Sunday, March 20, 2011


After I logged off just now I remembered something that may be of interest to some folk; something rather unusual but it's been good for me. It is in a way medical but not in any way nasty.

I have been undergoing lympathic massage after seeing a very good physiotherapist (no not my regular lady but another one that works at the same practice) and it is working.

When I had the total left hip replacement back in June 2008 both my feet and ankles swelled and in particular my left foot. I could not wear normal shoes (not even sandals) for some months and then only an old pair of Kumfs I'd had for years. I had the total right hip replacement op in January of 2009 and still the swelling continued on and on.

I put up with it until in November last year I asked my wonderful GP why this was happening and he said that sometimes with a total hip replacement op it could cause disruption to the lympathic flow. I popped this into the filing cabinet I call my memory and mentioned it to my endocrinologist when I saw him in December and he confirmed this was quite possible.

"O.K." I thought to myself "that's it. You're stuck with it". This was until early February when on the radio a naturopath was talking about this and that. Now I don't usually take a lot of notice of them as I guess being older I am more familiar with what I call regular medicine but I pricked up my ears when a caller asked about lympathic massage in relation to her lymphoma. I forget the answer to her question but realised I had heard a term I'd not heard before.

Straight onto Google to find out what was what and it mentioned that it could help people with the same problem as mine. There were of course health places offering this type of treatment who were charging exhorbitant prices of up to $200 an hour which I could certainly not afford and of course there would not be a rebate from the health fund either. Next day when I saw my regular physio I asked her if she had heard of this type of procedure and she said yes, she knew a very good physio who specialised in it and as it happened that particular lady worked in the same rooms on certain days.

I left a message for her with the receptionist and that evening received a telephone call from Jenny G (my regular physio is Jenny F) and after lengthy discussion I made an appointment to see her the very next day. MOH and I immediately liked Jenny G and she explained what the procedure was and asked were we both prepared to undertake performing the massage on a daily basis and would I contemplate wearing knee high pressure stockings during the day. We of course agreed and were shown exactly what we had to do.

I must admit I was a little sceptical of something so gentle actually working but work it did and continues to do so. I still see Jenny G about every 3 weeks and although she charges $80 an hour (which is very reasonable for a professional physio) I have five visits under the government CARE plan and for those 5 visits I receive $59 from Medicare which is great. Jenny G measured my left foot (the bad one) a couple of weeks ago and it was actually 4cms (close to 2 inches) thinner/smaller than when we began and of course my ankles etc., had also 'shrunk'.

The massage is quite simple and MOH and I do some each, me on my thighs which I can reach and he on my calves and feet (each for 5 minutes). It is not easy for older people to do these things but we manage and MOH battles each day to put the pressure stockings on for me as there is no way I could manage even using a special gadget which I believe one can purchase. He has been and continues to be wonderful and without him I would be completely lost. He is now 81 and even in his wildest dreams he never considered he could be doing the things he does now both for me and for himself (that includes injecting himself 3 times a day with insulin to keep his diabetes under control).

This lympathic massage has been a great success although I cheat about every 10 days and have a stocking-free day (a bit like having a piece of chocolate or a slice of cake occasionally when on a weight loss plan). It has worked and even on the days when I don't wear the stocks my feet and ankles swell so little it is difficult to notice any difference.

I hope this hasn't bored anyone but am hoping that perhaps it could even assist anyone who has a similar problem or knows of someone who does.

P.S. Jenny G was quite surprised that a GP would know about a hip replacement causing interruption of the lympathic flow but, as said above, we do have a wonderful doctor.

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