"In the autumn of 2004 I had the shock of my life when I was informed following an angiogram that I needed heart bypass surgery. I had been a fitness instructor for almost 30 years and had only gone to see my GP with what I thought was a chest infection......

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......His sharp diagnosis of a deeper problem took me through various tests before coming to this rather frightening realisation.

I had my surgery early in 2005 and it wasn't straightforward.  I came home to recuperate and even that wasn't as quick as I had thought it would be.   

One of the procedures that goes along with bypass surgery is the harvesting of veins for the grafts, in my case from the legs. Legs, because attempts in my left leg were not successful so my right leg had to be attacked also.  These procedures left long wounds which also took time to heal and left significant scares.

It was about a year later when I noticed one day that my right leg was looking larger than my left leg.   I got a tape measure out and sure enough there was a difference of 5".  It was also aching slightly.   I made an appointment to see my GP who shipped me off for tests, first for a blood clot and then for any other kind of blockage.   These proved negative.    He then told me that he thought what I had was lymphodema.  I waited for him to suggest treatment and when I asked him what I could do he said 'nothing'.     I refused to accept that there was 'nothing' I could do so I pushed him.   He said the best he could do was prescribe me compression stockings which I would need to wear 24/7.  This was not good news.

I sought advise elsewhere and was fortunate enough to be living within driving distance of a therapist who specialised in helping people with lymphodema. I went to see her and after consultation she treated me first with bandages and then with fortnightly massaging.  It eased my aches considerably and kept me free of the dreaded tights.  After about a year of this my therapist acquired a new machine called a Physiopod which worked through deep oscillation massage.  The results were amazing.  Now I only needed to visit her once a month which apart from anything else was a considerable financial benefit!!   I don't know how much time passed before I was told that the company who made the Physiopod had brought out a personal machine, smaller in size but equal in effect to the larger one.  It was pricey so I needed to think about it.  When I sat down with my husband to talk about it he immediately said this was a 'no brainier'.   What was more important than my health and keeping me mobile......nothing.

So I ordered my machine, which came with a personalised data card specific to my needs.   I had one 'training session" with my therapist and now I was on my own.    Any worries I had were completely unfounded.  Treating myself twice a week has kept me under control, ache free and totally mobile.  I take my machine everywhere, on holidays it has been invaluable,  many times when I have been in places where it has been hot and I have been standing or walking a lot, it has literally saved that holiday from being ruined.

My Physiopod has become a treasured possession. If I were ever asked the question 'what one thing would you rescue if your home was on fire?' there's no doubt in my mind it would be my machine!!!  It also comes with a data card for treating other sports injuries and I have had occasion to use this a few times too. In particular it's sorted out problems with Achilles tendonitis on several occasions.

I whole heatedly recommend this machine to anyone plagued with lymphodema, it will change your life"

Pauline Bexon


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