Unfortunately, traveling can put a real strain on our lymphedema. Here are some tips to help!
1. The number one way to keep a handle on your lymphedema while traveling is to wear compression garments. I feel way more relaxed traveling in mySolidea Active Massage compression garments because I know I'm helping my body move any excess fluid that traveling may cause.
2. If you have lymphedema in your arm, be sure to wear compression that covers your hands, like a gauntlet. If you have lymphedema in your leg, make sure to wear compression that covers your feet, like socks, even if you don't typically wear these types of garments. Fluid will always take the path of least resistance and if they're not protected, this is where fluid tends to go.
3. Take deep belly breaths to help keep your lymph system moving.
4. Drink water and stay hydrated.
5. Sitting in one spot for too long can increase your swelling.* If you’re flying or traveling by train or bus, take a few bathroom breaks (even if you don’t have to go). If you’re driving, hit a couple of rest stops on the way so you can get out and move around
*When you travel, it’s common for feet to swell. If you are at risk for this, don't take your shoes off because the increased swelling could make it very difficult to put them back on. Another option is to wear adjustable shoes so if your feet swell, you can adjust your shoes to fit.
6. Even in cramped spaces remember to move around. Stretch your arms above your head and side to side, wiggle your fingers and toes, rotate your wrists, do lower leg lifts, etc.
7. Avoid carrying heavy bags as much as possible. Use a cart if you're a big packer. Remember, if you have lymphedema in your arm, don't carry your bags by the shoulder straps on that side. Cutting off and constricting lymph vessels in the already compromised area is a recipe for increased swelling.
8. Keep anything important for managing your lymphedema with you or in your carry-on. You should be able to access your compression garments, moisturizer and supplies (including a small first aid kit for any accidental cuts) at all times.
9. Keep a list of emergency contacts, medications and your doctor's information so you’re ready for anything that comes your way.