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My experience with intensive treatment of Lymphedema – part 2

The process until now has been nice and efficient. The second week went similar to the first. The same type of program and I was eager to workout as much as I could. We learned how to cook power without salt. Both broth and vegetable stock. It was a revelation that I could make meals this amazing without salt. Fantastic for both soups and sauces. The vegetable stock was absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to try it out at home!

We learned how to do the bandages ourselves. That one becomes more independent and are able to bandage oneself it crucial for the long rung. You become less dependent on the physiotherapist. Still, to get the right material you must still have contact with the physiotherapist. It is also recommended to go to a physiotherapist for lymphatic massages. Twice this week I’ve been able to have enjoy some relaxation by the pool. Absolutely beautiful to swim a little and do light exercises in the warm water and just take it easy.The pool at Meråker kurbad

Absolutely wonderful to bathe while watching the view down the valley and the beautiful sunset. The large panoramic window in the pool make it a spectacular experience. Sunday I had a visit from my daughter and my dear Poet. Had no bandages on and got comments that my legs were significantly slimmer. We went for a long walk in the nice spring weather. Absolutely great to walk without bandages and gigantic shoes. Compared to the bandages the compression pants now feels like proper snuggle pants.

On Sunday night I started feeling really bad. It felt like my blood sugar level had dropped significantly. There was nothing to eat in the room, all I had to eat was a pice of candy and some water. Monday morning I still felt really crappy, all my energy had vanished.

Then I learned something important about intensive treatment I did not know beforehand. During the treatment you can get to a point where you get exhausted. I was unergetic, tired, shaky and irritable. Felt several times as if I was going to faint. I was in real bad shape.

During the Nordic Walk on Tuesday a nurse informed me that when all the salt disappear from your diet, the fluid in your body will be released which causes your blood pressure to fall, due to less pressure to the bloodvessels.

The edema presses on blood vessels and people with lymphedema can often get elevated blood pressure. When the blood pressure then falls during treatment, you get such symptoms as I had. The body is also subject to much stress during the intensive treatment. It is common to have a reaction after aprox. two weeks. I was encouraged to measure my blood pressure if I got the same symptoms again. If you have high blood pressure initially and was medicated for it, one should also measure your blood pressure throughout the treatment, since it can change drastically. This was brand new information for me.

It was a logical explanation, and albeit I had not measured my blood pressure that day, I’m pretty certain this is what happened to me. I discussed it with some of the other patients, and several others had felt the same discomforts. For me it is imperative to know -why- I’m feeling a certain way.

We have also been fortunate to learn more about compression garments from a Jobst lady. Now I have the knowledge to know what and how to order the garments.Jobst elcarex_lyph1211









Now in weeks three of the treatment I can feel the program taking its toll on me. Today I’m exhausted, and don’t really wanna do anything. The procrastination-ghost has taken residence inside of me. Things have gone slow today, I have postponed almost everything til’ the last minute. Little, to no desire, to put on bandages today. In the ned though, they got put on, and the group went for a walk to a bivouac in the afternoon. It is important to keep moving when wearing the bandages to get the lymph-fluids to flow properly.

Turmålet, Gapahuken til Meråker Kurbad

I’m so happy we are a group of people who are able to push each other forward. Every time you reach the bivouac you get a point, for every ten points you will receive a distinction pin.

The days have gone by quickly. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of this. However what saddens me is the it took me so many years to be diagnosed. Because of this the disease is no longer reversible and some of the edema has turned into tissue. I do see a difference in my legs, especailly my ankles are slimmer, however they might never fully recover. Nonetheless every inch smaller makes me happy.

One of my sisters in the group has even inspired me to start knitting, so now knits we mitts which we will later felt. You can do anything you put your mind into !

I have now whan I am writing this, only six day left, at my stay here at Meråker Spa and I will do my outmost to get the most out of it. To all of you who wonder if you try to get into a treatment like this; do it! Yes it might be a big uncomfortable at times, even hard, but if I can do it, so can YOU! And please remember, the quicker you get treatment, the better likelihood you will have for a full recovery. ( I do not know if this is possible to get outside Norway without paying full price, i write about whats possible in Norway). Ask your Lympedema theraphist)



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