Photo source: emedtravel.wordpress.com.
Today, we want to give you some important guidelines to follow in a continuing effort to avoid or prevent lymphedema, as much as possible. You might be surprised that some basic awareness and concerted, proactive behaviors can go a long way in this important conflict. Write these down, or copy/paste them to a document you can print off and tape these to your refrigerator and one to your bathroom mirror!
- Wear gloves while doing housework or gardening.
- Avoid activities that could cause cuts or scratches to skin. Take care in cutting your nails.
- Pay extra special attention to washing your hands to maintain cleanliness.
- Also protect your skin from other abrasions such as burns.
- Use insect repellents to prevent bites.
- Immediately report any signs of infection to your doctor.
Watch out for:
- Fever close to 101 degrees, sweats/chills, pain, tenderness, swelling of incision site, or if it’s red and oozes; cuts that don’t heal;
- Flu-like symptoms: sore, scratchy or painful throat also while swallowing, sinus pain/pressure; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- White patches on tongue or in mouth.
- Painful or difficult urination.
- Bloody, cloudy, or pungent smelling urine.
Avoid tight clothing, shoes, or jewelry
- Wear loose-fitting clothes, open-toed sandals. Check with a doctor about wearing specific, medical-grade recovery garments or bras.
- Avoid heavy lifting or repetitive, strenuous activities like you’d encounter doing cleaning, etc.
- Thoroughly dry off after bathing, including bends in joints and other folds in your skin, or hard-to-reach spots; consider using your blow dryer on gentle, warm air to help with this. Use two towels.
- Avoid involving affected arm in actions like injections, taking of blood pressure, etc.
In short: TAKE IT EASY on yourself, but most especially, your affected arm!