This week sees me getting my very first compression sleeve for lymphodoema. Bloody lymphodoema as it’s known in our house. Fat hand. Fat head. Grrrr. With 22 lymph nodes removed, lymph fluid has nowhere proper to go. It kind of wafts about in my arm and hand, wondering idly if it should be going elsewhere or have an aim in life but meanwhile, it pools in the lower regions – my hand – and gathers in gangs in parts of my arms, waiting on metaphorical street corners to mug passing……somethings. I can’t think of anything lymph fluid would want to mug. But I digress. Lymphodoema is manageable but cannot be cured so I am getting a new sleeve and glove, more properly entitled a gauntlet, to try and control it. Now I shall be able to throw down the gauntlet with absolute authority as I will have one. It will take me about 20 minutes to remove it so I hope the person I wish to challenge will hang around while I wrestle it off.
I went for a fitting a couple of weeks ago and my arm was comprehensively measured. I was then offered a choice of colours – caramel or black. Oh, that one doesn’t come in black. Well, caramel it is, then. I assume this is to replicate skin colours. I don’t feel caramel. I don’t feel black, either, but I thought it would make a change. It’s not to be.
There is an alternative, though. There is a company who have realised we don’t all want to be caramel or black-armed and have come up with a range of tattoo sleeves to cover it. I could go for some heavy metal vibe but that’s not really me and the company I have found have come up with some lovely designs. I’m not really skulls, daggers and large-breasted women astride Harleys. The latter would be in rather poor taste, too. So I have ordered a couple of sleeves to pretend I have a tattooed arm instead of a fat arm.
Humour aside, it’s a bloody nuisance. I have to wear the gauntlet and sleeve all day, every day and remove them only at bedtime when I am due to rub a lot of moisturiser into my arm to keep it supple and reduce the likelihood of grazes, cuts etc. Every day. For ever. Sigh. Bloody cancer.
If anyone wants to know, the company is called My Tattoo Sleeves. I don’t know what they’re like yet but if I like them, I will post a photo.