Tripidio Flow

‘Tripudio Flow DVD Review’ 

In the latest Spring issue of Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN) I read up about Tripudio:


I have never heard of Tripudio so I was curious and thought it be a great addition to my blog

In late April I contacted Julia Williams the Co-founder to ask if I could do a review?   She kindly sent me her DVD to watch and information so as I could review on a week to week basis.   


Julia facilitates the teaching of Tripudio Movement Systems (TMS) across the United Kingdom.  My review starts as of tomorrow and I shall update on a week to week basis of my progression.  

Week 1


Love from Shetland – NEW location

‘Love from Shetland’ are a small business that produces handmade soaps and bath products with their own goats milk and a variety of oils.  The cosy new shop smells and looks great too!

 Please read the following:


‘New Location on Commercial Street’

On 28th of April ‘Love from Shetland’ re-opened their doors to customers this time at the other end of the main Commercial Street, Lerwick, Shetland.  They moved location from opposite the Queens Hotel to opposite Harry’s department store.  When I arranged to meet up with Esther Jarmson and chat about her skin products I didn’t realise it was their first day opening.  I remember it was a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon and from observation the atmosphere was buzzing with delighted customers young and old.  


The excitement gathered pace in the shop when the arrival of three week baby goat triplets Edwina, Flora & Daisy!


‘Connor the Goat’

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Connor is well known in the Shetland community in helping raise money for the local RNLI lifeboat.  A great worth while cause:

‘Product Information’

The first piece of information I read on ‘Love from Shetland’ was that all their soap products, quote:

go through rigorous cosmetic safety assessments to ensure that they are all lovely and safe for you to use

Their information leaflet also explains that they use no palm oil, parabens or nasty sis’s.   You’ll need to google what they all mean!  All products are made by hand by milking their goats and using up to 7 to 10 different oils in them.  

Esther goat milk soap creation is her own unique recipe.  There are no other soap products like it globally

love-from-shetland-gift-boxes- legoponics-blog
Gift Boxes

Visit ‘Love from Shetland’ SHOP for a variety of great gift ideas:

‘Popular by Demand’

The ‘Love from Shetland’ products are very popular with cruise ships, visiting tourists and locals.  The new shop is even more visible now that they have relocated.  In terms of the local community Esther runs workshops with local children and helps them make their own bath bombs.  As a bonus they get to cuddle the goats too!  

A fun and rewarding day at school I would say!

Keep a look out for ‘Love from Shetland’ EVENTS page:

‘Soap Products’

The first soap products I was shown was the ‘Blackcurrant Seed Oil’ and ‘Marula Oil’ soaps as seen in the following slideshow:


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The blackcurrant has been exceptionally good with a variety of skin conditions and is recommended by their customers.  See their positive REVIEWS on their ‘Love from Shetland’ facebook page:

The marula is a really moisturizing soap it is packed full of antioxidants that rid the skin of aging.  The only product I have used is the marula oil soap.  I recieved it as a gift last year on my birthday.  All I remember is that it lasted for ages and it is great on your skin.  

The Hand Felted soap range is explained by the following photo:


These soaps can be left in their felted pockets and used like a sponge. All the ‘Love from Shetland’ soaps are best used with a wooden soap dish with holes in it so as to air out and reuse.  These wooden dishes are sold seperately.  In the following photo is the hand made ‘oo’ gift bags.  Each ‘oo’ bag is felted by hand using Shetland wool.  They are all made by Esther mother Esme who was there to greet me when I first arrrived.  


The Shetland word ‘oo’ means ‘wool’ 

‘Bath Bombs Products’  


Lastly, the ‘Love from Shetland’ bath bomb products.  These are a firm favourite of mine.  They look great on display in their various baskets around the rustic looking shop.  They make great gifts too! 

Bath Bombs contain bicarbonate soda; citric acid; goats milk powder; avocado oil; jojoba oil; strawberry; clementine; prosecco; white lily; ginseng; blueberry and parma violet to name but a few…

To contact ‘Love from Shetland’


FaceBook page:

Call 01595 697326 











The Awesome Theraband

Wellbeing Tip #1 – ‘Dry Brushing’ & ‘Gravity is your friend’ – see blog link:

Wellbeing Tip #2 – ‘Theraband – Resistance Exercise’

A theraband are latex bands or tubes that are used for physical therapy and light strength training exercises.  They are also commonly used by athletes but also people who are looking for a low-impact strength training workout  

Since mid-February I have used this method of resistance exercise to help with a tennis elbow and strengthening the lower leg calf muscles.   The tennis elbow is mending slowly and the reason for the lower calf exercises are to help avoid limping.  Any limping isn’t good for the posture in the long term.   

