Archives for posts with tag: physiotherapy

I often ask my clients to write guest posts for the blog and most of the time they say, “you do it”.  This week however, I’m posting for one of my clients, Cathy.  Cathy has a real “can do” attitude, she does all she can to help keep her lymphoedema under control and she’s on a mission to spread awareness wherever she goes.  Here’s a short recount of her story …

 

The lump is early Breast Cancer!

On the table are all the cards – fright, fear (and some anger – why me!), surgery, with removal of 23 lymph nodes, chemotherapy drugs, radiation treatment and more importantly, expected cure.

Good news – I’ll be better next year!

That was the plan and yes I did it all.  Lymphoedema from the surgery was the most unpleasant surprise and it was there by the time my drain came out.  All my care givers were most reassuring and early physiotherapy started.  After six months I was attending a “lymph clinic” and measured for compression garments – ugly things but good for control!  A few lessons for self drainage techniques, my swollen and uncomfortable arm became a daily focus, there must be more I can do!

 compression sleeve photo

Compression sleeve and gauntlet photo courtesy Google Images, http://www.justcallushealthsolutions.ca

Google remedial massage – and I found Lisa Higgins – my lifesaver in so many ways.

Regular professional massage treatments have controlled my discomfort, mobilised my lymph flow and with her encouragement and happy outlook I feel good.  The compression garments continue, swimming and exercise do help.

Happiness is my friend,  Cathy

 

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I just had to write about this result.

E is the lovely lady who tried to organise the grant from Bendigo Bank for me to purchase my laser.  She’s been a regular for over three years now, coming monthly to keep her lymphoedema under control and she’s had intensive treatment at Mt Wilga Hospital.  She wears her sleeve daily and bandages herself when she feels the need.  She also exercises regularly.  Lymphoedema is part of her daily life.

Image

This is me demonstrating on my boss how the laser works

E came in to see me last week to try out the new laser.  She’s had laser before at Mt Wilga and found it very benefical.  She was surprised to see the size of my LTU-940, it is a hand held device and so quite small and very portable and the one at Mt Wilga is a pretty big machine.

She’s been having some physio for the last few months, as she has some inflamed tendons in her shoulder but she had not had much relief and last week her physio suggested she get a cortisone shot.  She hasn’t been able to wipe down the kitchen benches or iron or even get into the pool for her aquaerobics. She had a call into her GP to discuss it, because she wasn’t too keen on the idea.  What I felt is that the laser would help both on a lymph and a muscular level – it was certainly worth a try.  She also had some sciatic issues on the opposite side to the arm, so sleeping was impossible as she couldn’t lay on the left because of the sciatica and couldn’t lay on the right because of the arm, so all in all, a very frustrated camper.

So, I laid her on the table and I started working from the top of her arm, three points in a row then coming 2cms down and working another three points in a row and so on down the upper arm.  By the time I got to her elbow she said the pain was almost gone!  At that stage I was able to raise her arm to work in the axilla and down the inside of her upper arm, then down the forearm (her tightest area is down the front of the forearm into the wrist).  We did 30 minutes of laser and one hour of manual lymphatic drainage.  At the end of the sesssion she had no pain!  She was in shock (so was I if I’m honest, didn’t expect such a big result).

The next morning at about 11.30 I got a text from her and she’s given me permission to write it verbatim here …

Hi Lisa, thank you so very much.  I had the best night’s sleep.  I tossed and turned a couple of times that I knew of but no where near the pain that I have had the last few weks.  Woke up at 9.40am and only because the phone rang.  Still feel the problem but so much better with no pain.  So a big thank you.  May need another next week for sanity.

I spoke with her this morning, four days after treatment and she’s still feeling much better.  Still not able to do her housework, but pain levels are way down.  She’s booked in for a follow up later this week.

Loving that laser!