I am a breast cancer survivor of 23 years. I developed lymphedema in 1995 one year after having the breast and lymph nodes removed due to the cancer. My first infection of cellulitis was so severe the doctor stated I was fortunate I did not lose my arm.
I have worn a compression sleeve 23 hours a day since 1995. I use a day sleeve with more compression and a night sleeve with less compression.
Prior to becoming Medicare eligible my insurance company paid for my garments. Since becoming Medicare eligible they will no longer pay for my garments because Medicare will not pay. The garments are necessary to control the swelling in my arm. If I do not wear the sleeves and massage my arm twice daily, the arm becomes swollen and very painful.
I have had to limit my yard work and housework because over using the arm makes the swelling way worse and very painful.
My garments cost $374.00 for two sleeves every six months. As I live on a fixed income this is very costly to me. I have appealed the denials many times and the cost is denied payment.
The garments need to be replaced every six months as they lose their elasticity.
I have now developed edema in my legs and am facing the same problem of buying compression garments to reduce the swelling in my legs.
It is so important that the Lymphedema Treatment Act is passed so we may be treated with the proper care we need to control the edema in our appendages.
I also have a sister who is going through the same situation as me. She is 81 years old and also a widow and on a fixed income.
Thank you for your consideration in passing the important ACT.