Rim Country Health & Rehabilitation was honored to be asked to speak at this year’s Women’s Wellness Forum. Our very own Jane Oliver, Occupational Therapist/Certified Lymphedema Specialist will present information and actual local cases, (with aliases for HIPAA compliancy), in order to share the patients’ journeys to finding answers from knowing the signs and symptoms, finding a physician that understands lymphedema, getting the correct diagnosis and the treatment options available in Payson/Rim Country.
In a focus group held on the RCH Campus in early March, four current patients were invited to share their journeys. The four women ranged in ages 55 to 87 years old. The lymphedema diagnoses were four different types of lymphatic disease: lymphedema, lipedema, Dercum’s and venous issues.
Each patient shared the difficulties they had in finding a physician “Who would believe me,” “It wasn’t just weight gain,” “Compression socks were not the answer,” and even a non-medical person noticing the swelling “My pedicurist said ‘I think you have lipedema.’”
The majority of people who have swelling in the body do not understand that it can be managed.
Learn the Causes, the Factors, What to Expect, How It Manifests in the Tissue, the Evaluation and Management
Lymphedema is more common that you know, but the diagnosis and treatment are complex. Since most are related to neoplasm and post-surgical issues, surgeons and oncologists with a solid foundation in lymphedema recognition, prevention and treatment are essential. The addition of a certified lymphedema therapist rounds out the team.
The management technology can include compression stockings and garments. The goal of compression garments is so the patient can use a beginner stocking and graduate to the next level which continue to keep the swelling down, can present a reduction in size and weight loss.
The pneumatic compression devices, shown in the photo, along with a certified lymphedema specialist, manage chronic conditions and improve the quality of life for patients with chronic conditions.
RCH is currently working with two vendors that will assist in supplying our facility and patients with the proper management solution.
The RCH patients all agreed that they’d like to inspire other to get the right diagnosis faster and closer to home. All focus group patients said, “Be your own advocate,” “Complete all the rehab sessions.” They also expressed gratitude to Jane and RCH for having this treatment on our campus.
If you have questions about Lymphedema, Lipedema, Dercum’s or Venous Insufficiency, call RCH’s Rehab Therapy Department and we’ll assist you in getting on a protocol that gives you the support and treatment you need, 928-474-1120.