Ok so today is day one with my “arm girdle” also known as the compression garment and hand gauntlet. I have had it on for about 3 hours now and my fingers look like Eddie Murphy’s in the Nutty Professor. My whole hand is swollen, I have to take my wedding ring off and I am not crazy about it. When it is not there I find myself rubbing where it is supposed to be. I know it is silly I can just wear it on my other hand but I like it where it is.
Lymphedema is one of those side effects that a lot of people do not think about when it comes to cancer however it is a big problem. My lymphedema specialist Tiffany says that no matter what I did it was going to be inevitable that I developed it. She says that it is very hard not to over use an affected limb; you are bound to get a cut, fall on it or just sleep on that side too much. Like I have said previously I have tried very hard over the last 6 years not to get any cuts on it, I have given up getting manicures, been super careful not to get cuts or hurt that arm and still here I am with the lymphedema sleeve.
The bad part of the lymphedema diagnosis is that there is no cure for it. Once you get the diagnosis you always will have to be going through treatments. Hopefully in six months I will be able to switch to only wearing it now and then but for now it is during all waking hours. I tend to sleep on my side so I have a feeling I may need to get a night time sleeve. I am not sure what that will be but I am really not looking forward to it.