Lymphedema rant.....

on 2/2/12 2:15 am - New Bedford, MA
I try not to let people's ignorance get to me, but I just can't help it!

I feel like wearing a shirt that says.....I am not fat, I have quit your staring, gawking, pointing, whispering, etc.

I try so hard not to let it bother me, but it does immensely. I often times don't want to leave the house. I can't wait till my legs get back to normal......

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

on 2/4/12 5:18 am - Philadelphia, PA
Ms Kitty

If I am not being too personal, how old are you?  The reason that I ask is that I remember a time when the stares bothered me and then somewhere along the line I just said what are you looking at.  I was always fat, but as a young woman, up until I was 42 I wore high heels and really great clothes.  Then I lost my mother, which I never properly grieved, then got the lymphedema and realized I would never wear high heels again.  I took all my 100 pair of 4+ inch shoes and threw them in a closet.  Two years ago, after losing 250 lbs with still another 100 lbs to lose I went into that closet and mourned not only the loss of my Mom but the loss of never being able to wear those shoes again and I threw or donated most of them.  I just had my right knee replaced.  I still have about 150 lbs to lose and then I need to get the knee replaced in the lympedemic leg.  I am still fat, with a leg that is very badly misshapened.  People can stare all they want.  I am a beautiful woman, and even on my worse depressive days I never forget that.

Smile, my lady, you too are beautiful.

on 2/6/12 3:04 am, edited 2/6/12 3:08 am - New Bedford, MA
I am 34 and have been fat my entire life too. I lost 120 lbs due to being sick and then had a panniculectomy to remove my over-hanging belly because it was pulling on a hernia. After all that, I looked great. Then my lymphedema kicked in and am now 140 lbs heavier, which puts me in the 400+ category. I will admit that not all of it is lymphedema, but a good 80-90 lbs of it is.

I was in a department store with my fiancee a little while ago where 2 kids about the age of 10 or 12 stared at me as I walked in the door. (they were waiting in line at checkout with their dad) I was looking at something in one of the isles when I heard whispering. I looked and there were the 2 kids pointing and whispering about me. They actually left the checkout line and followed me into the isle so they could continue staring. I was having a bad day anyway and there was no way I was going to tolerate such rudeness form kids who were definitely old enough to know better! I glared at them and said, "What the f*** are you looking at!" (normally I would ignore them and usually I don't swear at kids....but this really did peeve me off a bit) Long story short, the kids told their dad, dad told mom, (who was outside in their car) and mom came into the store and started hitting me. The store's employees had to pull her off of me. Sure, I shouldn't have sweared at her kids.........but it was extremely rude of her children to do what they did.

Now, I just glare at people (kids and adults) who stare and I look them up and down just as they do to me. If they don't stop staring, I rudely ask, You need something? Usually if you glare at people right in their eyes, they look away. But they usually just look again after a few minutes. And I still glare at them.

Staring and insults from kids (and adults!) hurt no matter what age anyone is. But thank you for telling me I'm beautiful. I don't often hear that. You are beautiful too.

Sorry about your shoes. I've had to do that with clothes and just like shoes, they don't come cheap! I fall in love with shoes and boots but can't wear them because I can't wear anything over my ankles due to my lymphedema. Sorry for the long post. Thanks for responding and understanding.

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

on 2/6/12 3:53 am - Philadelphia, PA

Our stories are similar in that I had a panni first with the thoughts that it would kick a major weight loss movement in me.  My pannus had a name and it was Ethel.  I removed Ethel in 04 and once I was back on my feet I realized that I still had bad knees and couldn't walk with out pain.  Since that time I had RNY in 06, another tummy tuck, panni in 08 and a tkr 3 weeks ago.  You are very young and the staring, which I agree with you, still hurts, doesn't hurt as much when you look deep into yourself to see all that you have gone through and just how shallow or plain bad mannered people can be.  I was 476 lbs. when I had my RNY and went down to 298.  I am at 350 now but with the tkr I will be able to get back into the wl program.  I also suffer from very debilitating (sp?) depression.  Once I am back to work I will be getting into therapy.  I am 56 and realized how much of my life has been wasted. 

I can't make people stop staring but you do have the right thought about looking them straight in the eye, but when you do that look at them with confidence in your eyes.  After all you have lived through some pain and heartache and you are still here to tell the story.  Yes, you are beautiful, stumpy legs and all. 

Do you go for treatment?  do you where compression garments?  Will you be seeking out the surgery?


on 2/7/12 5:39 am - New Bedford, MA
Wow. I wish I could get another tummy tuck. What kind of surgery is tkr?  I've never heard of that one. I hope to be getting lymph treatment soon. I was on a waiting list for so long. The problem is, I had started seeing a lymph specialist for treatment. The problem is that my apartment is heavily infested with bedbugs, and the therapist said I can't go back to see her until it has been properly taken care of. My primary care doctor said the same thing. (I hate switching doctors. I am beginning to run out of doctors so I am trying my best to keep this one.) My landlord won't do anything about the bugs. He is trying to evict us, (me, my fiancee, and my 7 cats) due to the bug problem, and we are counter-suing him when we go to court. It's just taking a very long time, and my health and lymphedema are suffering and getting worse in the mean time.

I hope you can still find pretty shoes that you can wear anyway. Especially those cute peek-a-boo topped ones where your polished toes peek through.
I love cowboy boots, and ankle boots, and I can't wear them now either.

I will try your suggestion of looking confident at the jerks who stare. I also suffer major depression, and my body is med-resistant to allot of meds. I am allergic to Tylenol and most other pain killers, and antidepressants give me too many side effects and I don't usually respond well to them anyway. I am a complicated case! 

