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Lymphedema/Flu Shot Reminder

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2570
Joined: Jun 2008

Just a reminder - Protect yourself. If you are planning on getting a flu shot (or two), be sure and have it on the side that did not have lymph nodes removed. That goes for blood draws and blood pressure readings as well. xoxoxoxo Lynn

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

But I have a question.........what do women do who have had double mastectomy and lymph node removal from both sides?

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

I think you can get your shots in your hiney but blood draws, they may have to get it from your leg or sometimes they draw in from your feet if you are not a diabetic.

Thanks for the reminder.

Pat

outdoorgirl's picture
outdoorgirl
Posts: 1569
Joined: Apr 2009

do about a blood pressure reading though?
Sorry Pat...

tjhay's picture
tjhay
Posts: 655
Joined: Oct 2008

They can also take your blood pressure from your leg, I would check with you oncologist on the best way to procede
tj

jikaras
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2009

I had nodes removed from both sides. I had 17 total removed, 6 from left, 11 from right. My surgeon told me that all pressures, draws needed to be taken from my left side, as that's the side that had the least amount of nodes removed....

Jill

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Thank you for this reminder, Lynn. I've been surprised at how many nurses/phlebotomists move toward my affected arm, even seeing my lopsided chest. So, it is important not to rely on others to know not to do bp/blood draws/IV from that arm.

Someone posted about medical alert bracelets awhile back. I meant to go back to the post and follow up on getting a bracelet. Forgetting to protect that arm is a worry. Anyway, thanks for the timely reminder!

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

I wear a medical alert bracelet, that is really pretty, all the time (even in the shower). They sometimes overlook it because it is so pretty, but it actually reminds ME to tell them! Then I tell them to ask because not all medical alert bracelets are ugly. Just spreading the word one person at a time is fine by me!
Moopy, I got mine at Lauren's hope.com where you can create your own bracelet and engrave anything you want. Pammy

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Lauren's hope.com--thanks, Pammy. I appreciate the time saved hunting for the thread. I like the idea of creating my own bracelet. A free one attached to my purse/or keychain is a good idea, too.

I've been thinking I should get a compression sleeve. Wearing one to appts. and for labs and shots would definitely save my arm. This year, there are 3 flu shots! If you were going to forget for the shots, Lynn, last year was the time.

Moops

p.s. Awwww Pammy, what a sweet new avatar. Love the heart-shaped spot.

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2570
Joined: Jun 2008

Last year at flu shot time I was still in treatment. I had never had a flu shot before. I thought I'd give it a whirl. So I was chatting away to the nurse (a personal friend) about treatment, our gardens, latest favorite book/movie, etc. as I rolled up my sleeve...feeling so proud about taking charge of myself...trying to ignore the fact that it was probably going to hurt... It was only post-shot that I realized that I had rolled up my LEFT (bc side) sleeve. Duh (slap my forehead).

Earlier this year, I ordered one of those free bracelets - definitely NOT my style for everyday wear. I did attach one to my purse, so it's with me all the time. I wear my lymphedema sleeve to all appointments now - then I remember for sure!

One of these days I'll order a bracelet - so thanks for the web site, Pammy. Maybe I'll ask for one for Christmas.

Like you, Moopy , it seems like medical staff gravitate to my left side for bp, blood draws, etc.

I had a bilateral mastectomy, but the right side was prophylactic, and no lymph nodes were removed on that side. If you have had lymph nodes removed from both sides, then you need to find an alternative.

xoxoxoxo Lynn

Akiss4me's picture
Akiss4me
Posts: 2192
Joined: May 2009

Lynn, the reason they gravitate to your left side is because EMT's, Paramedics, Nurses, etc. are taught to automatically take your pulse from your left wrist! (Hubby was a Paramedic). That is why I wear my alert bracelet on my left side. Then they have a chance to see it if ever I am not able to verbalize it. Pammy

aurora2009's picture
aurora2009
Posts: 545
Joined: Jun 2009

Has a nice one that I'm ordering for only $35.00, it's their only style but I like it.
I looked on many other web site and they can get really expensive. Just depends on what you Want i guess.

Thanks for the flu shot reminder!

Aurora

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2570
Joined: Jun 2008

Thanks for the info, Pammy. I didn't know that medical folks were taught to "go left." Is the pulse easier to find there? Lynn

elm3544's picture
elm3544
Posts: 745
Joined: Jul 2009

I found a heart shaped charm at the pink ribbon shop website. It is stainless steel and costs $14.95 and is already engraved to say, " Lymphedema risk this arm No needles or BP" it is on a lobster clasp so it can be attached to any bracelet. I put it on one of my awareness bracelets and I made a pretty silver and crystal bracelet with a magnetic clasp for it to go on. I also found some inexpensive ones while looking for something for my grandson's allergies. stickyj.com, pet id tags.com, medicalidstore.com are a few of the sites I found.

Katz77
Posts: 598
Joined: Sep 2009

Funny about medical personal gravitating to surg side, they go 4 mine and it's on the right. lol These include my chemo nurses!

rjjj's picture
rjjj
Posts: 1826
Joined: Jan 2009

Perfect timing for a reminder. just along that line i was wondering...do any of you get pnuemonia shots? I'm not sure about this one but they offer these where I work also.
Have a great day.
Jackie

m_azingrace
Posts: 399
Joined: Jul 2009

When I went in to have the chemo port implanted, I wrote "NO SHOTS NO BP" in bold letters up my left arm with a broad tip magic marker. The staff remarked about my "tatoos". Then, I guess because it would be in the way on my right arm, they put the BP cuff on my ankle.

I now have a medic alert bracelet...don't remember the website right now...but can find it if anyone wants to know. It's the plain jane variety...but I wanted it to be easily recognizable. Even so, I'm planning to do something for a "heads up" when getting shots, blood draws, and/or BP. The place I've gone for flu shots, they rush you through...and if I'm not prepared to offer the opposite arm, they'll shot it in before I can even speak. So this year I'll be ready for it.

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