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Lymphedema Patient Rick Sweet with Dosher Certified Lymphedema Therapist Amy Kibler

If the Shoe Fits...A Lymphedema Success Story

Retirement has not slowed down Rick Sweet one bit.

When this former corrections officer from Connecticut relocated to Holden Beach with his wife, he got busy enjoying life, working in his yard, taking motorcycle rides, soaking in his hot tub, and going on cruises.

It would seem as if nothing could hold this gregarious man back, until he began to develop ulcers on his legs. The ulcers, that were associated with improper circulation, were becoming unpredictable in when and how they would appear, in addition to being difficult to heal. The improper circulation in Rick's legs caused a significant amount of swelling, so much so that a number of his shoes no longer fit.

After having numerous issues with ulcers on his legs that never seemed to go away completely, Rick's physician recommended that he seek help from the Occupational Therapy staff at Dosher. The improper circulation in Rick's legs had led to him developing a condition known as Lymphedema. Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid which causes swelling in certain parts of the body, including the arms, legs, neck and feet, and develops when lymphatic vessels are impaired or missing. Causes of Lymphedema include cancer surgeries, diabetes related wounds, and venous insufficiency. While there is no cure for Lymphedema, hands on manual techniques, compression therapy with bandages, and therapeutic exercises can improve the flow of lymphatic fluid and reduce swelling.

Rick's physician explained to him that if they could get the swelling in his legs under control, it would most likely assist in the healing of the ulcers.

Rick began treatment with Dosher's Occupational Therapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist Amy Kibler a week before Thanksgiving in 2018. In 9 therapy sessions, the swelling was reduced, and Rick's ulcers were gone. The only surprise for Rick was how quickly he responded to treatment.

After the sessions, which consisted mostly of compression therapy, Amy put Rick on an exercise regimen to help the control of swelling post treatment. Rick has not missed a day of exercise since Thanksgiving of last year, and his ulcers never returned.

When Rick finished his last treatment with Amy, she asked him, "What's the first thing you're going to do?"

Rick responded, "I'm gonna go home and try on my shoes and see if they fit."

To Rick's delight, they did.

"The staff was terrific," Rick said, "They saw what I needed and started a course of treatment that has led me to a point where I have no ulcers on my legs and have been this way close to 7 months. I highly recommend anybody that has the same issue that I had seriously consider coming to Dosher. The small amount of time that it took to bring the medical issues full circle was nothing short of unbelievable."

Rick is relieved to no longer live with the worry about daily activities causing ulcers. He can swim. He can spend limited amounts of time in a hot tub. He's looking forward to going on the next cruise he and his wife booked to St. Thomas. He can wear his shoes. If the shoe fits……Dosher knows they have a Lymphedema Clinic success story!

For more information on Dosher's Lymphedema Clinic, call 910-454-4708.


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