June 14, 2010

Down and up and down and up and down

The past few days have felt like being on an out-of-control elevator: down and up and down and up and down again.

The lymphedema therapist listend to me kvetch about my continued frustration with lack of elbow response and edema issues and recommended I choose not wearing compression garments either for a couple of days or nights. I chose daytime and went without a sleeve and glove for the remainder of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This was an UP.

Because I had a naked arm (one of only a few occasions in the past eleven years), I overdid things. I took the dog to the vet, had a morning meeting, went to my yoga class, ate a quick lunch, bought groceries, picked up Rik and got the dry-cleaning. By the time we came home I was prostrated with exhaustion from running around for more than six hours straight. I immediately went to the sofa but was unable to sleep. I also couldn't move, so there I lay until evening. We ate a bad frozen pizza from Trader Joe's for dinner, and Rik went back to school for a meeting. DOWN DOWN DOWN.

I woke up feeling refreshed enough to go to synagogue. (I am also constitutionally incapable of being in the house for 24 hours.) I cam home and despite the bright, sunny, warm day, again had to lie down but was unable to nap. My arm began to show not having been in a daytime compression garment for two days. DOWN.

I put on the compression sleeve without the glove in hopes that the sleeve alone would be enough. Went to the grocery store to pick up a pie for Rik's 50th birthday. UP. Tried to pull some weeds from the yard -- couldn't. Stupid elbow! DOWN. Decided to accomplish something within my capabilities and did some ironing. Definitely UP. Put out pie, bubbly and freshly made lemonade for our friends. UP.

Not five minutes after the first people arrived, Pumpkin came down on his bad left rear leg and yelped. HUGE DOWN. We called the vet, they told us about the nearby emergency clinic. In the meantime more people are arriving and everyone has to know what's happened. In this barely controlled chaos, N intervened, suggested we celebrate Rik's birthday by toasting him and eating the pie; we could always go to the emergency clinic later if Pumpkin didn't improve. N sat on the chaise outdoors with Pumpkin on her lap, where he relaxed and we began to as well. After toasting Rik, eating strawberry-rhubarb pie and vanilla ice cream, we all felt better. More UP.

Later, after everyone had left, N came back with some doggy anti-inflammatories and Pumpkin ate one with his dinner. He finally relaxed enough to sleep. I wrapped my arm (my hand was very puffy from being in the sleeve but no glove all day) and was very cranky from all the stress. DOWN. Tried to nap, again couldn't sleep but couldn't move from the sofa. DOWN.

Rik ordered Chinese food for dinner but didn't realize the restaurant had given us someone else's order. Instead of tea-smoked duck and steamed vegetables with rice cakes. we received two containers of unidentifiable fried food which were covered in chili peppers, noodles (but no vegetables) and white rice. Is this how the rest of America eats? DOWN. One container appeared to hold pork, the other perhaps fish. I was tired and hungry and disappointed but not energetic enough to insist Rik return and get our correct order. He ate the noodles and fish. Since I'm eating a low carb diet and had already had pie and ice cream, noodles were out for me and the "fish" was inedibly spicy, even for me. Rik offered to make me something, but I had already eaten eggs that morning. I tried but could not summon the energy to even open the jar of peanut butter. DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN.

I gave up and went to bed. After dropping the pills on the floor twice and roaring with rage and frustration, I took a sleeping pill and some ativan and pulled the covers over my head at 7 PM. DOWN.

Monday - Rik's 50th birthday
I slept until 5 AM with brief lucid periods when I heard Rik bring Pumpkin in the bedroom and talk on the phone. I never did hear him come to bed.

Chemo went fine today. UP. I again tried to nap afterwards but couldn't sleep. Maybe I need to try a different location.

At 3:00 we took Pumpkin to the vet. He is still there, being sedated for an xray and given IV pain meds for an examination by the doctor to determine what's wrong. Apparently his knee is injured but that's all we know now. DOWN. More later.

Haopy birthday, Rik. What a way to celebrate.


  1. Anonymous6:54 PM

    WOW!!! I thought my last couple of days have been up and down...not now after reading this. God Bless you!

  2. Kelly6:03 PM

    I came across your blog, and admire you telling your story. It reminds me of an author I know. Alesia Shute is a childhood cancer survivor who had dedicated her adult life to fighting for a cure. Check out her book and website- www.everythingsokaybook.com. You might be able to work together. Here's to keeping up the fight!