Lymphedema and Compression

I am not a person who likes to make absolute statements. I have always believed that what works for one person with lymphedema will not always work with someone else with lymphedema. Every person is unique.

BUT I am now going to say that I now believe that compression garments or wraps is the key to living with lymphedema. I have primary lymphedema and I have lived all of my life with it (well officially  the lymphedema didn’t show until puberty) and I have had a lot of lymphedema pain for the last 25 years. In the last few months I was able to have treatment where I was wrapped with Coban wraps and my legs were finally to a shape where I could actually wear compression stockings. WooHoo!!! I have not had lymphedema pain since I started wearing my compression stockings (actually since I started being wrapped with the Coban wraps but that was not a long term solution, that was  to reduce my leg size). I have even had days where I had to sit at a desk all day and when I took off my stockings before I went to bed, my legs were soft. This is amazing. Usually on those type of days my legs were to the point of breaking open (and I had the pain that goes with it).

So I am saying compression is the key but the same type of compression will not work for everyone. Some people can’t wear stockings so they will have to find other alternatives, such as Farrow wraps , regular compression wrapping, etc.

Now, if only we can get doctors to know about lymphedema and understand that the earlier a person is diagnosed and treated for lymphedema,  the better the chance that the effects of lymphedema can be minimalized. (Plus get the government to subsidize it)

If only my childhood family doctor had gotten me into compression stockings at 12 instead of telling me lymphedema was just something that I had to live with…..

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6 thoughts on “Lymphedema and Compression

  1. Your legs are looking fantastic it must make such a difference to your life.. As you say a pity someone did not help you with this when you were younger but so glad you have found the help now … Take care

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  2. Reblogged this on My Lymph Node Transplant and commented:
    Sharing Karens story and her latest update as to how well she is going with the treatment of the Lymphedema… There was a time when she could not wear compression garments due to the size and shape of her legs… However Karen is now going really well it is so good to see.. Thank you Karen as always for sharing your story.. It shows that there is hope for everyone with Lymphedema. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My wife has lymphedema from stage 3 breast cancer, which she survived 30 years ago. She wraps nightly. Her arms are now similar in size. When she gets a bacterial infection her arm is pebbled with spots, the arm swells like a sizzling sausage and her temperature spikes. If not for wonderful insurance, retirement, and dedication to wrapping I am convinced she would not have made it these last 30 years.

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  4. I have lymphedema too. I recently wrote my story and took it too all the clinics close to me along with information cards about lymphedema. It took twenty five years to get help. We definitely need more education in the medical community. The stockings minimize any pain for me as well.

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  5. Your legs look great! I too never had anyone to step in and offer help, not even my pediatrician. I am 33 when I found out what it was. May I ask how old you were when you found out how to care for it? Did you always know it was lymphedema or did you find out when you were older, like I did? I haven’t been fitted into compression wear because I’m still doing CDT, but I hope I have a good experience with compression wear like you do. I also am on my feet alot at work!

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    1. My lymphedema is hereditary so I always knew what it was but there was really no treatment offered. I tried getting private treatment a few years ago but it cost a lot of money and I didn’t see much results. I just got more treatment from a small hospital clinic and that worked much better and I was able to get stockings after the treatment. I am so happy with them.

      Liked by 1 person

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