If you have lymphedema, compression is 90% of the treatment.
During the day you wear the elastic sleeves and gloves, from companies like Juzo, Mediven, Jobst etc. For the night, it is possible to go without, depending on the severity of your condition, but in general it is better to have some compression. Not too much though, because you don’t want your arm to go numb, because as you are asleep you may end up with nerve damage. It can happen, believe me.
A kind of sleeve that is recommended for the night is called “Tribute”. It is made by a US company, called Solaris and it is quite expensive (~1,300$). It looks
like a pillow almost, very puffy and comfortable. It has double walls, filled with foam chips. It may be hot in the summer, but in winter it is fine. You may want to use a “jacket”, ie another elastic sleeve on top for extra pressure. Both are usually custom-made. I had to use private insurance, but I think the Ontario government ADP covers it now.
A Tribute sleeve covers the fingertips usually. Make sure you put it on after all bedtime rituals are over, because you cannot use your hand at all once you have it on. Hopefully, you will need only one sleeve, so that you can scratch your nose with the other hand…
How to put the Tribute sleeve on: Depending on how tight it is, it may be possible to fold it in half and pull.
But, I had trouble with folding the Tribute, mine was a bit stiff, so I designed a slider. The Tribute-slider is made out of the same slippery material as the sleeve- or sock-sliders. Since the front (ie fingertips) is closed, the basic design has to be like the sock-slider (look up “how to make your own slider”), just wider at the fingertips to be able to grab it with your hand. It has the same strap to pull it out with.
How to use the slider: You grab the “stirrup” end of the slider, wrap it around your arm and slide the sleeve over the slider, as shown in the video. Once the Tribute is on all the way to the armpit, you pull the strap to take the slider out. Then you pass the “jacket” on, the second elastic sleeve. I have made a “pleat” along its length to make it easier to grab, turn it if necessary and adjust it.
How to take the Tribute sleeve off: Again, if the sleeve is flexible enough, then you can just invert it and pull it off. But, it will be inside-out and you have to turn it right-side-in again to wear it the next night.
I am using a different trick, as shown in the video: I grab the fingertips of the Tribute with my knees and pull. It comes out easily and I don’t need to invert it for the next night either.
Leda, October 20, 2019