Dysautonomia Hacks and Facts Giveaway!

Dysautonomia Awareness Month Hacks And Facts From BrightLife Direct!

In honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month this October, here’s your official spoonie guide, complete with tips and information to educate your friends, families and doctors. Plus, enter to win a $50 gift card in honor of Dysautonomia Awareness Month. See below for entry and details.


FACT: Dysautonomia symptoms can include lightheadedness, fatigue, fainting, blood pooling in the extremities, brain fog, chest pain, heart palpitations, nausea, migraines, shortness of breath and more.

HACK: Laying down or wearing compression socks can provide relief for some symptoms of dysautonomia. Many POTS patients have difficulty standing, so laying down can help your body improve the blood flow and reduce symptoms. A proper diet and exercise regimen can also help regulate symptoms.


FACT: Dysautonomia is an umbrella term for disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which helps to maintain the ideal blood pressure and body temperature, controls your heart rate, breathing, sleep cycles and digestion. Many dysautonomia patients look “normal” because their symptoms are invisible.

HACK: Educate others about the symptoms of dysautonomia and be aware of your own. The severity of symptoms varies between patients. Keep track of medications that work or don’t work, activities that provoke symptoms and note how your body reacts to different situations, so you can stay in control of your symptoms.


about dysautonomia


FACT: Over 70 million people worldwide have developed various forms of dysautonomia. A common form of dysautonomia is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which can be found in people of all ages and genders. POTS impacts an estimated 1-3 million Americans, and is most often found in women.

HACK: The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Get involved with a local support group or volunteer with an organization like Dysautonomia International or participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month activities to help fundraise to find a cure.


FACT: Dysautonomia is a relatively unknown condition to doctors and patients.

HACK: Find a doctor or a specialist who is knowledgeable about Dysautonomia or autonomic disorders. It’s important to work with someone who can determine the most appropriate medications for you to effectively manage your symptoms, and who can answer any questions you may have. Finding a doctor who can create an individualized treatment plan is crucial. You can click here to find a doctor near you.


Spoon Theory - Dysautonomia Awareness Month


FACT: Although Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is not a rare condition, it is frequently misdiagnosed. The average diagnosis can take almost six years.

HACK: Participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month this October to educate patients, doctors, friends and family about this condition. Share your story or get involved with organizations like Dysautonomia International and support research to find a cure.


FACT: There is no cure for Dysautonomia.

HACK: Adapt your lifestyle to assure your symptoms do not get worse. Remember to wear compression socks to prevent blood from pooling in your legs and relieve the dizziness or lightheadedness from orthostatic hypotension. Get organized, fight off stress as much as possible, and eat lots of lean proteins, fibers, fruits and vegetables. A high sodium diet of about 2-4 grams of salt a day is recommended, along with increasing your fluid intake to about 2-3 liters of water each day. Refrain from consuming refined sugars and caffeine as much as possible. Make sure you are staying active as much as your symptoms allow and are getting a good night’s sleep. Most of all, stay positive!


Have some great tips and tricks of your own? Comment below to share!


ENTER TO WIN OUR DYSAUTONOMIA AWARENESS MONTH GIVEAWAY!

To win, follow the rules below and participate in Dysautonomia Awareness Month for your chance to win. Just comment on this post or share it on social media. Good luck!

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Giveaway Contest

Here at BrightLife Direct, our customers are very important to us. Each day, we talk with people who have been diagnosed with lymphedema and hear not only their questions, but their struggles. Lymphedema is commonly overlooked by doctors and can go undiagnosed for a very long time. Many people battling breast cancer are unaware that lymphedema can be a side affect to treatment and are unprepared for managing this condition. It can also be hard to obtain the resources needed to manage lymphedema due to a lack of regional availability of therapists and the financial cost. Since there is no cure for lymphedema yet, patients must wear a compression armsleeve everyday which can be costly, especially depending on the severity of the swelling.

The BrightLife Direct Armsleeve Assistance Program

BrightLife Direct Komen Armsleeve Program for LymphedemaIn light of this, BrightLife has partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to provide compression armsleeves to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. We will be providing free compression sleeves to patients at six different Komen grantee organizations here in Washington, D.C. These awesome organizations will help the patient measure for the correct fit and find the best armsleeve to help manage their symptoms. They will then send this information to us, and we ship out the armsleeve free of charge the same day. Check out Francia, pictured on the left, happily showing off her new compression armsleeve!

Enter Our Breast Cancer Awareness Giveaway!

