February 11, 2009

Update on my swelling

For the past 10 days I've been in therapy for swelling. My body weight peaked at 190 or 28 pounds over my normal weight. The weight is due to excess body fluids that cause the swelling. I've lost half of that weight (my weight today at the therapist's office was 176 pounds. The therapist wraps my legs up to my groin to compress the legs and force my lymph system to remove the excess fluid.

She puts three layers of tube stretchy socks on, followed by a layer of 1/3 inch open cell foam, followed by four layers of bandage to hold everything in place. In the beginning my legs were big as if I were a football player. Now, they are thinner and look more like runner's legs. I still have a lot of water in my stomach and genitals, but I look and feel a lot better. For the past several days I've been losing 2+ pounds of body fluids per 24-hour day. I have to go to the bathroom every couple hours, because the body fluid being eliminated goes through my lymph system into my kidneys and out as urine. I'm also drinking a lot of water to help flush out my kidneys and urinary tract.

The therapist also measures the circumference of my legs every two cm. to track the decrease in swelling. She has a computer program that converts the numbers to volume, and leg has lost about two liters of fluid.

So, things are progressing well. I won't do any running until the swelling is gone and my blood clots are gone too. The swelling should be gone in the next couple of weeks, but I don't know how long it takes for blood clots to get dissolved.

2 comments:

herb said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better. I read your blog back a little bit but didn't find anything about the source for the swelling. Where they able to ever tell you?

Allen said...

Hi Herb,

The source of the swelling is the clots. They haven't found a good reason for the clots other than my spending several hours at my computer without getting up every hour or so to talk around. The therapist for the swelling said she has never seen a person with so much swelling. 28 pounds of fluid is a lot. I was tired for the two weeks before the clots were discovered, and I'm wondering if I had the clots during those two weeks. I reduced my running during those two weeks but still ran my long run of 10 miles. If the clots were there, that running might have caused more damage in my veins. Things are looking good right now. My legs are almost back to normal, and I'm starting to lose the liquid on my waist. I've had great health for my whole life, and this bout with clots is an opposition to that good health and is helping me appreciate my good health! So, in a way having the clots is a good thing; at least a good effect on my attitude.