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Topic: Any advantage to extending night-time sleeve wear into the day?

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

Posted on: Feb 3, 2018 06:40AM

Leydi wrote:

So, first, I am stunned by the collective knowledge and helpfulness of this board. I've actually started reading the entire Lymphedema forum from the earliest pages and slowly working my way forward in time. Just amazing information and camaraderie. I'm actually looking forward to the many weeks (months?) it will take to catch up to the current posts.

One topic that I have yet to see addressed is whether there are any advantages to extending the time spent in an alternative night garment (aka - night sleeve or, as I like to call it, my arm-length-oven-mitt). I see lots of advice that moving around and exercising while wrapped in bandages is awesome to move lymph and information that night garments (e.g., I have a Solaris Tribute with over-jacket) can be used as a more convenient alternative to night bandaging.

What says the lymph-tribe?

a. No. Change into your day sleeve: wake, doff night sleeve, MLD, don day sleeve. This is the routine I currently use whenever practically possible. A pee break is usually inserted somewhere in there and often a brief jump out of bed to escort the two cats and one dog out of my room so I can shut the door and finish in peace.

b. Yes. While harder to perform tasks in a bulky night sleeve, it is/should be beneficial with movement and offer advantages over the day sleeve.

c. The ubiquitous "other" or "it depends". Please explain.

Age: 47. Dx 6/2016, ILC, Both breasts, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/28/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy Chemotherapy 8/31/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2016 Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Feb 3, 2018 12:28PM Binney4 wrote:

Hi, Leydi,

I'm an "other" on this one. I use mine sometimes in the evenings when my arm is achy or threatening to flare. And I do use it when we drive up to the mountains (change of air pressure) to avoid a flare. Once at altitude for a while I can switch to regular day garments. Then I use it for the trip down as well. i could wrap, of course, but the night sleeve is easier to take off and exchange for day garments. I also use it when I'm feeling sick and achy but not sick enough to go to bed. It's good daytime support anytime your arm is tired or achy.

Hope that helps!
Binney

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Feb 6, 2018 08:28AM Zander47 wrote:

I am new to this website and have a question about Having been just diagnosed with Basal Cell Cancer on my arm with lymphedema. Seems from some reading the Moh's surgery is what I should have? and it mentions wrapping in a few emails. does that mean having a physical therapist wrap it after surgery? I have been pretty lucky.. I have the compression sleeve but have not had to wrap my arm in years.. any help would be appreciated.

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Feb 6, 2018 12:24PM Moderators wrote:

HI Zander, and welcome to Breastcancer.org!

We're so sorry to hear of your recent skin cancer diagnosis, but we're really glad you found our Community and have reached out for help. This Lymphedema forum is the most informative space with the most helpful members -- someone will be by shortly to weigh in with their advice and experience.

We look forward to hearing more from you soon and wish you speedy recovery with your basal cell surgery!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Feb 6, 2018 12:42PM Binney4 wrote:

Hi, Zander, and welcome! Really sorry for the reason that brought you here, but glad you found us.

Doesn't seem fair that an arm with lymphedema should have any added insults, does it?!!! Fortunately, there are ways to make this all a bit easier. At the very bottom of the page linked below is a section called "Guidelines for Surgery on an Arm, Shoulder, Hand or Breast with Lymphedema" that offers some suggestions:

http://www.stepup-speakout.org/Emergencies_and_Med...

There are gals here who have had issues with their lymphedema arm and done very well. Hopefully they'll be along soon to tell you about their experiences. Please do keep us posted, and tell us how we can help!

Gentle hugs,
Binney

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Feb 6, 2018 02:37PM Outfield wrote:

Leydi, sometimes I find it a helpful thing if I'm flared, but I also bandage. I don't use either during the day very often anymore.

Some advantages to bandaging for occasional day use:

1) No extra wear on the night garment. Those things are ridiculously expensive

2) No nasty grime on something I wear in my bed

3) My fingers are more functional when I use bandaging

4) It seems to work a little better

Advantages to the night garment:

1) Easy to take on and off, so if I know I'm going to need my whole hand at some point in the near future, it makes more sense than bandaging, unwrapping, and doing it again

2) If I'm traveling, I can kill 2 birds with one stone and save space in my luggage

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Feb 6, 2018 05:22PM Leydi wrote:

Thank you, Binney and Outfield. I really appreciate the feedback.  I've been to two different therapists and was sure to check the credentials of the second one (live and learn, eh?).  However, neither therapist considered my situation "bad enough" to wrap.  So, I still don't know how.  I have day garments, a night garment, exercises, and MLD instructions.  Now I'm on my own again.  

I like to research but couldn't find any studies that looked at exercising in night garments.

Age: 47. Dx 6/2016, ILC, Both breasts, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/28/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy Chemotherapy 8/31/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2016 Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Feb 6, 2018 05:36PM Outfield wrote:

To the therapists who say your situation isn't bad enough for you to learn to wrap, again I say "Bunkum!"

My lymphedema is mild. It's actually been more than a year now since I last wrapped. But am I glad I know how to do it? Absolutely. I've had some episodes where I could not fit into any of the "fitted" things I have. My first episode of cellulitis is the best example. Even when the infection was no longer raging, it took a while to get the swelling back into the normal range.

I think of knowing how to wrap as the same as driving a car with a spare tire and knowing how to change it. Sure, I have AAA so I shouldn't have to change it myself, but you just never know. The night I was stranded late at night on a deserted road in North Carolina, you'd better believe I changed it faster than AAA could've gotten a helicopter there. I want the same sort of ability to control my lymphedema.

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Feb 6, 2018 06:25PM Binney4 wrote:

Boy, I'll second that, Outfield--definitely a skill you need, and you'll never have to keep a lymphedema therapist in your pocket. Knowing how to do that adds so much to my comfort and confidence, and living with lymphedema, that really helps. Worth insisting they teach you.

Hugs,
Binney

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Feb 10, 2018 07:06AM Leydi wrote:

Thank you! I will definitely pursue learning to wrap. I'm limited by insurance to the number of PT visits I can have but it may be worth paying out-of-pocket to learn this skill.

How many visits do you think it would take? I have some other medical bills that I need to pay off and then save up.


Age: 47. Dx 6/2016, ILC, Both breasts, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/28/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy Chemotherapy 8/31/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 9/7/2016 Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Feb 10, 2018 09:21AM Manuella wrote:

Leydi, I did 3 PT sessions on wrapping. I recorded the first one on my phone. Still unsure if I do it well. Biggest problem for me is to know if the way my arm feels after wrapping is correct, not too tight, not to lose, or too tight/too lose in some parts and not in others. Kinda scares me to wrap wrong and have my arm blow up! I have VERY mild swelling (my LE arm, left, is still smaller than my non LE side, right) so have been taught to wrap but told to only wear sleeve and glove during the day and a night time garment but to keep practicing my wrapping in case of flares.

Surgeon can’t operate until LE arm is bigger than my other arm but my hope is to get an LVA as soon as possible. I’m getting ICG’s and a bunch of other tests done every 6 months and my arm/lymph backflow has gotten progresively worse but there’s still not much swelling. Surgeon says LE is a mystery, he’s seen people with much better working lymphatics than mine with a lot of swelling and people with much worse never get swelling! Crazy, this odious disease!

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Feb 10, 2018 09:00PM Outfield wrote:

Leydi, one session for me, going very slowly. I wore it a few days to get used to how tight it was supposed to feel (not very!). Then I practiced doing it.

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