Our Nashville Lymphedema Support group is comprised of patients, therapists and community providers of materials, etc. We have been meeting for about a year, a project instigated by my friend and former patient, LCSW Larkin Oates, at the Estuary in Nashville. Its taken a while to build momentum, but the last couple of months have been just terrific, well attended by an enthusiastic crowd, and I am so proud of what we have created!
Last night, Dr. Paula Stewart came to speak with us. A brilliant and compassionate physician specializing in Lymphedema, she helped all of our group, from the patients to the researchers, review the mechanisms of Lymphedema and recognize signs and symptoms that may indicate other issues. She answered as many questions as time allowed and then we decided, at an hour past our usual end time, that we will have to reconnect with her in the future! I'm very sorry I don't have a photo to post of our meeting last night. Thanks to all who attended. We are so excited about our current momentum that we have abandoned plans to take a summer hiatus; we will continue to meet until the end of the year and will probably take a break over the December holidays.
In conversation later last evening, I heard myself say that I don't think of myself as a healer. I think of myself as a facilitator, helping my clients learn how to take care of themselves and to manage their pain; I'd not really thought of that before. I, of course, do think that massage is healing, just that the recipients are the ones that heal themselves; it is my privilege to be allowed to provide the touch-factor that is involved with that transformation. I wonder what others think of this concept? Certainly in the support group format, we are all seeking our own pathways to wellness and learning to heal ourselves, sharing the knowledge we glean with others. What a treat.