My son told me today his father in-law asked about me. He hadn’t seen me on Facebook in a while and was making sure I was alright. That was very thoughtful. It is amazing how we use Facebook to ‘stay in touch’ with those who live out-of-state.
There is nothing new going on with me. I had a 3 month checkup with the doctor and got prescriptions refilled. The exciting part was that I don’t have to go back for 6 months. Whew! I’ve had a visit with the urologist and received the okay to continue wearing the catheter. And of course, there are the daily physical therapy exercises I continue to do to help my mobility and strength. Outside of that, my days tend to run together and my world has become very small.
The main part of my routine now is my diet. I started counting/watching calories back in August. I am using an app I found on my Nook called LoseIt. The program allows you to input everything you eat for each meal and/or snack and subtract it from your allotted daily calorie budget. The calorie budget is determined by your age, weight, and whether you want to maintain or to lose weight.
In the beginning, I was losing each week which in itself was an amazing thing. I had documented my weight for the past several years and managed to lose 25 lbs. and then maintained that loss using the yo-yo system. The program on Lose It works for me and is exciting and fun. I enjoy putting in what I eat, and making sure I don’t go over my daily allotment and still feel satisfied both physically and emotionally. I don’t have to give up something unless I just don’t feel that what it is going to ‘cost’ me in calories is worth the taste in short gratification. You can input exercises to add calories back into your daily allotment as well.
Wearing the catheter has also proven to have other uses besides the obvious. Women have always had a problem ‘retaining water’ at certain times but it has become a tired and overused excuse. Well, now I have proof that it is true! There are times when my catheter has much less than normal for the day and it showed up when I weighed for the week! I’ve known for about 6-8 years, since I was diagnosed with lymphedema, that I have a problem with fluid retention. And it is not the kind that is helped by diuretics. It is a reduction in the efficiency of the lymphatic system to remove fluid that gets trapped in and beneath the tissues. Now, with the proof from the catheter, I can see that sometimes I DO hold onto too much fluid in my body despite the use of compression hose. Since the first of August, when I began documenting everything I eat, I have not gone over my daily allotment of calories allowed, and usually have a few left over. And despite that, my losing has slowed down to almost a standstill. I’ve only lost 19.4 lbs. I had lost 23.6 lbs. and then had an unexpected and large gain one week of 6 lbs! It was almost devastating since I had not overeaten or overindulged. I had remained within my allotment of calories continually. The only change that week was in the amount of fluid collected in my catheter. There were many days that week when it seemed quite small. And so now I have proof that my lymphedema sometimes affects my weight loss when my body retains too much fluid.
We began looking at other things to help. I don’t use real salt, haven’t for years and am accustomed to using NoSalt instead. Despite that, using processed meats sometimes, like turkey bacon, or eating Lean Cuisine frozen dinners, I was consuming an amazing amount of sodium each day which doesn’t help my lymphedema or my tendency to retain water. If that isn’t something you ever pay attention to, it would make an interesting project to look at the amount of sodium included in everything you eat every day.
Anyway, I am still ‘hanging in there’ and still trying to lose weight to improve my situation. I have to encourage myself when the lymphedema gets in the way and just keep on plugging away knowing that eventually I will continue to lose weight.
I may not be on Facebook very often, but I’m still around and I’m doing well. Thanks to all who read my blogs and check on me from time to time. The journey continues…