Day in the Life - Yvonne Video 1 of 2

A day in the life of Yvonne Russell, she explains, begins with deep breathing, utilizing the lymphatic core to decompress the area. This will increase the flow of the lymphatic system throughout your legs and body, draining the fluid. Instead of simply washing her face, Yvonne stimulates the lymphatics in her face by lightly massaging the face, specifically the temporal region and scalp, in a circular motion.  Russell discusses anti-inflammatory drugs, proven to reduce Lymphedema, as well as antioxidants, which decrease your overall oxygen species in the body. Meriva-SR, an anti-inflammatory supplement, supports not only the gut, but the entire body. Vitamin C helps Yvonne with pain because of its importance in making collagen for hypermobile lippy women. Dextro-amphetamine improves lymphatic pumping for people who have idiopathic edema.  Thorne Carnityl dietary supplement supports fat metabolism and energy production in the mitochondria, as well as acts as an antioxidant in the brain and peripheral nervous system. Vitamin D should be monitored in order for women to ensure they are meeting the necessary amount. Furthermore, fish oil, an anti-inflammatory helps lower triglycerides; however, it is important to find a fish oil without contaminants, such as mercury.

Day in the Life - Yvonne Video 2 of 2

Yvonne Russell begins the segment by asking Dr. Herbst if her supplements are adequate. Herbst explains that with a bioflavonoid, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatories and Vitamin D, Russell will benefit from the supplements. Vitamin B and multivitamins are also helpful. A day in the life of Yvonne Russell continues by swimming in the pool, increasing the flow of lymphatics. The water acts as a natural compression to increase the lymph fluid flow throughout the body. Yvonne continues with her day by doing dry brushing, which stimulates and oxygenates the blood vessels in the skin. Brushing upward toward the heart moves the lymph fluid out of the tissue. Russell ensures that she moves around at walks every so often to increase the lymphatic flow. Lunch options will consist of chicken breast, steamed carrots, nuts, or lentils. After work, Yvonne participates in whole body vibration, which increases muscle mass, increase bone mineral density, and improved lymphatic flow. In addition, preparation of food for the week ensures that Yvonne stays away from starches. Proteins, medium chain triglycerides, olive oil, vegetables, and healthy fruits are good dinner options. Deep breathing in stressful situations will decrease the leakage from the lymphatic system. Wearing proper garments on the legs at night will also help Yvonne increase lymphatic flow, concluding her day.


Sarah Bramblette

Sarah Bramblette was diagnosed with Lymphedema in 2001 after being misdiagnosed for two years. Her doctor told her that it was simply a weight problem and that she had to work harder to lose weight. The doctor was not even able to weigh her and she had to go to a junkyard in order to use a scale that would be able to hold her weight. She began to work out and lost a small amount of weight, mostly in the upper half of her body. This is when she noticed her lipedema. Sarah has gone through many trials and medical procedures to help her conditions and combat her weight problem. Eventually, she decided to advocate for herself and to start doing her own research in order to find a possible solution for her issues. She has found that there were some biases in health insurance when it came to people
with conditions like hers. A major step in her journey was becoming aware of her rights and the laws concerning her condition. Another important step was to learn how to contact her representative and express her concerns. She remains active in the battle for reduced health costs for lipedema treatments.

Insurance - Sunstein-Murphy (#1 of 2)

Laura Sustein- Murphy is the speaker highlighted in the insurance videos and she has practiced at The Ezold Law Firm where she serves healthcare transactional lawyer and is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The first piece of advice that Laura offers for those women suffering from lipedema is to personally know themselves when dealing with insurance agencies in regards to the disease. In regards to knowing yourself, Laura stresses that everyone has their own symptoms to lipedema and therefore individuals suffering from the disease should write down anything that has happened to their body that could potentially be related to the disease. When preparing personal medical records lipedema patients should be as thorough as possible by recording when the symptoms start, taking pictures of affected areas, and tracking the progression of the medical issue as precisely as possible. After gathering all the facts of the medical issues relating to lipedema, individuals should then provide the insurance companies with a summary of how lipedema directly interferes with their respective daily living conditions.
The second piece of advice that Laura gives to lipedema patients dealing with insurance agencies is to acquire a letter of medical necessity from someone other than the surgeon. According to Laura, insurance companies believe that surgeons are biased and will perform just about any surgery on patients in order to make a profit. In addition to receiving a piece of advice from another doctor, lipedema patients should also provide the insurance companies with a document noting all the conservative treatments that have been completed before requiring actual medical treatment. When documenting conservative treatments, lipedema patients should note when they tried the treatments and how they affected the lipedema. Some conservative treatments include diet, exercise, physical therapy, etc. The final major piece of advice that Laura offers her audience in the first part of the video is for individuals suffering from lipedema to know their respective insurance plans.
Individuals need to be able to answer the question, “How are you covered?” Every insurance plan is different and patients need to be aware of that. According to Laura, when seeking information about your insurance plan individuals do not just want to read the description of the plan on the insurance agencies’ website. Lipedema patients such request the full details of the plan which is usually a document comprised of at least one-hundred pages. Within the detailed plan, individuals should try to find the key terms, which may be deeply hidden inside the plan. When investigating their own personal insurance plan, patients should search for the term medically necessary and highlight it wherever they believe it may relate to the medical issues that come about as a result of suffering from lipedema. Somewhere within the detailed insurance plan, lipedema patients should be able to find some type of exception that will get around the cosmetic definition that often prevents lipedema sufferers from being properly treated for their disease.
In the last couple of minutes of this video, Laura stresses the fact that lipedema patients will almost always be denied initially by the insurance companies. When denied, patients must figure out what to say in response and know exactly why the insurance companies are originally denying their claim. In the next video, Laura will continue to go into detail on the proper approach to get past the insurance companies in regards for getting the proper treatment for the lipedema.

