Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where have I been?  Here - icing and sleeping.... or trying to. 

The effects of the neuropathy really took hold of me after my 'Pinky Toes' post.   I thought that I had been abusing my feet by wearing shoes without socks at first, but it had gotten so bad that I realized it was more than just that.  The soles of my feet had turned bright red as if they were sunburned.  It hurt to walk on them. I thought I had been doing myself a favor by taking a bath in our 'champagne bubble' tub each night - thinking that soaking my feet would help the situation.  I soon figured out that the hot water only exasperated it. Our shower is made of 1 inch tiles that felt like needles as I stood on them every morning.

Shoes?  I struggled for a few days at the end of week wearing whatever shoes I could manage with my swollen, blistered feet. I went shopping for a few pair a half size larger with extra cushioning - anything to accommodate what was going on.  But it certainly wasn't easy.    Besides the sunburned bottoms, the 2 pinky toes just throbbed and hurt like I danced in toe shoes for 24 hours straight.  The outline of my feet also felt pain so touching any part of a shoe was torturous.  Especially at the heels.  So there I was taking 2 hours to slowly stretch a shoe open a far as I could open it and cringe as I slide my foot in and wedge my heel into place... OUCH.

My feet weren't alone.  My finger tips and nails also feel worse - like they were closed in drawer.  The nails are sensitive, ribbed, lifting and turning color.  Striped brown is the color of choice currently!  Lovely.  Buttons, medication tops, lids, necklace clasps - anything that involves pressure on the fingers is killer.  Trying those shoes on meant I had to 'gingerly' pick up boxes, open them and untie shoes.... it was a slow process...

But that night, Bob and I went out with our friends Shelly and Chris.  Chinese in Millbrook for a change and I loved it!  I'm still walking like an old lady in my new cushy Van's but, I make the best of it.  Shelly, too, has a bad foot so the two of us are like bookends - really pathetic!!!  Somehow, we hear of a Disco night down the road from our house at the Links and I'm happy to go there for 2 reasons - close to our house and enough chairs for everyone.  Standing was not an option for me or Shelly and I really didn't want to head to LaPuerta and take the chance that either of us might be standing for the night.  But we get to the door and I hear the music... I look over at Shelly and say 'I'm just gonna have to dance!' And dance we did - just not like we normally would.   I actually let Bob take breaks between songs... ok, alot of breaks! And it was me who needed it.  Besides my feet, I was extremely winded and knew I had to slow down and take it easier.  Either way, we had a blast!  Surprising fun.

Back to the not sleeping part.... not only was I dealing with the pain during the day, at night it would fire up 10x's more!  I would drop to sleep and awake with burning hands and feet.  I filled my tub with cold water and every hour or so would put my feet and hands in it to cool them down.  After 4 or 5 trips like this I would finally fall asleep.   Grabbing only a few hours of sleep several days in a row, mentally wore me down.  I shifted to using ice packs later in the week to avoid getting out of bed and really waking up.  It did gradually get better by Friday with my first sleep through the night - I feel like a baby!!! And today, my feet are normal, but my figures still feel the effect even as I type but I can tolerate it.

The biggest change besides the neuropathy is the shortness of breath.  I did feel it at the Disco dance but I really had to take notice at the Studio on Tuesday.  I did what I could but had to sit through most of my night for both my feet and my breathing.  As difficult as it is to not participate, sitting gives you a different perspective.   I can see things that I would not normally notice.  Good things.  I can fix steps and adjust bodies that seemed to pop out to me.  I can highlight a student to show us how it should be done.  I get to ask questions - Why do I like this?  What don't I like about this?  I can also work my students harder - and they did!!!  They were tired, but never complained!  I was just so happy to be there with them, I think it was infectious!!! 

For  me, it's time to try to build a little of the strength that I've lost both aerobically and muscularly.  I walked a mile on my treadmill yesterday and I felt it.  Slow and steady.  In fact, knocked me out last night!!  It'll take a while to get the old me back.  I'm very realistic about how limited I am now but know I can when this is all over.

Speaking of over... I haven't even mentioned that this week contains my last chemo treatment!  That'll have to wait for another post.  Good night!

1 comment:

Wendy S Marcus said...

I'm so proud that you're staying active and still able to find some good in all this. I don't know if I'd be able to do the same. You are an inspiration.

Final chemo...YAY!