My long term goal is to walk more effectively despite my lymphoedema in my whole leg  

my-legoponics & life-tinkin 

I have lived with lymphoedema for four years now and the important thing is to do something active every day.  The purpose being to improve on flexibility and mobility and for me to get from A to B without using a walking stick.  All exercise helps lift your mood too.    

G R E A T   F O R   U P P E R   L I M B   E X E R C I S E S 


L O W E R  C A L F – E X E R C I S E S  


I bought a couple of therabands online as suggested by my physiotherapist.  These therabands are simple to use and very effective to help strengthen muscles and to help lose weight too.   

Pin Interest board for specific usage of the Theraband

This is a great wellbeing tip for all types of individuals to do at home.  A gentle way to help tone, lose weight and strengthen your core and limbs effectively.  Pilates greatly use this method of resistance exercise.    

‘Happy Feet’

On a personal level the theraband resistance exercises have helped with a specific problem caused by wearing open toed compression stockings.  The next picture you can see the difference between open and closed compression garments.


The opened toes are a long term favourite of mine as they are great to wear with sandals in the summer time.  However, personally speaking the open toe garments can help build up lymph fluid directly under the toes making it uncomfortable to walk about.  In seeing a qualified physiotherapist my woes were gone in one day!     

I was amazed that a simple calf exercise made a dramatic difference and very quickly too!  I went from limping to walking normally (as i can) in one day!  

I still get bad days where I can’t walk far but I am improving as the theraband exercises increase.  I am very grateful to my current physiotherapist based in Lerwick, Shetland.   Her service has helped me regain my confidence to be more mobile and to have use of my arm too. All images see Welcome to…page. 

Thank you for reading (:




Yasp on Da Waterfront

YASPlogo is a Shetland dialect word meaning lively and full of wellbeing

YASP is a new private physiotherapy clinic that opened in November 2017.  The location is on the picturesque waterfront of Scalloway harbour, Shetland.  The entrance to YASP is on the left side of the youth centre building.  

  • Opening times  – Tuesday to Friday and late night Thursday

YASPlogo Ethos is to put the patient first and aim to improve your physical health and quality of life, to make you YASP as as you can be!


YASPlogoTeam Members

In brief Margaret Gear MSc, MCSP is the practice principal.  She specialises in neurology (MS or stroke) and rehabilitation.  Paula BSc (Hons), MAACP, MCSP specialises in pain relief and acupuncture. Catherine BSc (Hons), MCSP specialises in hand wrist and arm therapy and in muscle and joint problems.  Judith Nisbet has a wealth of health care administration and assists with exercise classes.  For specific detail of each team member please visit the weblink here


YASPlogo Physiotherapy Clinic

Earlier this week I met with Margaret to chat about the new premises of YASP.  Margaret first gave me a guided tour around the two main physiotherapy treatment rooms.  Both rooms are purpose built and in one room it has a skylight and slanting roof.  I found both rooms equally spacious, well-lit and modern.  


In Margarets treatment room there are two doors.  The second door leads directly into the gymhall of the youth centre.  Upon entrance to the gymhall my eyes were drawn down to the well-polished floor with the usual game hall floor markings.  As I looked up on the opposite wall facing us there is a colourful wall mural I assume was created by the youth centre.  The gym hall is square in shape with high up windows that overlooked the harbour front.  Margaret explained that YASP hire the hall twice a week to conduct exercise classes for the wider community.

YASPlogoServices to the wider community 

Here is a list of what YASP offer;

  • 60 plus clubis an established free class availiable every Wednesday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm 

  • Over 50’s class by popular demand YASPare now running this class every Tuesday from 10.30am 

  • An Escape Pain class is for people with knee or hip pain.  Combined with gentle and individualized exercise.  See YASPContacts below.

YASPlogoSpecialist Classes and Neurological conditions

  • Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or strokecan access exercise classes at Clickimin Leisure Complex   If you are having a health problem that makes it difficult for you to exercise at the Clickimin centre at YASPthey can plan to offer classes that cater specifically for your needs.

  • Core 3 Exercise Classes are now running specifically for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  The classes comprise of floor exercise followed by a break with cooled water, and finishing with a circuit designed to improve balance, strength, mobility and fitness.  Seated exercise is available as an alternative to floor work for those unable to get down to the floor.  There is a free four page booklet with YASP patient testimonies and more information on new treatments specific to(MS).  Cost is £3.00 booked in advance or £4.00 to drop in.

