Compression. This word used to fill me with dread. I had visions of thick, brown, ribbed surgical type tights. In my head they were ugly and uncomfortable and my beautiful little girl who loves to wear pretty dresses and dance around the house would have to struggle to wear these everyday for the rest of her life.
I imagined her wearing heavy, brown tights that would be so uncomfortable and tight that she wouldn’t want to wear them. I worried that they would make people stare at her and ask what was ‘wrong’ with her. I worried how they would make her stand out in all the wrong ways, making people notice her Lymphoedema before they would notice her – everything that we have been striving to avoid.
So, we put it off as long as we could. Until Lynne, our Lymphoedema Physio, suggested that it may be time to start. That was in January 2014 – and we haven’t looked back. As I have posted before, the compression has done an amazing job so far with her legs and feet and I thought it might be helpful to talk about the brand we use.
Lucia’s compression tights are made by a fantastic company called Jobskin. They have offices based in Ireland and England and we have been thrilled with both the products and the service that we have received from them.
Lucia’s compression tights couldn’t be any further from what I had been imagining. Here is the science bit: She wears Premium Lymphoedema Gradient Pressure Garments made from a material called Powernet. In my words – and as you can see from the photo on this post – they are made from a lovely thin material, they look like normal tights and are also fine enough to wear under a pair of leggings. They do have a thin flat seam up the back of her legs but it looks perfectly fine.
The first time we got Lucia measured for the tights, a lovely lady from the Jobskin Ireland office travelled for five hours to see us and measure her. She was like the baby whisperer and Lucia sat like angel and all measurements were taken within half an hour!
She was also able to advise us to add an extra reinforced layer into the top of the right foot of her tights to help give this stubborn fluid a bit more of a helping hand to move up her leg.
We also got silicone spots put onto the soles of her tights so she has a good grip when running with no shoes on in the house – a bit like slipper socks have.
Cool and comfortable
As with all compression garments they take a bit of heaving to get on, but when they are on she is totally comfortable in them and can tolerate them all day with no problem.
When they come off at the end of the day – bearing in mind she spends most of the day running about – her legs and feet are nice and cool and her skin in great condition. We love to look at her bare legs in the evening to see how well the compression is working!
Lucia is currently wearing white tights, which look great with all her little dresses. The only thing we were a little disappointed with was the colour of the first pair of tights we received. We ordered cream, but the cream turned out to be more of a beigy brown and that did make my heart sink. Thankfully though we also got two pairs of white tights so that softened the blow and the beigy/brown are fine under a pair of leggings.
Their colour range though is great – as well as the white and ‘cream’ that we have there is also pink, purple, red, royal blue, black, bronze and camouflage in the range we use. Next on our list will be pink of course and when she gets to school age we will be able to get red tights to match with her uniform!
Alterations and repairs
The other great thing about Jobskin is they can carry out alterations if they are needed within the first four weeks of receiving your garments. Lucia was measured so well that we didn’t need any alterations, however after a few months a hole appeared on the seam at her heel.
Lynne sent them back to Jobskin to see if they could be repaired and a couple of weeks later we received a brand new pair instead! Fantastic customer service.
Part of Life
So compression is now part of our everyday life – after Lucia’s morning rub and moisturising routine, the tights go on. And thankfully it isn’t as bad as we thought it would be. We do have mornings where she puts up a bit of a fight getting them on, but that is just normal toddler behaviour!
Our next issues will be how she copes in the heat wearing the tights and what happens when we start potty training as the tights just won’t be conducive to teaching a two year old how to use the toilet! No doubt between us, Lynne and Jobskin we will work it out!
For more information on Jobskin check out www.jobskin.co.uk or search for them on facebook and twitter.