Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cording and PT for V

OMG, it felt so good yesterday. I went to physical therapy for the first time since I dropped out during chemo. Both of my upper arms have become “corded.” It’s hard to explain, it’s a result of the surgeries, and it is not a shortening or tightening of a ligament, tendon, or muscle. It is a development in the skin from the armpit to the inside of my elbow where a “cord” develops and prevents me from getting full range of motion (comfortably) in my arms. (PT Bruiser says not all women with mastectomies develop cords and that some women have cords all the way from their armpit to their wrist. UGH! There is some discussion of cording here (although it's old).

My lovely PT Bruiser massaged the cords in both arms. For about 10 minutes each arm. I did not realize how much pain I had been walking around with. I actually felt more clear headed when I left the place. Thank you PT Bruiser. See you again on Monday.

Jim’s progressing wonderfully. This Select Hospital has a wonderful rehab program—highly individualized. His PT got him on stairs today and may be able to get him started with a cane soon, and the OT is working very hard with Jim’s mental function. There’s still a target of home by Thanksgiving.

That scares me. I just can’t be a 24/7 caregiver. I need significant help, and Jim refuses to get hospice involved. He’s OK with a home health agency like we used before (but not the same one because they were spotty), but that is so little help for us and they make us fit their schedule, not ours. I don’t know what to do when I have to leave the house for more than an hour. Sure there are friends who would be willing to “sit” with him, but what if he gets into trouble with standing up, walking, toileting, or (God forbid) another serious medical situation where the ambulance has to be called? I’ve been laying awake the last few nights worrying about this.

Keep your fingers crossed that his PT and OT people do miracles before Jim comes home. He has to be able to walk the steps in my house from his room up to the main floor (and back down again). If he can’t do that, I’m going to have to locate him on the main floor (so we can get out for DR appointments), and that would mean no access to a flush toilet.

I see the GI guy tomorrow for my funky liver results. I also will be talking with him about Jim’s situation. Including his transplant possibilities.

Jim lives in a condo building, and his unit has 2 floors. For years, he has wanted to get into one of the few single floor flats. One has just come on the market, and Jim had me to go look at it for him today. I’m not sure why I did this. There is no way he is going to live independently without a liver transplant, and if he is able to get a transplant, it’s like a year or more away. BTW, the unit was way overpriced for something that has had no upgrades since it was built 20 years ago.

At this point, it makes more sense to me to sell both homes and buy a ranch, or put some money into my downstairs to completely retrofit the room to Jim’s needs. But it’s still a problem with the six stairs to get out the front door. I could also have a new outside door installed on that lower level, and a sidewalk poured from that through the front yard to get to the driveway.

Yep, I’m worrying too much. Can you tell?

Only 10 more radiation treatments.

1 comment:

Alice said...

I love all the good news. I am for selling both places and getting a ranch. I bet house shopping is fun. You could have even more flowers. Sending lots of hugs your way.