Saturday, 24 September 2011

Dressing like a LymphA'DIVA

As most of the ladies here would know dressing up can be a challenge when having lymphedema. Though we may feel a need or want to cover up we can still look gorgeous. There are possibilities.

We need to focus on our good assets. I know what I haven't got – good legs. I haven't got a flat belly either. What I do have is a good collarbone, good shoulders, good hips, so I look for items that make these stand out and cover or tone down the not so good bits. I've always liked the idea of leaving a little for imagination anyway. This can be so much more elegant than a display of flesh, which I alltogether don't think is elegant.

These are some of the dresses I checked out when researching for something to wear for the wedding I went to earlier this month.

Green divadress from Goddiva. 48 GBP.

... also comes in stunning red. And other colours.
Halterneck with Balinese print, from Asos. 50 GBP. Now 35 GBP.
Red promdress from eBay. 57 USD.
Kimono style maxidress from eBay. 23 USD.
Turqoise flowerdress from FashionUnion. 40 GBP.
The one I ended up getting.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

OMG

Update (Jan 2012): The company mentioned below is no longer operating. Bummer. 

My Goodness, I was having a little break here at work (ahem...) sniffing around on the net and I found this US shop where they sell pairs of shoes in different sizes – one shoe in one size, the other in another!!! This is a dream come true for lymphedema patients, isn't it? As if that wasn't enough, one can choose between a medium and wide within each size! I am about to fall off my chair!
Anyway, just had to share this ASAP. See what you think. Better get on with work, boss is back!

www.oneshoetwoshoe.net

Update: Unfortunately they don't ship to outside continental America, but perhaps they are willing to consider this, who knows. Apparently there are 140-250 million people suffering from Lymphedema worldwide. Anyway, at least it is good news for American readers.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Elevating my bed


As I was changing the linnen on my bed yesterday I though I might as well show a picture of how I elevate my leg at night. As you can see I've put some old phonebooks under the bed itself, and under the topmatress I've put some towels in the right side. Quite a few, actually. Once all the covers are back on none of all this really shows.
I've got a post about a cushion designed to elevate the legs, check it out here.


These are the shoes I wore for the wedding, I got them two days before! Cheap-and-cheerful. The colour isn't very fancy at all, but they did the job and the dress would cover them most of the time anyway. I had to get them quite big, size 41 – I used to wear 38 or 39. I got an inlay to put in the one for the good foot and also folded up one of those little socks and put in the back of the shoe to fill it out. The pearls etc. around the ankle is not really my thing, but that and the zipper made the shoe sit pretty good and they were fine to walk in.


Today I have finished my annual batch of rosehipjam. I cooked it yesterday, let it sit overnight and transferred it to jars today. It tastes absolutely heavenly. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a big job to prepare the rosehips but the result is so worth it. Happiness in a jar.

Friday, 16 September 2011

JoviPak nightgarment

Yesterday I went to the prostegist to talk about a nightgarment. They had the JoviPak, and that's the one I am going to apply for. I had it wrong about putting new compression stockings on hold until I got the nightgarment and letting that do it's thing, I actually have to be wrapped and get the edema down as much as possible before being measured for the JoviPak nightgarment. I will now make appointments with my lymphedema therapist about a big wrapping session, leading to measuring for stockings and nightgarment. I also have to go see my GP to get her to file for the nightgarment at the healthservice. Apparently the JoviPak nightgarment is well known and used in Norway.
What's the right word for the shop that makes compression garments, specialized footwear etc. – is it truss, prostegist or something else?

Yesterday was a good day for my country. The political situation have changed to the better and a decade of reversed Robin Hood has ended. New and better times are ahead, I feel.

I've ordered these stylish palazzo trousers from asos.com. They were reduced from 40 to 12 GBP, but there was only size 12 left and as I believe that is my size I thought I'd better get them before they are gone. Good price. And great, dusty colour. I am sure they will look good with some sort of black top. Looking forward to recieving them, they are already on their way. Asos has free worldwide shipping.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Again

Barely is the wedding over before my older brother's 40th Birthday is coming up next month. He's been having a bit of a trauma over turning 40 but has now decided to have a dinnerparty at a nice restaurant in the town where they live. And yet again I have to go find something to wear... He says casual in the invitation, but I guess old, baggy jeans are taking it a bit too far. I am thinking some nice, dressy palazzo trousers and a fitted top with a long necklace. I had a quick look around this afternoon and I thought I'd let the ladies know that there are quite a few palazzo trousers/pants out there very reduced right now. Probably also maxidresses and -skirts. Have a look at www.asos.com for example.

