MAKING SELF CARE A HIGHER PRIORITY
My new year’s resolution is to make self care a higher priority. Working with lymphedema patients I’ve seen time and again how self care improves the quality of one’s life. I have never been very good at self care. I’m really good at taking care of everyone else. Being a caregiver is part of who I am and I doubt that will ever change. What I would like to change however, is my willingness and ability to take care of myself, to improve the quality of my life. My customers have helped me come to this realization – self care is self love. Continue reading
GETTING THOSE COMPRESSION STOCKINGS ON AND OFF!
Donning your gradient compression stockings can be a real challenge. The number one reason that we receive returns at The Compression Closet is that people are unable to don their compression stockings. It’s not that the stockings don’t work or that they are of poor quality, or that they are not what the people expected. It’s simply that they cannot get the garment on or sometimes get it off.
Unfortunately, many of these people live alone or have little or no assistance with these compression garments, which would make a world of difference. However, there are some tricks of the trade and some gadgets that can help with the donning and doffing of compression garments. Let me share some of these with you today. Continue reading
LYMPHEDEMA MISDIAGNOSED FOR 17 YEARS!
Rita ended up in the hospital again, this time with sepsis. She had been here before, due to infections and wounds caused by legs that continually swelled. Time and time again she had sought medical help but to no or little avail. After the hospital stay came the nursing home. Then finally home again with a physical therapist to help her gain back some of the ground she had lost spending so much time immobile.
This was a new therapist, which disappointed Rita. She liked her last home health therapist a great deal. However, she had little say in the matter as her old therapist had left the organization. Finding a good therapist can be challenging at times. Now she says that her new therapist, Monica, was a God send. She was the first person in nearly 17 years who recognized and properly diagnosed her condition, lymphedema. Continue reading
“I fought breast cancer, I’m a fighter! I am cancer free, so what is this about lymphedema after breast cancer? Why was I never told that I could end up with a chronic disease as a complication of my cancer treatments? This lymphedema sucks!” It does suck, yet there are ways of reducing your risk of lymphedema after breast cancer.
While working in a durable medical supply store that catered to breast cancer patients seeking bras and prosthesis, this or a similar sentiment was often heard. It was heartbreaking to me and so frustrating. Going through cancer treatment and receiving a lymphedema diagnosis can be devastating. Were they told, and didn’t remember? Had they never been told and their doctors just hoped for the best? Were their doctors unaware or did they just not want to deal with it?
Dr. Marisa Weiss, chief medical officer of breastcancer.org says, “I can say from experience that the time right after diagnosis, when you are considering options and planning treatment, is a blur. When you are feeling so anxious and overwhelmed, it is hard to listen, understand, and decide. So even if lymphedema gets mentioned during this time, you may not remember it. Or it may not come up because the focus is really on getting you well. So if lymphedema does develop later on, it can feel like yet another insult to the body, one that many women weren’t fully prepared for. The good news is that women can learn how to manage it and lead normal lives.“ Continue reading
A LYMPHEDEMA THERAPIST
Sometimes it can be a real challenge finding a lymphedema therapist, and possibly even harder to find a really good one. Fortunately, there are resources out there to help you in your pursuit to find a therapist. But, what qualifies a medical professional to treat lymphedema? When you do find a qualified professional to treat lymphedema, how do you know if you’ve found a good one? What should you be looking for? Continue reading
PROTECTING YOUR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
Gradient compression stockings are expensive – and to get the best, most effective use out of them it is important to care for them properly. Caring for your compression stockings by wearing donning gloves is one of the first things you can do to protect your investment
These gloves not only help you get your compression stockings on and off, but they also help protect the stockings from jewelry and sharp fingernails. Continue reading
NO FEDERAL GUIDELINES
Did you know there are no governmental guidelines for gradient compression stockings! Are you wearing the right gradient compression stockings? Anyone can put the word “compression” on a pair of stockings? It is extremely important that you are buying your compression stockings from a reputable company and a reputable brand. Purchasing the wrong compression garments can create more problems than they ever solve, especially when dealing with lymphedema. Continue reading
THE REAL QUESTION IS…
Will my insurance company cover my compression garments? Will Medicare cover my compression garments? Sometimes yes, but more often they will not. If they do pay, the real question is, how much will they pay? It’s all part of the medical insurance game. The other day I needed to purchase a prescription drug. I was shocked when they told me the price was over $600. When I explained to them I did not have insurance to cover this drug, they said, “Oh, then we can give you a discount, it will now be only $60.” How can that be? How can a drug price drop that drastically? Continue reading
Dealing With A Chronic Disease
I heard the other day that dealing with a chronic illness, like lymphedema, is similar to dealing with a great loss. Whether you are a therapist or a person dealing with lymphedema it’s important to recognize the emotional toll this disease can take. It is a loss! The loss of a way of life that was known and now has to be adjusted and adapted to deal with this chronic disease. Recognizing the stages of grief can better help you deal with a chronic illness like lymphedema and the emotional toll it takes. Continue reading
Lymphedema & Sheltering at Home
Are you wearing your lymphedema compression garments? I hope so, even if no one’s watching! Even if you are stuck in the house for days and days during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused many states to adopt shelter in place mandates. We all can get lazy not going out of the house for days at a time. We may stay in our pj’s all day, not put on makeup or style our hair. However, we should not become lazy about our compression garments and the care of our lymphedema. I think all of us want to stay away from the hospital at this time, so we don’t need any flare ups of Cellulitis or open wounds. Continue reading