I was in my sixties before I was diagnosed. I spent years going back and forward to my GP, worried about the increasing swelling in my legs. I stuck to every diet I was given. People said, “You’ve lost weight, your face is thinner!”
Indeed, my waist shrank, and my face thinned out, but I never went down a dress size. My arms, legs and bottom remained stubbornly huge. Feeling a failure, I gave up and thus began years of disordered eating and yoyo dieting. By the time I was correctly diagnosed my mobility was permanently damaged as the fat deposits had displaced my knee joints, leaving a permanent deformity in my legs.
Thankfully, in 2017, I was diagnosed with lipo-lymphoedema. In many ways it was too late, as the damage was done, and that felt quite devastating at the time.
Finding Talk Lipoedema on Facebook was a life changer for me. Walking into a Central Scotland lunch meet up, and seeing so many other women with legs just like mine. True friendships were made that day. I gained the information to help me manage my condition in a positive way.
I can’t get down on my hands and knees to garden, but I find ways to fill my pots and planters with colour and enjoy being outside even if I can’t walk so much these days. It delights me that young people are getting diagnosed earlier now, allowing them to get the help they need to avoid disability.