There are a lot more pictures of me on my Bahamas cruise that I can't share on Facebook. My family can see them, but for the most part, I'll hide them and be ashamed.
Simple reason, and it freaks me out because I don't think I can control it. That's what is keeping me awake tonight, writing this post when I've been good for two months about getting plenty of good sleep at night.
I've had lower leg edema for a decade. It's one of those things that my doctor politely ignored and wouldn't even look into the causes for. Last summer when I flew to Italy, the long flight killed me with fluid retention and I got a nasty case of cankles. The frustrating thing is that I normally have very slim ankles.
That time, the swelling was so bad that my ankle bones disappeared on both sides of both feet. The skin was stretched so tight that it stung like bees were attacking me. I spent a lot of time with my feet propped overhead on Italian hotel walls. I could feel my legs throbbing and it created a lot of unnecessary fatigue for me.
Y'know, it made me wonder what was going on, considering that I stick to a very low-sodium diet. I never salt anything. I buy unsalted vegetables. I don't drink diet sodas, either. I have an otherwise clean bill of health -- no signs of high blood pressure and I've got a very strong heart. I was running every other day, working on a C25K program at the time.
Now I'm going to the gym 5 days a week, doing up to an hour of cardio plus weightlifting each time. Eating a clean diet. Drinking plenty of water (for weight loss that never quite happens). Doing everything RIGHT.
Went on the cruise with no flights there longer than 2 hours each. I even got a night's sleep before boarding the ship.
But by that night, before embarkation, I showed my sister how my lower legs were rapidly swelling on flat ground. It got worse. (It kinda hurts when it happens.)
You see, in those pictures that were taken by the ship's photographers and by my sister, there was a LOT of swelling suddenly present. She tearfully mentioned that she believed it was a diabetic complication that's going to lead to having both of my legs amputated.
The swelling was not just in my legs. My upper arms swelled up all the way to my shoulders. I look like Petunia Pig in all of my pictures, and I'm pretty sure that I don't look like that normally. As tired as I was, I wouldn't be surprised to find out I was carrying an extra 20 pounds of water in my limbs on my vacation.
What do you do about a situation like mine? Over the counter fluid pills don't do a thing about my edema normally, so I'm hoping I will soon find a doctor who will want to help me, rather than saying it'll pass by the end of the month, (When it comes back again, naturally.) I should have taken a measuring tape with me, and I think I will the next time that I have to fly.