My Story

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


Find me featured here: yoocan 

Copyright Lauren Toner 2011-2014

8 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Hi, My name is Ricki. I live in the US. I have Lymphedema in my left leg. I have only had it for 3 1/2 years, 4 this September. Mine was caused by a wreck I was in when i was 16. It sounds weird but I went through a brick wall at a car wash with my leg outside my door. I was reaching for change and my foot slipped off the break. It caused extensive damage to my left leg and for months doctors told me that I would possibly loose the leg from my knee down. I spent then next year in and out of hospitals and doctors offices trying to figure out just what was wrong with my leg and no one seemed to be able to tell me. Well fast forward 3 years later and i finally find a doctor who knows whats wrong. Lymphedema. And he informed me not only do i have the Lymphedema in the one leg I also have Venous Stasis in both legs. Which means my blood vessels aren’t working probably and it causes extreme swelling in the limbs. And since its been 3 years since the wreck the swelling from the Lymphedema is so bad I can hardly find Compression sleeves/stockings to fit that i can wear for long periods of time without being in severe pain. I just love being able to read your posts about your travels and fashion. It gives me comfort knowing there are other people out there struggling with daily things like I do.

    Thank you and the best from Arkansas
    -Ricki

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    • Hi Ricki. It’s heartbreaking hearing about your development of the condition, how a once normal life can be tipped upside down in a matter of seconds! It sounds crazy but it will get better and easier! Do your daily massage, ensure you eat correctly as junk food does affect it, drink plenty of water, keep them elevated. It took so long for me to get treatment and when I was finally granted bandaging I promised myself that I would not allow my leg to get to a bad state again unless it was due to something out of my control. It’s difficult now but any steps of progress are still progress! Keep looking forward and trying anything hospitals offer, they like proactive patients!! Please keep me updated with your progress! L x

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  2. Hi, I am Lorraine from France and have lymphoedema of the left foot and ankle (only ! So I guess I am lucky). It appeared when I was 35 and I am now 43. I am more tired than before, and I can’t find good shoes for summer…
    I only found one extraordinary model from Pataugas, quite fair. But I need to alternate with other shoes, especially when you go to animate steercos and such at clients….

    Do you have specific nice and comfortable shoes for summer to recommend ??
    Thank you in advance. I wish you the very best !

    Lorraine

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  3. Hello Lauren! My name is Victoria and I have congenital lymphedema in my left arm and intestinal lymphedema. I’m really glad to hear that I’m not alone and there are many others who also have lymphedema! I’m in my 4th year at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Canada, studying Communication Design. I’m working on my thesis project aimed to improve the emotional and mental well-being of those with stage 1 primary congenital and praecox lymphedema. I’d really like to hear about your thoughts and experiences. Please contact me at your soonest convenience!

    Thanks so much & hope to hear from you soon! –Victoria

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  4. It’s incredibly touching how you share your story with such grace – I for one have difficulty expressing any truths about myself, even to the online world. I applaud you for your honest and courage, it’s truly inspiring and interesting to read about, and of course it helps that it is written in a thought provoking, friendly tone ๐Ÿ™‚

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