Why Lymphedema Patients Are Often Angry At First Treatment, Lymphedema Therapist Explains

Uploaded by Lymphconnect on 30.05.2012

>>> Andrea Brennan, OTR/L, CLT-LANA, DAPWCA: Patients report to me that they are angry
that they have this condition. No one told them that they would have this type of life-long
problem. They have gone through the cancer. They are surviving the cancer. They have lost
their hair. Their hair grew back – it’s done.
They have lost their eyebrows. Their eyebrows grew back – it’s done. But now, they have
the swollen arm, and it is not done and it would not be done, and they have to manage
it. You bet they are angry. “Why did not anybody tell me that this might happen?”
So when I greet them in treatment, I have to use ‘therapeutic use of self’, a modality
that I use my personality and my beliefs and values to try to communicate with this individual
to say ‘I know you are angry. I am not going to pooh-pooh that, but we need to move forward
and I am going to now show you how to manage it’, and let go off some of that anger,
and it makes a big difference that now somebody in the healthcare profession is now acknowledging
that this condition is existing and that they are going to learn how to take care of it.