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    Pat - Sadblossom, need more advice.
    1fernehall posted:
    Hi Pat: You helped me out about a year ago with lymphedemia, how to take care, etc. Well, I'm seeking any further advice you may be able to give me (all advice is welcome from everyone). I've been moving and my armpit, breast and arm are all aching quiet a bit. There's some pockets of swelling in the arm pit. Since I am moving, I can't see my normal Dr. and I don't know any here. Chatted with Rachael on the F to F and I know I need to see Dr. soon. But in the interim, I was hoping you might have some insight as to how to deal with this (just common sense stufff). Do ya think the packing, etc. caused the fluids to quit moving and need to do the massages more often? Oh, I don't know!! Just perplexed and uncomfortable. Help, if you can. Thanks, Fern
    sadblossom responded:
    Hello Fern,
    Oh sweety I am sooooo sorry you are dealing with this again. OUCH!!! I can so relate to that amd I know how awful this is!
    The fluid builds up from improper grainage from wahtever reason, mine was because I had 8 nodes removed and no drainage tube because teh surgeon thought she only took 4, so all that fluid could not move on thru and had no place to 'drain out' and resulted in an seroma. That is the swelling in the arm pit. The first one I had was very very obvious and was surgically drained..........the second one was much much larger and because it was not as visible as the first one it was thought that teh fluid would go ahead and move on out but tehre was to much fluid hidden there to move on out. It wound up rupturing open my node incision which was like child birth under my arm....MAJOR MAJOR OUCH!!! I was in tears.........once it ruptured the healed over incision the pain eased up somewhat.BUT.......I was at that time undergoing radiation so they could do nothing but let it drain. It took 3 weeks to completely drain out. I had to wear pads under my arm to catch the awful fluid. The dr's told me about 1 in a 100 do that. Go figure.
    Now I know exactly how much pain you are in so I advise not put this off, there is nothing you can do to rid this fluid if it has pooled up enough to make a visible swollen 'lime size ball' under your arm. Especially if you have been moving your arm as normal as you can.That is what makes it move on out and I did not do that, I wasn't told. Anyway, warm compresses might help but I am guessing by now you will need help in getting it draining. Having it surgically drained is done by a surgical syringe that is inserted and draws the fluid out and after this is done a few times it can be pressed out by hand until the fluid is gone. If movement is not moving the fluid you will need this procedure so it will not rupture. It has to go somewhere and you DO NOT want it to rupture. If nothing else
    go to ER and they can surely take care of this. Once my seromas became full blown there was nothing I could do to help the pain until they drained.
    Fern, may I ask why you are in this situation now? What did I miss? Is this from your previous surgery or did you have to have another surgery or an after affect fromt he first one?? Anything any time can set this off. Do keep the arm moving tho. Even exercise by pushing up against the wall in and out and also lift a can of pork n beans in each hand over your head.
    Please let me know what you do, I will worry now as I know exactly how awful this is for you.I hope this helps you some.Please do not wait to long to go in.
    Please Please stay in touch.
    1fernehall replied to sadblossom's response:
    Hi Pat: Glad to get in touch with you. Your question about how this has came about at this time - I'd been having problems with the lymphedemia since the beginning. Even though I've been out of treatment for over a year, the lymph junk just won't go away. I did end up with a breast specialist because the onco dr. didn't diagnose it until after the specialist; then onto therapy from there. It's never really gotten "well"; just was bothering me less. Because I was packing to move, it seemed to me that overuse of the arm has brought this new situation up. I don't know for sure, just guessing.
    I'll be trying the warm compresses today. Thanks for the tip. Even going to do more massage therapy; don't relish the idea of having it surgically drained, but if worse comes to worse, I will.
    Thanks again, Pat, you've been a blessing. I'll keep you posted when a Dr. gets involved, etc. Blessings, Fern
    sadblossom replied to 1fernehall's response:
    Fern, they numbed the area before they surgically drained it so the actual draining on that one did not hurt me.They used carbocaine 3% on me.
    I can see now how this flare up came about. I am really sorry you have had to deal with this so long. I still myself take notice from time to time to make sure my own fluids are not building up again.I think once it happens to you, you keep an eye open for it. Even tho my doctors argued teh point I could actually 'feel' the fluids moving from the breast to the arm pit at that time. It felt like a cool stream of liquid running from the side of my breast to under my am. I could even track it for them. My doctors said that would be impossible but it was not. And once the fluids pooled up into a seroma I could not get tehm to move thru on my own.Once drained I did keep them moving tho and still do. So, listen to your body and give the symptoms the respect they deserve.
    On things such as this you will be the one to know. Sorry I had no better answers for you.I have just continued to use my arm even tho it was uncomfortable. But I can also understand how overuse could be a problem too.I try not to overuse that arm but just keep things 'normal'. And packing and moving is not quite normal. That is WORK.
    Please stay in touch and I wish you a quick relief.

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