Today was Swell.

Today I worked eight hours at the pie shop, and my legs are swollen as anything. If you can’t tell, my right leg is the one with lymphedema, and the left one is the “normal” one, although today it is almost just as swollen. I’m upset that the left one is swelling, as I’ve always counted on that one being the “good leg.” With both puffy and swollen, I feel like there’s nothing great about me or my legs.

Oh, well. Instead of worrying about it anymore, I’m elevating them and laying on my sofa (my new 7-week old kitten is sleeping on my belly as I write this). I’m also going to plan on making an appointment to be fitted for a new garment soon, because I don’t think it’s good for my leg(s) to keep swelling like this..

Alexa is a writer, book hoarder, and cat enthusiast from Baltimore, MD. By day, she works in the marketing and communications department for a large health system; by night, she runs The Lymphie Life. Learn more about her here!

6 comments on “Today was Swell.

  1. Lexie – do not delay getting yourself fitted. Call me when you have done it. I know that you are much much better off in the long run keeping your leg under control from the start. Once your leg gets accustomed to swelling up it is hard, even after you do get a garment, to get it back down. Trust me; I have lived with that outcome. But I never had the knowledge or support that you have.

    Hey, I rode my road bike in the mountains all weekend. Friday night a little climb from Frisco to Copper Mtn, CO. And -get this – I rode with a thigh high Juzo on my formerly “good” right leg for the first time ever: one on each leg. Then Sat I met friends to ride above Leadville, old mining town. Started at 10,000 feet and topped 11,000. Only 20 miles each day but oh lady the climbing was tough! See my Facebook page for pics of snow banks in June!

    So you go get your garments on. Don’t let yourself down.

    • Jim-

      As an avid runner, I’ve had to nearly cut back all of my running because the impact doesn’t seem to do much good. I have been noticing more swelling in my good leg, it’s slight and I’m probably more paranoid than I need to be, but I am just too nervous to risk it.

      After 4 days in 115 degree heat, both my legs were suffering. After reading your comment I decided to dust off my road bike and take her out for a short ride. The pumping action did wonders for my “bad” leg and my good leg fared just fine. Thank you for the inspiration to get out there!


  2. Hi, Alexa. Our legs look very similar. My left is my good I’ve too and swells less too, but will swell a bad day. I worked for a summer without garments and stood all day too. After a few weeks my right leg swelled way bigger than ever before. It really scared me. The good thing about garments is they make you need to spend les time with you’re feet up on the couch to make up for a hard day. There is a lymphedema center baltimore that is teally good and will fit you.

  3. Do you do your own manual lymph drainage and wrapping to help on the puffy days?
    Do either of you elevate the foot of your bed (even 4″ makes a difference)?

  4. My lymphedema started in my right leg (toes to knee) and spread to the left (also toes to knee) in my late teens. It’s not uncommon for it to start in one and then migrate. Get those stockings and toecaps as soon as you can, and if you’re not told to also use Komprex foam (it goes under the toecaps) or maybe kinesio tape (I’m about to start using it; still trying to straighten out some confusion about stocking coverage), ask. Oh, since you’re in Baltimore, I know one of The Best LE therapists anywhere, Nicole Stout, who’s now at NCI in Bethesda. If you don’t know anyone in Baltimore and you want someone in the area, get in touch with her.

  5. You guys are awesome. I’m going to call today to get fitted for some new garments. I researched a little on lymphedemaproducts.com about alternative compression garments that I kind of want to try out as well.

    Jim, gosh! You do everything. It amazes me how active you are despite having lymphedema. And yes, I elevate (elevating as we speak!), especially when I get home from work. I’ve taken to sleeping on the couch at night, because I feel like I’m able to keep my legs consistently elevated with a pile of cushions overnight. Whenever I try to elevate in bed, I end up kicking the pillows off in my sleep!

    Barbara, there’s actually a lymphedema center at a nearby hospital that I went to a few years ago. I think I’m going to try and see them again soon, since it’s beginning to spread (ugh, ugh, ugh).

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