I snapped a pic of my flare up. Recently someone asked me, “What’s an LE flare up?” The response was almost unanimous. An LE flare up is when you are extra swollen, extra achey, and usually in pain due to external forces like illness other than LE, barometric weather changes, prolonged sitting/standing from travel or work, heat, insect bites, etc. The list is probably endless and obviously based on the individual. When I have a flare up, I pump, elevate, drink lots of green tea and water, and wrap.
Thursday was a 10 hr workday on top of a 7:45 am LE appointment. I was going to post how excited I was about starting CDT with my original CLT. The one that’ helped me reduce in 2014. Can you say reunited with a bestie? Haha We talked so much, and she told me all about what she learned at the NLN conference last year.
That excitement quickly died into concern. The bad news is both my LE doctor (saw him last Monday) and her recognized straightaway that I’m swollen on the right leg. Way out of range for my baseline. Today I had confirmed pitting for the first time in 3 years and about a 5 cm difference between both legs. My CLT arched both eyebrows, because no bones were visible anymore.
I’ll always be honest with you guys. This is not a joke. I was bitten by a spider on my torso and put on 10 lbs almost instantly and have been fighting just a general feeling of malaise. My garments are tight. I am finishing up antibiotics though. ANYTIME I have stress or sickness, fluid settles in the weakest part of my lymphatic system. That’s my right ankle. I was honestly expecting cellulitis to hit, but so far I’m good. Knock wood. KNOCK WOOD.
Back to the swollen right leg. Though I have bilateral leg LE plus truncal, my poor right ankle was the first to step up to the plate Lymphie style. It’s one tough son of a gun, let me tell you. LE has been there since big hair and hair guitar rock bands like Poison were cool. Since Netscape Navigator was the best browser on the market. Way before Google!
Back to the swelling concern. You ever have one of those moments when you look at someone straight in the eyes and words pass but you don’t say anything? That’s me with my LE doctor, and CLT. The words that passed without being spoken were that I’m 23 years into this, and I’m AGING with LE. So despite my best efforts, it’s maybe time to go flat knit custom.
My doctor wrote the script and deadpanned “Please stay out of trouble. You’re one of my best patients.”
Hmmm… maybe he sensed my reluctance to change yet AGAIN. Maybe he knows I might pull my old tricks of when I could get away with no compression in my 20s and early 30’s, except I might wear off the shelf instead of just going bare. You think I don’t know that the mild peeps “skip” days. Puuleeze, I did it all the time. I know, it’s human nature. Then one day, my chances ran out. Just like now.
I know the veteran Lymphies (not military but LE lifers) will say “We told you, Vern!!” Yes, you did tell me that flat knit was the way to go. That’s fine. I fought a good fight. Didn’t we all? I predict I will be in denial and try to find some type of workaround plan. It seems like every year I have some sort of change with respect to LE. Frankly, it’s kind of getting on my nerves already!
So this is me putting it out there. If you are mild or relatively new to this, think about the long term. Think about where you will be 20 years from now, which will be 2037. Make no bones about it, LE changes over time.
I’ll keep you posted on my CDT journey. Wishing you awesome lymphatic health.