Turns out what ails me actually has a name: Lymphedema. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen.
Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.
There’s no cure for lymphedema, but it can be controlled. Controlling lymphedema involves diligent care of your affected limb.”
The controlling and diligent care involves, in my case, Lymphedema Therapy. The routine is, I lay on a table. The therapist spends thirty minutes or so massaging the lymph node under my left arm, the path the fluid is supposed to flow, and mostly my foot, the aim being to get the fluid moving like it’s supposed to. Then my foot, toes and calf are wrapped in compression wrap, to deter the fluid from re-entering my extermity.
I’ve had four of these sessions so far, and my therapist believes two more next week should finish my treatment. I have to say the whole thing sounded sort of goofy to me at first, but the results are pretty amazing.
Hopefully, though, it will be a long, long while before I need it again.