Recently, I was diagnosed with lymphedema in my legs and since my last pain flare its been running rampant. Right now, I am going to vent about why I hate it and now hate yet another part of my body.
In my case, lymphedema cause my lymphatic system to be unable to properly filter lymph (fluid that contains plasma proteins, lymphocytes, and waste products). Like with my autonomic dysfunction, its most likely been present since birth. My lymph nodes get blocked easily since they can’t properly filter out the lymph and that causes my legs to swell. This swelling in my legs is very painful; so is the tightness, aching, and heaviness that accompany it. Because of the lymphedema, I have developed spidery veins along my calves and around my knees. When my legs swell they also get discolored, so mottled and pale they look like they belong to a dead body.
All symptoms aside, the worst of it all is the boulder size hit it has taken to my body image. I can’t fit into my jeans, they fit my waist but in some cases I’ve thought about taking scissors to the legs because I was stuck. But if I wear shorts I’ll gross everyone out with my freaky, bloated corpse legs. I mean I can’t even wear my cute knee-high socks because they are all too tight!
It is frustrating when your body changes rapidly and seems to turn against you. And honestly I don’t have any pretty words to wrap up this post. I’m angry I have another diagnosis with another list of symptoms to deal with. And right now those symptoms are really messing with my body image. Pile that on with other body image crap I’m dealing with from some psych med changes and I’m just not in a very “embrace yourself” mood.
So, if you can love your body despite it all; good for you. You’ve worked hard at it and are probably still hard at work learning to find new ways to love yourself. I’m just not quite there yet. Hopefully, someday I will be.