Monday, July 28, 2014

Alarums and Excursions!

On Saturday night just before 11pm, I woke with a stinging / burning sensation in the ring finger of my right hand.  I held my hand under the cold tap to cool it, and the pain spread to the palm side of that finger, and then to more of my hand. This is the arm with no lymph nodes c/o the cancer surgery, so it was quite dramatic in spreading, as there is no lymph to fight infection. I found ice cubes and held them on the finger (which usually helps a lot with mosquito bites) but they were no help.
 I woke Simon to help me find where we had packed the Claritin, as I guessed I must have been bitten / stung although there was no obvious bite location.  It felt more as if acid had been poured on my hand.  We tried hand sanitizer to make sure the hand was clean, and various bite creams on different areas, all with no success.
Around 11:15 we prayed and decided that if it was still spreading in five minutes we would wake Todd and Patsy, as we might need doctor or clinic. 
Five minutes later the redness was continuing to spread down my wrist, and there was a patch further down my arm, so Todd and Patsy were woken up and joined the Babbs family.  

I read the info on the strong antibiotics I had been prescribed in case of injury to this arm, but as there was no break in the skin decided not to risk them (again they come with the possibility of death from liver failure, and I don’t tolerate drugs processed in the liver, so I really don’t want to take them unless I have to). I was very frightened of what was happening to this arm. 
Doctor Anna did not answer her phone, but we could still drive to the clinic.  By now I had my hand in a bowl of cold water, and was beginning to tolerate the shock of the cold. 
Todd searched online, and recommended elevating the arm and found a cold pack (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off).
Around midnight when it was still spreading, Todd suggested prayer again, and I asked for the laying of hands.  So I have now had the laying on of hands and anointing with oil from a Bishop and Priest (and lay person too.  I am sure many people have been anointed in hospital while wearing pajamas, but not often while the clergy were in their pjs too!!!!
Very soon into the prayer, I felt a sense of deep internal peace, and when we finished and removed the ice pack the redness was receding.  We all sat up for a while longer and I continued to ice it, until the hand was back to its normal colour.
As Todd said, we don’t know if this was an answer to prayer or if the Claritin and ice were kicking in, but the sense of peace could only have come from God. 
The good news on Monday, was that the Claritin stopped the stomach issue; the not-so-good news is that the hand didn’t like me wearing the lymphedema sleeve and glove for the flight, and is now itching again (despite a further dose of Claritin) but it has not spread as far as it did on Sunday night. 


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