Well, it seems to me only if the problem goes away when you take your sleeve off, then the sleeve is the logical first reason to consider as the cause of it.
I think you said a couple of posts up that your arm had recently got bigger, so perhaps your current sleeve has just crossed the boundary between a good fit and too tight?
Anyway, I think you've made an excellent decision to consult the expert, Prof Mortimer - do you have to pay to see him? Hope not.
All the best for now,
The lympho nurse seems convinced that it is not to do with the sleeve as I have had the same size for 6 months and the problem is only a recent one. I can see her point but I'm not convinced! Anyway, I am going to go back and see Prof Mortimer and see what he thinks as he's the expert!
Aha! If your skin look normal when you don't wear the sleeve, it looks as if the sleeve could well be the problem, doesn't it? Too tight, would you say?
I think you need to push for a new sleeve if your existing one is too tight, as it could damage the fine surface lymphatics which help to carry the lymphatic load (and which are supposed to be helped to do so when stimulated by self-massage.
Has your lymphoedema nurse ordered a new sleeve for you?
Thanks Bahons2. Wise words as always. The more I think about it, the more I think that it must be something to do with the sleeve being too tight as the colour is fine when I am not wearing it. I shall continue to monitor the situation!
Bit of puzzler, as you say. Sorry to hear you arm has got bigger.
Many moons ago, when I only wore a sleeve on one arm, I seem to remember my hands appeared to be different colours. I put it down to one arm always being warmer than the other.
A few questions come to mind...
Did she mention cellulitis to you? (Does you lymphoedema arm feel warmer than the other one?)
Is your sleeve quite coarse and scratchy? (That could irritate your skin)
Is it really a good fit? (Not so tight at the top that your arm can't drain, or so loose than there is not enough compression)
Does it need replacing? (Have you had it more than 6 months?)
How does your arm feel generally? (Have you been doing any new activities or stopped an existing one?)
The above are just stray thoughts on factors that might be affecting your arm.
I think if you are not happy with the way your lymphoedema is going in the next couple of weeks, you should try to get to see your oncologist sooner.
Here's my latest development! I had my lympho check up yesterday and pointed out to the nurse that I was a bit worried because my hand on my affected side changes colour when I have my sleeve on. The fingers go red and, in fact, when she took the sleeve off, my whole arm was slightly redder and motled. At first she suggested I may need a glove but then we reckoned that my fingers weren't actually swollen. It was just the colour that was a worry.
Has anyone else had this? She thought it may be due to my circulation/radiotherapy affecting or thickening the vessels. My arm has also got bigger again after going down steadily for a year. She has told me to come back in two months and if things haven't improved, she will refer me back to my oncololgist for further investigations. My 'good' arm had, rather wierdly, got smaller!
All in all, not a great check up! Any suggestions welcome.