The talking stick…. Talking therapy


Talking stick

“The talking stick, also called a speaker’s staff, is an instrument of aboriginal democracy used by many tribes, especially those of indigenous Peoples of the Northwest Coast. The talking stick may be passed around a group or used only by leaders as a symbol of their authority and right to speak in public.
In a tribal council circle, a talking stick is passed around from member to member allowing only the person holding the stick to speak. This enables all those present at a council meeting to be heard, especially those who may be shy; consensus can force the stick to move along to assure that the “long winded” don’t dominate the discussion; and the person holding the stick may allow others to interject. Talking sticks have high ceremonial and spiritual value, and have proved to be exceedingly useful during current implementations.
Akan chiefs in Western Africa have a tradition of speaker’s staffs capped with gold-leafed finials. These emerged in the 19th century as a symbol of the holder’s power.” From Wikipedia

Had a great day catching up with two fellow Lymphies…. So much talking, so much excitement, speaking to others who can understand the ups and downs of living with Lymphoedema.. When I came home I had to chuckle as I thought what we needed was a “Talking stick” … That way only the one with the stick talks and the others wait their turn!!! Well of course we had so much to say and I have to admit to a bad habit of butting in when I have something I want to add!! We discussed compression garments, rolling tops, foot pieces, open toe, closed toe, grade, brands etc etc.. We laughed at my first compression garment that had lace on it, as if I could make it sexy!! We lifted our skirts and compared legs !!! We talked about treatments, surgeries, how our Lymphedema started, how it is now… We talked of hopes and fears. Mostly we laughed at the black humour our situation brings!! Yes we talked and talked….that is what has been the best thing for me since starting this blog, I am no longer alone with my Lymphoedema and that has made a huge difference. Today we met in Windsor as that was a central point we could all get to.. We will do this again and if any other Lymphies from Sydney and surrounding areas would like to join us then let me know… Yes the “Talking stick” will work its magic better than any therapy session!!


Windsor is a historical town at the foot of the Blue Mountains in NSW

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18 thoughts on “The talking stick…. Talking therapy

  1. Hi sounds like you had a great day its good to share .
    Just wanted to know if you had the lymph node transplant in Australia or overseas?
    How successful has it been?

    • I had it here at Macquarie uni Hospital.. It takes about two years to see real results but I will have an ultra sound in March to check progress.. That is one year since surgery.. I have had no infections since having it done which was important for me… My lower leg looks good but I still need to wear compression .. March I will be able to have some concrete results.. It is a very slow process and no instant fix ..

  2. This sounds so nice. I wish I was close to Sydney. I am searching for someone that I could connect with, but not sure how to find someone local to me. Any suggestions? I am thinking about starting a blog as well. It appears to be helpful. How did you start yours? If you don’t mind me asking. I love reading your posts. Have a great day!

    • My daughter helped me start my blog but WordPress that I use is actually not to complicated as they have set themes you can use.. It is free unless you want a personalised theme or extras.. They have tutorials to help… I learn as I go along!!…I really enjoy doing this and I can’t believe the difference it has made to me in a year… Also on FB there are Lymphedema groups from all over the world that you can connect with… Where do you live??? Maybe there is someone reading who is close by you never know… If you start a blog then you can link with mine and others blogs and that is how you grow… Let me know how you go and let me know if you start blogging… You will love it.. Cheers Helen

      • Helen,
        Thank you for your information. I will look into it. Do you still have to pay for the domain? I live near Richmond, VA. I have found some facebook support. I just joined in May so that I could talk to someone that understands. It really does help. I will definately keep you posted. I know I would enjoy it as well. Take care and have a good day.

        • I pay about $98 Australian for a basic package that gives me what I need … It includes the domain name but that did not seem to work properly as some one had taken it!!! To complicated for me so I just use the WordPress one for my name… My philosophy with all of this is keep it as simple as possible and it seems to work!!!

  3. Hi Helen,
    Love the “Talking Stick” story and especially love that you have now have a lymphie group “Down Under.” We know so well how beneficial it is to have other lypmphies to commiserate and also laugh with!
    With love from your “New York Bonding Group” ~
    Leslie xoxo
    p.s. Don’t know if the “Talking Stick” would work for a bunch of women . . . Isn’t that what all women do . . . butt in and talk at the same time? 🙂

    • Hi Leslie… Yes I do not think even a Talking Stick would keep us in order when we get all happy and excited!! Women just naturally bubble over!!! Yes I made this my plan when I got home to get together with others here… If I can do it in New York I can do it in Sydney!!! Nothing formal just a group of women having a good time!… It makes such a difference.. Just being able to laugh at things that when you are home by yourself are really upsetting… Cheers Helen 😃😃😃

  4. The part of your post that I identified with most was being able to talk with people who understand. I live in a very small town >1000, so everyone here now knows why I wear a compression sleeve. When I am anywhere else, I always get asked what happened to my arm. The question is asked out of concern. It is just amazing how little is known about lymphedema, even in the medical community.

    • Hi Lois… Yes it is a sad state of affairs the lack of knowledge and understanding of Lymphoedma… That is why we must speak out and share our stories… There are still awful stories about patients treatment by doctors who have no idea and this often leads to people not being diagnosed and given the treatment they need.. It is my wish that one day when I say I have Lymphoedema that people will understand the same as if I said I was diabetic or had Asthma!! It is my dream… Have a good day .. Helen ❤❤

  5. It is great to be able to meet and discuss these complex issues with those that have a better understanding. The mind needs to be stimulated and hopefully the body will benefit too. 😄😄😄

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