February 28, 2009

Two grandkids and I walked 0.65 mile

Two grandchildren and I walked through our neighborhood. One grandchild is 5 and her brother is 2. The three of us were tired when we got home. I'm very pleased with my recovery from the swelling so far. I lost another pound and a half in the last 24 hours. My weight (165) is now within my normal range of 162-165).

February 26, 2009

Good news about my weight

I weighed myself this morning, and I weighed 166 pounds. That is 4 pounds over my normal weight. Two pounds could be fat from not running during the past month, leaving about 2 pounds of fluid (approximately a quart) from my swelling.

I've received a pair of special compression socks ($90) for use during the day, and I'm waiting for another (different) pair for use while I'm asleep. As soon as I have both pairs, I'll wear the socks for the next two years and won't have my legs bandaged anymore. The bandaging consists of two layers of compression tube socks, two layers of 1/3 inch open-cell foam, and about 4 layers of Ace-type bandages. The bandages go all the way from my toes to my groin. It takes my wife an hour to reapply the bandages after I've had a shower. I look like a mummy (at least the legs of a mummy).

The bandages put compression on my legs, and that helps my lymph system to function correctly. My arteries take blood from my heart to other parts of my body. My veins return 90% of that blood back to my heart. The remaining 10% goes into my lymph system and goes up my body to my shoulders, across my body, and down to my kidneys and then out as urine. My lymph system wasn't working correctly, and that 10% collected in my body as swelling.

I walked 1/4 mile today

I had to go to a neighbor's house for a few minutes, and walking there and back was about 1/4 mile. It's nice to get out of the house for a few minutes. The daytime temperature is in the low 50s (F), and that is a great temperature for walking.

February 25, 2009

I took my first walk outside today

Until a few days ago I wasn't able to put shoes on due to swelling in my feet. Now, I'm able to wear shoes, and my wife and I walked about 1/3 mile this afternoon. I could have gone farther, but I didn't want to overstress my body.

Oh yeah, I walked about 1/8 mile on Sunday, but that doesn't count since I was just doing an errand :) Actually, it does count, so today was my second walk outside.

February 16, 2009

Update on my swelling

I just returned from my visit to the therapist. As my swelling increased, I gained weight, peaking at 28 pounds of fluid. Today when I weighed in at 170, I was only 8 pounds over my normal weight. That is a big improvement. My lower legs are back to normal, and the 8 pounds that I need to lose is in my waist, groin, and upper legs.

February 11, 2009

My INR number has stabilized

My INR number for my Coumidan-level has stabilized. I'm taking 5 mg five times per week and 7.5 mg twice a week. Coumidan doesn't actually thin the blood. It reduces the coagulation factor (vitamin K) so the blood doesn't coagulate as much, hence reducing the liklihood of clots. I've been having weekly blood-draws to check the INR, but now that it has stabilized, my next blood draw is in two weeks, and hopfully monthly after that.

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.