This week marks Lymphoedema Awareness week, an awareness week to talk about how ‘Every Body Can’ stay active, despite living with the long-term chronic illness Lymphoedema.
Lymphoedema should not prevent you from your everyday activities or limit your usual lifestyle. We are happy to be able to share with you, a Q&A session between our Lymphoedema Nurse Specialist, Alana Vine, and one of our patients, Louise Taylor.
Louise was diagnosed with Lymphoedema in 2016 by our Specialist Lymphoedema Team. Since then, Louise has learned how to manage her condition, to enable her to live an active lifestyle.
Alana met with Louise and asked her some very interesting questions about her lifestyle and how she manages her condition.
How does your Lymphoedema affect you when exercising?
“Before I got compression stockings, I found I couldn’t do much exercise as my legs were very swollen and I was in lot of pain. Now I wear my compression stockings every day, so I can exercise regularly. I do find though that when at yoga I struggle to do some of the moves, so I do what I can.”
How often do you exercise?
“I walk up to 3-4 miles every day plus I do a yoga session and a kettlebell class once a week – I Love walking and once I get my dog, hopefully I’ll be out even more”
Does exercise help?
“Yes, I do think that it helps. Certainly, with keeping my weight balanced which is important when you have Lymphoedema. It’s good for my mental health as well and I find I do miss it if I can’t get out.”
What else do you do that helps?
“I find resting with my legs up helps and I like to have leg massages. I’m trying to learn self-massage when applying creams as I find my legs get very dry which is also a side effect of Lymphoedema.”
Does the Lymphoedema stop you doing things?
“I find that I can’t do some movements which affects my confidence, making it hard for me to try new things. Clothing can also be a problem as I am self-conscious of the fact I wear the support stockings, so I won’t wear skirts and dresses or sandals.
It’s also harder in the summer when it’s hot, but it’s these times I need to wear the garments more so. Despite all this I have to admit that my legs look much better and have a nice shape now with the stockings and I can get shoes and boots on!”
Being active is a vital need to promote the bodies circulation. When a person is affected with Lymphoedema it’s even more important to keep a stable weight and keep those muscles moving! That way the blood and lymphatic fluid is encouraged to flow, reducing the lymphatic swelling.
Thank you to Louse for sharing her story to help raise awareness of Lymphoedema. If you have any questions you can contact our Lymphoedema Team on 01900 705200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org