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.