You can win! In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BrightLife Direct wants to give back to the lymphedema community. To help others with the financial burden of lymphedema, we are offering a $100 gift card for one lucky winner to choose any armsleeve or compression stockings of their choice! See below for entry and details.

lymphedema fashion compression armsleeves and compression socks

Lymphedema Style Guide

BrightLife Direct offers tons of compression armsleeves in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns and fabrics so you can find the perfect sleeve for you. If beige isn’t your style, we have lots of fun patterned armsleeves like LympheDivas and the new Juzo Signature Prints. The Juzo Dream Collection offers armsleeves and lower extremity compression garments in fun seasonal colors and tie-dye patterns. If you’re looking for eye-catching patterned leggings, try the new Juzo Soft Print Leggings, available in a large variety of patterns. Check out our style guide below for our customer’s favorite lymphedema options:


Lymphedema Compression Garments for Fashionistas

Mild to Moderate Lymphedema Garments

Moderate to Severe Lymphedema Garments

Lymphedema Compression Wraps

Juzo Soft Fashion Compression Socks and Lymphedema Armsleeves

Sizing Help

If you’re shopping on your own and don’t know your size, check out our Size Machine! Just enter your measurements and we’ll tell you what fits you best in all of the major brands. If you still have questions or would like some help deciding, please contact our customer service team.

You Can Win!

The rules are simple – the more you share, the more likely you’ll win! You can comment on this blog post to share your experience with Breast Cancer or Lymphedema, or share this post on social media. For details, see the Rafflecopter Contest Box below. Good luck!

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Father’s Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we have the ultimate gift guide for last minute shoppers, plus a chance to win him a gift! Dad’s can be difficult to shop for, but we searched the internet to find some gifts that every dad will love and use! Plus, one lucky winner will bring home a BrightLife Direct gift card for their dad this Father’s Day – giveaway details & entry below.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Instead of going out for dinner, prepare a nice barbecue for your dad this Father’s Day. Pick up his favorite snacks, grill some burgers, and sit back and relax. If your dad is a sports enthusiast, throw around the football or play some backyard baseball. If you really want to surprise him, pick up some tickets to see his favorite sports team, or head over to see that movie he’s been talking about.

When it comes to getting presents, for my dad I always find my mind blanking. I want to get him something that I know he will love and use. Every dad always tells you it’s the thought that counts, but every now and then it’s nice to get him a gift that “wows” even him! For the fitness-friendly dad, pick him up some accessories for his next game or workout, like a golf bag or weightlifting gloves. You can even cheer him on from the sidelines in a customized beach chair.

SIGVARIS MICROFIBER SHADESFor the dapper dad, think of Mad Men’s Donald Draper, and ask yourself what he would like for Father’s Day. If your dad has a beard, introduce him to beard oil or conditioner – it’s all the rage in the beard community these days. No beard? No problem. The Art of Shaving has you covered on travel accessories, aftershave and all the shaving essentials your dad could want. When it comes to grooming, you can’t really go wrong and your dad will appreciate one less stop on his list of errands!

Let’s face it. All dads can use a watch. Whether it’s to be on time to that board meeting or to pick the kids up at school, time is of the essence. If your dad frequently says “if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” a watch is a great present for him. Or on the other hand, if your dad tends to run a little late, a watch is a perfect Father’s Day gift to help him keep track of time. You can even get a watch with a built-in GPS and fitness tracker if your dad is focused on being healthy or active. Another practical gift he’s sure to love is a new wallet. Hopefully your dad isn’t rocking the George Costanza wallet from Seinfeld, but if he is, definitely do him a favor and help him get organized. He will be very thankful!

Another thing every dad will be thankful for? Compression socks! If your dad has a bold style, pick him out a pair of Sigvaris Microfiber Shades compression socks. Available in four striped colors and two new shades – heather navy and heather graphite, these socks provide 15-20 mmHg compression to prevent fatigue and swelling while energizing legs. Microfiber is moisture-wicking, so it will keep him cool and dry. These socks are great to wear while exercising, or afterwards to promote muscle recovery.
Sigvaris Shades compression socks in pink  sigvaris shades compression socks in onyx  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy

Give your dad the gift of comfort. The Allegro Milk Socks aren’t your average compression socks. These socks are ridiculously soft and come in a variety of solid colors to pair with suits or jeans. The Milk Socks provide 15-20 mmHg of compression for travel and everyday wear. If your dad sits at a desk all day or is standing for long periods of time, these socks will prevent his legs and feet from being sore and tired at the end of the day.
milk sock in black  milk sock in navy  milk sock in white  milk sock in grey

Lastly, don’t forget a personal touch. A handmade card or nice picture frame goes a long way. Handmade gifts are always worth more than any present. A nice dinner at home, swapping old stories and spending some time together will make a memorable Father’s Day. Plus, it will give him a chance to reminisce about the “good ol’ days.”

