Ellabell, Georgia

I have been dealing with lymphedema for about a year now. I was diagnosed after having undergone bilateral mastectomies for breast cancer. This is not something I was expecting nor was I warned about the risks of it becoming an issue. I am now dealing with bilateral lymphedema of the arms and hands as well as thoracic lymphedema.

I do Manual Lymphatic Drainage on my own as best I can. I also use a lymphatic pump once a day on each side. I have a sleep suit I am required to wear at night to help keep the swelling down. I don't mind trying to be compliant to taking care of this issue. My biggest problem is that my insurance company (Tricare Prime South) has taken a stance that I am only allowed four garments a year. Four garments doesn't even cover basic needs for daily maintenance.

I am working towards becoming an active advocate for others with lymphedema. I know so many that are being denied coverage just as I am and it bothers me. Someone out there needs to be a voice for those who are afraid to speak up. The closest support group to me here in Savannah, GA is in Atlanta, GA, which is 5 hours away. So that being said, I am making it my mission to try and start one for others like myself. No one should have to go this alone. I don't want to change people's minds, I want to change their hearts so they can be compassionate and understanding of people with lymphedema.