I’m all about technology.
You know that during my cancer battle, I blogged almost every day, to keep in touch with friends and family, and to keep my spirits up. You all were my daily compatriots during my cancer fight, and I couldn’t have done it without you.
With a borrowed blackberry (and a whole lot of pain medication), I twittered my mastectomy.
But get this. I’ve found a way to incorporate new technology into my physical rehab during my recovery as well.
As you may remember, I now have lymphedema in my right arm (thanks, mastectomy!). That means that the arm and hand swell up frequently, sometimes to the point where I can’t use my hand or bend my wrist or elbow easily. I have to do special exercises every day (wall crawl, anyone?), manually move my lymph around, and see my lymphedema physical therapist a couple times a month to get the scar tissue stretched out and the lymph moved through the scars and back into my torso.
I also wear a lymphedema sleeve, which makes it look like I have a disability. But I’m okay with that … now. Because, really? Sometimes I do. When my lymphedema flares up, I can’t carry my laptop or bag on that arm or hand — and really, I’m not supposed to at any time, to prevent flareups. I can’t carry too much weight in my left hand, either, then, since that throws my back off-kilter. Lovely, eh?
It also makes it hard to open heavy automatic doors sometimes, to pick up my kids, to carry the laundry basket downstairs, and to do some of the other things I really need to do every day. Oh, and it hurts to shake hands if my hand is swollen. (I’m the dork waving hi to you from two feet away, desperately hoping that we can hug or skip the handshake.)
But I’m adapting.
I’m learning to do most of the household chores and play left-handed. I’ve got most of them down by now, however rough and awkward they may be. (Note to self: only attempt to pitch wiffle balls to preschooler when baby is out of range. Far out of range.)
This weekend, though, I discovered a new tool. I bought my husband a wii for his birthday (Happy Birthday, honey!), and, you know what? I use it now too. I play the games left-handed, to strengthen the muscles and hone the use of my left hand and arm. At first, it was more frustrating than not, but I’m getting better.
And that means I’m getting better at using my left arm offline as well.
All I needed was a wii bit of physical therapy.