‘I felt my legs were my responsibility’

Neither my friend nor I had seen legs like mine in 25 years of working in the NHS, and I now realise that it was because we weren’t looking for a medical condition.

Over the years, I had become convinced by other medical professionals that the way my legs were was my responsibility. I was too fat, they were made that way – put up with it, be grateful they still work etc. So I just accepted it and made the best of it.

I think what I needed to see is a series of photos of legs in various (early) stages, with questions asking: Do you have trouble finding tights that fit? Do you still have shapely ankles? Do people remark on or make fun of your legs? Are you worried that your legs are changing shape/size? Do other women in your family have legs like yours?

Until I was given a name for the way my legs looked, I just accepted that they were fatter than most and did the best I could with them. Once I knew that I had a medical condition and that there was the possibility of treatment/correction, I looked for information – and that is when I looked at Lipoedema UK.

Until more women seek help and advice from their GPs about their legs and complain about the pain, discomfort and the psychological effect on their mental health, nothing will be done. We need doctors to realise that more help is needed, and then, who knows, we might get liposuction on the NHS.

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