How do you explain wrapping and/or sleeve to friends and others who ask what's wrong without giving them a medical lesson on lymphedema?

I had my arm wrapped last summer and the worst part was trying to answer people's questions about what I did to my arm. Most people don't know what lymphedema is and don't really care about my lymph system and what the wrapping and sleeve are for. I now will have my arm wrapped again this week and don't know now long it will take to get it back down again. Does anyone have a 10 words or less answer other than my husband beat me up? Thanks.

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  • If they are good friends or people who need to understand (like work managers) I give them a lesson, otherwise I just keep it brief and tell them I have a gammy arm. That usually stops them in their tracks.

  • I once made the mistake of trying to explain to a rather nosey car salesman, so of course we ended up on the subject of breast cancer, and he had the nerve to ask me how it felt to have a breast removed. Can you believe it?

  • I hope you had a good comeback. I would have asked him if he would like to know how it feels to have his balls removed--pardon the brashness, but he would deserve it.

  • If only! I was so gobsmacked I just muttered something and beat a hasty retreat. Next time...

  • My basic answer I give people is that my lymph nodes have packed up and the bandages/compression garment is to help with the swelling. Only very interested people ask further questions after that

  • If they ask I try to be brief like "I am going through something serious and don't want to discuss it but thanks for your concern"..most people including Dr's are not informed or understand it so why bother..

  • To nosey people I simply say that it's something to do with my muscles. If you want to make a joke you can say that it's for your varicose vein on your arm!!

  • To the kids I teach (who to be honest ask me far more often than any adults do) I just say that 'my arm and hand need support'. Quite a few of them are aware of their gran wearing (normal) support stockings and this seems to keep them from asking anything further.

  • Hand out one of L S N's wonderful information leaflets and ask them if they'd like to make a donation to this award winning and frequently life changing charity !

    We need to publicise this wretched condition if we hope to improve services and I certainly hold on to that hope.

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