I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to 2014. I know I am! New beginnings!
I just wanted to do a little post about my experience of lymphoedema in case it helps anyone else.
After my rad hyst and lymph node removal (5 months ago) my groin / pubic area was quite puffy on the right hand side. It did go down a lot but has always been a bit puffy! My ankles also swell now and then. I mentioned it to my GP and also my consultant at my 3 month check. My GP kept saying it was early days from my surgery and I needed to wait for it to settle and my consultant said it was lymphoedema but it wasn't too bad so let it settle and it might get better and wear Brigette Jones knickers for support......
Hmmm, I'm the first to admit that I'm a bit vain, lol. I hate big knickers and haven't had to wear support knickers yet so thought, jeez is that it! Is there nothing I can do?! Well , yes there is! I found out that there is a lymphodema clinic at my local hospital and told my GP to refer me. The appointment took 3 weeks to come through (which I didn't think was too bad). The specialist nurse there was lovely! She confirmed I have mild lymphoedema and is going to help! She has given me support tights and stockings and is going to give me some knickers (I know, but at least they also come in black, ha ha). These are better than the tights etc you can buy at M&S and the thickness etc they give you depends on the amount of swelling you have.
I have an MRI scan next week as part of my 2nd 3 month check. Once that is confirmed as clear we will start on manual lymphatic drainage massage and 'taping' techniques. She has booked me appointments once a week for all of February. The aim will be to reduce the swelling as much as possible and then for me to be able to manage it myself going forward.
My lymphoedema is pretty mild. But if lymphoedema is not managed then it can get worse and is of course not curable, so you have to make sure you do everything you can to stop it getting advanced. I'm so glad I got referred. I did loads of research and these guys really helped: http://www.lymphoedema.org/
So ladies, you know your own bodies. If you have any swelling that you dont feel is right then make sure you get it checked and don't be fobbed off.
Take care, Tess xxx