Mar 22, 2009 12:24AM Binney4 wrote:
Key word: CAREFUL! Start slow, just a few reps and see how it goes. Work up slower than you would have before. (We can't do the "no pain-no gain" thing -- pain is bad because it draws lymph fluid to the site.) You're watching for swelling, of course, but even better to STOP at once if you feel tiredness, achiness, fullness, tingling, numbness, or just "something odd." Stop and elevate your arm until the feeling goes away. You can try again the next day, but stop again if you experience any of those things. After exercise, check in the evening for any new swelling or other symptoms.
If you haven't been fitted for a compression sleeve and glove, that's a good first step. Wear it when exercising, traveling, or doing any strenuous or unusual activity. Stay VERY well hydrated, and stop at intervals to do a few deep abdominal breaths.
Those, anyway, are the recommendations. The reality is that it's really hard to stop in the middle of a set. "Only four more to go -- what can that hurt?!" So try to be alert not only to your arm and breast, but to the excuses it's too easy to make!
If you mean you have lymphedema and a hematoma in your breast, you might want to talk to your therapist about breast compression options and the simple lymphedema exercises you can do to help. She did teach you to do the massage, yes? That can also help before and/or after exercise sessions.
Antibiotics before dental work aren't usually advised, though some people do that. Best, though, to be alert to the possibility of infection all the time (lymph fluid breeds bacteria really fast), and get help quickly at the first sign of it.
Here are a couple of pages on exercise and lymphedema:
http://www.lymphnet.org (See the Position Papers on Risk Reduction and Exercise)
Healing prayers for you too, NL!