Back on her feet

A 70-year-old woman manages to overcome the debilitating effects of her 'puffy ankles'

Gladys, a 70-year-old woman, has always had puffy ankles. She can’t remember exactly when her swelling started — maybe 30 or 40 years ago.

Although she had no ankle problems as a teenager, Gladys first noticed swelling after a long day of standing while working as a hairdresser.

This would resolve completely overnight but come back the next day. It worsened during her two pregnancies.

Then, over the years, Gladys gained weight and developed varicose veins. She said she doesn’t exercise because she has a bad back and sore knees.

Gladys had never really worried about her legs because she was too busy working and looking after her family, until five years ago, when she developed her first episode of leg cellulitis.

Management required admission to hospital for IV, and then oral, antibiotics. Since then, Gladys has had recurrent episodes of cellulitis and she is sick of taking antibiotics.