“I have had Parkes-Weber syndrome since childhood. This illness is caused by what are known as arteriovenous malformations (abnormalities of the vessels), which, for example, lead to hypertrophy (gigantism) of the extremities. Lymphatic fluid can also build up here. As a result of this I also developed lymphoedema: My right leg is almost twice as big as my left leg.
For this reason I have been wearing medical compression stockings since I was eight years old. The flat-knit mediven models are absolutely great! They are comfortable and do not slide down at the knee or the ankle. The toe cap is also really great and has significantly improved the condition of my toes. I can still remember the first time I wore medical compression stockings: The positive effect on the swelling throughout the day really was vast. That is why I love the strong material that gives my lymphoedema enough stability.
What I would like to say to other people affected by this condition is that they deserve good things: They deserved to be loved and valued not only by others, but most of all by themselves. If you have low self-esteem, you cannot solve that overnight. However, like everything in life, you can improve it slowly but surely. Find something you love about yourself instead of focusing on the things you don’t like. And try to look at the parts of your body you don’t like as much from another perspective. One of my favourite authors, Matt Haig, once said: ‘Ugliness is just a failure of seeing’.”