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Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

16 REPLIES 16
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi,

 

Not sure if anyone could help, my wife is currently suffering from Lymphedema, so the swelling in her left arm is pretty bad, she has a standard glove which does not do a great deal we were wondering if we were to pay if there is some kind of advanced glove that can be brought?

 

Any help be grateful.

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

The info about the gauntlet gardening gloves is really very helpful. I do a lot of gardening and am constantly worried about scratches/bites on my 'at risk arm', also the info about antiseptic wipes.When I go out to garden I have wipes and Savlon lined up in the kitchen,'just in case'. My GP readily prescribed a 2wk supply of a-bs I take these away on holiday too, again just in case. Although she is extremely reticent to prescribe my AI s or refer me for a DEXA scan Happy gardening whilst the sun shines x
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Glad youve all had a look at the bionic gloves, I got a medium and they fit'like a glove' ! I have small hands and glad I got the medium. Love em and im sure they will last a long time. I never thought about wearing my compression sleeve but that would protect even further up arm so may try that when picking my blackberries! Havent worn it since getting it from hosp the other week as arm isnt swollen but it aches a lot at the moment but its too hot to try it out! 

I too do most of the gardening apart from grass and hedge cutting but hubby is trying to keep me away from the roses as he knows I will prick myself....like I always manage to burn the affected hand/arm when cooking!..never the good arm!

Jo1
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi all, this is definitely busier than the lymphodema thread LuckyLass! Thanks for the tip about gloves, Bumblebee, as I'm also looking for a suitable pair; they look lovely and maybe I'll need to get used to wearing long gloves - I feel a bit stifled wearing any longer than wrist length, and the thought of them in this heat is awful! But health is the main thing, and my physio really stressed doing whatever is necessary to avoid lymphodema.

 

For years I bought some canvas and rubber ones, but can't find them nowadays, and my latest ones, bought after a long search, have let rose thorns through and I've already had a couple in my 'non-lymph glands' hand despite taking care - I'm the main gardener in the family, apart from my husband doing the lawns and hedges.

 

Since my physio stressed taking great care, I've arranged to speak to my GP early next week about having a prescription for antibiotics so I can have some at home permanently. Our GPs are very caring and forward looking, and my latest one has even ring us up after worrying problems. She's my 3rd GP since December, as mine retired, the next one I chose went off on maternity leave so I'm hoping this one won't be jinxed by me. Even the physiotherapist who I saw for the first time this week is going on maternity leave after I see her again next week!

 

The individually wrapped, small alcowipes recommended by my physio are a good idea; she suggested getting a pack and keeping a couple in handbags etc in case of scratches or grazes so the wound can then be cleaned immediately to lessen the risk of infection. Our local pharmacy ordered me a box of 100 for £3.34, arrived the following day and are now to be found in handbags, suitcases, first aid boxes and cars.

 

Interesting about deer-proof plants - we no longer have a problem as we now live in a different area, but I used to curse the beautiful creatures every year when they ate the new growth on my rose bushes, sweetcorn etc!

 

I'm not feeling strong enough to do much gardening yet, still not managing much walking come to that, and had a fall in the garden this week when trying to help my husband whiel he cut a hedge, but I'm doing small amounts in the shade - it's been at 30C this week, but next week the temps look better for gardening in.

 

Jo x

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi JennyfromWales, pleased you could get things under control. Do you have to buy your Dermol lotion/cream, or is it prescribed? I guess your skin is naturally quite dry to need Dermol twice a day.

 

It is interesting to see how many here have antibiotics at home - I hope I can get my GP to let me do that.

 

LuckyLass

 

Highlighted
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi,

I use gloves, and avoid roses and pulling up weeds, have antibiotics at home, but do not spray insect repellent on the affected arm! I always wear a compression sleeve when gardening and that is protective too. After a couple of infections I was prescribed a prophylactic antibiotic for a year and it has worked. I also swim for an hour in a local pool each morning and my arm is back to its normal size AND I can wear my wedding ring after several years. I use dermol twice a day to keep skin moisturised and it is antimicrobial. Hope this helps.

 

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Thank you BBee, those look lovely - how long have you been using them? I have just ordered a pair of leather gauntlets through an eBay shop for £10 (give or take 2p) which I shall try out - and drop some hints  in relevant quarters about getting me Bionic gloves for Christmas!

 

LuckyLass

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

I got some fab gardening gloves from amazon which reach the elbow. Threy are snug fitting goatskin leather and you can feel and grip really well. They are expensive but I love them as I was always getting forearm scratched. They are called ladies gardening gloves, rose, by bionic £24.99. Burgundy and cream in colour. Tried to post link but couldn't! 

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Helen, I would like to do that, but I am not sure the partners at my surgery will do it. I am hoping they suggest it in their reply to my letter (assuming I get one).

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

[Taken to private message, since deer proof plants haven't got a lot to do with BC!]

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi, I got the antibiotics just in case....haven't had to use them Helen
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi again,

We have deer too. Any tips for deer proof plants?
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Thank you for the recommendation for gloves, Helen.

 

Good reminder on insect bites - as we have deer coming into the garden, I tend to be careful anyway, as deer carry ticks.

 

I may be worrying too much about getting through to a GP to get antibiotics - living on my own, I am into prevention of problems that might not concern me so much if I was living with someone.

 

LuckyLass

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Hi LuckyLass, I had a Mx with LD recon and SLNB exactly a year ago and developed lymphoedema a few weeks later. Thankfully it seemed to be a temporary post op blockage and went away in March but I am very aware it may return at any time. I use a gauntlet glove by Town and Country, they go more than 1/2 way up my forearm and are made of a good soft but thick leather. I have used them for a few years with no problems. I saw your post in the other section where you mentioned antibiotics. I got a phone appt with my GP and after explaining what I needed he was only too glad to give me a course. I am also quite aware of insect bites and use a jungle strength repellent on my arm. Maybe overkill but I've been bitten in other places but not there.
Hope you find your gloves. Helen xx
Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

Thanks for the reply.

 

On a gardening newsgroup which I read, I have seen welders' gauntlets recommended as an inexpensive solution for the really nasty thorny jobs, but I think they are quite chunky leather with a lining.

Member

Re: Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

I bought a good quality thick leather pair of gardening gloves, but as you say it makes it hard to do some things. So I often only use the one on my affected arm, and leave the other hand free.

I haven't see any arm length ones, but I do wear a compression sleeve which gives some protection, and a thick coat or fleece if an am doing something particularly likely to cause scratches.
Member

Lymphoedema prevention for gardeners - advice?

I first posted this a couple of days ago in the 'Lymphoedema' section, but it is very quiet there at the moment, so i hope you don't mind me posting it here.

 

In particular, can you recommend gardening gloves? I am in the early stages of the 'beat the BC' process, having had a WLE and SNB just over 2 weeks ago, will see oncologist in August about chemo. Unfortunately, it is my dominant arm which is affected - I have a large garden and am very concerned about how I will cope with it (I am on my own). I am already in the habit of covering up, not being out in the hottest part of the day, and wearing gloves for most jobs, but have occasionally (pre-treatment) had thorn pricks through gloves, or scratches, which in the past were not a concern, but I must be even more careful now.

 

As you know gardening gloves must not let thorns through, but need to be thin enough to be able to grasp a small weed/plant effectively. Also, as I am likely to be reaching past thorny things, they need to have a long cuff to protect the wrist below the sleeve.

 

Any other useful gardening experience would be very welcome.