...

Good luck today! And in my never humble opinion, PT's rule and I'd take their word to the bank!


Alice said...

It sounds like thsi PT woman knows her stuff. Make sure you do the exercises. We are thinking of you.

Love Alice

Venita and Jim said...

Neighbor Rich suggested "Physical Terrorist" and V's brother Les came up with "Sarge."

We're still hoping Cindy pitches in. She the best at the naming of characters.