Friday, March 24, 2017

LAKE PLACID DIET: Learning to walk again

Start date (Dec. 22): 480
Last week: 452
This week: 452
Total lost: 28 lbs.

This week, I'm learning to walk again.

After five weeks of treatment for the open wounds on both of my legs, including almost two weeks of gout and three weeks with Unna boots, my body needs adjusting. The treatment included spending most of my time in a chair with my legs propped up so they don't fill up with fluid.

Plus, with a week of shoveling the 3 feet of snow out of my driveway, dog's yard and pathway to the backyard, my entire body has been extremely sore over the past 10 days, and I've needed to use a cane to walk around.

The good news is my open wounds have closed up, so the treatment was a success. But that does not solve the problem of my edema, or swelling of the legs, which is caused by my excess weight. Once I get the weight down, I won't have to deal with that problem as much. In the meantime, keeping the swelling down is a priority. And that's what I'm struggling with now.

On my last day at the Adirondack Health Wound Center, the doctor prescribed compression stockings, which I have to put on my legs when I first get up and keep on until I go to bed. They go from my knee all the way down to my toes. They are extremely tight and difficult to put on, and when I first took them out of the box, I ripped one trying to pull it up my left leg. The pair was $50, so you can imagine how I felt pissing away that money with one fell swoop on the first day.

Still, I put them on again the next day, rip and all, and they were cutting off circulation around my ankles. So I went back to the looser compression stockings I had for the treatment of my wounds, doubling them up for added effect.

That's where I am today, learning to walk again — now without the cane — and learning to live in a way that I minimize the swelling in my legs until I can lose enough weight to keep my legs from swelling up in the first place. It's tough to balance these health issues and still maintain a normal life with work and family obligations, but it's something that must be done.

When I finish my next half marathon, I'll look back on this time knowing that I never want to go through this kind of recovery again. The Lake Placid Diet journal is a way to document difficult chapters in my life and motivate me to get healthy and stay that way. So far, it's working.