September 26, 2008

Lymphedema update

I went back to the physical therapist today after bandaging for about two weeks. During this visit she measured both my arms' circumferences before giving me the manual lymphatic drainage. The difference between my right arm and left arm (the affected one) is about 1 centimeter. Some of this could be attributed to the fact that I am left-handed and my dominant arm and hand would normally be larger than the other. But it's likely that about 0.5 cm or more is due to edema.

My sleeve continues to feel uncomfortably tight by around 9 PM every night. I am still going to bandage at night and for some of this weekend. However, the swelling in my hand has gone down and I am again able to wear my wedding ring in it's usual place on the fourth finger of my left hand.

I have four more PT appointments over the next two weeks and hopefully by mid-October things will be down to normal so that I can order my winter sleeves. (I usually get two sleeves twice a year, as covered by my health insurance provider. Over the years I've found what works best: New sleeves in October to wear starting in November and throughout the winter, and again in May to wear during the warmer summer months when I am likely to have more edema due to the heat.)

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