Hopeful Mother Fell Under This Strange Condition During Her Pregnancy
Like any expecting mother, Sarah Buller was waiting for the typical pregnancy symptoms. However, her leg swelling to twice its size was something she could have never predicted.
The Australian mother and former model first started experiencing some swelling in her left groin area three months into her first pregnancy. In a matter of weeks, her left leg blew up just like a balloon.
“I knew something wasn’t right. After a few visits to the ER, blood tests, doctors’ assessments, and ultrasound scans, the doctors were still unsure what was causing my swelling and basically told me it was just a weird thing that would go away after I gave birth. Unfortunately, it did not.”
A few months her little girl was born, Buller found out she has primary lymphedema, a rare, inherited condition that causes swelling in the arms or legs due to a blockage in the lymphatic system.
Right now, there isn’t cure for lymphedema. The next best thing is managing the condition.
“Wearing compression garments every day, manual lymphatic draining massages at the physiotherapist, exercising, elevating my leg, bandaging, taking supplements to get rid of excess fluid… It has always been a constant daily struggle to keep the swelling under control,” she writes.
As Sarah’s lymphedema last August, she fell in depression and tried to reach out to other women who were also in her situation. She came across ladies just like her on Instagram, who were also searching for answers. One friend really helped her get the help she needed.
Hey all, doing a little update on zee #lymphie leg. It’s been 2 weeks since the lymph node transfer and things are still going well. My leg is a lot softer in my calf area, my foot/ toes are still swollen (but these will be the last areas to loose liquid from, said the doc)… My thigh is carrying a lot of extra fluid but is still very soft; I believe this is because the fluid is coming out from the lower part of my leg and taking time to drain from my knee upwards. When I pit my leg up to elevate I can immediately feel pins adbd needles and the liquid flowing back up the leg (I never felt movement like that before!)… I’m still really sore in the areas they cut me open, mostly in my left arm/ back area!!! Its seriously sore, I still cant lift my arm to wash my hair or pick my nose. SO frustrating 😂 Some days my leg isnt feeling great, because I’ve been on my feet too much and need to rest, so its still fluctuating in size– which I expect it to do anyways (even though it makes me feel horrible when its a “bad” day cause I’m like ITS NOT WORKING!!.. I’m too impatient!)… Anyways, thats where we are at right now xoxoxo”
Sarah had to get a Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT), a microsurgical procedure that takes normal lymph nodes from one part of the body and transfers them to the area of the body that suffers from lymphedema, according to the National Institute of Lymphology.
Her swelling still fluctuates, but it beats that full bandage life!
Article: Woman’s Day