Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Short Lymphedema and Weight Loss Report

Well, we have had some ups and downs. 

My compression stockings came in, and I was sent home wearing them.  They are made by JuZo, they have a website, juzousa.com.  They were expensive but they seemed to be nicely made.  Silver knitted into the entire stocking to retard bacteria that's supposed to last the life of the garment.  They had little silicone dots applied to the inside of the top cuff to keep them from sliding down.  But they looked awfully small.

That was about noon, and by 4pm, I just couldn't stand to have them on a moment longer.  That cuff was making a trench right below each knee, the silicone dots were digging into my skin, my surgical knee was swollen and screaming, and the skin on my legs was tingling and aching.  For the rest of the weekend, I went without stockings and felt like I had had a big setback.  It seems like compression is necessary, not only to hold down the swelling and improve the circulation, but also to keep the weight of the swollen areas from stretching the skin out.  Because then gravity will pull it downwards, and before you know it, you have a fold.  And that's not good.  I kept telling myself this wasn't drastically bad, that I had gone weekends unwrapped when I was having to wear the bandages, and that, even if I had worn the stockings too long for them to be sent back and exchanged, I could just have them order a bigger pair, put the others away until weight loss made me small enough for them to fit, and then I could gradually work myself into the small pair.  Still concerned about those dang silicone dots, but Hubs suggested I might be able to wear the stocking wrong side out.  Yeah, that might work.  The papers say the silver is knitted in, so it would be the same on either side.  It's just that I think all those silicone dots stuck to that top band didn't allow it to be as stretchy as it needed to be.  I thought about just going to the website and ordering what I wanted, since I knew what size and all, but the only way to get their product is through an "authorized dealer".  This is kind of unfair, since what we can get over the counter is so terribly limited, and I'm sure there are lots of people who don't have a "dealer" local to them.  It seems like I saw, on their website, where they will tell you if you have a dealer near you, if you tell them your location.  I guess I can understand that, because someone does need to measure you, and determine what type of stocking you need, and what features would be best for you, considering what your problem is.  There are a lot of people who are lost when it comes to stuff like that.

So when I went back in to see my therapist, she said the stockings were an "off the shelf" size, and unlike specially made ones, she didn't think they'd be hard to send back for an exchange.  She ordered a pair in the next size up, this time without the dots on the cuff, and that's an "off the shelf" size, too.  I told her I wouldn't mind keeping them, and just putting them away until they will fit after I lose some more weight, but she said, "There's no need.  Actually, you were right on the line between this size and the next size up, anyway..."  Oh.  I didn't know that.

I'm thinking maybe the problems with my surgical knee are because I probably didn't get enough physical therapy while I was recovering.  The surgeon who did my knee didn't order any and I didn't get home health care or that flexing machine from surgery day on to hospital release, like Hubs did.  It was the same surgeon, too.  I'm not liking the level of post-op care that I got from that guy --er-- his Physician's Assistant.  Because I never even saw him except out in the hall once.  And what passed for "physical therapy" was just sending you down to their Physical Therapy department, where a young man handed you a printed page showing two or three exercises and then he would demonstrate how to do them, a certain number of them each day.  I did that, but I didn't find the exercises to be enough.  I should've got that book I recommended to others, about how to rehabilitate yourself after knee surgery, and if I ever have to do it again, and don't get sent to physical therapy, God forbid, I'll do that.  And I'll be having the procedure done by someone who cares enough to actually talk to me beforehand.  I wonder what happened with this guy for him to be so different for me than he was with Hubs?  Did he just get too popular?  Did he have some kind of health event?  Did he have some kind of lifestyle event?  That's really scary how things can change like that. 

It has taken me days to get the swelling down in my knee.  Even the loaner stockings bothered it, where before, they were no problem.  I iced.  Finally made some progress after I added Ibuprofen every 6 hours to my regimen.  My stockings will be in tomorrow and I sure hope they feel better.  I love the stockings that they use as "loaners" and I wish I could buy them.  But I'm not getting anywhere, trying to do that.  *Sigh*.

You know, I look at my big legs and I just wonder how I could've allowed myself to get so far out of hand.  Granted, I had no idea there was any such thing AS lymphedema.  I thought it was fat distribution.  Even so, I wish I had tried harder to get this weight off sooner, because I do think that will go a long way towards managing this condition.  I talked to a woman who was at the end of her therapy a few weeks ago and she was a little skinny woman.  Go figure.

