Last Friday was my first appointment with a lymphedema doctor in almost three years. Yup, you read that right—three years.
The visit was more than a little overdue to say the least, but only because I had been living out-of-state for the last few years. Now that I’m back, I’m looking forward to making regular visits like I did in the past. I used to feel so much better when I was able to check in every couple months (and it was easier to stay up-to-date with my garments, too!).
Anyway, my doctor was glad to see me back. We chatted for a few minutes about how my leg has been doing, and I confessed that I had not been wearing a compression garment—just my nighttime garment—because the one I have is so old.
And it’s true: my stretched-out garment is no good anymore, having lost its compression years ago. It’s awful to have gone so long without one, and there really is no excuse for that, but… here I am.
“You better not be blogging and telling people to wear their garments if you’re not wearing one,” he said, teasing me.
“I know, I know,” I replied. “Every time I post a photo, people get on me about not wearing a garment. I really need to get a new one.”
My doctor nodded and began to examine my leg. He remarked that although it hadn’t gotten much bigger—even with my “slight noncompliance”—I definitely needed measurements taken for a new garment.
He gave me a couple options: either get measured right now as my leg currently is, or come in for a week of wrapping and get measured afterwards, once my leg has been reduced.
In the past, I’ve done month-long wrapping sessions to get my leg as small as possible before a custom garment fitting. This time, though, my doctor said I only need to wrap for seven days. “Think of it as a tune-up,” he said.
Hey, it sounds good to me!
So, tomorrow morning I’m going in for my wrapping appointment and I’m super excited to get started. My leg has felt so heavy lately and I’m ready for the relief that a compression garment will bring.
I’m also ready to shed this “do as I say, not as I do” thing that I’ve got going on recently. It’s time I get my blog life and my lymphie life re-aligned with one another!
Stay tuned, and stay elevated! xx
your legs look fantastic hun xxx
Thanks, Louise! :)
You inspire me! :)
I have primary lymphedema in both legs – and began to swell significantly at 12 years old.
Thanks for your kind words, Shameika! Keep taking good care of yourself, and staying strong :)
Hi Alexa and all the other Lymphies!
Your leg looks exactly like mine :) I have primary lymphedema in my right limb, but I wear garments on both legs because I suffer from Klippel Tranaunay Sindrome, so I also have vascular disorder in the other leg. After years of eating disorders, depression, wasted time, hiding, I’m finally making peace with my puffy condition – and I’ve just bought a new pair of shoes for the spring to come! -.
Just want to say you’re doing great with your “garment resolutions”! Let’s take care of our lymphedema :)
Hi, Tina! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I can relate to a lot of it, and I love your inspiring attitude. It can be so hard to stay positive in the face of such adversity, but it CAN be done—everyone here is proof of that!
Enjoy your new shoes :)
Hi Alexa – you mention a “night-time” compression garment in your blog. I didn’t know one could get night-time garments. I live in Scotland (UK) and would be really grateful if you could email details of these garments. Many thanks.
Solaris has a Tribute that is used for nighttime compression and there is also the Reid Sleeve or Reid Boot. The Tribute is much easier for nighttime since it is more flexible, depending on your needs. Ultimately, they do not remove the need for daytime garments but can help reduce fibrosis and recurrent swelling.
Dawn answered this beautifully, but just to add my own testimonial: I use a Solaris Tribute garment (a knee-high one) and I really like it. It’s comfortable, and I definitely notice a difference between nights that I wear it and nights that I don’t. My leg is less swollen in the morning, which then sets a good baseline for the rest of the day when I’m wearing a daytime garment, and it also just feels a lot better!
Another cool thing about nighttime garments: if you have a particularly bad swelling day, you can bandage overtop your nighttime garment for a little extra compression while you sleep. So they’re very helpful to have, if you’re able to get them!
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So sorry I missed you… you snuck out before I could seeyou! Hope to run into you soon!
I was wondering if I’d be seeing you! I’m there every day for the next two weeks, then Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the last two. I’m sure we’ll run into each other! :)
That’s my Lyphedema treatment center too! I have primary Lyphedema in both feet, and ankles and it goes up my leg.
No way!! I love the team there, they’re so awesome to work with. Maybe I’ll see you around the center!