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for – enter below to win a $50 gift card for Father’s Day! Share the giveaway on social media or leave a comment on this blog post to win. The winner will be announced on Friday so you can surprise your dad with a gift card on Sunday. Good luck!

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Shop These Gifts For Father’s Day:

Lymphedema on Ellen + Armsleeve Giveaway!

For our final giveaway in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you can win a Solidea compression armsleeve of your choice! We hope that promoting awareness about lymphedema will help to educate both patients and doctors. Many people develop this condition after undergoing cancer treatment, and others are born with it. Lymphedema can affect many parts of the body, but most common are swollen arms and legs.

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The Washington Post recently released an article about a newborn twin who was born with lymphedema. The doctor could not figure out what caused the twin’s badly swollen legs. The mother, Heather Ferguson, was simply told to keep an eye on it to see if the symptoms got worse.  “That was the worst moment,” she recalled. “It’s so horrible to know that something’s wrong and to get the brushoff. I felt like we were on our own and that the medical system had just washed its hands of us.”

When a doctor figured out that the baby was suffering from lymphedema (thanks to searching the Internet), Ferguson was told to go back to the pediatric surgeon, not a lymphedema therapist. The surgeon again just advised to keep an eye on it. Without treatment, people with lymphedema are prone to infections and can develop  complications. Going untreated can also make everyday tasks very difficult if not impossible. It is extremely important to educate medical professionals and patients who are at risk about this condition to catch it early on before symptoms get worse.

Many people are unaware that they have lymphedema until it is already moderate to severe due to the lack of awareness and education about the condition. Hundreds of millions of people around the world suffer from lymphedema, yet many doctors know nothing about it and just brush symptoms off. While there is no cure for lymphedema, compression garments are used to manage and provide relief for symptoms.

BrightLife Direct wants to help promote education and awareness about this condition to better the lives of people suffering lymphedema and to get patients the treatment they need. You may have seen people posting #LymphedemaOnEllen videos on YouTube to help build awareness. We hope to see lymphedema on Ellen soon! You can check out our video above. Comment on our blog to share your favorite #LymphedemaOnEllen videos.

CMYK baseSolidea compression garments and shapewear are designed in Italy with fashion and function in mind. Many Solidea products are uniquely made using 3D Micro Massage technology that helps to stimulate lymphatic system. The 3D wave knit fabric expands and contracts on the skin to moveup to 78% of sluggish lymph back into circulation. The unilateral and bilateral sleeves benefit those who have a hard time wearing a traditional armsleeve because of constricting the upper arm. Graduated compression increases circulation to reduce swelling and fatigue.These products are breathable and are infused with silver ions to reduce the risk of infection as well as bacteria and odor to keep you comfortable and cool. All Soldiea compression armsleeves and gauntlets are made latex free.

To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter or tweet a message. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) each day. The contest for the Solidea compression armsleeve ends Tuesday, November 3rd at midnight. The winner will be announced the following week.

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Giveaway for Lymphedema Fashionistas!

Lymphedema never looked this good! For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week we will be giving away a LympheDIVAS compression armsleeve of your choice! See the giveaway box below to enter.

Many breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema after the removal of lymph nodes and have to wear a compression armsleeve every day for the rest of their lives. However, not all armsleeves have to be boring beige. LympheDivas was founded by two breast cancer survivors, Rachel Troxell and Robin Miller, who were not fans of the typical armsleeve. These amazing ladies decided to make compression fashionable. Instead of heavy, hot, rough textured armsleeves, they decided to make fun, comfortable sleeves to inspire breast cancer survivors to feel beautiful, confident and strong.

If you’re feeling crafty, you can make your own “designer” armsleeve too! Pick up a pair of girl’s patterned tights. Just cut off the tops and bottoms and slide them over the armsleeve. They’re a great, affordable way to spice up any outfit. Check out the video below for instructions. Have ideas of your own? Comment on this blog post to share how you express your style.

LympheDivas compression armsleeves are available in 15-20mmHg and 20-30mmHg compression levels. These seamless, lightweight garments feel like a “second skin” and provide 360° stretch to keep you comfortable. LympheDiva armsleeves are made with state-of-the-art moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry, as well as an infusion of unscented aloe vera to moisturize and soften skin. All sleeves come with the option to include the DIVA Diamond Band to help keep the garment in place. These gorgeous armsleeves are machine washable – just place them in a garment bag and use warm water and gentle detergent. Washing your sleeve frequently helps to sustain the effectiveness of the garment and prolong its lifespan. All LympheDiva armsleeves are made latex and silicone free in the U.S.A.

