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olyclimber

lymphodemia

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anyone here live/climb with this in their arm? after my infection, i'm apparently left with permanent damage to the lymph system in my left arm, which will flare up with excessive exercise. i have no idea what this is really going to mean.

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From what I'm reading in the online medical lit, there isn't a standard treatment for chronic lymphedema. In addition to Layton's suggestion of drainage massage, there's a procedure called Sequential Gradient Pump Therapy, and also compression, "therapeutic exercise," and topical treatments.

 

Not sure if you've seen the following, but for anything health-related, I typically go to Medline first.

 

Medline search: http://search.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/query?MAX=500&SERVER1=server1&SERVER2=server2&PARAMETER=lymphedema&DISAMBIGUATION=true&FUNCTION=search&x=101&y=7

 

Vascular Web: http://www.vascularweb.org/_CONTRIBUTION_PAGES/Patient_Information/NorthPoint/Lymphedema.html

 

Even Wikipedia has some good lay info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lymphedema

 

Good luck with it all, Oly.

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My wife has been doing the lymph drianage work for years and it really does work. She could also show you how to do some self treatment, or you can learn this at the Northwest Lymphedema Center in Kent (I serve on their board). My understanding is the pumps are less desireable, but there are compressive garments that can control the swelling.

 

From the perspective of the people I know, chronic lymphedema is distressingly under-understood among the medical community and it may be difficult to get insurance coverage for the response that would be most beneficial.

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there are support socks for the legs/calfs, so maybe there's something for your arm?

 

There are muscle stim units that can be sent to pump mode, as well as ultrasound...but I don't see what the point would be if it happened post climbing, you're not gonna drag around a bunch of equipment like that to the crag!

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yeah, i'm wearing a compress with pressure points to get rid of the fluid that is causing the swelling in my arm (which is now probably less than 1/2 the size is was in the hospital). i don't actually know how much damage I have to my lymph system in my arm at this point...but every doctor has told me that I will have permanent damage. Hopefully it won't be so bad as to really impact my climbing.

 

There is a compress that you can wear on your arm...I don't know at this point if I'll need it. Hopefully not. And hopefully I won't have to become a cyborg just to keep my arm from ballooning up.

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My beautiful physical therapist told me she asked around the clinic (and they treat a lot of lymphodemia there using that massage technique that Mike mentions) and my case SHOULD NOT be permanent. :moondance: Also, another week or two and I can start doing to strength building exercises. The cellulis has been clearing out of my arm pretty quickly. :rawk:

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it was unknown...a bacterial infection. they swabbed some staph out of my nose, but were unable to get anything to grow from samples taken from my arm.

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