Monday, October 07, 2013
This is a personal health blog. No whining:) Just the facts, ma'am.
I've had trouble with my legs swelling off and on since my first hip replacement in 2004.
What is happening now? In July during one of our trips to the Upper Peninsula, my legs swelled from toes past the knees. By the time we came home, someone had to help lift my legs into the car.
My doctor admitted me to the hospital for a week of water pills and IV antibiotics and tests, followed by 2 more weeks of antibiotics at home. I'm getting used to the disruptive water pills:) and learning to swallow the huge potassium pills.
I did a month of lymphedema therapy locally (which the university spine center had already had me do at their facility in 2012). The regimen includes massage of the lymph nodes and breathing exercises to encourage the lymph system to move the fluids out.
I wear the compression "leg warmers" prescribed by the university therapist. The extra warmth feels so good in winter. At last, something I can get on and off by myself! If you ever had to wear compression stockings, you know what I'm talking about.
The latest therapists tried to switch me to expensive 4-piece Farrow wraps for legs and feet to be worn 24 hours a day. *wrinkling nose* I am not a fan.
Today when I visited the doctor, he said I have cellulitis in the lower leg again. It's not as bad as when I was admitted to the hospital in July. He took cultures and prescribed ten days of antibiotics, four times a day. I am resigned to nasty metallic antibiotic mouth for the next ten days.
Swollen legs, go away. Do not come back another day:)
Ah, now here's Dr Annie's non-professional take on this whole thing, based solely on years of experience:
Elevating feet does not work for me. Getting enough deep sleep makes all the difference. Sleep has been a problem ever since the first hip replacement. My new mattress is helping me sleep better. Now it's a matter of making myself go to bed earlier. Since I am no longer caring for Dad, I can take naps! Sleep is important for weight loss, too.
It is my observation that sweets encourage arthritic pain. Eating right, staying active, and getting enough sleep helps with arthritis, swollen legs, and becoming a healthy size!