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Here are some of our favorite sleeves inspired by Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This adorable Breast Cancer Awareness shirt is available from New York and Company for $9.95 and is made of 100% cotton. NY&C will donate $2 of each shirt to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

This week’s winner can choose any LympheDivas pattern, compression level and the optional DIVA Diamond Band. To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter or tweet a message.  Click here for more help. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) every day. The contest for the LympheDivas armsleeve ends Sunday, October 25th at midnight. The winner will be announced the following week. Don’t forget to check back next week for our last giveaway!
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Kathy Bates – “The Human Side” + Giveaway!

Kathy BatesAcademy Award winner Kathy Bates has earned 40 wins and 68 nominations including Emmys, Golden Globes and an Oscar. Over the past year, Kathy has taken on a new project – becoming the Lymphatic Education & Research Network’s (LE&RN) National Spokesperson. After being diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer, Kathy Bates underwent a bilateral mastectomy to remove 19 lymph nodes from her left armpit and three from right. She developed lymphedema shortly after and has to wear a compression armsleeve for the rest of her life unless a cure is found.

To help spread awareness of breast cancer and lymphedema this month, we are giving away an armsleeve each week. Check out the giveaway at the end of this post to enter for your chance to win.

Every day, Kathy connects with others suffering from lymphedema and their families by writing letters to thank them and comfort them. She has made great strides in building awareness and education. She recently spoke at a two-day NIH symposium that took place on September 29-30. Bill Repicci, Executive Director of LE&RN, believes that this conference is a turning point in the field of lymphatics.

In her speech, “Lymphedema: The Human Side,” Bates explains that she was shocked to find out that millions of people suffer from lymphatic diseases, not just breast cancer survivors. Many people are born with it or develop it later in life. With about 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide, it is surprising that most primary physicians haven’t heard of this condition. To make matters worse, many people are not even aware they have lymphedema and suffer in silence. Without treatment, lymphedema symptoms can get worse and infection may occur, which can cause serious complications.

Many doctors who are aware of lymphedema don’t understand the severity of the condition, brushing it off as a “cosmetic issue” or blame symptoms on obesity or other causes. One woman suffered for eight years before being diagnosed with stage 3 lymphedema. Another patient, Marie Apodaca, was told by her doctor that she had to lose weight. She wasn’t diagnosed until she was accidentally hit with a cardboard box on her leg, which caused a clear liquid to drain out of her leg instead of blood. After months of therapy, Marie was able to remove 35 lbs of lymph from her legs.

Managing symptoms is no walk in the park either. Finding a lymphedema therapist isn’t easy. Since there aren’t many, it can be hard to find one that’s available or is located in your area. This can result in long commutes, which can aggravate symptoms. Zalee Harris who suffers from severely swollen arms can’t get regular treatments because of a long waiting list, causing her to be in more pain.

LE&RN focuses on raising awareness and education, but even more so, encouraging people to stop hiding their condition and share their story. Kathy took the Face of Lymphedema Challenge to inspire people to find comfort by sharing stories and to know they’re not alone. Dancer Pearl-Ann Hinds developed LE and decided to choreograph a dance dedicated to lymphedema called “Hello World.” She says “If I continued to hide the reality, the power to change the legs of future generations would be lost.”

Seven-year-old Emma Detlefsen was born with lymphedema in both legs and often battles infections that cause her to be hospitalized. This inspiring seven-year-old appeared before the NY State Legislator last year and convinced lawmakers to pass a bill for research funding that had been languishing for 12 years. She was awarded with the LE&RN Youth Ambassador Award on September 19th at the 5K Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases on the Brooklyn Bridge. Kathy hopes that by bringing Emma’s message to us, it can inspire “even one of us” to accomplish her challenge and hopes you will join the fight for education and research.

Mediven Harmony Armsleeve Giveaway

bld-harmony-giveaway-pinterest For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, each week we will be giving away a compression armsleeve. Every week, we will feature a different brand. This week, you can win a Mediven Harmony armsleeve in your choice of compression level, size and color. To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter or tweet a message. To tweet the message, click the “Tweet” button then go to your profile. Click on the timestamp on the tweet and paste the url in the box below. Click here for more help. Good luck!! Remember, you can enter once (per entry type) every day. The contest for the Mediven Harmony armsleeve ends Friday, October 16th at midnight. The winner will be announced the following Monday. Don’t forget to check back next week for our next giveaway!

 

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RESOURCES

Kathy Bates – Official Website Kathy Bates’ Secret Health Struggle – The Doctors “How I Turned My Lymphedema Into Something Positive” – People Magazine Kathy Bates Awards and Nominations Kathy Bates on Larry King Kathy Bates Hosts the American Cancer Society Ball Lymph Nodes and Cancer – American Cancer Society Hello World – Lymphedema Dance by Pearl-Ann Hinds Emma’s Youth Ambassador Award Acceptance Speech Key Speakers from the NIH Conference in DC