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  • Further Fistula Questions

    Hi all - I go for my fistula surgery in two weeks. There are a few questions I still have as I continue to see different posts here with regards to people's fistulas. Am I to believe that I can no longer wear a watch on my left arm?

    Also, as my job dictates me to pick up desktop and tower pcs, printers, copiers and fax machines, am I to believe that I will no longer to able to do so? This surely is gonna put an axe to my job if I can't do so. However, I have heard, even from some of the guys on this board, that they lift weights while having a fistula. Am I wrong to think I will never be able to lift anything, with the help of my dominant arm, over 10/15 pounds? Will I never be able to lift weights with that arm?

  • #2
    Re: Further Fistula Questions

    Well,
    I always wear my watch on my left arm and it has never caused me any problems.
    I guess it depends on how loose your watch strap is.

    I was actually told not to lift anything over 5lbs....haha- "they" (medical people) have to be joking.
    I used to downhill ski a lot and a pair of skis and boots is easily 20lbs.

    And how can people not expect you to do groceries also?

    I would try and be kind of careful though and at least not do anything right after having surgery.
    But then again, for me they were using my fistula 2 weeks after surgery.

    I'm actually waiting for another fistula surgery right now...only because they hd to fx the one I had as it was needled too many times and my skn and bld vessels were to thin.

    How much is fistula surgery in the US usually?
    I'm really curious to know.

    Good luck with everything!

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    • #3
      Re: Further Fistula Questions

      You can't wear anything tight on your fistula arm, so a loose bracelet watchband would be okay but an expansion band or a buckled leather band would not be. I have gotten used to wearing my watch on my right arm. I thought it would be aggravating but it isn't. You would have to talk to your doctor about weight limitations once you have healed. The problem is that the anastamosis (the place where they join the vein and the artery) is a weak spot and lifting heavy things puts a strain on it. I have heard of people lifting heavier weights with their fistula arm, but I personally was told to limit weight to no more than 15 lbs. I am pretty careful about this but I occasionally use my fistula arm to assist my other arm in lifting something heavier. There must be some sort of mechanical assist that you could use to help you lift computer parts. Somewhere there must be a one-armed person who does your job!! As for lifting weights, once again you will have to talk with your doctor, but I don't think it will be advised above the 15 lb. limitation.
      To the stars through difficulty!

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      • #4
        Re: Further Fistula Questions

        Originally posted by bikerchick View Post
        Hi all - I go for my fistula surgery in two weeks. There are a few questions I still have as I continue to see different posts here with regards to people's fistulas. Am I to believe that I can no longer wear a watch on my left arm?

        Also, as my job dictates me to pick up desktop and tower pcs, printers, copiers and fax machines, am I to believe that I will no longer to able to do so? This surely is gonna put an axe to my job if I can't do so. However, I have heard, even from some of the guys on this board, that they lift weights while having a fistula. Am I wrong to think I will never be able to lift anything, with the help of my dominant arm, over 10/15 pounds? Will I never be able to lift weights with that arm?
        BC,

        See my PM.

        As far as weight training, I still lift up to 17 1/2 (bicep curl) w/ my fistula arm. I would wait abit tho after surgery and the surgeons approval. Keep the aerobic exercise going. that will keep the blood moving thru the fistula while it is healing.

        At home I always have to lift something heavy, like 40lb dog food bags. Since I lift and carry them with straight arms - no sweat.

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        • #5
          Re: Further Fistula Questions

          Chefnancy - I wear a G-Shock buckled watch, but it is loose enough that I can still put my finger in between the band and my wrist, so I would assume it's loose enough to stay on my arm.

          I had talked to my doc about doing bicep curls and he didn't say much about weight restriction except for the first six weeks while the fistula healed. He then said I could get back to weight lifting. I'll make sure I discuss this thoroughly with him when the time comes.

          Cindy - thanks for your post and PM. It's nice to know that we probably have the same fistula area.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Further Fistula Questions

            i wear a medical alert bracelet on my fistula arm without a problem. i also lift groceires without a problem but try to make sure the bags are not overly heavy. i wish you good luck with your job. when i was working we were told that the americans with disabilities act provided that reasonable accomodations could be made so that you could continue to work at your chosen profession. many people had different assistave devices that made it easier to lift and tote, like dollies and wheeled carts. make sure you look into this and don't let them bully you out of your job without exploring reasonable adjustments that would allow you to retain your job. many employers are not aware of the act and how it works, or even how to make it possible to keep a good employee. look around your state for legal assistance if your employer balks. or refuses to try to help you. you have federal law on your side!

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            • #7
              Re: Further Fistula Questions

              I had my fistula done on January 20th. I saw the surgeon for a follow up about a week later and asked him when I could start excercising again since I'm in the Navy and I am supposed to be pt'ing 3 times a week normally. He very easily said "as soon as you want to" I was shocked because I had been babying it. The Navy has not given me a hard time so I have not started up yet but I have been lifting things around the house, including a computer monitor, not a flat screen without any problems.

              As for a watch, I am sooooo missing my watch on my left arm. I tried it on my right arm for a few days and could not take it at all so now I am wearing a caribeaner watch on my belt loop. It works. Ocassionaly my kids will lightly hold on to my fistula wrist and it drives me crazy so I could not imagine wearing a watch there ever again, unfortunately.

              Hope this helps.

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              • #8
                Re: Further Fistula Questions

                My fistula is 3wks old and doing great. My neph looked and talked at my arma as if it were a new baby he was impressed about the vein sticking up so well. He told me it would be ready to use in 2 wks. I went to my surgeon today she said it looked good. Now I asked her about laying on shoulder not arm and she said it would be ok. I am to do anything I want is her words. I think it may depend on the individual and what you normally do. I would ask my doc tho.
                Adapt and overcome.......

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