Elkins, Arkansas

After I had gastric bypass in 2003 and lost 200 pounds, I started noticing my legs swelling and asked my doctor about it. She gave me water pills which did not help.

Every time I would see her I would never get any answers as to why my legs were swelling. Then one day she said it was edema and I had to live with it.

I had made an appointment with a surgeon about getting my extra skin removed on my stomach and she couldn't do the surgery because my blood platelets were too low but she did say I had lymphedema and ordered me the strongest compression hose you can get, 40/50, which years down the road I found out they were hurting me more than helping. Then, I started wearing ones that weren't so strong. I now wear compression wraps that my mother sends to me when she orders a new pair for herself. (She too has lymphedema.)

A couple years ago, a PT who deals with my condition said that I have lipedema, which is harder to manage than lymphedema. About 5 years ago I had a hip and knee replacement and healed nicely. BUT..... I still don't know how exactly to manage this. I wear the wraps almost 24/7 like the PT told me to do. Sometimes I get sick and tired of them and leave them off for a couple days until the swelling gets to be too much and I have to put the wraps on again.

There are days like today that my legs hurt sooo much. I don't know what to do or who to talk to. It's very depressing because my family just thinks that I can press through it and that it's not so bad. They just don't understand. I just wish I could find a doctor who knows what's going on with me and tell me if I'm even wearing the wraps right or how long to wear them. I have so many questions that never seem to get answered. It's so depressing. I wish there was someone to talk to.