Lymphedema Awareness Month Tips: Compression

Tip no. 6… 3 weeks into March and Lymphedema Awareness Month already!

I know, I know, you REALLY don’t want to hear this one. But let me tell you a little story about my Mom:

Mom was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma 20 years ago. She had surgery to remove it, which involved removing quite a large chunk of her calf muscle too. No joke, her ‘bad leg’ was visibly smaller than than the ‘good leg’, with a scar running the length of her lower leg.

A year later Mom had lymph nodes removed from her groin (we call these inguinal nodes), and shortly after, she noticed her leg started swelling up.

She asked her medical team a lot of questions and got no answers. They felt she was quite troublesome and should be grateful they removed the cancer, not complaining about side effects! (sound familiar?)

So Mom went off to do some research and learned that she had surgery-induced (or secondary) lymphoedema, she found out that there’s a therapy that can help, and she found a therapist.

Now here’s the bit you really need to know: I trained as an MLD therapist so that my Mom could have life-long treatment if she needed it and wouldn’t have to worry about the cost. But in reality, she was so good at her home-care, that she didn’t need me!

Mom was diligent about eating healthily, doing her Simple Lymph Drainage daily AND wearing her compression every single day…

Her ‘bad leg’ is now a little slimmer than the good one and 20 years on she can opt in or out of wearing her garments, because she has her lymphoedema completely under control.

Sound good? Sound like a good reason to learn to love your compression??? Correct-fitting garments, worn as directed by your MLD therapist, every single day, really DO make a difference.

Learn to love your compression for the way it supports your lymphatic system – the external compression, alongside muscle pump (see previous post on Movement) keeps the fluid moving. And then you’ve got to know how to move that fluid to a fully intact drainage area (we’ll cover this another day).

Questions? Just ask. Want to learn the self-care techniques my Mom uses? I can teach you via an online tutorial. Just contact me to book it.


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