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kwaitang
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Swollen legs and abdomen advice

Postby kwaitang » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:03 am

Hi. My husband has had swollen legs a couple of times that lasted just a couple of days. The doctors at the hospital offered no explanation as to why it was happening.
Anyway 3 days ago they swelled up agagin - worse than last time.
We went to see our GP and he says he thinks it is a circulation problem. Keith also has angina which makes him breathless with chest pain.
He recommended that we ask at the hospital tomorrow when Keith goes for his chemotherapy about have a blood transfusion. He says this is the best boost that Keith could have. I will let you know, if we can have it and if this works.
Arlene.

Jwilson
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Swollen legs and abdomen advice

Postby Jwilson » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:50 am

Pam. Hi. My husband always had legs like twiglets but they became very very swollen with fluid as did his feet. You need to keep all of the skin in really good condition by putting moisturising cream on every day. What you don't want is the skin to crack and split. Also Bill was given full leg tube type things to wear to help support his legs. We put lots of pillows under the sheet on the bed to elevate his legs. Just be very careful as all the swelling round the feet and legs might make your hubby unsteady. Get a rolator to help with waking and be very careful when using stairs. Bill fell down the stairs and that was awful. The legs can give way under you for no reason and you really need to be careful. Hope this helps
June

PCUK Nurse Dianne
Posts: 286
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Swollen legs and abdomen advice

Postby PCUK Nurse Dianne » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:50 pm

Hi Arlene,

It would be good to hear how you got on today with your husband's appointment. The swollen legs can occur for many reasons, it can be related to chemotherapy, Gemcitabine is known to cause leg swelling, and as mentioned the best way is to rest with them elevated when sitting. There are other reasons as well. Clots in the legs can also cause swelling of the leg, this is more recognisable if the patient is complaining of pain, tenderness or heat along the back of the lower leg, and needs an urgent review. Also, if the patient's kidneys are not functioning as well as normal, this 'dependant oedema' (meaning swelling in dependant areas) can occur. One good way to ascertain if it is increasing or decreasing is to weigh the patient on a daily basis if you have bathroom scales. Usually at the same time each day, ie when having a shower or bath in the morning is good, and make a note of it, a sudden increase in weight associated with an increase in the swelling is a good indicator that you need to contact one of your medical team about.
Also our bodies manufacture proteins and often the amount of swelling is related to low protein levels, so this may be due to dietary reasons, or maybe the liver is a bit slow in manufacturing the proteins as well. Arlene is your husband is becoming short of breath, is it since the swelling began, as it there may be some fluid accumulating in the abdomen or lungs that is making him feel breathless, or it could indeed be due to the low haemoglobin and need for a blood transfusion.

All the other 'family members' have given great tips on helping to look after the skin around this delicate area, so well done.

Regards,
Dianne
Support Team

Jwilson
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:52 am

Re: Swollen legs and abdomen advice

Postby Jwilson » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:57 pm

Yip Bill had a DVT in one calf then he developed clotting in the lungs which made him very unwell and he was admitted to hospital for a couple of days. Clexane injections were prescribed for the clotting and he was able to do those himself. Twice a day. Hope your man picks up soon!
June

kwaitang
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: Swollen legs and abdomen advice

Postby kwaitang » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:25 pm

Follow up to my husbands treatment.
Keith had a partial blood transfusion on Friday evening and the rest on Saturday.
He has also been given water tablets.
He has lost 4 pounds in 24 hours but his legs are still swollen though not as badly.
The blood transfusion seems to have helped his breathing and pain in his chest.
He was discharged on Sunday and the hospital says he should continue to improve.
His Chemo was cancelled last Thursday and we do not know yet if he will be able to have any this week. The trial medication has also been stopped.
Arlene.