Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lymphedema Awareness Day

Yesterday was Lymphedema Awareness Day.

What Is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and/or leg(s), and occasionally in other parts of the body. Lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (primary), or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed (secondary). Mine is secondary tothe lymph nodes having been removed.

When the impairment becomes so great that the lymphatic fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein-rich fluid collects in the tissues of the affected area. Left untreated, this stagnant, protein-rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size and number, but also reduces oxygen availability in the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in lymphangitis (infection).

I wear compression 24/7 and have daily lymphatic drainage massages. I've switched to loom knitting lefty. It is slow and limiting but I still can play with yarn.

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