This post won’t be a funny one. It is serious and I mean only to help you or someone you love.

This is a subject that I hope can help others. There is a condition that many have and don’t even know it. It’s called Lymphedema.

Now many experience some swelling here and there. They may even take a water pill for this. And if that helps them then great! However, Lymphedema swelling is very different.

Let’s get some background on what this is.:

In the Human body, fluid (not just blood) flows through it. In this case lymphatic fluid flows down through the extremities and back. With Lymphedema the fluid that flows into the extremities doesn’t all flow back out as it should. It gets trapped and builds. Hense the swelling. This can be due to reasons like Cancer or an injury. There are some cases of Lymphedema running in families. Now if fluid stays too long bad things can happen. Bacteria builds in the fluid and can turn a simple scratch, cut or insect bite into a major infection. This can lead to amputations and even death.

Yeah, all that from swelling. There are some sad truths to know about this condition. There are not that many Doctors that are trained to recognize or treat this condition. So there are many that are going untreated or undiagnosed. And as many Doctors aren’t equipped with the training for this, so many are not being treated accurately. For example some people are given water pills to remove the swelling. Unfortunately, this is one of the worse things you can do with Lymphedema. And only some research is being done to help. (A lot of the research that is being done as part of Cancer research.) But thus far compression is the only real treatment given to us. That’s stockings,wrapping your swelled appendages with a series of special bandages and/or a pump machine. Compression has been used for for so long and it is considered to be the gold standard for treatment. But we need something better. Now, Insurance companies can vary when it comes to treatment but many won’t even pay for the stockings. That is management equipment, and that can run from $60 to over $300. Which the patient has to pay for.

So let’s recap: A condition that many Doctors aren’t trained for, that Insurance companies won’t pay for basic equipment for, and that can lead to limb amputation or death.

You may be asking yourself what is all this to me. Well, I have Lymphedema. It was as a result of a blood clot in my right thigh. (The Doctor I had back then misdiagnosed that too) And it took about 7 years of redness in my leg and swelling that was so tight and painful that it felt like my leg was going to split open, to get me to a Doctor that helped.

I have another link to this condition. My Sister has it. Only she was born with hers. It escalated in her about 4 yrs ago with some sore on her leg. Infection set in and things got…bad. The Doctors did not know how to help her. They considered amputation of her lower leg to stop the spread of infection. Finally one Doctor sent her to a wound care specialist. He knew immediately what to do. It saved her leg and her life.

So I ask this, if you or a family member has swelling of a body part, please see a wound care specialist before you take a water pill. If it’s just a bit of swelling then Yay! But if not, it may just be Lymphedema. The earlier they can catch it the better. So you don’t go through years of pain or go through what my Sister did.

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