I’ll let you all into an embarrassing secret of mine for a moment, the other morning I raced into the bathroom quicker than Linford Christie in tight Lycra and shouted the following OUT LOUD as I weed(in the voice of the late sports broadcaster David Coleman),
“COR BLIMEY, BLOODY HELL, BLOODY HELL…..OOOOOOOH THE JOY, OH THE EXALTATION……THAT WAS QUITE REMARKABLE”(OK, hands up, I never said the last bit).
I promise you that my wee was that long in length that if Record Breakers was still on the telly, then I’d soon be starring in a post watershed version of it. I stood there post mammoth wee, truly astonished at how much I had just done. It was good astonishment though. Hearing and seeing me nearly urinate myself TO DEATH on a daily basis for the last six weeks or so, has been one of the best things that has happened to me in ages….REALLY. You see, it means that the lymphodema that I suffer from in my both my lower legs is going really well at the moment. Months ago my legs were huge and a caterpillar peed more than me!
At the age of twenty one, I was diagnosed with a prostate infection and irritable bladder(the latter one I would have for life the doctor told me). At the time I was wanting to urinate literally every five minutes. It was such an horrific thing to deal with at such a young age but gradually with the help of medication things did improve with my water works. About ten years later I then had my my gallbladder taken out due to having gallstones. I can vividly remember having this enormous wee straight after the operation. It was the colour of Newcastle Brown Ale and went on and on and on and on. After that though I hardly seemed to wee during the day and I struggled to work out why.
After my gallbladder was removed I then went back to my doctors several times explaining how it felt like my body was being poisoned with something. I kept on getting these cramping sensations throughout my body but particularly down my arms. I had blood tests and nothing showed up. I can remember telling medical professionals how I hardly seemed to want to urinate during the day. I did not have retention, I just didn’t want to wee and when I did I hardly did any volume. It got that alarming that I went to urinate out of habit during the day rather than having any real need to go.
Two summers ago I had developed swollen legs from the knees down, my left leg much worse than my right. After a nasty bout of cellulitis my puffy legs were FINALLY diagnosed as a condition called lymphoedema. I had never heard of it before never mind could I spell it. I have blogged in the past how devastated this diagnosis made me feel initially. I can remember walking back from the doctors fighting back the tears, I could not believe that I now had ANOTHER lifelong health problem to contend with for the rest of my days.
I have PRIMARY LYMPHOEDEMA and there is where you are born with it or just naturally develop faulty lymph glands. Secondary lymphoedema is where people get it via some damage to their lymph glands/nodes. For example, women who have a mastectomy can often get it in their arms as a result afterwards. Your lymphatic system/glands play the important role of removing toxins and waste from your body. With faulty lymph glands in my legs, this therefore explained why I had been getting that poisoning type feeling throughout my body for years.
I was told to wear compression stockings by two Vascular Consultants that I saw. They admonished me for not wearing them even though I tried to explain to them why I could not. I suffer with chronic pelvic pain I told them, this as consequence meant anything tight on my legs or feet made the pelvic pain unbearably sore. I had such a doctor just shake his head at me, I felt like smacking him in the chops such was my anger at his lack of empathy towards me.
Within the last three months I have finally been able to take NSAIDs…non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Nausea and stinging sore ribs had prevented me from taking them in the last few years but now I was overjoyed at being able to take them once again for my chronic pelvic pain. The result was that I was able to get away with it pelvic pain wise, with wearing compression stockings up to my knees on both legs. Most of the time they were not medically prescribed stockings and instead were just tight long socks from my nearest Primark.
The change in the look of the lymphoedema in both my legs has truly been incredible. Upon taking the long tight socks off at night, my best leg looks almost normal and my worst leg looks as good as it ever has since being diagnosed. It was then that I noticed the enormous weeing starting to happen, particularly first thing in the morning after my legs had been raised in bed. I have never in my life weed as much as I do at the mo(in one go I mean). For the first time in almost twenty years my bladder feels like it is working properly like everybody else’s. Got to be honest, it can be a tad annoying to wake up absolutely bursting but if it means my legs look tonnes better then I can certainly live with it. It is purely down to me wearing tight stocking/long socks, who would have thought they would have made such a brilliant difference to my lymphoedema suffering……QUITE REMARKABLE as David Coleman would say!
HALT RIGHT THERE!!!!!
This blog was meant to end upbeat regarding how my lymphoedema was going, but then around ten days ago I had a big setback which I didn’t see coming whatsoever. I had just been to see my GP where among other things I told her about how elated I had been feeling of late about the state of my lymphoedema. I told her an edited version of what I have just revealed to you all here in the above. I get home and I take my jeans off to put some shorts on and I noticed a nasty red rash on the side of my right shin. I HAD A BLOODY CELLULITIS INFECTION AGAIN. I could not believe it because my legs had been so good of late, it was a real kick in the teeth.
About nine days on and through strong antibiotics the cellulitis has more or less gone. My right leg(which is my better lymphoedema one) had ballooned up massively during the course of the week. Thankfully, as the infection is now going my huge swollen right leg is gradually disappearing too. I was just so gutted to have got cellulitis again after not having had it for over sixteen months. I can only think I banged my bare shins on a piece of pointed furniture, such as a little table that we have in the hallway. I’ll have to be even more careful now about watching that I don’t walk into things………another thing to always have at the back of mind!
I guess I just wanted to do another blog about my lymphoedema because I am aware it is a medical condition that not that many people know about. I wanted to further detail what it’s like to suffer from it and therefore hopefully educate some people along the way. I was excited to share with all how much my legs have improved in size since wearing these stockings. Ultimately though, I wanted to share with you all THE JOY OF A GOOD LONG WEE…….WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM LYMPHOEDEMA LIKE ME!!!