Testimonials from Satisfied Patients
It was May and spring was definitely evident... For me, what was even more evident were my large legs and feet (in my mind the word was "huge").
My physician sent me to Specialty Rehab. That is where and when the magic began. On the first day I was told that if I followed the directives and followed the routine, that within 6-8 weeks I would see the results.
At first I was skeptical and somewhat apprehensive. How could my legs and feet become smaller and more normal in such a short time? Elevating them hadn't worked. Nor had the pair of compression stockings I had bought a while back. Thankfully, I listened and followed the directions of my therapists. Yes, 3 times a week is a lot of time....but, I found it to be better than sitting on the couch doing nothing, besides lamenting my lot. Yes the wrappings made me self conscious at first. Thankfully, that quickly passed as I saw results.
Now it is July and I have been discharged (I prefer to think of it as a graduation). The difference is amazing. Once again I can wear my sneakers with the laces tied. People ask if it was a lot of work. My answer is "No, it's a bother. Not work. Cleaning my bathroom is work." Sitting around doing nothing bothered me more.
The atmosphere at the clinic is so relaxing and reassuring. However, the staff is the best part. They became my own cheering squad. They are there with encouragement on the down days and there with praise as each goal is reached.
To say I am thrilled with the results and the path that led to the results is such an understatement. I can never truly express how grateful I am. I have been given the tools to manage my care, and with that care, the ability to manage my life. They are right: 6-8 weeks can change your life for the better.
My name is Steve, and my problem began about four years ago when I came down with a bad case of pneumonia. All in all, it took a month and two trips to the emergency room before I was diagnosed and treated. During my one week hospitalization, my legs began to swell larger and larger. The pneumonia cleared up after about a week. However, the swelling in my legs did not go down.
As the doctor was discharging me from the hospital, I asked him again "Doc, what is going on with my legs?". He asked if they were swollen before the pneumonia, and I said no they weren't. The doctor kept me in the hospital for a couple more days during which they ran a battery of tests to check my heart, lungs, and performed an ultra sound the veins in my legs. During the testing, they put me on IV Lasix to remove the water from my legs. The tests came back normal, and the swelling went down in my legs; however, they were by no means normal. I felt like the "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man"!! I could barely walk, and I could not lift my legs up high enough to ride my motorcycle. I couldn't play my drums because I couldn't hit the bass pedal. I've had to give up everything I enjoyed.
This past January, things began to get really bad. My legs were large and blistered, and fluid started leaking out of the skin in my legs. The slightest bump caused injury to my skin, and more leaking wounds would form. The odor was terrible. I tried to wrap my legs in gauze pads to absorb the fluid. I even tried Bounty paper towels wrapped around my legs out of desperation. After all, it's the "quicker picker upper"!! Everything I tried would be completely saturated with the fluid leaking from my legs in fifteen minutes or less. I'd spent four years talking to doctors about my legs, and no one knew what was causing the problem.
Finally, my PCP, after doing intense research, referred me to Jeanne McConnell at Delaware Vascular and Vein Center. She knew the minute she saw me; however, an ultra sound right in her office confirmed it. I had Lymphedema. My case was one of the worst she had seen; however, not the worst. She agreed to take my case. She sent me to Specialty Rehabilitation Incorporated for Lymphedema therapy to reduce the swelling in my legs, and heal the wounds that were leaking lymph fluid. During my rehabilitation at Specialty Rehabilitation I met some of the nicest people you would ever meet. They cared about me, and cared about the success of my treatment. I can't mention Brenda and Sara's names because I don't want to leave anyone out ;D -- but I will. They worked with me to determine the course of my therapy which involved compression bandages to get the lymph system circulating again, and surgical bandages to absorb the fluid so the wounds would heal. The compression therapy coupled with exercises I could do at home on my own, and their kind compassionate care was a key to the success of my treatment.
My legs are now almost normal size, I can fit back into my shoes, no leaking wounds! I can now manage my treatment at home. I wear special compression wraps on my legs during the day to keep the lymph system circulating. I call them "spiders" -- eight legged Velcro wraps that I can put on and remove easily myself. I will always have the Lymphedema, but it is not life threatening -- just life annoying. I'm happy to say that I'm ready to ride my motorcycle again, go fishing, take vacations, and everything else I enjoy.
Hat's off to Specialty Rehabilitation!! They have given me back my life!