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Click to read "I love my Caregivers" by Wanda

I love my Caregivers

By Wanda

I developed primary lymphedema as a teen. Fortunately I receive good care and was trained in all the phases of self-care. I married soon after I finished college. Fortunately I had mastered my self-care routine because so I soon had my two frisky little boys who required a lot of watching over.

When they started school, and started my career as a teacher. For the first few years there were questions about, “What’s wrong with your legs?” After explaining the problem, the novelty wore off and I was just known as the teacher with the lumpy legs. It didn’t seem long before my boys were young married men with families of their own. They enriched my life with the presence of two delightful daughters-in-law and four practically perfect grandchildren.

Despite my husband’s untimely death, I learned to be happy again and ignored my worsening arthritis and other signs of the aging process. Denial was successful until I developed an infection in my foot. At this point I had to admit that I could no longer reach my feet to not provide my foot care. Also, I had stopped wearing my compression stockings because I could not get them on or off without help.

Despite my years of experience, I now had to admit that I needed help with my self-care. But wait because this is where my story has a happy ending! Without my knowledge my daughters-in-law, Trish and Margo, got together with my lymphedema therapist, and together they worked out a plan by which they could share in helping me. It was only after the planning was underway that they told me what “we” were going to do.

First my therapist had them read the new book, “Lymphedema Caregivers Guide.” Then we had a group session in which my therapist demonstrated a procedure (on me) and then each of the girls performed it.

There were some mishaps but my daughters learned quickly. In addition to receiving essential treatment, I discovered an added benefit. As each caregiver was providing the help I need, this gave us time together to share. We talk, share, and even laugh as we watch a roll of bandaging escape and scoot across the floor. Most important of all, I’m getting to know them better and love them more. This is truly a wonderful blessing.

“Lymphedema Caregivers Guide.” by Mary Kathleen Kearse, PT, CLT-LANA, Elizabeth McMahon, PhD, and Ann Ehrlich, MA. published by Lymph Notes 2009.

Got a question or comment? Post in the 'Living With Lymphedema' forum. Share your stories in My Stories.
Category: Living well with Lymphedema


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