I was recounting the treatment that I’ve undergone and have to go through daily/weekly to manage my primary lymphedema to someone who inquired. In relaying this information I found myself concluding the list with, “It’s primitive treatment.” Unfortunately, this is the way that I feel. There’s no cure. The surgery is experimental. And the management is… what it is. You have swelling? Wear compression.
Amidst my quest for a diagnosis friends asked me if I had tried acupuncture. My response was, “I have faith in the medical community. Someone has to know what’s up with my leg. Some test is going to show something of value.”
After receiving a diagnosis, going through the treatment, and becoming accustomed to managing the condition, I tried acupuncture.
I went to the first session with an open heart and open mind. I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn't know what the specialist was going to say, and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. All I knew about acupuncture was that needles were stuck into you… I assumed that the needle placement forced you to relax.
My sister asked me after my first session, “Was it relaxing?” Definitively, my answer is no.
Acupuncture to stimulate the lymphatic flow is not a relaxing stick of a needle. It’s a “let’s flow some electrical current through your body to stimulate the flow of that interstitial fluid… wake it up of sorts.” Yeah… g’luck relaxing!
For 40-something minutes two days a week I went for acupuncture to see if the lymphatic flow improved (i.e. reduction in swelling). It didn’t.
Five sessions later I walked out of the office… #beenthere #donethat