There never seems to be a dull moment when you’ve got lymphedema.
A couple of days ago, I noticed a strange rash on my right leg, spreading from the bottom of my foot to midway up my calf. It looked like a series of bug bites, although there weren’t any puncture wounds and it didn’t itch. Completely baffled, I went to Patient First this morning to get it checked out. The doctor looked it over and told me I have contact dermatitis. Apparently, one can contract it from exposure to a substance over time; in my case, it’s from wearing my nighttime compression garment. That explains why it’s only on my right leg! He gave me a prescription for Prednisone and some ointment and sent me on my way.
I still had a couple of questions, though. Like… why am I getting this now? I’ve worn this garment almost every night for the past three or four years now. Well, according to PubMed Health, contact dermatitis “may involve a reaction to a substance that you are exposed to, or use repeatedly. Although there may be no initial reaction, regular use can eventually cause sensitivity and reaction to the product.” Guess that answers my question, although it still seems odd that even happens at all.
I called my boss and told her what was up, and she was completely understanding. She gave me most of the week off so I’ll have time to take it easy and get over this rash properly, which is awesome (thanks, Molly!). It’ll be nice to have time to rest. I applied some of the ointment today, and start the Prednisone tomorrow morning. Hopefully, this rash will clear up in no time.
Oh, before I forget – I FINALLY have my appointment to get fitted for new garments tomorrow! My insurance no longer covers compression garments, but my parents said that it doesn’t matter; they’ll pay for whatever I need. I’m so lucky to have them! I’m looking forward to the appointment because I really need the extra compression. I think it will make a huge difference for my legs, especially when I’m at work. I could kick myself for leaving my garments in Vermont! But, it is what it is, and it will be good to have too many pairs rather than too few, I suppose.
Okay, lymphies – that’s what’s new with me. I’m probably going to write another post tomorrow after my fitting. Until then, I hope you’re all doing well!