Lymphedema In Legs: Leg Care is Essential!
By Jackie D. Kimball
NOTE: ALL PICTURES AND MY PERSONAL STORY IS MY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL and protected by DMCA Jackie D. Kimball 2010
I have lymphedema, and until I was diagnosed, I didn't know about this disorder of the lymph system. For literally years it was thought that I had cardiac related edema. I was treated with diuretics, starting at 12 mg , then a few months later I was prescribed 20 mg. By then I had developed high blood pressure . Over the years my dosages reached 80-120 mg. a day .About a year ago ,my condition was unchanged ,regardless of diuretics and no salt. I knew it had to be something else that should be done, but what?
It took cracked , weeping, swollen legs , and feet to convince me to ask my brother to get me to the emergency room , where I was speedily admitted to the triage. The smelly fluid leaking from my pores in my legs was thicker than water . I was so embarrassed. I was immediately hospitalized for five days with cellulitus and excessive swelling and fluid which was causing a strain on my heart and lungs
My doctor immediately put me an antibiotic drip and I was administered lasix drip in the port. Three days later, with no decrease in fluid from the drip, and after a plethora of tests ( it wasn't venous insufficiency)my doctor finally said, "You have lymphedema in both legs. There is no cure, but you will respond to diligent treatment.”
Before and After : My Own Treatment
Proper Leg Care and Compression Hose Are Essential!
On the fourth day of my hospitalization I was fitted for compression hose ( ouch!) .These look like thick stockings, but are a gradient material that begins extremely tight at the foot and is gradually slightly less tight at the top.Mine were 20/30 which means the equivalent of between twenty to thirty pounds of pressure.
Amazingly, after the compression hose were on and my feet elevated ,in six hours over half of the swelling was gone! Hurray, I was taken off of the no salt diet and had a regular meal for supper. It was the best meal I ’d had in a long time!
Some patients need bandaging. So far , I only have to use compression hose and elevate my feet during the day, and even while I sleep.
Lymphedema accessories are helpful.I don't have to use bandages yet, but be sure you order short stretch bandages instead of regular sports bandages.
My favorite,tried and true compression stockings. Other sizes available .
How to Put On Compression Hose.
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