Interesting day yesterday. For the first time in 9 months the swelling in my legs and feet (though the right still has a way to go), had subsided enough that I was able to wear socks.
The most immediate effect was that my feet were no longer frozen (I have a ground-floor flat and, even with carpet, the floor is still an icy concrete slab at this time of year). I was also able to be a little more active than usual, without the normal pain penalty.
DWP snoop’s note: Active, in this context, means less pain when moving between rooms – the eight yards to the toilet was merely uncomfortable not, as it so often is, painfully impossible (I have a pee bottle, should you be wondering).
That, I hear some of you thinking, is a lot from mere socks. These, however, are vintage socks, the origins of which date back 30-odd years, to my backpacking days, and they are thickly padded and supportive (and now unobtainable,** so are obsessively treasured). Since my feet were burned when I was struck by lightning in 1983, they are the only socks I can wear. Ditto walking boots, for the same reasons – padding and support.
**It seems walkers, these days, have the calf muscles of skinny 12-year-old girls, based on the socks that are available, which wouldn’t fit me long before lymphoedema set in. The feet fit, the tops wouldn’t go past my ankles!
I was a bit surprised, then, to find that, after a while, the socks hurt my feet. Not badly, it’s true, but it’s clear that my skin is still very fragile and needs considerable care. Today, then, before donning socks, my feet and ankles will be treated to a generous dose of emollient cream, which should, hopefully, minimise the risk of any damage.
Sadly, this suggests that it might be longer than I expected before I can wear my boots again, and I might have to explore the availability of Ugly Shoes in rather more depth. Still, at least I have options now, which is a step in the right direction, and I feel more confident in saying that a corner has quite definitely been turned.
Lymphoedema, though, is incurable, so while it might well become tolerable it’s never going to go away. The experience, so painfully gained this year, does have a positive side in that I now know how to care for my legs and, hopefully, I can prevent a reversion to the infected, purulent, state that’s now behind me.
Fingers very much crossed!