Marielena from Greece
Lymph –flow –edema?
What are you for me? Friend or enemy?
You followed me since I was a child. In the beginning discreetly as a friend, living all the joys before going to school and through my school time. In the process suddenly, you changed. I was making excuses because we were teenagers. We were together to studies, love, nights out and holidays. We did everything together.
I was carrying you with me. I did not complain that you were bloated, you bubbled… But you did it. And I started to get tired. And I no longer wanted to think of you as a friend but you would become my enemy.
They called me beautiful. They called you fatty. And you were jealous. You always said to me: “Do not wear a mini skirt”, do not wear high heels”. You were blowing up. And finally, I had created a style that distinguished me. And I was not giving you any attention. I continued to live like the other girls of my age. And at the same time I was trying to make you feel also beautiful. I was doing gymnastics, dance, yoga, lymphatic massage. I was wearing made to measure compression garments even in different colors just to make you happier so you could leave me sometimes to wear high heels.
You were not satisfied with anything. Like you did it deliberately. To run, to flow like a river. I fought to convince you, to overthrow you… I could not stop you. And that’s how I started hating you. Because you complicated my daily life routine, because I had not even the possibility to work.
I did not know what else to do. I had searched to the internet: lymph edema, doctor, clinic. I found it. I believed I found it! It was called ” Foeldi Clinic.”
I was convinced. Since you do not hear me, I will stop you. I will cut you off “the flow”. I was so stubborn that I said to my mom: “Mom get ready, tomorrow we travel”.
My first win! In Hinterzarten I left much of your flow. And I took pictures from new countries; I made new friends, new experiences. Just as your flow was traveling, I was now traveling too. At first I felt happy. “All right, Mom. We did it!” I said.
“You think” you said to me. And my joy did not even last but only for a year. You were back. Much more powerful. And you always beat me. Many expenses. “No, Mom! I will go again. By myself.”
A bit better. But eventually you were the winner. You were back with the same flow and as the time goes by with much more. Like you wanted to stop the flow of my dreams.
You were no longer jealous. But only a mean. And I started to be disappointed. Now I had to face an enemy. And I start to feel tired. And I was about to give up. But I also had my mom…
“Life is a struggle. And you will win with the power of your soul; you will do it, you, you, you… Me, me!”
Well, Marielena. We leave! Pack your bag. Start again.
The same course, the same recipe. Lymph edema, surgery, doctor, definitive solution… What else? And here‘s my God. My doctor. My plastic surgeon, Dr. Dimitris Dionysiou.
This time I felt happier in my journey. I did not go away. In Thessaloniki, at the Medical Inter-Balkan Center. In Greece. In my own country. My clinic and my doctor! A new friend! To defeat the enemy.
After 3 surgeries. Lymph node transplantation, lymphoblastic anastomoses and liposuction (protein liptoctomy). Within 2 years I could say that I have won the “flow”. And I’m happy now.
And I wear a mini skirt if I want to. And high heels. And yes, I can stand up to work. And yes, I can give my people the joy of winning. With all my strength. I made it. I did it.
And I have no offence to you, I don’t need you anymore. You were with me through this journey, you were my personal stylist, you were with me everywhere and you made me feel “special”. You made me strong. Stronger. Capable of defeating you. To understand you, to like you. 35 years together.
A whole life. Together.
Just the two of us.
We have learned that lymphedema does not leave you, it always comes along with you and there is no way to treat it differently. It is there. Everywhere and always with you. As your best friend. Accept it. Love it. And then it will not be an obstacle for you, in any case. It will be the guardian-angel that will make you stronger. It will teach you to love yourself. Do not underestimate yourself and try to be the winner in any case. Enjoy the little ones, dance to the big ones -because you can do it.
Feel the flow…
Smaller the lymphedema the smaller all the bad things. Bigger the lymphedema the bigger your strength. It makes you grow your strength. And that life is not worth misery. Life needs faith, patience and smile. It demands friends, not enemies.
Leave space to the flow to get into life!