Friday, June 10, 2011

Improvements

Finally, my leg is back to normal! The swelling has gone back down and I am back in the gym doing 4 miles! I actually read in one of my Lymphedema books that a woman whose swelling became so severe she was going to have to be put in a wheelchair at the age of 43. Instead she went and started back up every exercise she could do, including running. Her Lymphedema improved dramatically. I decided that I would try running again because I loved the freedom I felt running years ago. What was the worst that could happen? My leg gets more swollen? Ha, that's going to happen regardless!

So, I have started out small with 1 - 2 miles on the elliptical and then I go on the treadmill and have a jog/walk combination. I am taking baby steps and can only run 0.2 miles at a time before I need to walk due to pain or lack of strength in the leg to keep going. I am jogging at a pace of 5.5 to 5.7. The crazy thing is that my leg is near normal size at the end of the night when I run. Which is insane but it is working. I am going to continue to challenge myself and maybe one day I can be a runner again. For now, I am going to listen to my body and progress at a slow pace.

Please be careful when incorporating exercise into your life with Lymphedema. Start small and listen to your leg as it reacts to the exercise. If you do too much too fast, your swelling will increase and possibly cause pain. Look at exercise as a form of treatment. It is healthy to get your blood and lymph fluid flowing in that leg and building muscle helps move the fluid BUT go at a pace right for you.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow, I love your blog. Guess what? I have LE in my left leg, and I live in Chicago too!(HATING this heat-wave right now). I am encouraged by your latest post about running. I am NOT a runner, never have been, but I have just started the Couch to 5K program just to get in shape and ease my way into running. I have not seen any improvement in my leg thus far (but this disgusting weather is NOT helping either). I especially love your posts about FASHION. It's so hard, especially in the summer. I am the girl at the BBQ in the long pants; the one in the dressy slacks at a party wishing I could wear the cute cocktail dress. SIGH. I keep my condition "under wraps", so to speak, in that I am not as open about it as you are. I give you a lot of credit! I guess I have always been somewhat ashamed of my condition (stupid, I know...) and have only told a very few people in my life. As far as I know, I hide it very well. In any event, I will be following your blog with much interest! Nice to 'meet' you! - Deb

Anonymous said...

Hi, good job on your blog. I am 30 years old and have LE as well. I've been dealing with it for almost 10 years now. I am from Canada. If u wanna get in touch write me your email or FB and I'll get back to you. I might have some good advise.

Lindsay Nichols said...

Thanks for leaving your comments! I need to improve on checking my blog but between work and life, time seriously escapes me! My email is lnicho7@yahoo.com if you'd like to email me directly.

To Deb:
It's awesome that you are taking part of that program. I am going to look it up. Really crazy that you live in Chicago too. When I was diagnosed, I tried to find a support group here but could not find a soul. My guess is that most people try not to talk about the condition openly. Other than those who read my blog (all 5 of you...), my family and close friends, no one knows I have this. I certainly don't tell my work in fear they would think I would take too many sick days or just not be a strong employee. So Deb, you are not alone with feeling ashamed but you do not have anything to feel ashamed about. The fact alone that you are reaching out to others like yourself and taking control of your health with the Couch to 5K program, shows how strong you are :)

Bea said...

Hello! My name is Bea and I am from Barcelona, Spain. I have developed LE in my right leg after having surgery to remove a huge lipoma in my thigh. I had started running several months before surgery, so developing LE has been tough (actually, it has been the worse thing I have lived in my whole 37 years of age!).
Thanks for talking about your experience, specially concerning sports. All the doctors I have talked to are very cautious about this topic and I think they know little about amount and type of exercise people with LE can practice.
Right now I swim almost everyday and I am becoming good at it! I always joke with my husband about how LE is going to make a triathlete out of me!! First swimming, then cycling (there is less impact so I guess it is better than running) and, eventually I will run so I will be proficient in all three sports!!
Anyway, thanks for sharing, and to all of those who are ashamed of your leg/arm... don't be! Thought is creative; if you feel bad about it, it will be bad. Draw a huge smiley face in your leg, facing towards you, and smile back every time you look at it. Your leg takes you to places, supports your weigh and keeps you up, thank her for it and it will get better! I'm dead serious about it!
It sucks to have LE but one has to look at the bright side of things!!
I also want to comment that there is surgery to cure LE. I have heard it is quite effective; It was developed several years ago in Japan by Dr. Koshima... If I hear anything else about this option, I will get back to you...
Thanks for your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Actually the surgery (connect the lymph system to the veins to drain the fluid that way) was developed by an Australian over 40 years ago. It just didn't tend to work too well and the results were disappointing.
Professor Campisi in Italy is considered the world expert for microsurgery for lymphoedema. It is effective but expensive and requires a 5 year committment to post-surgery therapy (lots of stockings and compression pump therapy). But I've seen the impressive results myself. Google him, if you want.- Melissa