Thursday, June 13, 2013

I am a Lymphomaniac

The Daily Mail recently published an article called, "The Real Reason Middle-Class Mums Love ALDI." It was for their gin. Nevermind that Brits can save £1,700 a year vs. a competing grocer. The article is here for those interested. 

I had gin once, thanks to some boys from Casco Point in Navarre, Minnesota. Not. My. Thing.  

A liquor store recently opened in the same building at my ALDI. Minnesota does not allow grocery stores to carry liquor, wine or strong beer, so there will be no competition.

What caught my eye in the Daily Mail article was that their ALDI stores carry compression bandages, and apparently they are right next to the cheese. I have become intimately acquainted with compression bandages, having been diagnosed with primary lymphedema at age 48. Turns out that at around 6 weeks gestation, my speck-size body decided to quit making lymph nodes. How or why I seemed to get along for nearly half a century without major problems from this is a mystery. I am paying for it now.

You may have seen people in double-wide wheelchairs with tree trunks for legs. That is lymphedema. That is where I thought I was headed. I later learned that most of those people do not have primary lymphedema (a congenital problem), or secondary lymphedema (from cancer or chemotherapy), but rather because they accumulated so much overhanging fat in their stomach that their lymph nodes became compressed enough to quit functioning. There are some people with primary lymphedema that are at that point, but I learned that it is because they refused to do the work that would keep that from happening. Then I learned about a phenomenon where a person begins to identify themselves as a person because of their disability, and wishes to remain disabled. Not. My. Thing.

Primary Lymphedema has become a part time job for me. I have to devote about 3 hours a day to caring for my leg or bandaging it, and getting both legs into high compression. For this devotion, my reward is no wheelchair, no handicapped parking tag, as well as no government assistance. I am wearing shorts for the first time in my life because my stockings are hotter than hell, and getting stared at because people wonder why I am wearing "tan nylons." That's another issue - high compression stockings come in one color, which is Jersey Shore Tan. Persons of color, or no color like myself, are of no regard to the manufacturers of these things. They are also not made with UPF fibers, which would protect against UV radiation. They also cost upwards of $150 per pair. I'm whining so much here that I am starting to think that I'd like to try some ALDI gin. I can't fly to the UK to get it though - air travel is not good for lymphedema. 

So, ALDI, if you're listening.. maybe you would like to expand your compression bandage line to include compression stockings. You could place them next to the crackers.


  1. glad to see you blogging again!

    1. Thanks Craig! I need to quit getting things like cancer and lymphedema and getting in car accidents, so I can get more time to do this LOL

  2. Your blog is so entertaining. I would rather read your blog than write my own. I always learn something new about you. Early gin experiences can be brutal (same with Tequila that is hidden in a beer shampoo container, one that still has that wee taste of shampoo, also).

    WIth nostrils appropriately flared, I thank you for this moment of lymph zen.

    1. It's awful hard to scream Tequila! with bubbles coming out your mouth. I have a whiskey story also, which involves one of your former boyfriends. It isn't pretty. Love you Sara!

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