Final Notes from Wittlinger Lypmhoedema Clinic

It was very hard to type with the bandages on, so I followed doctor’s orders and allowed myself to relax and leave the blog till I got home.  Also, one is quite busy at the Wittlinger Clinic with various therapies. In between times there are some lovely walks to go on around the area.  You can rent Nordic walking poles and bikes from the clinic at a nominal cost.

Each person is given a personalised programme of treatment and therapies.  Below are just some notes on  my personal experience and observations.  If you are interested in going to there, do make your own enquiries.  The link to their website is at the bottom of the page.

MLD – Manual Lymph Drainage

People on the ‘taster week’ have one session of MLD per day [Monday-Friday].  Other people, who seemed to be mostly on a 3-week programme, have MLD twice a day.  You have to remove and roll up your bandages and bring them to your next treatment.  So you have to remember to allow time to squeeze in your shower [and a swim if you like] before a session.

Remedial Exercise Group

All patients must go to Remedial Exercise Group twice a day.  It’s on before breakfast, and again before dinner.  I have had to revise my opinion about gentle exercise.  While it didn’t even register as exercise on my watch, I did notice after only 3 days that I had toned up all over and my lower back and joints felt looser. You can watch some videos of their exercise classes on their YouTube channel [see link below].

Additional Therapies

There was a range of additional therapies available.  These would be prescribed for some people and optional for others.  These included self-bandaging, relaxation, gym, aqua-exercise, sound therapy, medical pedicure.

Men

There were a number of men getting treatment when I was there.  5 of them sat at a table together. Not sure if that was intentional.  Another man getting treatment sat at a table with ladies.   Husbands/wives/partners can also go to the clinic to keep their beloved company.  Pet dogs can go too!

Language

You will manage perfectly well if you don’t speak any German.  However, it would help if you can.  The exercise classes are in German.  They are easy enough to follow [go up the front].  Some of the therapists don’t speak English, so do ask for an English speaking one.

I was offered the chance to sit at a table with English people – it’s like a cruise – you sit at the same table for all meals.  I took it as my German is not great.

Results

At the end of your stay, you are measured again.  I got a reduction in my arm and the bit of lymph in my trunk was gone.  But my other ‘good’ arm which doesn’t have lymphoedema had also decreased!  The doctor says this happens.  [Wish I’d had my bum measured!]. I also lost 1 Kilo.

Would I go again?

Ja, sicher!  [That’s Yes, Sure! in German].  I would if I could.

Cost

The “Taster Week” was €805.  I believe the 3-week programme is approx €6,000.  On top of that you have your travel costs, bandages and new garments to pay for.

One person from Ireland [so far] has been able to get funding from the HSE’s Travel Abroad Scheme [TAS] to go to the clinic.  Note that to qualify for this, you will need to have a Consultant refer you to the clinic.

Links

  1. Wittlinger Clinic
  2. HSE Treatment Abroad Scheme [for Irish people]
  3. Wittlinger YouTube Channel – see for exercise classes