Friday, August 26, 2011

The Big Bloat-A-Thon

[the above picture is not my legs, I'm a fatter person but the same difference applies between the "thin" leg and bigger leg...]

I am diagnosed with lymphedema, it makes one leg bigger then the other, it is about twice the size of the other leg. This happened right as I gained weight. I also have it in my stomach. Add to this congestive heart failure--many people do not realize fat people in the ultra weight categories, can get acouple hundred of pounds of fluid on them, it builds up making you "fatter". They always think the fat guy who weighs a 1000lbs being put in the hospital and losing a few hundred in a month, lost it since the hospital was restricting his food, no in most cases, its fluid removal. My 350lb father once had 100lbs of fluid removed and this one friend of mine now deceased, went to the hospital weighing 500lbs and came out weighing right under 400lbs. They can't give everyone a Lasix IV, its risky so you have to be in short of breathe, acute heart failure, but sometimes, when I have days when the fluids get out of control, I get tempted to just get self hospitalized. Instead I usually take to my bed, to get the water off, ingesting glasses of lemon water, an extra Lasix and it works, but it can be very difficult.

If someone was to ask me, what is your worse, most painful disability, I would say it is the lymphedema, and whatever heart problems are putting so much pressure on my body. This requires me to lay down 4-5 hours a day during a waking day so fluids decrease. I know what its like to lay down in bed, and get up to pee, pee, pee. Sorry if this is getting too graphic, but that is the way this works. There is part of me that sometimes wonders if I really weigh something like 380 in fat, and when heart went bad from all the cardiomyopathy, [in my case caused by the untreated hypothyroidism] if this is when all the fluid came on. For those who want to hound the "lazy" fat people, one problem I face, is the more activity I do, and life did include a few short walks, going out, and doing a lot more things in the last couple weeks, is the more I bloat up.

I know I talk about some nitty gritty stuff on this blog. I do get over a few thousand hits on this blog per month, so I know someone is reading. I figure why not tell people how life is really like for the super-supersized, why sugar coat it? By the way, I started bloating when I hit the 380lb mark, just so people know. That is actually where my weight gain, massively accelerated....

I can gain and lose, at least 50lbs within days. Weight Watchers, when I used to get weighed there, would express shock over 20-30lb dips and increases within the week. Anyhow, I do not know if it was too many olives, or eating acouple dill pickles--I seem to have this bad salt craving that never goes away, or just being able to get out more beacuse the weather has been cooler and I've been a prisoner busting out of housebound cage, but I managed to push myself into a big bloat a thon yesterday being forced to take to my bed, after visiting a music show, one can literally see the fluids grow. I know that my waist can differ from as much as 7 inches alone from water. Yes I am serious. The stomach in my case where it hangs and the left leg have lymphedema. My body is not normal, I still wish I could be truly studied rather then just maintained, and doctors could figure out why my head and feet are so much larger then normal people's, or why my arms and legs are so much thinner then the middle of the body--well at least in the case of ONE of my legs or why I have gone deaf, or why I am turning more brown--all over. My thin 'good" leg could be attached to a woman of only 250lbs or so, and no one would be the wiser.

I went from 6-7 leg infections a year, to one so far this year, so there is some improvement that way, but lymphedema is a scary thing. I did almost lose my life once, circa 2001, trying to do too much, where both the stomach and leg got infected. I had a 105.5 fever, got blood poisoning and nearly died, so this stuff is nothing to mess with. My leg has put me in the hospital for weeks at a time, though oddly, the last 5-6 years or so, I've managed to say out, and learned my lesson about keeping antibiotics on me at all times, and resting enough.

What is bad about lymphedema, is of course obesity makes it worse, but then how do you lose weight when everytime you "do" more and get more 'active", you start bloating like a balloon? It's not an easy thing to cope with. If anyone else reads this has lymphedema, please share....


  1. Hi, I've been reading a whole bunch of your posts here. Interesting stuff. I thought I would comment in this one since you said you would like to understand why your legs and arms are thinner. This is classic metabolic syndrome (diabetes, insulin resistance, PCOS..which you already know all about). I wonder if you have ever tried a "Primal" or Paleo diet? And, have you had your Vitamin D levels tested? These two things have literally saved my life. I also have PCOS, unexplained and rapid weight gain, hypothyroidism,Diabetes, and bloating among many other symptoms. My triglycerides were in the 500's before I embarked on this path I'm now on. Well, eating Paleo dropped my triglycerides into the 100's, increased my HDL, reversed some PCOS symptoms (still a work in progress), reduced allergies (severe seasonal allergies...gone) and has helped my asthma. The list goes on and on in the ways it has improved my life but I'm not going to write a book here in the comments, haha. And, YES I finally started losing weigh like some miracle. The weight, the bloating, the water all starts to reduce on this diet where NOTHING else ever worked for me. The diet makes so much sense and there's more than adequate research to support it. I wanted to share because you and I share a lot of health problems and I *know* this could help you. Maybe not cure but guaranteed it can increase your quality of life. And, no, there's nothing at all to buy and it's not expensive. I live on a very tight budget and still am able to follow the diet. Just google Primal diet, start reading at and you will find help. It goes along with a lot of what you believe and have been researching yourself. I truly hope this helps you, good luck.

