25 November 2012


To protect my arm from further swelling, it was recommended to me that I get a ‘sleeve’ to wear. And lest I think that could waltz in to any old drugstore, and get something off the shelf, I was mistaken. I needed a note from my doctor, and then I had to go to ‘Mansueta’, which is a little boutique near Mount Sinai Hotel and Spa, that deals with all sort medical garments for breast canceritis people. Compression stockings, fake boobs, padded bathing suits, and such.

So I went down for my fitting, and had my arm measured yet again. It was decided that I would get a sleeve with the minimum amount of pressure, and a ‘gauntlet’, which is a fingerless compression glove for my hand. It would be a kind of cool accessory if I was a Goth kid (I’m not) or if it was the 80’s (it’s not) but as a flesh coloured fashion accessory, it leaves something to be desired.

Do I have a joke for you!
‘It’s kind of depressing,’ I said to Valentina, as she squeezed my arm into the sleeve, jamming my skin in as though she was making a giant pork sausage. She nodded. ‘You’ll be wanting this.' And she whipped out a pamphlet for Lymphe-Diva, a company which specializes in sleeves with decorative patterns. The brochure featured two stylish women at a cafĂ©, one with a sleeve of roses, the other, snakeskin.  They seemed to be having a great time. Clearly lymphedema hasn’t slowed these girls down one bit!

I wanted to be just like them. Happy, confident, sitting on a terrace. ‘How much are they?’ I asked Valentina. ‘Oomph,’ she said, ‘quite expensive. About three times as much as these.' So I thought about it, and decided the simple fleshy $120 sausage option would suffice. It’s Christmas, after all, and there are other accessories that take priority.

So I put it out of my head until yesterday afternoon when I got a call from Valentina. ‘Your sleeve is ready,’ she said. I'd honestly forgot all about it, and it was at least five seconds of me with my mouth hanging open, trying to figure out why someone would call me about a sleeve, rather than entire outfit.

But sometime around the four second mark - before I processed the information - I remembered a joke that had been lying dormant in my brain for a long long time.  And even though I’m the only one who has ever found it funny I’m going to share. Here goes.

Q – Where does the General keep his army?
A – In his sleevey.

Ha! It cracks me up every time. 
And I'm picking up my sleevey next week.