Now that the show has aired, I can reveal that I was sick as a dog that day. Before the taping, I had developed this dry hacking cough that weekend, but I was not about to cancel. On the plane over, I had my head covered in a huge wool scarf. Super thick. I didn’t want to spread germs to others on the plane, No fever or drainage, just a nagging cough. Then when I landed in Los Angeles, our plane was stalled on the tarmac for about an hour.
The wildfires were raging in California, and I started coughing all the more when I hit the street air. It was all over the news. Later I was deeply saddened to learn that a fellow Lymphie lost his life in the fires.
That morning I think I drank 6 cups of herbal tea and a few cups of coffee to keep my cough at bay. My cousin in CA, who has LE too, had taken me to CVS to get cough drops. You don’t see it on the show, but I’m holding cough drops in my hand.
The whole time I was thinking, “Please God, don’t let me cough all over these beautiful people and ruin this show. Please God, let me just be a help of some kind.”
You know how when you are attending a special church service, a funeral, a graduation, a marriage, etc and you are trying to suppress a cough? That’s how I felt. I was trying to breathe through my nose without exploding from my chest. You don’t want to miss it, because you know these opportunities are once in a lifetime and they are important for whom you are there to support. I was there to support LE&RN in full force.
Emma’s Incredibles – Team Lymphedema
I just cannot say enough about the Detlefsen family. At the time, I was simply awestruck by the poise and fierce bravery of tiny Emma. This was my third time meeting this beautiful young girl in 2018. Afterwards, Emma’s mother, Tiffany, texted me that the 10 yr old LE&RN NY Youth Ambassador, was nervous but recognized me in the crowd as a fellow LE&RN patient, and she was okay. I had just seen her in Boston at the Harvard LE Symposium. Imagine being a child and seeing a familiar face in the crowd.
If you don’t know about this amazing child advocate, please follow their Facebook page, Emma’s Incredibles – Team Lymphedema, especially if you are a parent out there with a child who has LE. Emma has helped move landmark legislation as early as 6 yrs old! Here’s the link to How a 6-Year Old Helped Get Funding For Lymphedema Research.
Purple Shorts In Wraps
I know some of you are saying or were thinking I should have said more. Truth be told, I would have blown it with that cough. I was there for some other purpose. Maybe for Emma to see me and maybe for you to recognize these wraps.
Some surprise feedback from the community.
Watching it now I started crying when you came on. Not in a bad way, but in a way that I’m glad I know someone out there who is in this fight like I am and has helped so many of us with knowledge about this. I also loved the fact Dr. Phil has a 57 Chevy in his office. That was awesome. As soon as I saw those purple shorts come on tv, I knew that was you. — Dave E. from Florida
Didn’t expect to sit here bawling my eyes out while pumping and watching the Dr. Phil show. Lymphedema sucks, but we are in such good company. […] The tears started with the first glimpse of those wrapped legs that I recognized. –Melissa G. from Texas
I read threads in other Facebook groups and on other pages with comments like “Hope they talk about primary.” or “Hope they talk about leg LE.” In order to talk about it, patients have to step forward and respond to a call to action. While it’s impossible to cover every angle of LE or LD, both myself and Emma represented the child and adult version of primary lower extremity lymphedema. I dare say even multigenerational LE with the additional staffer story. Oh and men! Men with LE was a topic covered too!
You don’t have to be center stage to help others. It’s perfectly fine to be a calming force or a support system to LIFT OTHERS UP. I was so sick, but I believe I served the purpose I was meant to serve. It’s what I prayed for.
Next Call To Action
Let’s make 2019 a great year! Here are three things you can do to get started.
Share your patient story on LE&RN’s website.
Share the show’s YouTube link Dr Phil January 3, 2019 The Incomparable Kathy Bates with all of your friends and family.
Please join LE&RN today and sign up for 2019 LE&RN Lobby Day – March 29, 2019 if you can. That’s our next mission.