The vein condition that has been plaguing me for the last year or so has finally got a name. Lymphedema. And I’ve finally gotten some expert help. No, “Here’s some compression stockings, you’re on your own.” (which is what happened when I was first diagnosed).
Nope. During my last intrathical pump refill, Dr. Nutter, (see previous journal entry) took a look at my swollen and mishappen feet and sent me to Good Samaritan Hospital’s Lymphedema clinic. I start twice weekly visits this week. My first visit was last week, and I was given a packet of information to read and I was told a ton of information.
What is lymphedema? Basically, it’s the collapse of a section of the body’s lymph node system. The lymph nodes carry out the garbage that is filtered out of the body by the blood and into the kidneys. When the lymph nodes don’t do their job, the crap, gets stored in that section of the body and STAY there. The garbage doesn’t move out and into your kidneys to be flushed out like it’s supposed to. Lymphedema basically means that the crap stays in the veins and it’s caused my legs to become huge and misshapen (especaily at the feet). In layman’s terms, it’s the collection of fluid, in the arms and legs. It only effects my legs, however.
The treatment is massage, and compression garments (first, ace bandage type wrappings, then custom ‘garments’ (that basically wrap around the affected part (in my case, my lower legs) to squeeze the blood back up into my body. Which then dumps the crap inot my kidneys and then flushes it out of my system. I can see lots of bathroom runs in my future. The “basic kit” costs over $100. Insurance will not cover it. And each visit for getting my legs wrapped and massaged as a co-pay of $30. At least the kit is reusable. Keith will need to learn how to wrap my legs, so we can save $30 a week, otherwise, I’d need to go in a 3rd time, to do this, as I’m supposed to do this every 2 days. Someone on Facebook suggested opening a bank account so that people could donate money to help me. I don’t like asking for charity, but $60-$90 a week is more than I can afford. However, I won’t be able to open a bank account. Keith would never allow it. So, if someone wants to do it on my behalf… send me a message, either on Facebook, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I check emails frequently. (I finally got Outlook 2007 running).