Hi, I’m Lauren.
I’m your typical 29 year old, an English Teacher from South Wales… Except I suffer with an unusual medical condition and have done since I was 11 years old. Lymphoedema is it’s name.
If you have never heard of it you are NOT alone! Many people haven’t- even though it is twice as common as Parkinsons.
Basically, it’s a swelling (of my left leg, other limbs available with others who have the condition!) caused by the breakdown and dilapidation of my lymphatic vessels and glands. This means I have toxins building up in my leg which can’t be removed correctly giving me a higher chance of infection.
As your typical 20 something, I’m more concerned with the fashion parts of life and how finding a single pair of shoes to fit 2 different sized feet is more than tricky… or that I can’t wear a little dress and strappy sandals. Being out on a Saturday night is a constant reminder of that I SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE THE OPTIONS THAT OTHER FEMALES HAVE!! You don’t realise how lucky you are until you have options taken away.
I’m lucky in comparison to some with the condition. I have a page on Facebook called “Lymphoedema Fashion” where lymphies can exchange fashion tips or just where to find shoes that fit!!
I get to TRY and keep the condition under control (tricky when you have a career that demands you to be constantly standing!), which means constant massaging of the leg (not as relaxing as it sounds), and BEIGE compression stockings (Well, one. Which they like to say is “skin colour”… yeah, if your skin is naturally yellow sand colour!), and through Multi Layer Bandaging (inconvenient but it works).
My aim in this blog is just to raise awareness of the condition, and the highs and lows faced every day, the last thing we need is to be looked at in disgust or horror, we know we are different. All I want is for people to not look at us like freaks if we are in swimwear on holidays- yes we have different size limbs- get over yourselves!
Peace Out. Lots of Love
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Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2014