Greetings my fabulous fellow Lip Ladies!
I’m very excited because today is my first day using my new Flexitouch pneumatic compression pump therapy device at home to treat the secondary Lymphedema I acquired from stage three Lipedema. Now, there’s a mouthful!
With the help of my fat disorder specialist Dr. Karen Herbst, my Cigna insurance granted a not-so-generous, but understandably cautious, three month rental of the Tactile Medical device to determine its usefulness in my treatment plan. Dr. Herbst and my Lymphedema therapist agreed this would help me manage my Lymphedema better, along with my other conservative treatments and liposuction procedures.
Lipedema, for those that aren’t clear, is a frequently misdiagnosed hereditary adipose tissue disorder that affects an estimated 11% of women worldwide. Lipedema causes progressive expansion of fat cells and chronic inflammation resulting in painful fat deposits in the legs. This abnormal diseased fat tissue can create progressively severe disproportion in the hips, thighs, and calves that can’t be dieted away, and can lead to major problems like lymphedema, infections, and joint problems without proper treatment. All these Lipedema symptoms and comorbities are in addition to the common daily symptoms of being painful to the touch, achy or throbbing, and easily bruised.
As I lay here enjoying my first Flexitouch lymphedema pump session at home, I’m feeling so relaxed I could fall asleep. The extremely gentle and sequential flow of air through the chambers of the velcro garment is meant to lightly massage the build up of lymphatic fluid, containing cell waste, toxins, and excess proteins, out of my lower extremities to be filtered out by my lymph nodes. The device works almost as if you were to have a manual lymphatic drainage massage everyday. It’s very helpful for people suffering from Lymphedema and Lipedema, together called Lipo-Lymphedema, because their bodies can’t pump this diseased fluid out very well without help. If the lymphatic fluid leaks into the surrounding lipedema tissue, it can exacerbate the progressive growth or fibrosis of the fat in the legs or arms, or cause dangerous infections like cellulutis.
Listen doc, I’m a good sport. I’ve got some reading material, my laptop, and The Walking Dead season finale playing in the background! I’ll admit I’m a bit intimidated by the length of time the pump sessions require twice per day for one upper and one lower extremity. Each pump session lasts 60 minutes, but so far talking with you lovely Lip Ladies and watching The Walking Dead crew take on their current rivals while avoiding zombies has been entertaining enough to pass the time!
Be sure to follow the blog for updates on how the Flexitouch pump works out for my Lipo-Lymphedema treatment. Also, stay tuned for a big announcement coming soon about the helpful tips for dealing with insurance that I plan to share in my very first Lipedema Lady E-book!
What conservative therapies have you tried for treating your swelling from Lipedema or Lymphedema? Were you able to get your insurance to cover part of the cost? And who do you think Negan killed at the end of The Walking Dead Season 6?