Monday, April 29, 2013
I have been using the Flexitouch machine for over 4 years now and it has changed my daily management of lymphedema for the better. I have lost over 70 pounds and have been able to keep as much mobility as I can. I have been having increased lower back pain since my fluid has decreased, and needed to address this issue, without increasing my pain meds. I was happy to learn that I was eligible to receive another machine and the pieces had improved coverage. I have Anthem FEP and my copay was 15%. I had to get all new equipment for all 4 limbs and the main unit. My 15% copay was $840.00. I received my new machine in the mail on Monday April 15, 2013. The Flexitouch rep stopped by the next day to help me set up the machine. I have been using the machine for a week now and want to share my initial thoughts. I was surprised at how small the box was that I received with my machine and all pieces. I pulled out the machine and it was probably 1/3 lighter than my previous machine. I also received fewer pieces, since they combined the trunk piece, so instead of 1 trunk piece for each limb, 1 trunk piece is used for every limb. This trunk piece is taller than the previous one and comes up higher on my stomach and back. It comes up to right under my bust and half way up my back. It also is designed to address genital swelling, which was not addressed with the old machine. The full leg piece goes from your toes up to the top of your thigh. I am able to get this piece pretty snug and I can already see a difference on my legs. The previous pieces was a toe to knee piece and the knee to hip piece. The new pieces allow overlap, so that all limb areas are covered. My treatment plan is to do a full leg cycle a day and then follow it up with a 30 minute cycle using my trunk piece, but folding one of the thigh flap ups over my genitals. I will include pics soon, showing me in the new pieces. I use 2 pieces in addition to the trunk piece on each arm. Again, the new pieces allow overlap and a snugger fit. I was starting to have issues with increased swelling along my my bra line and under my arm pit and the new machine pieces cover both of these areas. I think the big difference is that the old pieces ended and did not have enough overlap in key areas, such as at the top of the arm at the armpit and the chest piece. I have noticed that a small swelling pocket under my left breast has greatly decreased, because I am able to fit the pieces snug on top of the spot. I have only been using this new design for a week today, however, it is showing lots of promise in addressing my increased swelling areas. I do one 60 minuted full arm cycle in the am before getting up and then I do the opposite leg at night. The full leg cycle at night is 60 minutes, followed by a 30 minute trunk genital cycle. Overall I use the machine 2 1/2 hours a day. I have decreased the amount of extra pain medicine, but not totally eliminated it, in the last week and that is a big plus for me. I will update thisbpost with pics of me wearing the garmentsa and also any other progress I make using the new garments. So far, so good!