Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One bandaged arm

My arm did get bandaged up at the physiotherapist's appointment yesterday. The wrapping stuff are new products by 3M that have only been around for about two years. The arm is wrapped twice: first with a foam comfort layer that's backed by that stretchy bandage that sticks to itself and then with a second layer of the stretchy bandage that sticks to itself.

The bandage is fairly comfortable except around my thumb. The edges of the bandages were cutting into the meat of my thumb. I trimmed the bandage a bit and now the bandages are cutting into the webbing between the thumb and first finger. I've been experimenting with gauze to pad the area a bit but it really hurts and I'm worried about getting a blister there. The point is to get rid of the lymph through my arm, not through a blister.

I'm also having some trouble bathing with this bandage. It's not supposed to get wet so I bought one of those waterproof cast protectors. The first time I used it I didn't do it properly so the bandage got wet. The second time I did use it properly but because I was sweating in the silicone, waterproof bag, the bandage got wet.

Wah! I like my baths but the baths don't work with the bandages.

Fortunately, the bandaging won't be forever. I take these bandages off (by which I mean I cut them off) on Thursday morning before the next appointment. The physiotherapist will do the massage on me and before I leave, another specialist will come and measure my arm so that I can be fitted for a compression sleeve. After that, my arm will be re-bandaged for the weekend. I spoke with the other specialist and she said that a sleeve will take up to three weeks to arrive.

The important thing is that I will have a compression sleeve before I leave for Philadelphia on April 12. I checked and the only way to get there in any reasonable time is to fly so that's what we're preparing my arm to do. Apparently if you're wearing bandages, security makes you cut them off because you might be hiding something there so I must have a compression sleeve.

Anyways, if the compression sleeve arrives within three weeks, I only have to be bandaged for that long. I think I can live with that (although don't be surprised if I whine about it).

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