• 27 OCT 14
    • 0

    Traveling Safely with Lymphedema

    Halloween is almost here! Which means the winter holidays are right around the corner.  If you are planning on traveling this holiday season and you have lymphedema, here are a few things to consider so you can be well prepared. Remember you are not living for lymphedema; you are living with lymphedema so take time to enjoy life with a few precautions in mind.

    If you are traveling by airplane and you have lymphedema:

    1. Wear compression

    • Compression includes compression sleeve with gauntlet/glove, compression stockings, and/or compression bandages

    • Wearing compression during air travel ensures you will not swell during the flight

    • Leave the compression garment on for two hours AFTER you land to allow your body adequate time to adjust from all the climate and pressure changes.

    • Wear well fitting shoes that you can wear for the duration of the trip to reduce the risk of any swelling at your feet.

    2. Exercise
    • Take a lap around the plane

    • Ask for an aisle seat when purchasing your ticket so you can easily get up and walk around the plane without disturbing your neighbors

    • On particularly long flights, keep your limbs moving to promote circulation and blood flow.

    3. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

    4. Invest in a rolling suitcase to pull rather than carrying a bag on your shoulder to reduce shoulder pain and overuse.

    If you are driving for more than two hours

    1. Wear compression (see above)

    2. Drive with a friend so you can take a break from driving

    If you are taking a bus/train

    1. Keep your limbs moving to promote circulation and blood flow

    2. Get a seat on the aisle to allow room to stretch those limbs and easy access to the restrooms.

    General precautions

    1. Bring an emergency first aid kit containing Band-Aids, Neosporin, Bacitracin or any other anti-bacterial ointment in case of any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds.

    2. Know the signs of cellulitis: redness, pain, and increased swelling. If you experience these symptoms, please contact your Doctor or go the nearest emergency room.

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