It is a sunny and crisp Sunday morning here in Shetland. The blackbirds and little sparrows are chirping loudly from a neighbours bird feeder. The odd squawk from a distant seagull
Since I started this blog a week ago conversations about the lymphatics in general was interesting. Apart from the few friendly enquiries and supportive chats one conversation stuck out from the rest. I asked the person in question for their permission to blog. They preferred anonymity, so I shall refer to them as Robin.
In a light-hearted and humorous way Robin texted
I was born special’ and, quote having double Legoponix in both legs
(Awesome typo 😊 so used it as heading). It was news to me and I never guess Robin had this condition at all. Robin agreed with the quote from my first blog, ‘…a ‘common delayed diagnosis’ under the heading of ‘Diagnosis’.
Robin points out,
I was undiagnosed for ages and working self-employed on my feet for up to 14 hours a day…I got super chunky’. Robin goes onto explain, ‘the NHS investigated but it was Macmillan nurses that picked up my case
Instead of primary or secondary lymphoedema Robin had a very late diagnosis of Primary Lipoedema. Links: http://www.lipoedema.co.uk/
Briefly, primary lipoedema is a condition that you are born with and it can run in the family. It can miss a generation but can be passed on by genetics. Lipoedema can be easily overlooked and commonly individuals are forever dieting and watching their weight but it never goes. Getting an early diagnosis and correct treatment is important.
After Robin was diagnosed,
I then had two rounds of cellulitis’. Upon asking me if I ever encountered it I confirmed never. Robin answered, ‘you haven’t lived it’s a barrel of laughs!
I can’t imagine and hope to never encounter it but the likelihood is a higher percentage than non-lymphies. Oh well, my attitude is all you can do is be prepared. In both lymphie conditions the skin gets tighter due to swelling of limb/s and can cause the deep layers of skin to come out in painful cellulitis if not properly maintained.
I can’t imagine what it is like but after reading some recent posts from various social media groups it is plain nasty. Flare ups look painful and from one post I could see an individual was hospitalized. The LSN Network provides a helpful leaflet called ‘Management of Cellulitis in Lymphoedema’. If you sign up as a member you can order specific leaflets and DVD’s for your own specific requirements. I keep my leaflet in storage for now hidden from sight.
Then I got it…
‘Wellbeing tip: Skin Care’
In the last four years of having Lymphoedema I find dry brushing is great. I fully recommend it if you are lymphie or non-lymphie. The main benefits are;
reduces cellulite (very awesome)
lastly soothes the mind
In the early stages of brushing I don’t agree with the last part of the list, ‘soothes the mind’. I remember a few expletives at first and how I persevere to get through it.
Usually, I am not that hot on health kicks but, this dry brushing really is the deal. Once you get through a few brushing routines it is an added bonus to any self-care routine
Remember to buy a good quality dry brush specific for body brushing or else you shall waste time and money on something that doesn’t do the job.
FACT: The skin organ is the largest and the amount of skin cells we lose in a day is staggering. In one year, you’ll shed more than 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of dead skin (from howstuffworks.com)
To dry brush properly is to use specific brush stroke movements as seen in the image below.
‘A ‘wee’ wellbeing tip’
The last *wee tip is from Robin who advised me to raise my bed (feet end of course) by 4-6 inches.
It helps with limb swelling. Quote, ‘you’ll be amazed the next morning and lastly, ‘remember gravity is your friend!’
Cheers Robin (:
*Wee is used alot in Scotland it means ‘little’ so don’t be offended it just Scottish slang.