Taking the Time to Care for Your Lymphedema

caring for yourself when you have lymphedema

All too often when I am talking to my patients I find that they are playing second fiddle to their families. They often deny themselves the care that they need in order to take care of others. The results are often that their problems worsen to the point that they are forced to stop and reassess their lives and deal with a health emergency that need not have occurred. In the end to be able to take care of others you must take care of yourself first.

Be pro-active by following these tips:

 

  • Get help as soon as possible. Once you know what you are dealing with you will be able to mange it better.

  • Start treatment as soon as possible. Edema that is left untreated can quickly escalate into wounds and infections. Treatment results for people in early stages are much better.

  • Find out what resources are available for you. Check to find your local or national support group. Get involved.

  • Get educated in self care & treatment so that you have a sense of self reliance.

  • Ask for help if you need it. Don’t be afraid that you will be a burden. You would gladly help others wouldn't you?

  • Diet & exercise. I can’t say that enough. It will work miracles. Carrying a few less pounds will make your life a lot easier.

  • Watch for changes and take action immediately. Sudden changes in the condition of a limb may suggest a serious problem. Get advice right away.

  • Be realistic. You are not going to be good all of the time. Simply get back on track again. Increase the amount of self treatment if necessary or seek professional help.

  • Give yourself credit. You are probably a lot harder on yourself than you are on others.

  • Manage your stress. Stress can result in more damage to your system. Get advice about what changes you need to make to make your stress levels lower.

Life is good. Enjoy every day!

John Wellum, CPD

*Important: We are smarter than to try to practice medicine without a license! The information presented on this site is for informational purposes only. New medical information is available weekly - so check with your doctor and therapist before making any changes to your treatment!

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