  • ‘Mighty Moves’ is a Parkinson’s Fitness and Wellbeing Project It started on the 5th of April and runs until July 2018.  Margaret was keen to point out in the 1st YASP Spring 2018 newsletterthere is an opportunity for those living with Parkinson’s disease to participate in a new free class!  If you know of anyone in Shetland that has Parkinson’s do get in touch with YASP.    There are two available spaces.  The classes are free as funded until July.  


  • Most patients who receive acupuncture have up to six treatmentswith either Paula Wishart or Margaret Gear.  Top up sessions are available. 

  • The effects of acupuncture treatment are cumulative.  Some may feel immediate relief of their symptoms whilst others may see a gradual improvement.   It does not work for everyone.  

  • Acupuncture is safe when carried out by a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP) because of the strict hygiene guidelines that must be adhered to and the training courses and educational updates that are required. 

  • Acupuncture-Yasp-legoponics-blog

At YASPlogo we concentrate usually on movement, pain and your physical functioning.  We ask questions what are your expectations?  to help improve their quality of life and we negotiate together towards a goal. 

Margaret explained that the business collaborates with the local charitable organisations and NHS Shetland.  It helps folk that bit extra help with specific physical ailments for example, multiple sclerosis (MS).


Lastly, I asked these questions;

What are the best things about working in Shetland? 

Community and culture.  There exists a caring community with those with long-term conditions

What does the word YASP mean to you?  

YASP is obviously a Shetland word.  It has fallen out of use, but it means to be full of health.  Folk would ask about my father, “how is your father?  is he Yasp!? 


  • You can download a self-referral form online or email   

  • Phone contact 01595 747074 

  • You can also pop into the waiting room or leave messages in the secure letterbox outside. 

  • Margaret can arrange a home visit and go over suitability. Sometimes the service doesn’t cater for needs and YASP advised to seek treatment with the NHS.

  • Transport is availaible with the British Red Cross from Lerwick to Scalloway only.  You have to make your way to the capital Lerwick. I blog about the helpful Britsih Red Cross – press link  

Feedback on my

Your writing is readable, lightsome and there is some really good health information on your blog 

– April 2018 Margaret Gear  



My Secondary Lymphoedema or as I call it legoponics

Hello and welcome to my first blog post from the wintery island of Shetland.  This is my story based on facts with some reflective poems.


What is Lymphoedema?

Firstly, in the United Kingdom Lymphoedema affects up to a quarter of a million people but globally the figure is in its millions.  Lymphoedema occurs when the lymph nodes become blocked or are removed from the body.  These lymph nodes are found under the arms, neck and groin areas. The lymphatics are often described as the plumbing system of the body and that its main job is to fight off infection in the body defence mechanism.  I specifically have ‘Secondary Lymphoedema’.  The ‘secondary’ part means it was not cancerous and it is either caused by an infection, injury, part of cancer treatment, inflammation of the limb, or a lack of limb movement.

I visualise my limb disability using the metaphor of ‘hydroponics’. Hydroponics is a water circulatory system used in botanicals to grow plants without soil.  Since, it is essentially my leg limb that is affected I just put the two together and called it legoponics.  The reason why I did this is because I get fed up telling people what the word ‘Lymphoedema’ means.  Their eyes glaze over or, it feels like it goes in one ear and quickly out the other.  It isn’t in simple layman or laywomanterms.  It is medical jargon best kept for those that understand this type of terminology.

Leg-o-ponics’, at least gives an idea to what is wrong with the ‘water works’ in my leg.  A visual ‘H2O’ hint

If others cannot still understand then at least I have tried my best to uncomplicate this word ‘Lymphoedema’.

In this legoponics blog I aim to write in a frank and open narrative. Importantly, I aim for this personal account to help others with secondary lymphoedema who may feel at times vulnerable, alone or struggling with this condition.  

To ‘help inform and raise awareness’ from a personal perspective 

I have source material mostly from my reflective journal entries from 2013, my artwork, photos and notes from a mobile app.  Lastly, in some parts I have added my poems to help convey my emotions to help navigate the narrative.


‘Strange Boots’

It was Christmas day 2013 when I first noticed something was odd.  This oddity and strangeness appeared when I was putting on my sheepskin lined winter boots.  I was getting ready to drive and spend Christmas with my family.  My whole right lower shin was completely snug into my knee length boot.  However, the top of my left boot was loose by a one-centimetre concentric gap.  I wasn’t immediately concerned as distracted by Christmas day preparations.  I never viewed this as a major threat to my health or life as there was no pain; just a minor discomfort.  

