help for those w/ edema
My doctor, after ordering every kind of heart test on the planet and getting good results, called the terrible swelling in my feet and legs "a vanity issue" not threatening to my health. Nothing else could be done, he said. You'll just have to live with it.
As much as I hated resigning myself to his conclusion, that's just what I did. Every time I bumped my leg on the open door of the dishwasher [why doesn't someone invent bumpers for that problem?!] or rubbed a blister on my heel that wouldn't heal, I wondered.
Well, DH did more than wonder. He called the doctor and insisted he refer me to another doctor at a nearby university hospital. The appt. was scheduled, but then the u-doc called and said I didn't need what he specialized in. It was a vascular pressure test that I'd had 2 years ago. What you need, he said, is a lymphedema clinic.
Well, he said, it's a physical therapy clinic where they deal with such problems.
Uh-oh, I thought. Here it comes. They're going to give me exercises and tell me to limit my salt intake. But I was so wrong!
Lymphedema therapy is about compression of the affected body part[s] and/or massage of the lymph nodes in armpit and groin area. I'm doing so well w/ compression, they don't anticipate having to do massage.
I will have to "manage" the problem all my life [better than accepting it, I think], and when my legs are normal -- maybe by the end of this week -- we'll order custom stockings I'll have to wear all the time.
If you have this problem, call the hospitals nearest you and see if they have a lymphedema clinic. I live in a small town, and both hospitals have one. My insurance covers the therapy, possibly the stockings, with a letter of medical necessity. That's PCHP.
Maybe you're wondering why my doctor didn't know about the clinics? Me, too. And so are the therapists.
You can go every weekday or every other day to have the wrappings changed. It's hard to take a shower w/o getting wet, but Kroger's wet umbrella bags are good for that.
The second time I was unwrapped, I cried. I had REAL LEGS
and NORMAL FEET for the first time I could remember.
I started every other day compression August 23 of this year.
Good luck to you! chery-va