The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do which will help you to manage your lymphoedema successfully while at work.
Ask your employer for help making sure that your workstation is set up well for you. Make sure that your chair, desk and screens are at the right height to prevent any strain on your upper body. If you have lower limb lymphoedema, a footstool will allow you to keep your leg elevated while you work.
Sitting down all day is bad news for everyone, and if you have lymphoedema then it is even more important that you stay active throughout the day. Set an alarm and take a short walk every hour – whether you walk around the block, around the office or just to the kettle, it will help to get your lymph flowing. If sitting down is a problem for you, talk to your employer about the options for a sit-stand desk which would allow you to stand to work for some or all of the day. Finally, there are lots of exercises that you can do while seated at your desk. For example, our gentle foot exercises are designed to get the lymph flowing while you are sitting down.
It’s easy to forget to drink enough when you are engrossed in work. Drink plenty of water - perhaps you could build this into your regular walks.
If your job requires you to be on your feet a lot, make sure you have got access to a chair or stool to sit down when you need to.
Some flexibility in how and where you work could make a huge difference. Talk to your employer about options for flexible hours and remote working, or for a laptop to allow you to move around and work where you are most comfortable.
Cuts and injury
Try to avoid activities which could put you at risk of cuts or injuries. Talk about these with your employer, as they might need you to help them identify which these are. If they are unavoidable, make sure you have protective gear such as gloves or sleeves.
Wear your compression
It’s important to wear your compression when you are working. If you are worried about explaining it to your colleagues, particularly in a new job.
Since everyone’s lymphoedema journey is different, it makes good sense to talk to your lymphoedema therapist to discuss the best way to make your working day comfortable and safe for your own personal needs.
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Claudia Lymphoedema patient