Today I have made my annual batch of elderberryjuice. I do that every year. Good to have for those cold autumn- and winterevenings. My parents have loads of elderberries in their garden so yesterday I took about 2 kg home. It produced 13 one-mug portions that is now in my freezer. By freezing it I can use only a minimum of sugar, so that's good.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

LymphaPress Optimal

Before my holiday I had the LymphaPress Optimal to test and I managed to try it six times. Here goes:

The pump has two functions, actually four:
  • Gradient 
  • PreTherapy + Gradient 
  • Wave 
  • PreTherapy + Wave
PreTherapy is a feature that sort of "clears a path" for better drainage during the treatment itself (Gradient or Wave). PreTherapy takes about 8-9 minutes before the pump moves on to the desired program, Gradient or Wave.
  • I have been running it between 45 and 60 minutes, pressure 40-50 and I've tried both programs, incl. PreTherapy. 
  • Common to all days was that the foot and ankle were not drained nearly as good as with the LymphaPress Mini I tried previously.
  • The Gradient program seemed a little bit more effective than Wave as it maintains the pressure while the next chambers are filled. 
  • Both programs operate in a very choppy manner. In the Wave program every other pump is very short, the other a little bit longer. On Gradient the pumps is more or less of the same duration.
Before and after each session I would measure my leg three places on the lower leg and three at the upper leg. The result was surprising, about half of the measurements had gone up, the rest a little bit down. As I mentioned the other day I have now applied for a LymphaPress Mini. I hope it comes through. I am still not all that hooked on the velcro boot, I am not sure it is tight enough and fits properly. Will try and get the one with a zipper.

The red cargo pants I ordered a little while back was a disappointment. The fabric was very light, too light for this style, the legs weren't straight and they were a little too tight on the bum, which I don't think this style should be.

Things are starting to be more normal again after a busy time at work, my holiday and preparation for the poxy wedding. This week I've got a couple of things I am looking forward to. I am attending a meeting where a controversial, but cool politician from Parliament will speak, and the next day is a big day – election day. It looks like were might be getting a new goverment, but it is all up in the air. Lots can happen still. Whatever happens it is a day to celebrate. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the freedom to choose.

In this country we have had coalition goverments for donkeys years (great expression, isn't it...), and so we will again.
Our Parliament: On the left wing we have a very left-wing party called Enhedslisten (the Red-Green Alliance). Because the conservatives have messed up and thus reduced so much in recent years this party is now bigger than them! Then we have the Socialistic Peoples Party, then the Social Democrats. In the middle we have two centerparties – Liberal Alliance and the Social Liberals. On the right wing there is the Liberals and a horrible nationalistic party. And the Conservatives, of course. Beyond the Conservatives is where the US Democrats start. I was quite surprised, when I first learnt that.

At the moment it looks like it will be a coalition between the Socialists, the Democrats and the Social Liberals, perhaps relying on the Red-Green Alliance (not sure). The leader of the pack – sorry, Democrats – is a woman, so perhaps we will have our first female Prime Minister ever. Great song, by the way.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Halleluja

Me in my fancy dress.
It is Sunday, the day after the wedding. It went well, but I'm so relieved it is over. Sadly I've been seeing it as an ordeal, partly due to all the fuss with the outfit and partly because I more and more am a homeperson. I am not good at crowds and staying up late, as boring as that sounds. I think it is natural to go through different stages in life. In first youth we love going out, partying, meeting people. As we get older I think we (maybe it is just me) instinctively feels like building a nest, settling down, finding peace. I've been in this stage for years, but I wish I had someone to be here with.

The happy couple was so beautyful, especially the bride. It is so wonderful and fantastic that these two have found each other, even after more than five years they are so into each other and so enjoy their life together, not to mention their beautyful little girl. They are so good and so right together. I wish I had what they have.
My outfit looked OK and I even had a couple of compliments. My leg behaved, it really had no reason not to, exept that the one shoe got a little uncomfy, but nothing major.
The dinner was an endless stream of speeches and songs with courses of food in between. There must have been 15 or more guests wanting to pay tribute to the couple. Overhere it is normal for close relatives or friends to make a song for the couple. One chooses a melody that everyone knows and writes a little song about the couple, their life, hobbies, how they met, funny annecdotes etc, photocopies it and hands it out to all the guest, and everybody sings. Yesterday I think there were three songs, and a lot of speeches. A set of friends performed a little, homemade fairytale about the couple.

