Hi, I have been reading the comments and contributions here for some time, but now feel I should introduce myself and interact with everyone.

I had haemolytic Disease of the new borne in 1946. I was given a complete blood transfusion and the 7th time of trying-it worked. The trauma to the lymph capillaries cased a swelling straight away. When I was three years old, my mother, who had lost 4 babies between my brother and I, sent me to dance school. The activity, 5 times a week, must have helped the lymph find a new path and I looked quite normal until I was about 24 when the legs began to noticeably thicken. I gave up my stage career and taught theatre dance until I was 69. I have now had to limit my teaching to Line Dance and other academic subjects due to the increase in the size of my legs and the Arthritis in hips and knees. At 68 I had a hip replacement and at 70 I am waiting to be admitted for the other hip replacement which will help relieve the pain: dragging heavy legs with joint arthritis and asthma is very tiring. I don't take pain killers as I want to avoid eroding the gut lining. Last year I was at last referred to the Lymphodema Clinic; the nurse was amazed that I had not been referred years ago.

However, I now have compression tights; largest size, but they take ages to put on and are painful to remove. I persevere. What puzzles me is I am measured, but can only have the tights in the largest size commercially produced; so they are not 'made to measure'. Can I get a pass to use a private swimming pool where I won't feel out of place showing my now unsightly legs? I look OK with trousers or a long skirt but bathing cozzies offer no disguise!

9 Replies

  • Hi Flowerdancer

    I'm sorry you are having such a tough time with your compression, I wear made to measure grade 2 tights and they are also difficult to get on (usually takes me 20-30 mins) but once on properly they don't cause me pain.

    I'm not aware of a pass available to use a private pool although I am aware of others who pay to use a private a pool, (they apparently Google private pool in the area in which they live) what I do know though is the shop YOURS (on a lot of high streets and online) do sell swimming leggings and shorts ...

    I hope these help and will say that walking in water seems to be the best thing I've found to help good luck

  • Thank you LadyLo7,

    The long swim leggings will hide a lot-especially for pools in this country. Water exercise works for me too-gives the ankles a little shape and relieves ultra heavy legs a little by encouraging the lymph to defy gravity!

  • The measurements will be to see if you fit into 'off-the-shelf' compression. There is a large choice of compression that can be 'custom made' to your exact dimensions if your tights don't fit properly throughout the leg or are painful. I put several of my patients who have difficulty with tights in custom made 'Capri pants' worn over below knee stockings. This combination is much easier to get on and off. Any hosiery can be made in circular knit or flatknit material. With a long term untreated lymphoedema and arthritis, you would probably be more comfortable in flatknit and it is the easiest to get on and off.

  • Thank you Whitesugar,

    You have been a lot of help.

    I can't wear the hospital stockings after surgery either; my legs end up like the Michelin Man. My name is on the list for a hip replacement on 2nd hip and nurses are not aware of the problem. I have been advised to speak to the surgeon who may instruct the nurses. Difficult I know but tights will also be difficult with the fresh scar which has to be free to observe.

  • Hi flowerdancer

    Good luck with getting a better fitting solution that is easier to put on and remove. Our compression garments are great if they fit well but literally a pain if not!!

  • Thank you all so much for replying. I will emphasise the fact that my present tights wrinkle and cut at the ankle and see if I am offered proper made to will be worth paying for twice a week pool therapy too as I know this helps. If I mention the flat knit compression garment,I will look like I know what I am talking about!

  • I suggest you contact the Lymphoedema Support Network, They also have a telephone help line.

  • Post got messed up:

    "www" missing from above.

  • Thank you AnneBury,

    I will do that!

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