I depended on my left leg to allow myself to feel like I was somewhat normal, that I wasn’t all bad. It was my safety net; I would often tuck my swollen, shameful right leg behind my normal, regular-sized one so people wouldn’t notice it while I was sitting or standing. Whenever I would get upset about my lymphedema, I used to console myself by saying, “It could be so much worse – I’m lucky it’s not both legs.” Then I would look down at my ankles and whisper a silent thank-you to the powers that be that at least one of my limbs was an ordinary size.
Now, however, I’m finding that I can no longer count on my left leg to give me any sort of semblance of comfort. The lymphedema has begun to spread, and now my once-normal leg has become just as bad, swelling and puffing to the point where it forms rolls of retained fluid, and it hurts to bend my ankle. I feel betrayed and ashamed by the swelling of my left leg, and I feel ugly. Most of all, though, I feel angry. Is this some sort of beginning of an end? Is this my body throwing up a white flag in surrender to this disease? What’s going to happen next?
What do you think, lymphies? What do you do when you find yourself getting caught up in the negatives of your lymphedema? Feel free to share in the comments section below.