Where is Spiderman when you need him?

Oh, back to the compression sleeve. I decided to take Sundays off on the grounds that I am not perfect and the sleeve is very disturbing to wear. It takes me ages to put it on and I am unable to settle the band at the top properly without help. Today is a classic example, even though I have only had the wretched thing a week. Mark has gone out early to a meeting so I have to put the sleeve on myself. I need at least 6 hands. I struggle and sweat over it. It takes me about 10 minutes to get it fully up my arm by which time I am hot and very, very cross. Then it does something which is already so familiar and depressing. The top begins to roll down. This is something I have been told categorically MUST NOT HAPPEN or I am at risk of developing a blood clot. I need braces for my compression sleeve. I feel I need to sellotape around the top to keep it flat except, of course, that would be more pressure and may lead to – and I sense you’re ahead of me here – a bloody clot.

No-one tells you the end of the story when you develop cancer. Probably because the stories end so differently and, don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy my story isn’t over yet but I didn’t understand any of the possible stages after the first wave of terror had subsided. I thought six months of treatment would sort me out. I’d lose and then regain my hair, put on a bit of weight, have surgery and radiotherapy and that would be it. But my body is left very damaged from the treatment and I hadn’t expected that. Surgery, I knew, because I’m not a bloody idiot, would leave me looking different and that was surprisingly OK. Surgery itself was vile and I still have nightmares about the drain that got stuck and took 2 nurses and a lot of morphine to pull it out. The change in my body shape was OK, too. I’m not really a vain woman so it didn’t bother me too much. I didn’t understand how the treatment would delay healing so much and how damaging and invasive radiotherapy would be. I guess you could say I had a pretty bad time last year and, don’t get me wrong, this year is going to be way better but it’s also not going to be the same as I expected. I suppose that’s true for everyone, though. Life isn’t always what you expect and has ways of tripping you up and surprising you for the better or worse, in equal measure.

So I sit here with my compression sleeve doing its own thing and I wonder if there is a kitchen implement I could use to settle the top. A spatula? Tongs? I could stop a passer by and ask. Or I could develop another 4 arms and do it myself. Sigh. Where IS Spiderman when you need him?

9 thoughts on “Where is Spiderman when you need him?

  1. I have not used one of these sleeves, but reading about the thing rolling down made me think it might help to get those garters that will hold a sheet onto a mattress. Attach a couple of garters to the sleeve and then to a shirt and then pull the combination on like a shirt with sleeves. No? Just a thought.

    • Ah, it’s not that easy, unfortunately. Think of something incredibly tight – maybe a wetsuit? Then you have to get it up the entire length of your arm which takes quite a while in itself. It’s the pulling on that’s so troublesome. I am hoping it will ease up a little after I’ve been wearing it for a bit. Fingers crossed!

  2. I’m not sure if it’s helpful as such, although I think it probably is, but I love it. I started doing it just over two years ago just after I was diagnosed. Apart from gaps due to treatment, I’ve continued going and really enjoy it… and I think I’m quite good at it too. I go twice a week and miss it when I can’t go. The teacher, having had cancer herself, is very permissive and accepting, so there were times when I had to keep sitting down to rest between exercises and that was fine. Another woman with ME, used to do the whole thing sitting down.

    • That sounds very positive. The Tai Chi is taught at my local Maggie Centre so would be understanding of any limitations, like your teacher. I think I’ll have to schedule it in and give it a go.

      • Yay! Brilliant! And you’ll let us know how it goes by writing about it here, I hope? Actually, I linked up the local Maggie’s Centre with my Tai Chi teacher and she now does sessions there too.

  3. Yeah, it’s all very different to how I expected it to be. I’ll just have to go with the flow when I can. I’d be interested in what your Tai Chi teacher has to say. Do you find Tai Chi helpful? It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while.

  4. My Tai Chi teacher also has to wear a sleeve. She’s been at it for around ten years. I’ll mention your predicament to her and see if she had similar issues and if so, how she resolved them.

    That whole thing of life being different in ways you don’t anticipate is a really tough one to deal with, innit?

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