One of These Hands is Not Like the Other…

Swollen HandOne of these hands is not like the rest….as that old singing game goes.  Can ya guess which hand doesn’t belong to my body?  Actually, it IS my hand but it sure looks like it should belong to someone twice my size.  In the continuing miserable saga of my battle with poison ivy, here’s where we stand:  Rash – still in quite a few places.  Blisters – stopped oozing and now drying up.  Itching – mostly tolerable; occasionally forgettable.  Swelling – out of control on my left side where the bulk of the poison ivy struck.    Medication – heavy-duty antibiotic and 50 mg. of prednisone a day for 5 days.  However, I woke up this morning with a red rash on my upper chest and face from the prednisone so I’m to taper off that medication beginning tomorrow.

Swollen ArmAfter a quick little jaunt over to my doctor’s office, she said it was probably just an unlucky coincidence that the poison ivy was the worst on the arm that had so many lymph nodes removed years ago when I had a mastectomy.  Apparently, between the P.I. and the ensuing infection, my remaining lymph nodes (which were already contracted by the scar tissue in my armpit area) just haven’t been able to handle the fluid buildup.  But she sent me off to get an ultrasound to make sure I didn’t have a blood clot that was damning the flow.  The veins looked good in that test so it looks like it is lymphedema.  Now I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor on what happens next.  In the meantime, I am supposed to gently wrap the arm in Ace bandages and elevate it when possible.  I might be referred to a therapist who specializes in decongestive therapy.  Oh joy!

On the way to the store to pick up some Ace bandages (and some lemon pie snacks – I’m on Prednisone, what can I say?), I noticed that I was driving much more aggressively than I normally drive.  Hmmm, I wondered if there was such a thing as “Prednisone Rage.”  In the dog world, we used to refer to  something similar as “Springer Rage.”    I slipped into the store, made my purchases and headed outside.  As I was starting across the crosswalk, a car started to try to slip past me, blocking my progress even though I was already well into the pedestrian crosswalk.   I stopped, turned directly into his path, and glared at him.  For one insane moment, I wanted to start beating on the hood of his car and scream, “Don’t you DARE challenge me in this crosswalk.  Do you have ANY idea what I am going through?  Do you have any idea how many days I’ve been dealing with this sh__tty poison ivy and now I’m stuck with THIS! (at which point I would wave my elephant arm at him) So if you don’t stop right there, Buster, I will personally come over to your window and wipe this poison ivy all over your sorry ass and then we’ll see how YOU like dealing with this.  Because I’m on Prednisone, Buster, and you should NEVER mess with a lady on Prednisone.”

But I’m happy to report that I didn’t have to say any of that.  One glare from me and the guy meekly stopped and let me cross.  I got in my car, still fuming, and pulled out of the parking lot.  Had to dodge some lady driving down the wrong side of the entrance to whom I offered the sage advice of “Hey, try driving in the correct lane, will ya?”

Vibe RightSo if you happen to see a little red Vibe out on the road in the next week or so, with knitting decals on the rear window and a pacifist bumper sticker, you might want to give it a wide berth, at least until I get this Prednisone out of my system.  Because I’m on the warpath, Baby (and there IS a certain irony in that seeing that I’m trying to follow a peaceful path with the world).

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