Insurance - Sunstein-Murphy (#2 of 2)

In the second video of the insurance segment given by Laura Sunstein-Murphy, the fourth overall piece of advice that she gives to patients suffering from lipedema is to find an inside person within the insurance company. An inside person should be a member of the insurance company that has experience with lipedema cases and can be reached directly whenever the patient has questions and needs answers. Once found the inside insurance person is required to help you. By finding an inside person, patients can save a countless amount of time of waiting on the phone on hold with the insurance agencies. In the next section of her segment, Laura urges Lippy Ladies to never blow a deadline. If the patient needs more time they should request it in a timely manner as well as give the specific reason to why they need additional time. According to Laura, when asking for an extension from the insurance agencies they will normally only offer clients an extra two weeks to complete the proper paperwork. In addition to not blowing deadlines, patients need to be well aware that insurance companies are not well-organized at all. Insurance companies are well-known for denying surgery two days before the surgery is scheduled. Lipedema patients therefore must be prepared to pay out of pocket for their procedures and fight to get the money for the procedure from the insurance agencies afterwards. According to Laura, patients should pay out of pocket for procedures even if it means they have to “sell their children into slavery.” The final major piece of advice that Laura gives lipedema healthcare insurance clients in to constantly network with other Lippy Ladies. When getting medical procedures done to alleviate the disease of lipedema, it often incredibly difficult to get insurance agencies to cover the respective medical procedures. Laura noted in her discussion that one Lippy Lady was able to get United Healthcare to approve four surgeries at once as a result of networking with other ladies attempting to find covered treatment for the disease. Together women suffering from lipedema can do much more to combat the disease and the insurance coverage issues that come along as a result of trying to find the proper treatment for the disease. In the questions and answers segment of the video, Laura takes the time to answer a handful of questions coming from the audience of Lippy Ladies. Many of the questions brought to Laura had to do with the process of appealing initial insurance rejection claims to lipedema treatment. To summarize Laura’s answers to the many questions she basically focused her response around the argument of appealing no matter what. Significantly more insurance claims are won during appeal as compared to initial filing. Laura urges Lippy Ladies never to be afraid to appeal and that appeals should be filed until the women have absolutely no more support to work with.

The Physical and Emotional Effects of Lipedema with Dr. Josef Stutz

Lipedema is an inherited fat distribution disorder. With that in mind, Dr. Josef Stutz explains the comorbidities with the disorder. First, he discusses how a patient may feel similar to a giant in the distinct way they walk. The leg axis of a patient with lipedema shows a misalignment of the legs. This misalignment is caused by a large, fat bulge on the inner side of the proximal thigh and when the skin of the legs rub against each other it causes pain. To avoid the skin of the legs rubbing against each other, the patient must walk a specific way. Over time, compensating for the disorder causes a destruction of the cartilage in the knee and ankle issues and it can also lead to early arthritis. Moreover, Dr. Stutz also discusses the common occurrence of psychological stress in a lipedema patient. Sometimes, daily life activities such as buying clothing that fit can cause humiliation, which leads to stress and depression. Over time, the disease leads to a further deterioration of mobility and feelings of hopelessness. Additionally patients with lipedema often do not receive a clear diagnosis or feel that the treatment they received was helpful. The patient may confuse the disease with obesity and in turn are blamed for that. Without the correct treatment and diagnosis, there is a high incidence of depression and suicide. In Dr. Stutz’s study, eight out of every one hundred people recorded at least one attempt at suicide. Dr. Stutz considers the patients’ feelings when offering treatment.