LD Compression Stocking Tip #1: Use the Floor

5 Jan

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.”


TRANSCRIPT:
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!

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16 Responses to “LD Compression Stocking Tip #1: Use the Floor”

  1. robin558 January 5, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    This will be a wonderful series, thanks for doing this!

    • brittavl January 5, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement, robin558, and for signing up for email alerts.

  2. Lindy Jeffery January 5, 2015 at 2:09 am #

    Great advice, thank you. Looking forward with eager anticipation to your next tip. 🙂

    • brittavl January 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks, Lindy. 🙂 My goal is to post a tip once a week, if not more often.

      • Lindy Jeffery January 6, 2015 at 2:14 am #

        Awesome !!

  3. paulamarie718 January 5, 2015 at 3:24 am #

    Great tip on using the floor, this is helpful. Pie have always sat in a chair or on my bed. Looking forward to future tips!!

    • brittavl January 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

      When I’ve used the bed, I’ve struggled to stay upright. It’s the little things that can make a big difference with lymphedema.

  4. Cynthia Padley January 5, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    I love ur postings but this video would be for little stature people. U are tiny and probably weigh 120 lbs but people who weigh over 200 lbs are not agile and would have a big problem getting up and off the floor. Thanks

    • brittavl January 5, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

      Thank you for reading my blog, Cynthia, and for providing your feedback too. You are correct that many people with lymphedema or lymphatic-related conditions have difficulty getting up and down from the ground or cannot perform that exercise at all. Lymphedema has many shapes, sizes, abilities and limitations. I recognize that reality and hope those individuals find the suggestion that I provided helpful. Another modification would be to use a bed. In that case, I recommend a firm mattress to replicate the sturdiness of the floor as much as possible. Thanks again, Cynthia. Please keep reading and commenting.

  5. Kathleen January 7, 2015 at 12:23 am #

    I’m in Australia. Due to knee issues I cannot sit on/rise from the floor, but I use an “ezy-as” plastic applicator. The stocking is put on the applicator. I use Hyflex gloves (available from supermarkets) to do this, then from a standing position whilst holding onto a chair or table I slip my foot into the applicator, sit down , remove the app. then pull the stocking to my thigh. I also use glue which keeps everying in place. The process is actually very quick and easy

    • brittavl January 11, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

      Hello, Kathleen! Thank you so much for sharing your process. I’m curious – what kind of stockings do you wear? (Level of compression, type of fabric, brand, etc.).

  6. J January 7, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    Thx for the info. Looking forward to more posts.

    • brittavl January 11, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

      Hi Ji – next post should come in the next few hours. Thanks for the thx.

  7. Sandra Page February 2, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Thank You for starting the blog. I have been wishing someone would do this . I would be interested in what stockings and what material works better in 30 – 40 compression.

    • brittavl February 2, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      Hi Sandra! I wear 30-40 compression too and will address this topic in my next tip — Tip #4. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.

  8. Karen Wilcox October 9, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    The floor would be great, however I have bilateral knee replacement. The right knee was just replaced in late Arpil. I was not able to use the compression garments due to the pain increase with the garments. I will go into have my legs wrapped to get them back to a normal size. This is a great blog. I am currently using Solidea and love them.

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