Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lymphedema

Lymphedema. A complicated thing. It's basically fluid retention in a body part. Because of all the trauma to this one section of my body (trauma, meaning lymph node dissection surgery and radiation), I will be at risk for lymphedema in my upper left quadrant forever. So far, I've had only minor issues, but getting help to PREVENT lymphedema has been more complicated than it should be. However, through lots of phone calls and nagging, I've gotten a few physical therapy appointments. They are helping me loosen up my left shoulder's range of motion a bit, and also showing me how to handle the fluid retention. Basically I have one breast that is bigger than the other right now, and they say it will probably stay that way for quite a while because of the radiation. I was fitted for a compression sleeve that I will have to wear anytime I exercise or fly in an airplane for the rest of my life. It will help lower the risk of lymphedema during activities that can tend to bring it on. Hopefully I am staying on top of it.