October 07, 2009

One month (plus) of lymphedema flare up

This lymphedema flare up seems particularly stubborn. Or maybe I just don't remember from last time. After 32 days, there is a lot of fluid in my hand, wrist and forearm, so much so that even without a glove or bandaging I am having trouble gripping things with my left hand.

This week I was unable to schedule an appointment with my PT, so I am back to bandaging as much as possible. That meant being wrapped from 8 AM yesterday to 7 AM today. I didn't see much change or improvement and can't be without the use of my hand for multiple days in a row. Today I am wearing the sleeve and glove in hopes of being able to accomplish some tasks. I will bandage again after dinner and stay that way overnight, then spend Thursday wrapped for another 20-22 hours. (Thursday is good since I don't have anything planned).

Of course, this back and forth with bandaging means I tend to overdo on the days I wear the sleeve and glove to make up for the fact that I am so limited in fine motor control when bandaged. That means today's tasks include ironing, maybe some garden work if the sun holds out, and being able to cook dinner.

Last night I was so frustrated after spending the entire day bandaged that we had to go out for dinner. It was yummy Thai food, but still! My frustration level grows by leaps and bounds with every additional day of dealing with this lymphedema flare up.


  1. Jill, I'd like to contact you about contributing to a new online magazine on the topic of breast cancer. Please email me at publisher "at" menforacausemagazine "dot" com.

    Cassi Clausen

  2. You know, I've come to the conclusion that you can deal with nearly anything for a while. It is just when the thing drags on and on and on that it starts to pull your spirit down. A month is a long time to be dealing with a compromised arm. It would try anyone's patience.