My name is Alice, I am 64, and I live in Kildare. In November, 2017 I had radical hysterectomy and after 6 week recovery I had 24 sessions of radiotherapy which took me to the Spring of 2018. Later that summer I had swelling in my right foot. GP treated it as infection and failing that put me on medication for fluid retention. When I returned to hospital for a check up, I complained about my foot and at this stage my leg was also starting to swell. I was given a compression stocking and told this swelling was common enough after surgery. I could not get the stocking on my leg and the situation became worse, more stockings, basically kicking the can down the road. I was eventually diagnosed with lymphedema and at that stage my leg was badly swollen and I found my mobility/flexibility really bad. Also my clothes became an issue as I could not wear trousers because I could not get them up on the swollen leg and the same with shoes. I was left with one pair of shoes or runners. I was in a really bad state and eventually the gynaecologist suggested I go to Germany for treatment . This treatment would have been paid for by HSE under E111, treatment abroad scheme, at a cost of between 8000 and 10000 euro, and any expenses I would incur myself and involve a stay of at least 6 weeks . Having researched treatments in Germany I knew it was not for me as it would be ongoing back and fort. The HSE also refused to pay for my treatment in Germany but I understand on appeal they would have paid.
I went back to my consultant and explained I was not prepared to go to Germany but he needed to do something for me as I was in a lot of discomfort. He recommendedMonica Conway, MLD, Lymphoedema Therapist, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. I started treatment with Monica in October, 2019 and I was able to stay in Tipperary for 3 and a half weeks , Monday to Friday, and get treatment every day, which involved MLD and bandaging . I was in a very bad way when I started with Monica but I responded very well and was able to go down to treatment weekly at first and then forthrightly. I attend Monica privately so I pay for my own treatment as there is no assistance fromHSE in Ireland, for lymphedema sufferers . To date I have paid under 3000euro which includes payment to Monica and my accommodation (on a B/B basis in hotel).
I can honestly say that Monica Conway has turned my life around and I have great mobility and flexibility in my leg again. I have to accept that my leg will always be that bit bigger but I can wear fashionable clothes and shoes. Monica organised properly fitted compression stockings which I wear every day and can easily put on myself. I can walk much better and hopefully when the golf courses quieten down I will get back playing. Accepting this incurable condition is very difficult and you imagine there is a magic pill somewhere but of course there is not. Monica helped me so much with this condition and said there will come a day when I won’t think about my leg. I have many of those days. I had treatment on 12th March, 2020 and along comes COVID and the world closed down and so did Monica. I did not see her again until 18th August ,2020 and while I was very worried as to how I would cope without treatment , the leg held up extremely well with compression stocking. This was as a result of the fantastic treatment Monica provided me.
Monica has helped me so much both physically and mentally and I cannot recommend her enough. My one regret is the Doctors did not refer me sooner and they need to wakeup to this instead of shoving you away for another 6 months.
TO YOU MONICA, I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL.
“Amazing” and it’s all natural ingredients. My son suffered endlessly with very bad eczema, I tried all the creams, different diets anything that was recommended as I hated watching him suffer especially at night time, you’d hear him wriggling about scratching himself in his sleep and within a couple of days it began to ease. Before I knew it he could wear shorts and short sleeve t-shirts and he slept all night. I can’t thank Monica enough.” – Gemma
“I was refereed to Monica by my doctor. I attended my first session in September. Monica made my session with her so comfortable. She explained everything to me in layman terms so I could understand what was happening to me. I have had two more sessions with her and all I can say is this woman is a miracle worker. My legs are less than half the size they were. I feel wonderful. She has filled me full of confidence and I am now be able to walk in less pain. I would recommend Monica as a wonderful, caring therapist. We need more like Monica in the medical areas ” – B Murphy
“The Covid-19 Lockdown, March 2020 upended and imploded so much of daily life. For me the worst part was deferring for four months a long awaited and much needed course of massage for severe lymphoedema. The lymphoedema had been creeping up insidiously and then gaining momentum over several years. Getting tights, trousers, shoes to fit became increasingly problematic. At times yes, it could be painful. For six months and more I felt my legs were at a tipping point – one setback could have unleashed a downward spiral of an ulcer, cellulitis, sepsis.
Eventually, I was seen in a Vascular Clinic. Although no treatment was available, the Clinic did give me a print out of Massage Therapists. I zoomed in on the name Monica Conway. We spoke on the phone. We texted. She was well informed and informative. She had the lowdown on lymphoedema.
We rescheduled. From late July to early September I had about eight treatment sessions. From the outset, Monica took charge of and marshalled the lymphoedema. With her knowledge and expertise she got the lymph fluid moving and applied the pre-ordered FarrowWrap. The treatment is intense. The client commits and is on this journey too. The very fragile skin reacted with sprouting blisters but now that the lymph fluid was on the move, none of them were problematic. The swelling reduced dramatically. I could see and feel my ankles again. In my last session with Monica, she got me into customised compression stockings. Now it is for me to keep up the regimen she established. From watching her in action, her approach, the client gets good insight into managing lymphoedema.
For some like me, lymphoedema massage is the only treatment possible. But, it has to be financed from one’s own resources. Apparently, there is no Lymphoedema Consultant or Clinic in the Republic of Ireland. The outlay is substantial and no doubt off limits to many: massage treatments, wrapping system, made to measure compression stockings, dressings, moisturising creams… €2000. Fortunately for me, I could stay with my sister who has a house within commuting distance of Monica. Others may have to factor in accommodation costs ” – K Nolan