Lymphedema-John Stories-Exercise
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John's Lymphedema Exercise

John and his son, Gerald are at the YMCA that is about 5 miles outside of the reservation.

Gerald: Okay Dad, now remember what the therapist told you. You've got to go slow and easy today and do the exercises he told you to do. Nothing more.

John: Yeah, I know. But I've got to get this swelling down in my arm so that I can deal cards at the casino next week. You know I've only had that promotion from being a money changer to dealer for a few months and I don't want to lose my job.

Gerald: Yeah, I know. But the therapist said you got in pretty fast for the swelling - what'd he call it?

John: "Lymphedema"

Gerald: Yeah, that's it. I keep forgetting how to say it. Does it hurt or anything now?

John: No. I'm wearing the sleeve that the therapist help fit for me. (Smiling) He had to get me a really big one because my arms are so big. Most of the sleeves are for women and most don't need one this large.

Gerald: Well, it's good you've always been active and strong - well, okay, other than when the chemo made you sick. With your long sleeve casino workout suit, you can't even tell there is anything wrong with your arm.

John: Well, thank the Creator for that. It still feels pretty heavy and just kind of awkward to move. But it feels better since the therapist worked on me the last few days. Boy, I always thought those guys were kind of strange. You know - like not really for real? But he was really good and really knew what he was doing. I think I could have been in real trouble if the casino hadn't approved money for a physical therapist to be on staff in the clinic.

Gerald: Yeah, I think he's a pretty good guy too. He wasn't even weird about you having breast cancer.

John: Yeah, that would have been embarrassing. But he was good.

Gerald: Okay, now did you bring the list of exercises he circled on that sheet for you to do? You had it lying in the bottom of your locker while we were changing.

John: I've got it. I just folded it up and put it into my pocket.

Gerald: Okay, well, why don't I do the exercises with you then I'll go over and do some of my normal workout when you get to the part where he wants you to do the relaxation exercises at the end, okay?

John: Oh son, you can go do your regular workout. I'll be fine.

Gerald: I know you'll be fine, but I think until you get into the routine that it'd be better if we both did them. After a few days of us doing them together, you'll probably start to get into this new routine.

John: Okay, thanks son. Seems like you ought to go back into the locker room then and wrap your arm too before we start (laughing).

Gerald: Ah, thanks dad, but I don't think we have to go that far (laughing).

John pulls out the therapist's lists of exercises so that they can both read them and do them correctly.
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