Unknown to me at the time this ‘strange’ and subtle change was the beginning of a whole new life path

Ironically the little labels stitched onto the sides of each boot said ‘Strange’.  I loved wearing these boots as they were unique and fashionable for wintertime.  They were leather with a specialist distressed look; almost a crackle effect.  They looked good with black or blue denim jeans or skirts and they felt so cosy on a cold winters day.  It took me two years to get around to wearing them.  Still in their original box they were an expensive impulse buy.  In total I got to wear them for three winter seasons and Christmas 2013 was sadly the last.  Reluctantly in late 2014 I eventually sold my strange boots on eBay.  It wasn’t the only shoe or boot grief that I had to succumb to; there was more to follow in its footsteps.  No more heels, ankle or welly boots.  In terms of clothing no more skinny jeans or anything that constricted my lower half of the body.  Like any lymphie fashion the more elastic and stretch the better!

Skinny Black Jeans’
the other day in town
I saw a stranger walk
down da street
she wore skinny black jeans
and black leather boots
it occurred to my memory
my once narrow pins
were clad in similar attire
they looked exactly like hers
a flash back to the past
only thinking of errands to complete
with no mind of any walking obstacles
now I must look where I am walking!
pavement slabs, concrete kerbs
wet tarmac, and uneven tracks
the everyday mundane underfoot
it now holds my attention
I don’t miss skinny jeans
I have boot cuts jeans instead
elastane stretched preferred
or leggings with wide calf boots
with knee length dresses or skirts
I have moved on
from skinny black jeans

@legoponics Winter 2017

I learn since my diagnosis in 2014 that ‘comfort’ comes before fashion. More importantly I cannot afford to impulse buy and let shoes live in their boxes anymore.  

I feel every woman or man has at one time bought an item of clothing or footwear and thought, ‘yeah I can wear this somewhere, with something?’ ‘but!’ when is another thing

Fashion guilt purchases yes! I am guilty of these.  Presently, everything I buy must count and take on a more practical common-sense’ approach.  It is a far removed from the glamour of catwalk fashionista narrative.

Presently, clothes shopping takes on a new meaning for me.  In the past I could pop into a clothes shop and buy items without thinking of looking at the labels to see if it is elasticated or not.  I must now carefully select items and then check each label ‘one by one’.  I mentally question every item and ponder

‘What is the pe rcentage of elastane?’ or, ‘is it going to fit, stretch, reveal, hide or look strange on my leg or body?’

Due to living on a Scottish island with less shopping choices I prefer like many to buy online or visit the mainland.  Sometimes I visit second-hand shops and still come across a bargain or items to accessorize.  I love clothes shopping but now I must plan how long it takes to go from A to B in terms of travel planning. On a good day I get everything done. On a bad day I cancel: I can’t face the journey ahead of me.  So far in 2018, most days are good.


From February to August the 1st of 2014 was the medical time scale of how long it took to fully understand what I had.  

An unanswered question popped up in my head, perhaps my location didn’t help? living on a Scottish island?  The fact was it wasn’t a recognisable health condition and left all medical staff on the island puzzled?

It was on the mainland Scotland that I eventually got a name to my health problem.  I am grateful to all medical NHS staff on the island and the mainland who did their best to find a solution.  However, in hindsight from what I have experience there needs to be more awareness of this ‘subtle and painless’ health condition.

One lady I met in 2015 didn’t get a diagnosis for over a decade she thought she just couldn’t lose weight in her teens.  

There are a few stories like this found by reading personal accounts on the internet a ‘common delayed diagnosis

I sometimes wonder if both my legs went large at the same time I wouldn’t straight away think it was a medical issue!  Depending on your age group it could be easily dismissed as weight gain due to diet and lifestyle, or the menopause or the expected middle-aged spread. My account is from a female perspective only and I cannot comment on what it is like for men but there might be some similarities like diet and lifestyle causes.

In the whole of February 2014, the initial sign for me was having one ankle consistently more swollen than the other.  Since that Christmas day warning in 2013 I never worried as it disappeared the next day. Even now each morning after sleeping the swelling goes down and the ankle is near normal looking again.  It has a pattern like the oceans on earth: a low tide and a high tide.  It has very subtle warning signs; just silent tidal movements.