Thanks for your support. Let's keep in touch. 

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

on 2/7/12 5:42 am - New Bedford, MA
By the way.......this is a poem I wrote a couple of months ago. Allot of people like it.

The Crime of Being Fat

Hate crimes are rising
everywhere we turn.
It's all over the news
and causing concern.

But there's one certain bias
still being allowed.
It's being fat or obese
and standing out in a crowd.

What have we done
to deserve your abuse?
You're just being rude.
What's your excuse?

We have the right
to walk down the street,
without your eyes roaming
from our heads to our feet.

We have the right
to eat what we want,
as well as to dine
in any restaurant.

Why are you gawking?
Why do you stare?
Do you really think
we are unaware?

We do hear your comments
about our fat ass.
That only proves
you haven't got class!

You are not perfect
and neither are we.
But at least we are smart
for not trying to be.

Laws will be broken,
you can be sure of that.
But there is no crime
for being obese or fat.

Traci Wagner

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

on 2/7/12 6:52 am - Philadelphia, PA
Your poem is very profound.  Fat hating is the last accepted prejudgice that is still accepted, but you know that.  You are going through a lot of stress right now and that doesn't help your state of mind nor the way your body handles things.  I wish you luck in your housing situation.  I have very limited knowledge about bedbugs but what I know they are a difficult to get rid of.  

Tkr is Total Knee replacement.  From being overweight all my life my knees are both bone on bone and need to be replaced.  I had the right one done.  The left one will be done next year at this time once I take off some more of the weight. 

My first panni I paid cash for only because I was stupid and didn't realize that my insurance would have paid for it.  The second one my insurance paid as there were hernias involved and my weight loss surgeon who is very familiar with lymphedma told the insurance company that all removal of excess skin would help in one making my knee surgery easier on recovery and also lessen the changes for breakouts of cellulitus. 

Traci hang in there and take one of your problems at a time.  When you are feeling very down, pick up one of your furry children and hug them.  That always put a smile on my face.  If you are suffering from depression ask your pcp, over the phone, to maybe try you on Cymbalta.  It was originally a depression med but I understand that it is now being used as a pain reliever very much like celebrex.  As a matter of fact I think that there is a drug out that mixes that and nexium.  I read that somewhere but I am not too sure on the facts.

Good luck, remember that God only gives you what you can handle.   Please do keep in touch.

on 2/14/12 7:17 am, edited 2/13/12 7:18 pm - New Bedford, MA
Just wanted to see how you are doing. My court date is this friday to go against my ******* of a landlord! My main concern is how not to bring any of the bedbugs with us whenever we do find a place to go. We are leaving practicly everything behind. We are only bringing the stuff we really cannot replace such as our tv's, computer, airconditioner, etc. You mentioned that you are in your 50's and feel like your life has been wasted. I feel the same way about mine and I will be turning 35 in September.

I hope all is well with you. Keep in touch.

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

on 2/14/12 8:15 am - Philadelphia, PA
I wish you the best of luck.   At 35, even if you feel as if you wasted some of your life you have time to rectify it.  I am in my late fifties and I feel the same way but I also know that I can make changes.  My first change is that I need to get this weight off so that I can get my other knee replaced. 

I don't know what state that you live in but I would contact the local county assistance office and see what they can offer you as far as help.  Getting help is hard work, you have to constantly be up someone's ass to get the attention that you need.  Your situation in the apartment is not your fault and you need to get someone in your corner that will fight for you.  Good luck in court.  I had a court case in landlord's court many years ago.  I was the landlord and the claim was absolutely ridiculous.  The claim was settled but the court saw it for what it was and I think the settlement was very fair.  Two weeks later the tenents left during the middle of the night, leaving the apartment in shambles.  I never met the people, they were in the apartment when I bought the building.  But I tell you this because I think the court will be fair to you considering what you have said on how the landlord is treating you. 

Look at this as a new start for you and your hubby/boyfriend.  

You will be in my prayers.  Much good luck to you.  Please let me know how you make out.


on 2/22/12 5:31 am - New Bedford, MA
Hi Jeanne.

We went to court last Friday. We were given until the end of March to be moved out. We found another apartment, so we won't be needing that long anyway. This damn landlord is really infuriating me. We had to go the whole weekend without heat because our space heater broke, and he wouldn't come and fix it. It wasn't until I threatened legal action (again!) that he finally fixed our heater. I don't know how it has been where you live, (Pennsylvania?) but up here in Mass, (near Cape Cod ) it got quite cold at night. (27 degrees) We had a little plug-in space heater to provide us with warmth. We can't wait to move out! We will probably move the weekend of the 3rd, when we get our Social Security checks. My worst fear is bringing any of those bed bugs with us when we move, and thus have the problem all over again. We are leaving all furniture behind and taking what we really can't replace. We are going to bring all of our clothes and wash them at the laundromat before we bring any of it in. It is quite a chore, but it has to be done.

How are you doing? I hear you on wanting to lose weight for your knees. That sounds like a really painful condition you have. I want so badly to get my lymphedema under control so I can focus more on my weightloss too. I know which diet may work for me. The Volumetrics Diet. It's along the lines of that, but I will drink a full glass of water, or a Slim-Fast shake before I eat anything. The "volume" in my stomach will be filled with liquid and making me eat less. I've never really had a large appetite to begin with, which is why I can't figure out how I ever got this big. I had done Slim-Fast before and lost allot of weight on it. 

I hope you are doing well. My prayers are with you too. 

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? I say, what difference does it make--I paid for a full glass,so either way I am getting jipped!!!

Most Active