Today I feel a little sad. I always get (more) emotional the day after events like weddings. Thinking about what was said in some of the speeches. Thinking about my life.

Today is also 9/11. Unreal that it's been ten years. My newspaper brought a lot about it today, ie a number of interviews with survivors, how they experienced it and their thoughts about it. The big national TV-channels are broadcasting from memorial events all day and I've seen some footage that I don't think has been transmitted before, at least not here.
I was at home that day, ten years ago. We're about eight hours ahead, so it was afternoon here. I had just sat down with a coffee, having a little break from domestic chores and turned on the TV, and there it was, on all the newschannels. It had just happened, but the towers were still standing. As soon as I realized what was going on I called Mum and Dad to let them know, in case they hadn't heard already. The following hours I sat in disbelief, glued to the TV, switching between CNN and the Danish news channels, trying to take it all in, which I couldn't. Who could? In the evening I had a dinner appointment with an old friend I don't see very often and hadn't seen for a very long time. It had been arranged months ahead and I couldn't bring myself to cancel even though I just wanted to stay home and watch the news, and it felt wrong going out having fun, catching up with my friend while all this was going on. On my way to the restaurant there were people from the big news agencies handing out flyers on the street about the horrible news. Later that night people would spontaneously head for the churches, looking for some sort of consolation, I guess. In the weeks that followed the area outside the American embassy was a sea of flowers, and people would stop by to pay their respect.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Back from holiday


Hi'ya, I'm back after a wonderful holiday in London and Scotland. It was good to see my good friend again and have a chat and we had a wonderful trip to Scotland. Edinburgh is a lovely city with much to see. The highlands was amazing, really beautiful with rugged mountains, grassy hills, steep cliffs by the sea, lots of sheep etc.

We got the train from London to Edinburgh and on the way back we went by coach. We were a little late arranging transport so the train tickets were fairly expensive, therefore coach back. It cost only nine pounds but took ten hours, and those I had dreaded a little, mostly in regards to the leg. It went okay, we had three breaks where I could get out and exercise a bit. I think that being on a coach for ten hours is different than on a plane, as the pressure must make a difference when flying.

In Scotland we stayed at B&B's, really nice ones too. What a relief it was being able to take the compressionstocking on and off and wash and dry it in front of my friend without being too embarrassed or trying to hide it. My friend knows about my condition and is really cool and compassionate about it.

I came back Saturday late afternoon, quite tired after the journey. The flighttime is only and hour and a half, but it takes forever to get to the airport, through the airport and from the airport. Gatwick was madness and so was Copenhagen, which is usually isn't. Sunday I was involved in a charity event all day where children from asylum centers and other not so fortunate children and teenagers had a good day out with sailing, games and goodies. I was knackered when I got home that night, a lurking cold added to feeling miserable.




In London I shopped a couple of things: Treats from Poundland, the purple (and nicely strong) Nescafe (this particular one is not available overhere), crumpets, knickers from Marks+Spencer, razor blades and a few other bits from Boots, ie a small spray bottle that I think it might be good to carry with me on hot days for spraying the stocking. I stocked up on the razor blades, they were indeed cheap.

In Edinburgh I had the pleasure of catching up with my former landlady from my time at the language school in Cairns, Oz. She is Scottish and moved back a few years ago. It was really good to see her, and a bit surreal after 15 years. We had coffee and lunch with her and went for a little walk before she saw us off. We talked a little about my condition, and she said that it was formerly known as Dropsy. I'd never heard that word before. It seems to be a term used for various forms of fluid retention, so perhaps it is not exactly Lymphedema. I have only researched it very quickly since being back, but I will do more when I get time. Any of you native English speakers out there know anything about this?

Next week I am going to see the prostegist about a nightgarment. Feeling a little excited as I do think it is going to bring my swelling down. Also the wedding is coming up, it's this Saturday. What a production not only for the happy couple but indeed for the guests too, perhaps more female than male. Finding a dress, having it shortened, getting a purse, shawl, shoes, jewellery... Most of it is in place now, only need shoes, but I do have a pair I can use if I don't find others. Got my eyebrows done today.