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Topic: just came from le therapist

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Sep 8, 2006 08:41PM

bingbing wrote:

Well i guess I am joining the club. I went to an le therapist this week and was measured etc and told I have mild le. I go back on the 18th for message therapy and she will also wrap my arm. i will leave the wrapping on until I return for another session. I will go for 90 minutes everyday the first week. After that the next week I will go for 3 days, and the week after that another 3 days. she is pretty confident that she can get the swelling down in that amount of time as I just have a little swelling on the wrist area, the bottom side of the elbow and the upper arm from the elbow to the shoulder. After that she says I will be fitted for a sleeve for the daytime, and my husband will be taught to wrap me for the night. I will also learn how to do the message myself and do the excercises. It is of course overwhelming and I am having a hard time not to cry all the time and feel sorry for myself.but I will manage because I have to. But I will refuse to let this rule my life. I have a question I forgot to ask my therapist and wondered if anybody could give me a little advice. I am planning to go on a bus tour with my husband in Dec. I live in Minnesota and plan to go to Pidgion( spelling ?) Forge and Nashvill, Tn. will this affect my le? The change in altitude, maybe. I will probably wear the sleeve during the day and wrap during the night, How can I swell doing all that. And if I do swell, will it be gradual or become a balloon in a couple of hours? sorry to be so long with this, I am beginning to get worried that I will end up never traveling again and bc has taken a lot away from me already--- a breast and 23 lymph nodes (that God they were negative) but it left me with le nonetheless. Any help would be appreciated.

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Sep 8, 2006 09:42PM Dawnt wrote:

I start my therapy on thursday.For 10 days I go for an hr each day.I wear the bandage till the morning when I take a shower.She told me to wear the sleeve when you have different altitudes.Good luck

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Sep 9, 2006 01:28AM Binney4 wrote:

Oh, my goodness, bingbing, I'm so glad you asked that, because the answer is a happy one. YES! you can travel in December! And I hope you have a wonderful trip. I haven't even heard of Pigeon Forge since I went there as a teen years ago, and I've never forgotten it. In fact, my mother has a charming ceramic bird that she bought there and it always had a special place in our home. And Nashville -- what fun!

We are all a bit different in what bothers our lymphedema (LE) and how much it bothers it. By December you'll be a pro at experimenting and finding out, and the best part is, you'll have the skills you'll need to handle it all. It might be you'll be able to get by with the sleeve on a bus, especially if you remember to exercise your arm and your whole body often and stay well hydrated. Also, not having to drive you'll be able to keep your arm elevated, which will also help. In the event that you begin to notice swelling, though, you'll know how to wrap your arm to reduce it and keep it in control. (You'll want to be fitted for a glove too, by the way, so that the fluid won't pool in your hand and make it swell -- ask your therapist about it.)

I can identify with the tears, and rather than thinking of it as feeling sorry for ourselves I really believe there's some grieving to be done when we encounter this LE. And grieving takes time and hard work. So don't be too hard on yourself, and do give yourself the time you need to get your head around it.

By the way, it does seem like a pretty steep learning curve, but you're right: you can do this, and it doesn't have to rule your life.

It'll be good! Keep us posted,
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Sep 9, 2006 11:51AM andys wrote:

Well, Binney has pretty much said it all. Believe me, you can still travel - I travel every other week for my job and my husband and I go on pretty neat vacations, too. As Binney said, probably, wearing the sleeve and glove during the day and bandaging at night will be all that you need to do. (When I fly, I bandage during the flight, too). Whenever I have a long trip, I try and exercise my hand and arm (what I call cat claw stretches) and practice my deep breathing. Ask your MD for a prescription for an antibiotic, just in case you get a scratch or something that looks like it's getting infected while you are away. Oh, and be sure to carry an antibiotic ointment to try to prevent such a thing from happening.

A hint for learning to bandage, if you have a video camera, have your husband video the procedure (from behind the therapist so he gets the right perspective). My husband took a video from behind me, and then we had to try and mirror image everything.

I think we are all sad/mad when we are diagnosed with lymphedema. It seems so unfair, and the treatment seems so timeconsuming and overwhelming. We do adjust though, because, as you imlied, what choice do we have. It sounds like you have found a good therapist, so good luck with treatment. And come here to rant and rave whenever it gets you down - we all have our moments.
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Sep 9, 2006 02:37PM NPat wrote:

Pidgeon Forge is not high altitude. So don't worry about that. I am of the philosophy that we should continue activities that we enjoy. Just ask your LE therpist how to do them safely.

I am glad you found us. Keep posting.

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Sep 9, 2006 05:50PM bingbing wrote:

thank you thankyou thank you. I feel better already. You guys are really great. I will keep you posted, thanks again

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Sep 9, 2006 07:26PM inspiewriter wrote:

Sorry you had to join our club. But it is managable, and it does get better : )

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