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¡Hola! So Happy You're Here.

My name is Nicole Faccio. I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico but currently live in London, UK. Industrial Engineer by major, Product Manager by profession. A self-proclaimed all-things' enthusiast. Also, a Congenital Primary Lymphedema patient - you probably don't know what that is, but don’t worry, most doctors don't know either.

I was born with a genetic disorder called Milroy Disease that affects the normal function of the lymphatic system due to lymphatic malformations. The lymphatic system is the system in charge of the production and transport of lymph fluid and immune cells throughout the body. Problems with the transport of the fluid results in accumulation it and cause swelling. That swelling is known as Lymphedema.

 

What does all that means? In simple words, that I was born with a swollen arm. That's the reason why you see me wearing the colourful gloves in photos. But as I got older, the Lymphedema (being a degenerative condition) has also progressed. I now have swelling almost everywhere in my body, even lymphatic abnormalities in organs, and a collapsed lung due to fluid build-up. On a day-to-day it means I have to manage the swelling and minimize the accumulation of fluid. That is achieved with a good diet, an active lifestyle, and most importantly, LOTS of compression. I frequently get lymphatic drainage massage therapy, wear bandages on a daily basis for compression therapy, and wear 7 pieces of compression garments EVERY day.

Don't get too alarmed, I manage to maintain a pseudo normal life, only possible because I've adopted the best practices of lymphedema maintenance in my lifestyle. But that didn't come easily. Let me assure you I went through a pretty dark time.

 

The biggest challenge I've had to come to terms with is that I had to live life differently from everyone around me. That I couldn't always do what my friends were doing. That I struggled trying to follow the ‘normal’ pattern in mundane things like commuting, eating, sports, clothes, to name a few.

 

But this space is not about me or my story, but about how all that inspired Normal Adjustments. In my journey to acceptance, as a duty to my fellow Lymphies, I decided to open up in an attempt to bridge the gap of knowledge and guidance for Lymphedema. In that process, with my honesty and transparency, other people started to open up about their own journeys, but similarly as I did for 30 years, had kept their truths in the dark. Knowing there were others going through something changed my perspective and gave me a sense of relief. It made me realize I was not alone. 

With Normal Adjustments I attempt to shed a light to those stories, because the truth about normality is that it is anything but standard. Rest assured, whatever it is you are going through, you are not alone.

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I have putting it together. Remember to subscribe and listen, wherever you listen to podcasts.

With love,

Nicole

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About

Normal Adjustments

Because not all tales are created equal, and neither the people that tell them. Join me, your host Nicole Faccio, a Lymphedema patient on a journey to shed light on stories that give comfort in the fact the truth about normality is that is anything but standard. 

 

Honest, real, raw and empathetic conversations, about life and its challenges, without subscribing to the pity party.

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