Last week, FINALLY, after nearly four months, my pump arrived. One of the “prongs” of the three-pronged lymphedema treatment approach is the use of a compression pump – lymphatic drainage massage and wrapping are the other two prongs. After working with Ms. Lymph twice a week in January to bring my swelling down, she ordered my pump, and it took this long to get it through health insurance approvals. It was worth it though – it’s an expensive device and it seems to be pretty effective.
I now have it set up in the family room. There’s no good place for it. In the evening, after dinner, I get comfortable on the couch, and slide my right arm into the big blue compression sleeve. The device is calibrated to my needs, so all I have to do is press “start.” It runs for an hour, but Ms. Lymph told me that 45 minutes is probably enough. It’s my right arm, so for the last couple of nights I’ve paged through a magazine with my left hand, but eventually lethargy and/or frustration takes over and I zone out in front of the TV.
I’m expecting to use it once or twice a week in the long run. Right now I’m using it nightly (assuming I have 45-60 minutes to sit around doing nothing) to get my swelling back down to “normal.” It works pretty well, especially considering I still don’t have a solution yet for the swelling in my forearm.
And the kids have had fun with my pump. They each have slipped their arms into it and run it for the full hour. They seem to be much more patient about it than I am; but I assume the novelty will wear off soon!