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.
• 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.
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.Leave a reply →