Buddy Check 12: Healing Moves

Buddy Check 12:  Healing Moves
By: Tiffany Sisson
Lifting her arms above her head is a move Barbara Bernard took for granted. "I have a very young child, 11-years-old at home, a wonderful husband to live for," said Bernard.
But at 32, breast cancer threatened her life. Barbara was diagnosed with stage one, invasive ductal carcinoma. She underwent a partial mastectomy on her right breast. "Two weeks after the surgery, I had a lot of swelling, post- operative swelling, from the lymph node removal," explained Bernard.
The fluid movements Barbara is working through is helping to improve her lifestyle, healing and preventing complications after the surgery. "It's very painful," said Bernard.
Sometimes, they're afraid to move it. They're afraid that they won't move it properly, and they think, well if I just wait til it heals and the pain goes away, then I can move my arm. By that point, they may already have some range of motion restrictions," explained Paula Stout, a physical therapist.
Barbara is learning how to move through proper therapeutic exercises, improving her posture and reducing the risks of lymph edema, a swelling that brings with it numbness, discomfort, and sometimes infection. "When they undergo surgery or radiation, the connective tissue, because of the trauma to the area, can tighten down the fascia," said Stout.
Healing Moves is a class offered by Southeast Hospital, Tuesdays at Noon. For more information, call 573-986-4411.