My name is Charmaine McKernan. I live locally in Chatswood and have been living on the Shore since 2001.
I am a trained remedial sports massage therapist (RMT Level 6) which I obtained at the London School of Sports Massage during my extended OE. Fun times. I have trained under the Dr Vodder school to complete my post graduate certificate in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT). At the clinic, I specialise in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), Lymphoedema and Lipoedema care.
In my first blog post (December ’18) I talk about the clinic practice. Please check in as I will be posting regular updates on topics that align with the Clinic practice.
How I Became a “Lymphie”
I am a “lymphie” which means someone who lives with lymphoedema. My lymphie story began after having a melanoma successfully removed from my right leg, I unexpectedly was diagnosed with cancer three years later. Double whammy or what? I had surgery under the wonderful care of Mr Isaac Cranshaw. Absolute lifesaver.
Lymphoedema or to quote Alexa from the Lymphie Life, Lymphawhat? came on pretty quickly after the surgery. You know when your surgeon says to you that after the surgery there is a high change that one leg will be bigger than the other, you don’t think too much about it. I clearly remember that at the time my only thoughts were getting through surgery and the joy of radiation, then boom! Big leg, big changes and a crazy thing called secondary lymphoedema. A whole change in lifestyle… and wardrobe. I openly admit it took me about 18 months to two years post the initial leg blow-up before I finally understood what the impact of this lymphie stuff and finally the ultimate acceptance that it wasn’t going away. Ever.
Being a pragmatic and highly organised soul (I was still working as an IT project manager at this time), I then started on the the journey to understand how best to manage and support this condition of being a lymphie.
In my journey, I have learned how to do self lymphatic drainage; gone through multiple options for compression garments; found a diet that my body likes and worked out what exercise options don’t cause me to have a flare up and found many wonderful online support communities. It’s good to know you are not alone. This whole process lead me to taking the leap and taking the time to fully train as an accredited Lymphoedema Therapist.
While we know that lymphoedema is not curable, the good news is that there is so much research and changes going on in the lymphoedema world, we are living in exciting times.
“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
– Dalai Lama