Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's taken five weeks

Monday was five weeks since I stepped off a plane returning from Europe and that is how long it took for my arm to come back to normal. That is the problem of flying long distance with a limb at risk of/borderline lymphedema. And that is wearing a compression sleeve on the flight, for most of the trip, and much of the time since I have returned.
In contrast, my feet, which are not lymph-compromised, swelled for five days after my return. Last year I wore compression socks on my long-distance flights, and they didn't swell at all.
And admittedly, this year my arm swelling was worsened by the fact that I was ill and so unable to do lymph massage on arrival after my flights, both in Europe and here, and then again for weeks after the flights.
But still. Been awful. Always the fear it won't go down, the fear that I have lymphedema plus the damn irritation of wearing the sleeve, especially in a heat wave at the height of summer here, and so not being able to wear most of my clothes...
Be that as it may, I am super duper lucky. Love my arm for finally coming right. Now off to Lesotho for a few days, where it is likely to be even hotter than here and The Lymph Lady2, whom I have been seeing since The Lymph Lady has been away, plus recovering from an operation to first one and then the other of her arms and so cannot heal if she works now, says I must be careful of sitting in the sun. But then I always wear a hat and use sunblock which is permanently in my handbag (purse).
We are driving down to Lesotho tomorrow (I am flying back as have to be at work on Monday) and she said I should wear the sleeve for a car trip longer than four hours but have never heard of that and never had hassles before. Also been reading the The National Lymphedema Network  website for prevention tips and it doesn't mention anything re car trips.
But I will of course take my compression sleeve and, should my arm not feel ok, will consider wearing it.
So lazy today - guess the warm weather doesn't help that - but my friend is here from New York and that is not an everyday occurrence so gonna get outta my gym gear from this morning, get into the shower, get dressed and go off and meet her as the next time will be on Monday, the night before she leaves. (This sounds like I haven't been seeing her - have had a great time seeing her even though she is here because her elderly mom is ill.)
Happy festive season to you all!

2 comments:

  1. Gillian,

    Your hair looks fantastic. I love the new picture. What a shame that your arm reacts so badly to flying. I heard that new planes are going to have better pressurization so that should help sometime in the future. I wanted to ask why can't you do lymph massage when you are under the weather. This is not something that I have heard before. You have a lot more knowledge about lymphedema than I do. I know about the sunburn stuff and lots of other prohibited activities, but I ignore all of it. So far, so good...
    I will bet that the hot weather really is contributing to your swelling. It is about 20 degrees fahrenheit here and we are expecting about a foot of snow. Your weather sounds really nice right about now.

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  2. Hi Gillian -- just dropped in to wish you all the best, may your 2012 be the best year yet!!

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