March 6, 2019 is Lymphedema Awareness Day. Lymphedema is the swelling and inflammation caused by fluid buildup from damage to the lymph nodes. Although it often occurs in the arms and legs, it can happen anywhere in the body, after treatment from any type cancer.
Lymphoedema is rarely spoken about so its time to shine a light and bring it to everyone’s attention! Australian Lymphology Association is encouraging us to use our voice to raise awareness to Lymphoedema.Shelli developed Lymphoedema in both arms and legs. I have it in my right arm and constantly aware of protecting my left arm to not develop it there too. Can you imagine trying to shop for clothing when one arm is a lot larger than the other? Before you hit the fitting rooms you just slip your bad arm in the clothing and if it won’t fit it goes on the don’t bother pile. It’s frustrating.
Shelli’s friend Amanda Jessup wrote about her experience and put it into perfect perspective. I couldn’t have written it better myself!
There has been times, that I wanted to chop my arms off. Imagine someone pumping you so full of fluid that you can’t make a fist as it’s too painful. Then imagine that never draining away. My arms became so heavy that my shoulders & tendons are damaged. As I’m like a body builder without doing the training.
Physio treatment, compression sleeves are a daily & weekly part of my life. I can’t wear my wedding ring anymore, buying clothes I’m always thinking will my arms fit. Educating medical teams why they can’t take blood or blood pressure from my arms is tiring.
Worried about if holiday destinations have mozzies. Paranoid if I get a cut as the risk of infection is increased with Lymphoedema.
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