It’s been 2 months since my last blog and lots has happened in between now and then. These last two months have really been an emotional rollercoaster for a variety of reasons. I’ve been very immersed in my own little Lymphedema world, researching, learning more and more (and also being disappointed with the lack of up-to-date information on the internet). I’ve been connecting more and more with others who suffer from this condition, listening to their experiences and stories (2 hour long phone calls to the USA, United Kingdom, Solvenia!), which has been incredible! It always feels like I’m listening to an echo of my own story when I speak with other Lymphies; the similarities are fascinating.
I’ve really had the urge to do something more with my blog, my story, my mission to raise awareness of Lymphedema, which in turn has been pretty draining on me mentally. I feel like there is so much to be done, so how can I make a difference? It’s a bit overwhelming when we (as individual powers) try to make a dent in big international problems… but I’m slowly moving forward on a few small projects/ ideas that I’ve had, so hopefully something comes to life soon!
In the meantime, I’m still being really active on my Instagram account and I’m connecting with more and more people who suffer from Lymphedema. Its truly amazing to meet so many beautiful people, who come from such different walks of life and to be able to help each other through this journey we are all living. I have spoken to many people (some at the beginning of their lymphedema journey, some who have suffered a lifetime of bad care and misdiagnosis, who have finally mustered up the courage to share their story and liberate themselves of their “secret” – using social media of all things!)… I can’t tell you how helpful each and every person has been to help ME in my journey also. You guys ROCK.
Now for some news on my leg.
Things are getting better and better, but there is still a long way to go. It’s only been 8 months since my surgery and I see more improvement than I did 2 months ago. My ankle and foot are the major areas of improvement. There has been a big improvement in my calf too. Everything is smaller and softer.
There are a few main reasons for these improvements:
- I have bought an ankle support called MalleoTrain (the brand is Bauerfeind, you can find them online and just need to supply an ankle measurement to get the right size). Since wearing this I have seen a HUGE reduction in the liquid around my ankle. Its been so hard to get any kind of reduction in this area so I am literally in shock at how well this ankle support worked. I’ve had a few people who follow me on Instagram buy one (after seeing my results) and they have told me its working really well for them too.
- Bandaging– I have been bandaging a lot more effectively these days. I try to bandage every night during the week (I put on my toe cap and the Malleotrain), and this has helped my calf a lot.
- Double compression– I have been wearing a knee high compression stocking under my full length flat stitch stocking (during the day time) and this really helps to reduce day time swelling. I find that when I take my stockings off at night, my calf is still soft like it was when I woke up in the morning. Winning!
It’s taken me a while to come to the above conclusions (and a lot of trial and error in the meantime), but finally I have found my special cocktail of “things that work.”(And boy do I love a good cocktail).
All the things I am doing are temporary measures, as its part of my plan to get the liquid out of my leg, reduce in size and then order new compression stockings.
Also, in February, I will start some intensive MLD/ Bandaging session in Italy. Doctor Denisa Giardini (she is based in Milan) has been helpful in organising this, so I look forward to seeing some more results following that. (I think I’m more excited about staying in Italy for two weeks and eating a tonne of pasta!!!)