A woman who was hiding her legs for years after getting diagnosed with lymphedema has finally accepted her body.
35-year-old Monique Samuels had long been unable to live her life to the fullest because she was stressed and self-conscious about her appearance due to her swollen legs.
When the professional organizer from Atlanta, Georgia, was just 12 years old, she was diagnosed with lymphedema, a condition that results in excess fluid gathering in tissue and leads to swelling in the legs.
As her legs continued to become larger and larger throughout the years, Monique started closing in and avoiding social activities to protect herself from unwanted stares and comments.
“When I was 12, I sprained my ankle, and shortly after, my right foot and leg started to swell up,” the 35-year-old recalled in an interview with Jam Press.
“After going to several hospitals, I was referred to Lerner Lymphedema Center by an ER resident and that is where I was diagnosed – after about six months of hospital stays, MRI scans, blood tests and ultrasounds.
“I was very self-conscious about my appearance once the condition developed… no one was ever unkind to my face but I would hear things from others or just stares from people in public.
“I used to stay away from going out or doing certain things to avoid stares or feeling like I was dependent on others for help, when my legs were at their biggest. A lot of the time, I had to roll my legs in wraps and it just took away from any fun I wanted to have.”
After years of living as if the condition was controlling her life, Monique decided to put an end to her worries and start working on boosting her self-confidence.
“I was just tired of being sick and tired. It took time but I was happy to push through that thought process by doing life coaching. There is so much more to me than my condition, I’m proud of who I am and who I am becoming,” she added.
Nowadays, Monique is no longer hiding from other people and is not afraid to show off her legs. She is also not holding back when it comes to sharing glimpses from her life with people from all around the world via her YouTube channel (@Chronicallymoni) and Instagram.
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