New Lebanon, OH, USA
In 2010 I had a knee replacement. I had a blood clot to the lung, but I lived through it. In 2013 I had a filter placed so I could have the other knee done. I did fine for 3.5 weeks until my left foot (on the leg that the knee was replaced) swelled up like a tree trunk. Three to four days before the swelling, the foot had been pulsating. I had a Doppler scan and it showed nothing. Three days later the knee itself swelled terribly. I went to the emergency room. They did another Doppler and found a clot from the side of my foot to my groin. The nurse tried to draw blood, but it was clotted. I was given blood thinners right away.
On the same left leg, I had foot reconstruction in 1999. I researched Lymphedema, and decided I needed to find a physical therapist that did lymphatic drainage. I did fine one but with Medicare I can only go once a year. I do my routine massage on a daily basis. Since I do garden design my job requires that I work outside. There are times when the heat affects my leg. I read a book that suggested using ice baths on it. My leg gets hard at times as well and I can be off balance. I’m 71 years old and in Stage 2 Lymphedema. I will probably never see a cure in my lifetime, although I know there is a new drug out there, but I don’t know much about it. In addition, it’s an expensive disease and I have to purchase supports, treatments, and the purchase of books and materials on Lymphedema.
I feel the lymphatic community has made much progress for us. I hope Congress continues to help make the progress needed for research and education, which is desperately needed. I appreciate all that the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) has done for lymphedema. Also, Kathy Bates has helped greatly to raise awareness.
This is my story of Lymphedema and how it has affected me.
Cheryl, New Lebanon, OH