I am rocking along with the weight loss.  I bob around.  I'll stay at the same weight for several days and then I'll lose a couple pounds overnight.  Then the next day I've got one of them back, and I bob around at that weight for awhile.  Then maybe I'll try doing something a little different and it won't quite work out, and I might gain another pound.  Then I'll lose two.  And on and on it goes.  I just want to strangle those people that get on TV, all smiles, and say how they lost twenty pounds in just a month.  Why, EIGHT pounds in the first week!  Oh, puh-leeze.  How the hell much of that is water loss and/or the fact that the stomach is suddenly empty when they weigh?  And I swear, if Doctor Oz puts one more woman on his show that says she's lost 50 pounds and she's so trussed up in one of those Spanx things that she looks like she can barely breathe, I think I'm just gonna HURL.  And yes, that'd make me weigh less the next morning, thank you very much. 

I saw a Dr. Oz show yesterday, it was a rerun but I hadn't seen it.  We were probably gone when it aired the first time.  He talked about losing weight easier with "mini fasts".  It seems that if you only allow yourself to eat between 11am and 7pm, you can take off the pounds faster.  And yes, the two women that had tried it were there and one of them looked like she had a Spanx on.  *Sigh*.  I couldn't tell about the other one.  But it just all sounded so much like one of those Infomercials that I just kind of rolled my eyes.  Apparently if, at 11am, you break your "fast" with a smoothie with kale and berries and some kind of flavored whey product, then from there to 7pm you can eat normally (well, kinda sorta....)

Right now I'm at a good solid 195.  I'd like to be 190 by the end of July.  No promises, though.  I'd be thrilled if it was more like 185, but that might be an impossibility now, at my age.  I used to be able to drop ten or twelve pounds a month, easily.  But I've done it too often, then packed it right back on after I've bought all new clothes.  Nope, not going there. 

Still, I might try skipping breakfast, at least on the days when we don't have to go anywhere.  I could make that shake if I wanted to, but I don't know why I couldn't just eat what I have been normally eating for breakfast.  I rather enjoy my scrambled eggs and cottage cheese.  I could have it for "brunch" at 11am.  Then I could eat "lunch" at around 2pm, instead of noon.  I do tend to go to the refrigerator around that time.  I'm not really hungry then, if I've already had lunch, because lunch has become my biggest meal of the day.  I just feel like I want to eat, you know?  So I might grab a carrot, or a handful of unsalted almonds, or make a small green salad.  If I had a big lunch, I might make a cup of tea and put honey in it and maybe even a little milk.  I think it's more an empty place in my brain I'm trying to fill rather than an empty place in my stomach.  Haha.  I look forward to my late afternoon meal, because I can have carbs.  I have my melon (and I weighed it out, it's about 10 oz., seeded and with the rind cut off) and my banana, and if I still want a little something, I'll toast half a homemade 100% whole-wheat bun.  Sometimes I'll have the other half, too.  With butter on it.  But that's it.  I don't need to have protein at every meal.  Seriously, we Americans eat WAAAAY more protein than we need.  Think how hard our bodily systems, including our lymphatic system, have to work to burn all that!!

I made a cake for July 4, because we had people over for grilled burgers, and there's some left.  I'm tempted to cut off a little thin slice.  It's dark chocolate.  But no, it's just not an option.  It stays in the cake pan with the lid securely on, I don't have to look at it, I don't have to smell it.  And Hubs has been hacking away at it, one piece at a time, it'll be gone before I know it.  It's not a deprivation.  If I had some, it wouldn't be The End Of The World.  But it would change the date on which I would be down to a good, healthy weight.  If it even changed it by just one day, that's still not a fair exchange in my opinion.  Yes, there was a time when it was.  But I have a condition that is exacerbated by obesity.  Suddenly, the playing field has changed. 

So, that's where I'm at.  You won't see me on TV anytime soon bragging about my weight loss.  Although I'm seriously thinking about making myself one of those optical-illusion dresses with the white stripes running down the sides. 

I've got all those fabric scraps I could use up.

Hugs xoxoxo

4 comments:

  1. Good luck!. I suggest you quit reading those Dr. Oz articles and his programs.....he is pushing and selling product! Remember that.

    It is really quite simple. We just need to eat less. Counting calories isn't a bad way to go or tracking just carbs. I have lost 28 lbs and am at a standstill. Having our schedule thrown off with GS here has distracted me. I will prevail.

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    1. Yes, I do know that about Dr. Oz. I keep thinking there might be some shred of something I can actually benefit from but I'm getting bored with having to sort things out. A couple of times the methods he, or someone he's had on, have recommended have really gotten me off-track.

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  2. I sure hope you can find some stockings that will help your legs! Getting older is NOT fun at all! Of course you're not nearly as old as I am! Two weeks from today and I plan on going back to work in the chicken houses; who would have ever thought I'd be anxious to do that!! I've crocheted and embroidered until I'm beginning to feel lazy. There are lots of dust bunnies that will be put down too. But I believe I've done well.

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    1. Won't it be nice to be all recovered from eye surgery! Funny how we miss doing things we never thought we would miss.

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