Post Surgery Update… Still Waiting!

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Vivid Festival Sydney.. Google images

I thought it was about time I did an update even though I have little to say, still waiting!!!! Today I went for a physio appointment for MLD. (Manual Lymph Drainage) Although I had flown to Perth last week, had done a lot of walking and sitting in cars, my leg survived without getting to swollen. On the other hand it did not improve either, which would have been nice! Next Thursday is the big day when I will have an Ultrasound done to check for viable Lymph nodes. Thank goodness it is not an MRI, as I thought, so I will not have that noise again, it gave me a headache last time! Noise Tunnel… Bang Bang Bang!   I am also due for another Physio appointment that day for MLD and all measurements, (compared to pre surgery) ready for the doctor the following week. Next week will be three months since I had the surgery, I certainly did not expect to be having all this treatment, Ready Wraps, MLD and maybe Complex Bandaging. Somewhere in my head I thought that this would all get easier rather than harder… Sue feels the same as me too as she is wearing a Reidboot to work and Bandaging her leg at night time to get the swelling down. This makes it very difficult to know if any improvement is from the therapy or the new Lymph nodes….. I am also very confused as to wether the swelling in my knee is Lymphoedema or surgical swelling from the transplant or infection, as it gets worse when I use the knee more…… I guess next week all will be revealed. The emotional toll of all this waiting is also way beyond what I imagined and it is great to be able to share this with Sue and other ladies, as we are able to support each other and understand the journey we are on, at times like a crazy roller coaster!! We are the “Leg Ladies”.

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Much more exciting than all of this is the amazing Vivid Festival that starts in Sydney this weekend.The city comes alive with lights colour and music for two weeks. Here are some photos for you to get an idea of the wonderful atmosphere.     http://www.vividsydney.com

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Have a great weekend all…….

Sue Starts Manual Lymph Drainage

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Reid Sleeve

ReidSleeve.. photo Peninsular Medical

Today I am continuing the updates from Sue who has started regular Manual Lymph Drainage as the next stage of her treatment. She is using a ReidSleeve boot like the one above as opposed to the complex Bandaging as you can take it on and off as needed. These are created by Peninsula Medical and are available for legs, arms and hands. Please click on the link below for more information.

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http://www.lymphedema.com/rsleeve.htm

The ReidSleeve (U.S.Patents 5,904,145 5,916,183 5,196,231) is made from a soft foam core. This is specially designed to provide a gentle gradient pressure. The pressure exerted on the limb (arm or leg) is controlled by a series of Velcro® straps. This design allows the compression to be precisely tailored to the patient’s needs. The sleeve easily slides over the affected limb and then the compression straps are adjusted.

The outer shell is made of durable, attractive nylon, available in many colors. The inner lining is made of a blend of cotton and lycra to provide maximum comfort while maintaining effectiveness.

Control of edema in the hand and wrist area is critical. The ReidSleeve incorporates conforming plastic plates to provide consistent, effective pressure to this critical area. The data from the original study demonstrates that the ReidSleeve is highly effective at controlling edema in this area. In a 4-week study, edema in the hands of affected patients was reduced by an average of 80%.

A specially designed gauge (U.S. Patent 5,904,145) is used to assess the pressure exerted over any region of the limb. The gauge is as easy to use as a blood pressure cuff. This simple procedure insures that compression applied to the patient’s limb is consistently applied and in the proper range to provide optimal results.

Patients can fit the sleeve in minutes without assistance and have the confidence of knowing they are applying the most effective pressure. As the patient improves the ReidSleeve can be adjusted to the new limb size thereby maintaining the proper pressure range.

Advantages

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Reidsleeve.. boot.. photo Peninsular Medical

•FDA Class I (880.5160)
•Higher compliance than wraps or pumps
•Less expensive than pumps
•Easily applied in minutes by the patient
•Quickly and reliably adjusted to a precise and consistent pressure
•Can be easily fit and followed by physician, nurse or therapist
•Comfortable
•Provides the patient with effective therapy, while raising self-esteem and encouraging self-reliance
•Quality materials and manufacturing in the USA
•Developed by a physician

Sue says
“I am with you as to this being an up and down emotional journey. I started MLD therapy last Monday (am going three times a week for a month at least). I wasn’t real happy when my therapist measured my leg and it was far worse than it had been when I started the second series of MLD treatment from 12/2011 through 4/2012. I am hoping that because she had not seen my leg right before the surgery, that this may not be as bad of news as I thought. I am wearing a Reid Sleeve for now, since it’s easier for me to wear this big compression “boot” from toes to hip than dealing with the foam compression and elastic bandaging. But if the swelling is not significantly better by this Monday, I am going to have to use those darn bandages. I personally see small changes in my leg, and I am just going to have to be patient. The surgeon said 6-8 months to see if it worked.

If the surgery is successful, then he will do the liposuction to clear out the fat and protein that have settled in the leg, but again only if the surgery is successful.

I have now returned to work and am glad that I did. Thirty days out of work is enough! I wear the big boot all day and just remove it when I have to go out to lunch or anywhere in public. I just don’t want the stares or questions. It looks like I have a broken leg. Who wants to go into details about lymphedema and now the surgery with strangers who have no idea how difficult living with lymphedema is!

Also, I am back to using my pump daily at the instructions of the therapist. I seem to think it helps to use the pump along with the compression boot. When I stopped using it for a few days, I didn’t notice any increased swelling but no less swelling either.

I was happy to read Jennifer’s post. It is good to know what to expect later on down the road!…” Sue

To all the mothers out there I would also like to say a Happy Mothers Day today

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