Live your best life with Lymphedema.

Emilie G.

“Perfection does not exist! We need to realise that life does not wait and we are unique, even with our shortcomings” – Emilie.

 

Hello, my name is Emily, I’m 32 and I work in the field of decoration and design. I recently left my position of Shop Director / interior designer to go traveling and finally live my life.

Indeed, to live my life! Because before leaving to travel and since the age of 15, I lived for others because I was ill myself. I felt bad about myself because of my Primary Lymphoedema. Like many testimonies of my 15 to 28 years, I lived with edema of the feet without putting a name on this problem. So I lived my adolescence and the beginning of my young life to hide so that no-one noticed my swollen feet and how I was so different from the norm. I felt so bad about myself that I decided to devote myself entirely to my professional success to exist somehow. During these years, I went to see many doctors who always had the same answer: “Sorry! But you’ll have to wear stockings all your life. Thank you and goodbye!”

Following a bout of strength, I decided one night at the age of 28, to delve into the internet in hopes of finding an answer. I live in Paris with very good hospitals, so I figured that there was surely someone who could help me. I found an article about Corinne Becker, a surgeon who treated and operated lymph problems. I immediately contacted for an appointment. It was at that moment that my life began to change.

“You have a primary lymphoedema on both feet and ankles and I’ll help you.” This sentence, I will always remember because it is the beginning of another life would begin. Everything came together, many many, many lymph drainage and transplant nodes (underarm taken and grafted above the knee) on each side, in 2014. Then I needed to wait for the result, which I began to see. In 2015 and 2016 I decided to undergo SAPL (liposuction) around my ankle because the edema could not fully resolve.
I changed my life since that meeting with Corinne. I stopped smoking, I changed my diet and I do more sport. I had big moments of doubt during those three years because you have to be patient before seeing the results! I began slowly regain confidence in me, but I was always afraid of the eyes of others. But I learned a lot about myself, shared my experience with Sarah in particular (@lymphosaurus_rex) and other girls around the world and finally I won two friends: my therapist and my surgeon!!
After two years I have clearly seen the results. My right foot is healed! However, we had to operate again because my left foot is still fragile. I am aware that we will have to wait another year for it to be healed. But you know what? Perfection does not exist! We need to realise that life does not wait and we are unique, even with our shortcomings.
In 2016, Corinne told me this: “live the life you love, the one that looks like you.” So I listened… and in January 2017, I left alone with my backpack, three months after my surgery, leaving my job, my apartment, my life in Paris. Why? FINALLY To live my life, to meet this challenge, for accepting me and leave behind all these fears, frustrations and not compare myself to others. I tell you all this in an article dedicated to the best decision of my life, my rebirth.
What I can not do without, it is my compression garments. I love them 🙂 They saved me several times and do me good! I only wear them when I feel tired or my foot swells. I sometimes bandage, but only in extreme cases when swelling increases.
Find Emilie here on Instagram: @e_g_____

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