For 27 years, Charlotte Cox has worked as a registered and licensed occupational therapist and recently expanded her scope of service to include lymphedema therapy. This form of specialized therapy has always been an interest for Cox, but the intense out-of-town two week course followed by an exam just didn’t seem feasible for a busy mom of four. But a diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma for her husband, Holland, in 2020, would give her a different outlook.
To remove the cancer, Dr. Travis Methvin at OCH performed a lymph node dissection on Cox’s husband. This type of surgery involves a risk of developing lymphedema.
“After a lymph node dissection, the patient is considered in the latency phase of lymphedema, and any swelling is considered stage one,” Cox explained. “Lymphedema can lead to lifelong problems that affect every aspect of a patient’s life.”
When Cox and her husband learned there was no certified lymphedema therapist in the area to provide treatment if he needed it, she said he “pretty much signed me up for the course and told me to go for it.”
In February of this year, Cox completed her certification, and although two weeks away from her family was difficult, her only regret is not doing it sooner.
“You can have swelling in any part of the body – in your arm after a mastectomy, in your leg because of venous issues, after a surgery if the swelling won’t go away. We can treat that,” explained Cox. “It makes such a difference for patients. It makes their mobility better. Their legs are not so heavy. They can put their shoes and pants on; whereas before, they may not have been able to wear normal clothes. You can see progress so quickly.”
Cox is available for appointments at OCH Rehab Services. Ask for your physician for a referral or call 662-615-3020 for more information or to request an appointment.