Like many people with lymphedema, when I was first diagnosed, I was told to wear compression stockings every waking hour for the rest of my life. But I wasn’t told anything else about compression stockings. This video kicks off a featured blog series of compression stocking survival tips called, “A Leg Up: Compression Stocking Tips – What the Doctors Don’t Tell You.” Throughout the series, I will share information that I wish I had been told the day I was diagnosed.
Get a leg up on your lymphedema – click below to watch or read the transcript that follows. Please share, comment and sign up for email alerts, so you don’t miss any future tips. My next tip will be on “Where to Buy Compression Stockings.”
Hi, my name is Britta Vander Linden and I write a blog called Lymphedema Diary. I have primary lymphedema in both of my legs. Like many people with lymphedema, when I was first diagnosed, I was told to wear compression stockings every waking hour for the rest of my life.
But I wasn’t told anything else about compression stockings. Like where to buy them. How to care for them. How expensive they are. I wasn’t given a heads up on the side effects compression stockings can cause – like yeast infections, nerve damage or how they can irritate bunions.
But through sixteen years of trial and a lot of error, I’ve learned to adapt to compression stockings. I haven’t had a choice. Compression stockings are the only thing that allow me to function in my daily activities. But I’m not alone. There are millions of others like me around the globe with lymphedema and lymphatic-related diseases that rely on compression stockings to lead a more normal life.
That’s why today I’m beginning a new featured blog series on Lymphedema Diary called “A Leg Up: Compression Stocking Tips – What the Doctors Don’t Tell You.”
Throughout this series, I’ll be sharing knowledge that I wish I had been told when I was diagnosed with lymphedema.
So to kick off the series, here’s Tip Number One.
Putting on and taking off our compression stockings takes a lot of strength, energy and it takes some time. So instead of doing it while seated in a chair bent over like they do in a lot of the demonstration videos online, try doing it while sitting on the floor instead.
But before you get on the floor, lay something soft to sit on. I recommend using a travel yoga mat. A travel yoga mat is thinner and lighter than a regular yoga mat and it folds up small so you can tuck it under a bed or in a drawer for easy storage. Or, put it in your luggage for when you travel.
If you don’t have a travel yoga mat, any large beach towel will do.
If you have trouble getting down to the floor, use a sturdy chair and take it slow. Ease off to the edge of the chair and take a firm hold of the armrests. Lower one knee down to the ground and start turning towards the chair, while you lower the other knee to the ground – never losing hold of the armrest. Then lower one hip to the ground and then roll onto the other hip.
Being on the floor gives you greater stability, while you’re putting on your stockings. There’s nowhere to fall. And it also gives you better leverage. You can use your legs to push into your stockings away from you, while gripping your stockings and pulling them towards you. And this mat is a great place to do a few stretches before you put your stockings on or after you take them off.
Please share this tip, leave a comment, and sign up for email alerts on Lymphedema Diary dot com, so you don’t miss any future tips. My next tip will be on “Where to Buy Compression Stockings.”
See you then!