Saturday, 30 October 2010

Yes!

Wonderful! I have been granted bandages for bandaging the entire leg, quite an achievement. It did involve a million phonecalls, faxes, explanations, misunderstandings etc, but everything is sorted now, I have the wrappings – and I am hanging on to them! The prosthegist had never before seen so many materials being paid for by NHS, usually one has to pay for much of it oneself, but my super-hero Physiotherapist has been fantastic and really helped me a lot advocating for my needs.

I've got nine rolls of short stretch bandage, tube gauze, gauze for the toes and cotton wool padding. My loving dad picked it all up for me, very helpful. The second new compression stockings has also arrived, great!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

New stocking – yippiii

My new compression stocking has landed and one more have been ordered so I have two for the trip, wonderful! The sewn-in pads on the sides of the ankle takes up a fair bit of room in the shoe, but they are good, and it looks good with a little shape on my ankle – with the stocking off that is. I can get my foot into at least one of my shoes and the stocking I ordered today will be without the pads, so I have the choise of wearing other shoes – my foot have gotten so fine that I can wear some of my shoes from before Lymphedema – YES!

I still make delicious juice almost every day. It has been a while since I did the big one with celery, cucumber etc., but carrot, beetroot, lemon, ginger – and sometimes an apple – is very good and easy too. Recently it struck me that I have not had a cold since I began juicing nearly eighteen months ago! Besides that, my facial skin is clearer and there fewer lines on my chest than before. The latter is likely to also be because of my magic rosehip oil that I use there and around the eyes instead of eye cream.
I want to try making green juices, representing several of the super-healthy green vegetables. I dream about going on one of the mighty juicemaster Jason Vale's retreats in Turkey where it really is about health with only juices and smoothies as well as plenty of opportunities for meditation, rebounding, yoga, pilates, swimming, walks, lectures etc etc.


I also still do Qi Gong, I have a little program that I try to do most days. It is three small warm-up exercises for the ankles, hips and knees, seven minutes standing, one or more Ba Duan Jian exercises ("lifting the sky", "bow+arrow" etc.) and/or Y ji jin exercises for flow as well as two exercises to open up the hip. Finally I do "the plank" from Pilates for one minute to excercise my arm muscles a little.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Flying with Lymphedema

Soon I will be going on a long flight, first from Copenhagen to Vienna and then the big one from Vienna to Bangkok. The latter is almost 10 hours and I'm a little concerned about my lymphleg and how it is going to react. Since I got my Lymphedema I have only flown the short trip to London and that went fine, but this is something else. I am afraid that the edema will go beserk, I will get a blood clot in the leg or something else. Should I tell the flight attendants that I have Lymphedema, in case something happens? My physiotherapist recommends me to put a small bandage on the lower leg on top of the compression stocking and also make sure to do some excercises while flying. Anybody out there has any further tips or calming words?

Update: See my tips and exercises for flying with Lymphedema here.

New: Download a PDF-file with my inflight exercises here.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pumpkin soup

Friday I went to the Physio to be bandaged for the last time before the new compression stocking comes. I was hoping it would be in the mail yesterday, but no. Now I try to keep the swelling down myself as best I can until the stocking arrives. During the day I wear a light dressing on top of the stocking and at night a proper bandage.

Yesterday I made a delicious pumpkin soup. I do this every autumn and freezes portions every time so I have for most of winter. Last year I found this recipe which I have now tried a few times, it is really good. I use a Hokkaido pumpkin and a handful of carrots instead of what the recipe states, and I leave out the cream. Also, I don't roast the vegetables nearly as long as in the recipe. It is a soup that takes time to make, but the result is so worth it.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Lymph Yoga

I recently read about a course in my area of yoga especially for Lymphedema patients, it's called Lymphyoga. The instructor is a Lymphedema therapist and from a study in Southern India she has brought back techniques that she uses in the course. Her introduction:

In the Lymphyoga we focus on the breathing in the exercises – the shift between inhalation and exhalation creates an alternating pressure around the central lymphatic system which is hereby discharged and prepared to receive lymph from legs and arms. Deep breathing stimulates the transition between the lymphatic- and veinsystem so that the body can get rid of the excess fluid through the kidneys and urinary tract.Stretch and "muscle pumps" in the exercises stimulate the peripheral lymphatic system to incorporate the lymph and pass it on.We work with standing, sitting and reclining yoga "asanas" and breathing exercises, "Pranayama". 

When back from my upcoming trip to Thailand I think I might do this course, I will of course share my experience here. It would be interesting to hear if anyone else has tried something like this.

Friday, 8 October 2010

At the fitter

Yesterday I went to the fitter to have measurements for the new compression stocking taken. It was wonderful to get the bandages off and I am so pleased to be able to cycle and move freely again – even if only for four or five days before I am to be wrapped up again to be ready for the new stocking. I had been talking with my physiotherapist about ordering the new compression stocking with extra compression (grade 4) in the lower leg (I have 3 now), but in the end she thought it was too risky. We will have to see whether it can hold it anyway, if not I suppose we can order grade four in the lower leg next time. The fitter thought we should just make one stocking before my big trip to Thailand soon, and then see how things are when I get home. I was hoping I would have two for the trip, but it's probably better this way.

I've bought a bathing holster, it's a cover for the leg if you have bandages or a cast on, or a compression stocking and you'd like to have a shower say in the middle of the day or before going out for the evening. Today I was to test it, feeling all excited, as it is a brilliant invention. It seemed promising because the elastic band was good and tight but unfortunately there was some leaks there, so the bandages got a little wet, bummer. Maybe one is meant to fold the frill sort of down inside the cover, making it more waterproof, I will try that next time.


The self wrapping has been going better that I had expected, and it is not as dificult as I thought. Being
able to bandage oneself is a really good option to have, especially for emergencies. Now I just need to practice. The physiotherapist said on Monday, having bandaged myself during the weekend, that I had kept it down really good. That was nice to hear. I too think it went well, at least on the foot and lower leg. Now I just have to learn how to do MLD on myself.