Lymphedema & Sheltering at Home
Are you wearing your lymphedema compression garments? I hope so, even if no one’s watching! Even if you are stuck in the house for days and days during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many states to adopt shelter-in-place mandates. We all can get lazy not going out of the house for days. We may stay in our pj’s all day, not wear makeup or style our hair. However, we should not become lazy about our compression garments and the care of our lymphedema. We all want to stay away from the hospital now, so we don’t need any flare-ups of Cellulitis or open wounds.
The other day, a gentleman called to reorder his FarrowWrap Classic garments. He was so happy with this product and claimed it was a miracle worker. “Not once did he have to go to the hospital this year for his legs!” he claimed. He attributed this to the use of his compression garments. “They work,” he said! Compression does work, especially if you have a high-quality wrap garment. During this time of self-sheltering, we must be especially mindful of wearing our compression garments.
I know some of the lymphedema clinics are still open at this time, but many of them are not or are working with limited schedules, so we must do what we can at home. Are you doing your self MLD (manual lymph drainage)? Do you have a lymphedema pump, and if so, are you using it?
Here are some self-MLD YouTube videos that might benefit you while we wait for everything to reopen. (Provided by Klose Training)
What about bandaging? If you have a flare-up, are you self-bandaging? Below are a couple of YouTube videos showing how to self-bandage. (Provided by MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Alternatives To Wrapping
If you have a nighttime chip-foam garment such as the Sigvaris ChipSleeve, L&R Tribute Wrap, or Caresia, you can use these instead of bandaging. You can also use any wrap garment, including the Juzo Compression Wrap or the Medi JuxtaFit compression garments, as a nighttime garment instead of bandaging. It’s nice to have different compression garments for other times and situations – more aggressive compression for flare-ups and treatment phases, and ter compression garments for daily use and better lymphedema days.
Sheltering at Home with Lymphedema
Are you “moving that lymph?” Are you exercising? Although we are in a state of home sheltering, can you get out for a walk? The fresh air and sunshine will surely do you good, too. If you cannot get out, can you do some mild yoga at home? Yoga is a gentle, effective way to move lymph. If all else fails, you can rock in a rocking chair, or if no chair is available, pump your ankles up and down – movement moves lymph! Even deep diaphragmatic breath will help to move that lymph!
Just a few other reminders to keep your lymph system healthy during this time of self-sheltering:
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear loose, non-restrictive clothing
- Be careful not to wear tight, restrictive jewelry
- Wash your compression gloves regularly, as well as your compression garments
Sheltering at home can be difficult for all of us, especially those dealing with Lymphedema. Take the time to take care of yourself. Stay healthy and be safe, my friends!
Disclaimer – This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, the information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice – always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.