WOW!!! I mean, really seriously wow! What an incredible weekend I have just had, my eyes have been well and truly opened and I’ve got a fire in my belly with a desire to achieve results. My first ever medical conference, and most certainly not my last! I am in fact quite geeky when it comes to the human body, medicine and anything related. I just find our bodies fascinating and Am so keen to understand how we work …. or in my case how i don’t really work quite as well as i should!
I met a huge range of ladies at the conference and it made me realise how lucky I am, not only to be mentally strong within my own head but also to have such a strong and supportive network surrounding me. It was a true eye opener, not only to me but also to my partner who came with me. It gave him an insight into the world in which I have found myself becoming part of and offered us both a taster of what could lie ahead both in lifestyle and treatment options. Those of us who suffer with chronic illnesses must never forget the impact that it has on the other people in our lives, I’m sure I can’t be the only person who sometimes lashes out at those closest to me and I’m pretty sure I can be jolly hard to put up with a lot of the time! I think, and hope, that hearing how this illness affects me has made him realise perhaps those ‘bitch days’ or ‘cry til you die days’ are simply part of the process! There were quite a few ladies who seemed bitter towards the world, I’m not surprised, we have all been let down by Dr’s or even family and friends but I think it is so so important to let go of negative encounters if there is to be any chance of you moving forward in life.
I was quite taken aback at how much they were pushing liposuction as a means of ‘curing’ lipoedema, of course the disease will never go away (at least not until they find the answer!) but it seems surgeons have so far got patients up to 10 years post surgery who haven’t had a return of lipoedema fat. That in itself amazed me and for ladies who have lost all quality of life it really is wonderful and seemingly much safer than ‘normal’ liposuction. There are two types of lipo that can be used for lipoedema, one is water assisted or WAL and the other is tumescent. Both are similar in that they use water (in different ways) under the surface of the skin to breakdown and remove the Lipoedema fat without damaging any soft tissue or the lymphatic system. Sadly, it’s quite likely I would never be able to have this surgery, if the time came that I required it, as the use of adrenaline would be too risky when I already struggle with tachycardia. As frustrating as that may be it has simply encouraged me even more to stay on track with healthy eating etc and follow all the basic rules to limit the disease from progressing.
Diets were another big feature at the conference and the low carb, keto approach seemed to be the winner of them all! I will certainly continue on the keto route and hope I continue to see promising results as my journey progresses. Eating anti-inflammatory foods was also highlighted as a good option as it can aid the reduction of pain in affected areas, I have already managed to eliminate my lipoedema pain through the low carb approach which has been fantastic and fingers crossed it can only get better!
The last element which I took great interest in was the use of compression garments, I have had these for a while now but have admittedly been useless at wearing them as I find them hot and annoying! However, having heard how beneficial they are I promised myself I would make the effort to dig them out and as of yesterday they are back in action. Recently my veins on my legs had become very pronounced and many spider veins have arrived, it turns out these are most likely due to my long hours of standing without the compression on … lesson learnt and action being taken!
This really is a very brief overwiew of an inspiring and educational weekend but one which has given me the kick up the backside I needed to keep on track and manage this disease the best I can. As always I shall keep you posted on my journey 😀 … Oh and I think I am one trial away from the perfect Keto Scotch Egg so watch this space! Xx