Nothing can be more frustrating for a lymphoedema patient than the knowledge that there is no cure for lymphoedema. In addition there is the frustration with daily bandaging, the constant need to protect your affected limb, and the emotional impact on your life.
It is important to know that you can control some aspects of lymphoedema.
To help you cope, try to:
- Find out all you can about lymphoedema. Knowing what lymphoedema is and what causes it helps you understand the signs and symptoms you experience. The more you know, the better you can communicate with your doctor or lympoedema therapist.
- Take special care of your affected limb. Do your best to prevent complications in your arm or leg. Clean your skin daily, looking over every inch of your affected limb for signs of trouble, such as cracks and cuts.
- Apply lotion to prevent dry skin.
- Take care of your whole body. Eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise daily, if you can. Reduce the stress in your life that you can control. Try to get enough sleep so that you wake up refreshed each morning. Taking care of your body gives you more energy, encourages healing and helps you control your lymphoedema.
- Get support from others with lymphoedema. Whether you attend support group meetings in your community or participate in online message boards and chat rooms, it helps to talk to people who understand what you’re going through. Your therapist may be able to put you into contact with lymphoedema support groups
If you feel frustrated or overwhelmed by lymphoedema, do not suffer in silence! Talk to your doctor or therapist about how you feel. He or she may be able to address your concerns.