Before I went to my doctor in the last week of February I had one dramatic and painful incident.  It is maybe connected to my Lymphoedema from a walk I did on February the 1st 2014.  This walk took place on a secluded beach in Northmavine, Shetland accompanied by my daughter.  I remember it being a sunny and fresh day with a pale winter sun that set early afternoon.  To catch the best of this winter sun was to hit the road and drive somewhere not too far rather sooner than later.
My daughter and I walked slowly down to the beach.  

1487085868595 - Copy (2)

It was a great way to clear away the cobwebs and start afresh for 2014 or so I thought!  At the end of the walk both my daughter and I got our feet waterlogged.  Both trainers and wellies alike were filled up with freezing seawater.  We both got carried away running in and out of the surf and getting chills off the waves hitting the isolated beach again and again.  Soon it was all over, and we were home, warm and dry while the winter sun set behind the black shadowed hills.

The following day after sunrise, I tried to get up out of bed but couldn’t move.  An intense pain from my kidney area seared my whole being. I cried out for help.  My daughter came running anxiously waiting for me to say something.  The pain had its say first and I had no choice but stay still and listen.  For twenty minutes intense hot and then cold stabbing pains took their turns to play its dark tango with my hypothalamus.

‘What is going on?!’, I screamed in my head.  Eventually, a state of calm descended, and the deadly tango started to go at a more sedate pace

Eventually I rang a NHS 111 helpline and was told to go to see my doctor.  Thankfully, since that morning I have not had any repeats.  At the time I was just grateful my daughter was staying over that weekend and was there to help.

Strangely it wasn’t this painful one-off incident that prompted me to see my doctor; only the consistent swollen ankle.  I felt something was very wrong when this swelling was not going way and there was no recent injury.  I phoned up the doctor and got a routine appointment on that same day.

‘Process of Elimination’

The appointment became more urgent than routine when my doctor extended more time to investigate further.  I was there for forty-five minutes when bloods were taken.  I walked out with an urgent referral.

Journal entry 28th of February 2014 Hospital investigation.  Spent six hours in A&E. Saw doctors and nurses, which took a long time; a process of elimination.  Last piece of investigation of the day was in the X-ray department for an ultrasound for my upper abdomen and pelvic area.

The following are questions I was asked: any trauma to leg area; any travel to exotic countries to rule out any insect bites; recent surgeries in the last few years.  Family history of clots; contraceptive methods; IV drugs injected?  I did have mandatory immunisations in late 2013.

Once all the above tests were completed and the results were normal, deep vein thrombosis was excluded.  It concluded that a Lymph node biopsy was to be performed soon in the beginning of March.  During the biopsy I was awake.  I could feel the stitches.  This made me glad that I could talk to the anaesthetist and request more painkillers.

I was discharged later in the day and I was waiting to get picked up outside the hospital.  I was not in any state to drive thirty miles home. My friend took the wrong turning and drove over many speed bumps, we started giggling at the hilarity of it all.  Each speed bump induced more giggles and so the amusement went on.  Eventually I arrived home bump free.

On a later date of 18th of April 2014 my doctor was updated about my lymph node biopsy.  In conclusion I had normal lymph nodes and x-ray on my back tested normal.  In time after the operation I did feel my leg become a bit swollen.  It was noted my leg measurements had a three-centimetre difference.  The next hospital investigation was to do a MRI scan on my pelvic area to be conducted on the mainland.  All travel arrangements were made, and I did a one-day journey and returned the same day.

It was into late June 2014 my MRI scan results showed no other signs of any abnormities.  It was concluded there was no reason given to how or why I had lymphoedema.  It was puzzling to my consultant.  She seemed mystified as to why I had this problem.  However, the next step was to give me the long-awaited answer.

It was a beautiful morning on the 1st of August 2014 I was told I had Secondary Lymphoedema: it was for the rest of my life

I remember after my first visit I had panicky feelings.  It was all unknown and I did my own research.  I read everything I could find online and started getting confused with the differences between Lymphoedema and Lipoedema.  It took a while to really understand what Lymphoedema was and how to live with it.

‘The Lymphie Support’

The best advice I received in the United Kingdom was based in London, ‘Lymphoedema Support Network’.

I rang them up and relayed my first initial fears.  They offer an excellent listening ear and were very helpful!

They gave me advice and information leaflets.  The membership fees are low, and you can get informative magazines four times a year.  I purchased a medical alert card from their online shop.  It is useful for employment and if you are going into hospital.

Other helpful advice I have received since 2014 are Clan Cancer Support based in Shetland and MacMillan they have a free contact number.

After four years of being a Lymphie I am ready to share my journey.  I hope that my blogging shall help raise awareness of lymphoedema and wellbeing and more besides.   Thank you for reading x


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