‘All Change Please, the Medical Equipment You’re Using Ends Here’
It’s all happening at once.
Yesterday, a box turned up with my new lymphedema wraps, which use compression to help reverse my lymphedema symptoms. I’ve been waiting for the wraps for nearly a month. It turns out I’m such an unusual size that they had to be imported from Germany. Not, I hasten to add, that my lymphedema has spread out of my legs, but because my legs seem to be too long.
I still manage to stand up a couple of times a day on my trusty Molift Raiser, where I’ll occasionally pull myself up to my full 6-foot height and glimpse the copious lavender growing in our front garden. The bees love it!
The wraps are from a company called Juzo, and they’re definitely a step up (if I could manage that) from the previous ones, in which I looked like something out of a 1930s Universal Pictures horror film.
Now I look like RoboCop!
It’s taken a while for my family and my caregivers to work out how to attach the new wraps. But they are actually far easier and better for fighting the accumulation of lymph fluid. They even have knee wraps. It turns out that everything else on me has shrunk since the last time I’ve been able to go to the clinic, which is about two years ago, except my knees.
The Juzo wraps are also less dangerous. One of my previous caregivers hurt her wrist so badly while putting the old ones on that she had to take time off work. Unsurprisingly, I never saw her again. I say hello via my other carers.
Considering how long lymphedema seems to have been around in this world, its treatment seems to have improved very little over the millennia. (Yes, millennia!) According to The Healthy Voyager, “In perhaps the first pictorial description of lymphedema, Princess Ati of Egypt is shown with oversized arms and thighs in a relief sculpture done almost 3500 years ago.”
The next reference was to Hippocrates — yes, that Hippocrates, the Greek physician credited with creating the Hippocratic oath. The Healthy Voyager notes that, “Hippocrates mentioned the lymph nodes located in the groin and armpits in writings around the 5th century BC.”
So, well done Juzo, and well done National Health Service for finding and accepting new medical equipment.
A while back, Coloplast Charter sent out a survey about their products, and I’m dimly aware that for a change, I actually filled it out. I seem to be one of many who pointed out the difficulty of using the Peristeen system by those who are one-handed. The company seems to have listened and switched to the “Plus” system practically overnight.
It works like a charm, but I seem to be one of several people who were sent new catheters, but not the device itself. Because they are not compatible, and I have to use it every day, I was literally in a bind.
Thankfully, they whizzed the device over the next day. Crisis averted.
So, that’s two new boxes in two days. It’s been all go. Er, this time, literally!
What else is new? I was fed up trying to cut paper with my left hand. Sometimes my right hand works enough to do it, but mostly not. I kept thinking it was just something I’d eventually learn how to do.
That was until, as usual, my wife, Jane, looked at me, sighed slightly, and told me about left-handed scissors. I know ephemera about all sorts of minutiae, which was only expanded upon by pandemic lockdowns and the extra time I had to listen to innumerable podcasts. But when it comes to something practical, I have no iota of an idea.
My new scissors turned up this morning. Eureka! I can cut paper again. They are a real snip at £2 ($2.78).
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