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Aug 26, 2012 12:33PM Blessings2011 wrote:
During my entire diagnosis and surgical treatment for IDC last fall and winter, none of my medical team really stressed the importance of taking LE precautions. In fact, they MINIMIZED the possibility, as I'd only had an SNB on the left side. Later, when I met with the LE specialist at the hospital (at my request) I learned so much more.
The morning after my BMX, a nurse came into my room to take my vitals. We chatted; she shared with me that she had also had a BMX the previous year. Then before I knew it, she had that BP cuff wrapped around my left arm, and was inflating it.
At the same time, we looked at each other and yelled "NOOOO!" She immediately took the cuff off, then got angry because there wasn't a sign posted above my bed prohibiting BPs, blood draws, etc, on the left side. I told her that wasn't my responsibility.
I asked at Kaiser if there could be something in my chart, or on the computer, that would flag my file to reflect the need for LE precautions. I was told that I'd just need to tell everyone myself.
Several months ago, I read in a post here on BCO about free Lymphedema Alert Bands.
I decided what the heck, and sent away for some. They were free, hot pink, and reusable.
I took them with me on Wednesday, when I had my Exchange Surgery. I asked again about the need for LE precautions, and again, was told that I just needed to mention it to everyone.
Well, I discovered that Kaiser has NO warning band for LE, nor do they write anything special on a different bracelet. It all comes down to the scribbled notes by the Pre-OP Nurse, the Plastic Surgeon, the Anesthesiologist, and the OR Nurse.
I whipped out my LE Alert Band, and asked if I could put one on. The nurses thought they were great, and that they should have something like that in stock.
I am hoping I am done with surgery now, but I'm going to order several more bands, just in case. You can get them from
As for permanent bracelets, there is also a company called RoadID that makes medical alert bracelets for runners and bicyclists. http://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx
I'm going to check out all the places I've seen so far, and get something permanent.
(But I was SO glad I had my Alert Bands with me during my Exchange Surgery! Sheesh!)
Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/05/2011 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 08/22/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 09/05/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara