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Some examples of adapting to life

Let’s look at some examples of adapting to life with lymphedema.

At work – talk openly with your employer about adapting your tasks or breaks to your new needs or limitations.

You need to wear compression – You could opt for a compression garment in a color you like, or with a fashionable print. No choice but to wear leg bandages? Treat yourself to the latest palazzo pants.

For your daily self-massage – do it while listening to a TV series that captivates you.

For skin care – apply an unscented lotion to your affected limb and a luxurious cream to the rest of your body.

Don’t restrict your social life – Friends invite you to play a sport when it’s hot and humid? Accept and participate to your level or, better still, reinforce your bandages and play to your heart’s content.

You can’t afford to continue the maintenance phase of decongestive therapy – Talk openly to your therapist, expressing your interest in following his or her teachings in self-management. Take part in pool activities where the natural compression of the water combined with movement will provide effective drainage.

Trust yourself. Dare to try! Occasionally, the benefits of a little folly are worth the temporary inconvenience. Feel like hanging out with friends on a sunny terrace, even though the heat is aggravating your swelling? Give yourself permission and enjoy these pleasant moments, even if it means spending the evening in air-conditioning.

Over time, you’ll learn more about lymphedema, what makes you feel good and what motivates you.

© Association québécoise du lymphœdème.

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