"From the time I was a teenager, until my diagnosis and treatment in 2007, I suffered with numerous pressure wounds and infections. Over 25 years, I had 9 cellulitis infections and 3 bone infections. Not only did these infections seriously jeopardize my health and land me in the hospital for 1-6 weeks on IV antibiotics, but as a single mother, easy episode was very disruptive to our normal family life. The cause of the wounds and subsequent infections was my Lymphedema, and I was told time and time again that nothing could be done. As my swelling progressed, my doctors suggested I amputate both legs. I was desperate, miserable, and very depressed. I was only weeks away from my pre-op visit with the surgeon when a wound care nurse suggested a local lymphedema clinic. I went for the initial evaluation on 1/3/07 and never looked back. By September of that year, I was back in shoes again. My daughter, who was 11 at the time, had never seen me in shoes!! Without the use of my compression garments that are worn 24 hours/day every day, my swelling would return and continually progress…….."
-JS, Colts Neck, NJ
What is Lymphedema?
- An abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid beneath the skin in a part of the body, usually in the arm or the leg, but it can also occur in the breast, trunk, head, neck, or genitals.
What causes Lymphedema?
- Congenital Defect in the lymph system
- Cancer Surgery and its treatments (Chemotherapy, Radiation, Lymph Node Removal)
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency, Vein Disease, or Blood Clots in Legs
- Multiple Orthopedic Surgeries
- Severe Trauma to the limb
- Lack of muscle pump (Paralysis, Sedentary Lifestyle)
What kind of treatment is there for Lymphedema?
- To reduce the swelling - Complete Decongestive Therapy (Manual Lymph Drainage, Multi-Layered Compression Bandaging, Skin Care, Nail Care, Exercise, Self Care Training with compression garments.
- To maintain the reduction achieved in treatment - Use of Compression Garments and other secondary tools such as Self Manual Lymph Drainage, Exercise, and Diet.
Does Insurance cover treatment?
- Most insurance companies will cover some or most of the treatment to reduce the swelling but many, like Medicare, do not cover the costs of the most integral part of maintaining the reduction - Compression Garments.
What can I do to help?
- Support PeaPod Purse and register to walk on March 28, 2015 or make a donation to help raise money for those living with Lymphedema
- Participate in other fundraising events throughout the year - sign up to our mailing list to be informed about future events!