To continue March’s Lymphedema Awareness Month, I’m discussing 4 lesser-known education topics that our patients need to be successful with their treatment & management of lymphedema.
Through school, continuing education courses, & CLT courses, we learn various education topics that are critical to impart upon patients as they embark upon their lymphedema journey. While I learned the bulk of what I encounter on a day to day basis through my CLT learning, I’ve picked up a few tidbits that I for sure need to address with my patients to make them as successful as possible in learning to manage their lymphedema.
- We all know that skin care is important, but are you addressing nail care for your patients getting manicures & pedicures? It’s crucial that nail salon technicians open clean, new tools in front of you to make sure that you are indeed getting clean, new tools. Also, no trimming or cutting of cuticles. Just no.
- Encourage your patients who have diabetes to avoid testing their blood sugar on their limb with lymphedema. Not only can this cause leaking of lymphatic fluid, but can open up opportunity for infection to invade! Bonus bad thing: hardening of tissue after years of testing the same areas.
- On the road again? In my experience, patients may experience an increase in swelling on long car trips, even without a significant change in elevation. Make sure they at least bring compression to use in case of an exacerbation.
- You may have lymphedema, but lymphedema does not have you. Patients who have lymphedema can still have full, fun, fulfilling lives, not limited by their lymphedema. Sure, they may have to get creative with some activities, but that doesn’t mean they have to stop living their life, simply because they have lymphedema.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE lymphedema measurement sheets, lymphedema education sheets, & walking HEP on my resources page at www.theoncopt.com!
3:12 Manis & Pedis & Lymphedema
7:20 Not gonna let it diabeat-us
11:11 Road trip!
13:18 “You might have lymphedema, but lymphedema does not have you.”