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…..