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Help Me! My Leg is Leaking!

Monday, August 10, 2020

As I sat at the table doing my regular research and writing tasks, I noticed a disturbing occurrence. I peered down at my feet to see a gathered puddle, at which I immediately thought, “That dog has peed on the floor!” I was perplexed because we regularly walked the dog (God bless his departed soul) and he rarely had an accident. I got up and quickly got a paper towel and cleaner to wipe the tile floor, wondering what had gotten into Bobo for him to have such an unforeseen problem.

I sat down again and continued my work. After an hour or so passed by, I looked down, and to my amazement, another puddle of liquid had gathered there. I checked the table, over and under. Had something spilled of which I was unaware? There were no glasses or cups on the table and nothing wet on or under the table. Then I realized, one of my legs had issued a straw-colored fluid that had accumulated at my feet. Shocked, I began to put two and two together. As a result of my lymphedema, my leg was leaking!

This was not the first time that I had noticed lymph fluid coming from my leg. I had seen bilateral leg wounds with mild seepage that had been generally cared for through the compression wrapping process at my lymphedema treatment clinic. When left unattended in the past, those wounds would ulcerate. Until I was diagnosed with lymphedema, I wondered why I had often incurred cellulitis, experienced elevated white cell counts, and faced multiple hospitalizations.

When associated with lymphedema, this leaking process, I later found out, is known as lymphorrhea, and often accompanies this condition (Zuther, 2019). Also known as “weeping edema,” it can also be a symptom of other conditions to include diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney damage, cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, and weakness or damage to veins in the legs (Yaneff, 2018). Because of the multitude of possible causes, it is best to consult a doctor as early as the condition occurs.

I was amazed that my condition had been prevalent for so long without anyone in the medical field directing me for treatment. Christine Heptig, occupational therapist and certified lymphedema specialist at Nazareth Hospital in Philadelphia writes, “Many people go undiagnosed with lymphedema for significant periods of time, allowing the condition to quickly advance, even potentially leading to infections — due to the lack of blood flow and increased swelling — and other severe complications. Education and early detection are essential for effective lymphedema treatment.” (Heptig, n.d.).

I had to apologize to my dog for wrongly accusing him but I did have a revelation of how important it is to consider this health issue. I hope that my experience will help to inform someone else who might be wondering why their leg, arm, or other parts might be leaking in what appears an abnormal way. We encourage those who are having such issues to be part of our Spark Team, Lymphedema Supporters, where we can discuss how to stop the leaking and prevent more pets from being scolded.

Sources

Heptig, C. (n.d.). Q&A: What is lymphedema? Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from https://www.inquirer.com/healt
h/expert-opinions/what-is-
lymphedema-treatment-optio
ns-20200221.html

Yaneff, J. (2018, January 31). Weeping Edema: Causes, Symptoms, and Diabetes Link. Doctors Health Press - Daily Free Health Articles and Natural Health Advice. https://www.doctorshealthpress
.com/health-articles/weepi
ng-edema-causes-symptoms-l
ink-between-diabetes-weeping-legs/

Zuther, J. (2019, May 29). Leakage of Lymph Fluid, a.k.a. Lymphorrhea. “Lymphedema Blog.” Retrieved August 10, 2020, from http://www.lymphedemablog.com/
2019/05/29/leakage-of-lymp
h-fluid-a-k-a-lymphorrhea/
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CTUPTON
    I thought I was handling my leg fluid retention. But last month I got cellulitis. Luckily an antibiotic took care of it. It was scary to me. Keep caring for yourself! Find appropriate medical help. My doctor stinks. He really is no help to me. He just says, lose weight. I have been at this daily for many years. I still weigh about 250. I have photos of myself at a normal weight. In college I lost 89 lbs in one year. My Mom was doing WW with me. That helped tremendously. I have since read a person can be healthy obese. But if the excess wweight changes metabolism it can become a disease in itself. Medical people are finally waking up. Not my own doctor, but in general the medical field. We are cheering you on. emoticon emoticon

    chris (now living near Buffalo NY)
    326 days ago
  • MIAMI_LILLY
    Very interesting blog. My mother was recently hospitalized with sepsis. Right before heading to the hospital, her slippers were so wet they squished when she walked. Horrible condition related to her congestive heart failure. Thank u for posting.
    348 days ago
  • ICECUB
    THANK YOU FOR THE INFORMMATION. I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST. I AM SURE BOBO FORGAVE YOU.
    350 days ago
  • NANANANA
    At first I thought it might be prostate related. My husband has had a leakage/aim problem since treatment for prostate cancer.

    After reading, I understand why my sister and niece panicked so when I returned from a cruise with severely swollen legs and feet. I went through a battery of tests and the conclusion was 'move more, less salt, and drink more water.'
    351 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Thanks for the infomation! And glad that you were able to make up w/poor Bobo (RIP)
    352 days ago
  • PWILLOW1
    Intersting. Thanks for sharing.
    352 days ago
  • TCANNO
    emoticon
    352 days ago
  • DESERTDREAMERS
    I like watching medical shows on TV - the real ones, not reel ones - like “Something is Killing Me”, etc. (I’m a retired nurse). So many diseases or conditions that get misdiagnosed for years. Sometimes the diagnosis seems so clear in retrospect, some required having just that one person with the right background. At least you have an idea of what to do. Poor puppy! (Even if he wasn’t verbally blamed). My Chihuahua/ Boston terrier mix will eat or drink ANYTHING I leave unattended. Gross, but I would probably noted the drainage when I heard her lapping @ it. (Yuck)
    352 days ago
  • LINOVER
    Thank you for the information. I have had lymphedema for 15 years but have never had an open wound, I have never had any problem with leakage. Thanks to your blog though, I will be aware of this if it does happen to me in the future.
    352 days ago
  • DIANEDOESSMILES
    Awww poor innocent Bobo, but lolol any of us would of assumed that first. Glad they found this out. I know someone who goes though this a lot. She is having treatment. Now she's finally walking some and that is helping some plus weight loss.
    352 days ago
  • HEDSTS58
    Good information, thank you
    352 days ago
  • DISCIPLINE1979
    Thanks for sharing
    352 days ago
  • WNCGIRL
    I am a nurse and see this frequently
    352 days ago
  • PAULA3420
    What an interesting blog. Poor Bobo emoticon I was glad that you kept investigating until you found the reason for the puddles on your floor. May Bobo RIP!!!

    emoticon Paula
    352 days ago
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