  2. My Vit D levels are in the toilet, they are so low. And in fact I am actually considering finding another endocrinologist and ordering 10 year old records now that have my PCOS and pseudo-Cushing diagnoses on the paperwork, so I can get somewhere. The present endo. just checks the A1C and doesnt get anywhere else. I have been told I have Syndrome X, that metabolic syndrome runs in the family, the most severe PCOS in the country, blah blah. Something isn't working right. Even how much weight I have kept on, is kind of scary to me given the digestive and food allergy issues. I have heard of the Paleo diet, and actually read a book on it from the library, so maybe should look at it closer. My cholesterol on cholesterol meds, is TOO LOW with trigs in the 300s which makes no sense. I can't manage too low of carb diets, I have tried those and gotten ill, but I'll look into the Primal Diet. I am having a hard time obtaining and getting the kind of foods I need to stay healthy, even avoiding MSG is a tough one, and our food bills are way too high and the cooking is exhausting me. I am open to anything. I have this belief too that human beings are getting sicker from lack of truly fermented foods as well. Everything is "faked" in the processing.

  3. The Vit D stuff is kind of scary. I take 50,000 units once a week, and I am still running very low. This is something else I fear the doctors blame on someone being fat and housebound, but it was ultra low even during months I was outside, and they have brought up earlier parathyroid issues affecting it but it makes no sense to me.

    Thanks for your help. I know modern life does me no favors, that is for sure.

  4. Definitely try to find a better endo. 50,000 IU/week and still low is not good. Be sure that you're taking D3, NOT D2. D2 has a very poor conversion rate to D3 in the body. My Vit D levels were very low as well and I had to take 5,000 IU/day of D3 to get them to low normal but it really does make you feel better and help with autoimmune issues to get D in the normal range.
    Primal and Paleo are basically the same but Primal is not so rigid and allows for more fat intake which in my opinion makes it a far better and easier to follow "diet". (It's not really a diet, more a "way of eating") There's no calorie counting or hunger involved :). It's basically based on the way we as humans evolved eating and are meant to eat. Eating our ancestors diet rebalances hormones which is the most important thing in weight loss and overall well-being. It's not necessarily a low carb diet(like atkins). It's more moderate carb, moderate protein, high fat (but the right kinds of fat).
    I know all too well the hunger pains and the shaky, sick to my stomach, foggy head feeling I used to get when I used to eat low fat and high carb (AKA "healthy"). I would feel like I was going to pass out or throw up if I didn't eat when I was hungry. My thin husband always told me this wasn't normal and I thought he wasn't normal, LOL. Well, only about a month into eating primal I noticed I could skip meals without ill effect. My body was happily humming along on stored body fat as it should be able to do! It was amazing!. I realize now that my body was never able to access body fat for energy due to chronically high insulin. I was a "sugar burner" only able to get energy from carbs/sugar that I ate...definitely NOT normal. Eating primal lowered my insulin levels and finally allowed my body to burn stored fat. It's hard work to get there but a great feeling having relief from being chained to eating every so often or else crash. I know this can work for you too over time.
    Sorry for writing a book here, haha. If you're into reading more about this "Good Calories, Bad Calories" is a great book...very medical and hard to read but so enlightening. I got it from my local library (I never buy books if I can help it).
    Just be careful if you do decide to change to this way of eating. If you are on any blood pressure meds you should monitor it closely because eating Primal will lower your blood pressure and meds would need to be lowered or eliminated to prevent too low of blood pressure. And throw away the cholesterol meds, they do more harm than good and your cholesterol/trigs will work themselves out with the diet! Good luck and I'd be happy to answer any questions, just email me.

  5. Thanks for your advice.

    I am reading with avid interest.

    I am probably going to be searching for a new endo, only problem is going out of town which is very hard for me expenses and more, but it's gotten to that point.

    This guy just cares about the A1C and ignores my PCOS and other autoimmune problems.

    I even ordered other records. I have considered after I get rid of him, sending him the link to this blog and telling him to read some about obesity and actually learn a little.

  6. I have had good endos in my past two of who helped to save my life....

    but this one just ignores EVERYTHING.

  7. Reading with interest here. So many of your health issues I have too.

  8. I'm late to the party...just reading your blog...I too have lymphedema in my legs so the tag caught my attention. Yes, it sucks...and no one understands it...not even many medical professionals. I have had improvement with compression wrapping, but still a daily struggle to manage.

  9. Hi born21bfat

    I know its hard. You are right so few understand it. A lot of my disability issues are wrapped up with it too. I had the wrappings some years back but it didn't really help, the water would come back on, today they tell me not to do it because of the heart failure. I got exhausted from all the leg wrapping when I was doing it and had scary moments like if I laid down too long with wrappings on my legs--water into the chest. I am sorry you have this and will pray for you.