Wednesday, June 18, 2008

To hell with Doc Brown...

To quote England Dan and John Ford Coley...

Wish I had a time machine, I could
Make myself go back until the day I was born,
So I could live my life again,
And rearrange it so that.....

The rest of the verse and song isn't germane, but those sentiments are.

I don't usually have regrets or coulda-woulda-shouldas. I joke on occasion about Doc Brown and not messing up the space-time continuum, but there is some truth there. If I were to change even one little thing, who knows the ramifications and how it would alter what I know to be reality. I honestly mean it when I say that I wouldn't even change the less-than-wonderful moments in my life, because they have made me who I am today. This morning, however, I found that I do have a couple of things to add to the CWS list, and I would give an appendage for a DeLorean and a flux capacitor.

I went for an early MLD appointment. My therapist had told me to go ahead and unwrap at home to make it easier for me, and treat my lower legs to an actual shower. Right now, I'm having to treat the wrappings like a cast -- stick my leg in a trash bag, tape it shut to avoid water (which still doesn't always help) and go from there. I gotta tell you, it felt SO good to be free from the bandages for a while. Until.......

I hopped up on the table and began to slide up my pants legs for the MLD. The area where the lymphedema is most pronounced was a violent shade of red and violet. Drainage wasn't happening without compression. Even for just that short time (about 90 minutes), it wasn't working.

My therapist was okay with it.... within just a few moments of elevation, the color was going back to a more normal tone. It's discolored anyway, but at first looked like a sledgehammer had worked on it. But she said that for the long haul, compression was going to be a necessity, either through bandaging or compression hosiery/socks. I expected it, but I suppose I wasn't quite as prepared for the finality of it. I guess in the back of my mind, there might be a miraculous chance that after just a couple of years or so, everything would be hunky-dory. But it's going to be more like the rest of my life, or close enough to it.

And that's when I wished for the time machine ..... to go back to my teen years and think when I first noticed the problem. To have gone for medical treatment then instead of assuming that it was just part of me getting fatter. To have taken Mrs. D (our librarian) up on her offer of paying for me to attend Weight Watchers way back then. To have just been smarter and wiser about things.

Yeah, I know -- it is totally impossible to redo the past (even if I could) knowing what I know now. And in this case, this condition might have been present from birth -- or certainly during my developing years (when this system didn't properly develop). That cannot be helped.

I have to stop beating myself up over what I failed to do, and concentrate my energies on what I can do now. And to make my next 40+ years a complete change from the sorry way I treated myself the first 36.

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