Friday, October 31, 2008

Tips to avoid Lymphedema
I visited a Lymphedema Clinic where I was fitted with a sleeve and hand cuff to be worn daily for 3 hours especially during radiation and healing time. (Mind out of the gutter people. Cuff for the hand. Not “Hand Cuffs”.) I was surprised to learn of things I should not do. Like, carry my purse on the affected arm or use the affected arm to open the door and NOT carry the groceries. Not a lot of horseback riding, because of gripping the reigns. There are rules we need to follow for skin care, change in activity and lifestyle, clothing and other things that should be avoided.

Avoid Lymphedema - do’s and don’ts:
the top 2:
1- NO NEEDLES in affected arm – avoid any punctures possible
2- NO BLOOD PRESSURE is to be taken in the affected arm.
(of course if you are in an accident, and they MUST use your affected arm to help save your life then they must.)
Avoid Trauma or injury & good skin care to help avoid infection risks
· Keep affected arm clean and dry
· Use moisturizer daily to prevent chapping of skin
· Use caution with nail care, do not cut cuticles (if you get manicures, you need to be REAL SURE their implements are sterile & no cuticles are cut – I think it best just to not have it done.)
· Protect exposed skin with sunscreen & insect repellent.
· Be careful with razors – avoid nicks & skin irritation.
· Wear gloves during activities that might cause injury to skin. (using chemicals, detergents, gardening, using tools etc.)
· If you get a scratch or puncture to the skin wash with soap & water ,apply antibiotics, and watch for signs of infection, such as redness or swelling etc.
· CARRY WITH YOU always alcohol wipes and Neosporin or equivalent. If you get a scratch while you are out and do not have access to soap & water and antibiotic , you can take care of it right away.
· If a rash, itching, redness, pain increased skin temperature, fever or flue-like symptoms occur, contact your physician immediately.

MORE TIPS to avoid Lymphedema next time….

((NOTE: I am not a doctor. The information in these pages were suggestions given to me and not intended to treat you or anyone or to replace the advise of a doctor. Seek your doctor’s advice ALWAYS.)) (( most info from NLN ))

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