I went in for a hysterectomy last week and i told the anethsatist (don’t know how to spell!) and nurses that i could not have needles or blood pressure done on/from my right arm. The anethsatist said yes i know because of the risk of lymphoedema. I woke up with a line in the back of both hands and puncture wounds in my foot and later got another line put in my chest for morphene. I was told that because my veins are so poor due to the chemo they had to go into my right hand (they gassed me before they put a line in). So when they eventually got a line in my left hand why did they leave one in my right hand, which was left in for 3 days, am i now at risk of lymphoedema. I feel angry as i feel that the staff have just ignored me.

Oh, Vodka, I can really understand your frustration! I developed lymphodema, even though I tried so hard to prevent it, but I have to use crutches all the time now, and I think this has contributed to it, as I have to weight bear so much on my arms. I have been in for several ops since my mastectomy, and in one hospital, it was a simple matter of telling them not to use my left arm, and they put a red band on with that instruction. However, the other hospital I have to ‘frequent’ is a different matter! Every time I tell the nurse, who then tells me to tell the Dr, who then tells me to remind the anaesthetists…when I am in theatre, they all have hats on and I haven’t a clue who I have spoken to! So I hear myself repeating it like a parrot, ‘don’t use that arm, I have lymphodema’, then they just say, yes, I know you have already told me!!
Perhaps we ought to campaign for all hospitals to use the red band system, like they do if you have an allergy, because your situation just is not good enough.
I hope you are making a good recovery. Best wishes,

Hi Vodka,
Sorry about your experience, I recently had to have a ct scan and needed dye injected in first, they tried my foot but then I had to have in my surgery side as I already have prob on left side. I know it is abit late but, others might like to know that the Lymphoedema Support Network do hospital like arm bands so you can put them on and tells to avoid that arm, I have not used them, but as I have lymphodema in my left side very unusually as a result from the chemo, in my surgery side right breast and I am worried about getting it in my right arm to so I have just sent off for them incase I need.

Hope useful for someone
Take care all
Dawn x

Hi there

Dawn - what a pain for you - they really should be able to do better than that at the hospital.

I had a PET scan a little while ago and the nurse was great - told me she would try a baby’s cannula in my foot and it worked beautifully. They need to think outside the box a bit more…heating up feet in a bucket of warm water can also help, too.

Vodka - you have every right to be angry. Any anaesthetist worth his NHS pay and pension package should be able to cannulate you at the neck (my last op was done this way) and avoid your arms altogether. However, if your right hand/arm is still OK(?), it looks as tho’ you may have got away with it. Hope you are well on the mend now.

Jaxw - the LSN lymphoedema alert bracelets are good - I thoroughly recommend them to everyone here, not those who already have this pestilential condition. They should have them in stock in hospitals, I think. But why should it suddenly become your job as a patient, on the point of losing consciousness, to do their jobs for them, ie telling all and sundry in theatre that you have lymphoedema? Do they have trouble reading or something?

Back after 2 weeks away and ranting already…

X to all