It’s been nearly a year ….

It has been nearly a whole year since I embarked on this journey of treatment and recovery. I can’t believe how far I have come and how much different I am. I have changed physically and emotionally and I really feel at peace with my body. My legs not only work but they actually look good. Take today for example- not only did I wear a silver coloured short skirt with snake skin ankle boots but I actually went out running again too! Never in my life did I think that I would have been able to do these things even after surgery.

I am loving my life and loving being me right now and this is an extraordinary feeling. I am still waiting for the third and final surgery to complete the new me. Turning down a surgery at christmas was so hard for me but with only a few hours notice I didn’t really have a choice. I have everything crossed that I am going to be able to finish this process this February. One things for sure, I will keep you posted.

 

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Recent soreness and further shrinking…

When walking with my friend at work this week she was amazed that my legs appear to have shrunk more. I have to admit that they have been very sore in the calf area even though I wear compression tights most days. On further inspection myself I have to say I agree that they are reducing still. It is nearly six months since my last surgery and it seems I am still healing.  So here is my six month post surgery image!

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I am LOVING these tights!

Bad News…

After much finger crossing and hoping, I won’t be having my 3rd and final surgery over the next few weeks. The date was provisionally set for 14th December but unfortunately the hospital was unable to find the correct number of nurses for this date.

It seems such a shame that everything was on track to happen except the nurse. I know that I will have the next available date but had been hoping to have this process finished before the new year.

Fingers crossed that I will have a new date for January……

Waiting for my date confirmation…

I am currently still awaiting full confirmation that I am going to be having my surgery. I was lucky enough to have been offered a cancellation session on the 14th December. Currently, I’m waiting to find out if they can find the nursing staff to take care of me.

This surgery means everything to me. I feel  a little bit like a butterfly that has emerged from an ugly chrysalis. I feel well, I feel attractive and I feel normal. It is because of these feelings that I so desperately want to have this process completed before the new year. This year has been really tough and I have been recovering from the process of these surgeries since the beginning of the year. Without a doubt the mental recovery and the acceptance of the changes has taken a long time too.

I was speaking with my friend who is a surgeon this morning. He said to me that in his opinion,  its a high chance that this will go ahead. He thinks that the theatre manager will be able to come up with something for me as they won’t want to leave a slot unused if they can.

It’s really hard not to keep pestering the clinic, I know that they will call me as soon as they know. It’s getting close though…. fingers crossed. xx

Arm Compression

When I came home from work today I had had a parcel delivered. It was my arm compression sleeves ready for my next surgery.

I bought Jobst Bella Lite and I think the total cost was around £70. If you want them in black then you have to order the longer length ones. I do have fairly long arms and because of this they do fit me. Personally, I cant think of anything worse than skin coloured ones they remind me of dear old ladies and Nora Batty….

When you open their box they look tiny! Don’t worry though because they are hugely stretchy.

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Obviously, I had to try them on straight away and I have to say they feel amazing! I always love the tight and secure feeling of compression but I have never worn them on my arms before. These are the ones that are basically like stockings for your arms rather than the bolero type because I thought that the back piece would look bulky underneath clothing. After wearing them for half an hour, I cant really believe that I haven’t worn any before now. I am not really able to lift my arms too high at all these days, in fact I struggle to do my hair which is a shame because there is a huge amount of hair to actually do.

FullSizeRender-2As I have got older I have noticed that my arms have got significantly bigger and much more painful. Clothes have become harder and harder to find to fit because they fit on the body but the arms are fit to burst. Recently I have been losing sensation in them far too much. This comes like a pins and needles and is exactly the same as the sensation that I used to have in my legs. I know that after this surgery I will feel so much better!

It’s been a while…

It’s been far too long since I wrote here. It’s just that I have been so busy enjoying my life and not worrying about lipoedema any more. To say that this process has been amazing is a complete and utter understatement.

I guess that unless you have the experience of going from really bad lipoedema to being ‘normal’ you’ll never really understand how amazing this actually feels. Everything in my life has become easier from having the two surgeries and I just feel so totally amazing about myself too!

Things that are better because of these surgeries…

  • NO pain
  • can walk and run
  • no more pins and needles
  • I am more active
  • I’m less tired
  • I feel more confident in all aspects of my life
  • I feel like I’m more attractive
  • I am rocking some AMAZING new clothes that I never thought I would wear. Leather skirts and shift dresses, thigh length dresses, knee boots, thigh boots, nightdresses and more fitted clothes.
  • It’s improved my body confidence
  • I feel empowered
  • I feel more socially accepted
  • My relationship has improved.
  • More ‘get up and go’

This is the difference so far…. I’ve gone from being completely deformed really to being a normal woman. These new legs really just look like NORMAL….

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I am wearing thigh length dresses, skirts, long boots and even over the knee long boots. This has been completely life changing for me and I think this was worth every single penny that I have spent. I have always loved clothes but was so limited to what I could wear. Now I am able to express myself in ways that I have not been able to before.

Here is the total ‘yuck’ that was removed from my legs!

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When I look at these two images together it is hard to believe that I was carrying all of this around with me. My last surgery was in June this year and I have now booked for my final surgery and this is planned to be in December 2017.  I will have my arms and legs done in this final operation. The plan is to take away more from the back of my legs and remove the ‘ridge’ that I now have which separates the front and back of the leg. It currently looks unfinished although liveable with! I will have around 500-600mls removed from each arm too.

My skin has generally coped well with these surgeries and has snapped back to a point. I never expected that I would end this with perfection so I am happy with a slightly wrinkled thigh! My inner left knee is the part of my legs that I’m not so happy with. It has some hanging skin when I lift my leg and could be mistaken for an 80 year old’s skin. Who cares though when I had the starting point that I did, this is literally a miracle.

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Remember this? This seems like a world away now!

If you are reading this and contemplating having your surgery for lipoedema. Don’t even think twice about it- just do it!

 

I haven’t forgotten to update…

I don’t know if it’s the relief of finally feeling and looking like a normal girl that has made   me feel like I haven’t wanted to write about my recovery. I feel like I’ve been so upset for so long that I have needed some time to just gain some self acceptance.

I’ll be completing some writing next week! I’m looking forward to it!

My Surgery and the first evening…

After being wheeled into the operating theatre I was asked to come into the very small side room for them to anaesthetize me. I was introduced to everyone and people put me at ease. I did cry, I am not going to deny this but I am human and this surgery means everything to me- it’s such a big deal. Slowly but surely, I had been getting my life back over the past few months and I was desperate for this to develop further. The anaesthetist was just lovely and had a very kind, slightly dad like persona. He asked me why I had been totally fine in the room only 20 minutes ago but now I was upset. The simple answer that I could give was that I was scared of my recovery but not the actual surgery. I don’t have very large veins and getting a canula in is often an issue. They managed to do this quickly and I had a mask on my face, so before I knew it I was gone.

I woke up in the recovery room shaking very badly, feeling confused and teeth chattering. I was aware of someone sitting beside me. I was also aware that I was shouting but I have no idea what about. Everthing is pretty much a haze and I dont really have any recollection of what went on. I didnt feel well at all though.

I was later aware of being back in my room and shouting for Steven, at first I didn’t realise it was me shouting I thought it was someone else and remember catching myself thinking “Wow, I wish that person would shut up!”. I am sure that everyone on the ward thought that I was a complete lunatic. This time I felt groggy for alot of the day. When I had my last surgery I came around fairly quickly and was sat up chatting, this time I just needed to sleep.

The night was fairly long and my legs did leak excess fluids from the surgery which was completely as expected. I think that this looks a lot worse than it actually is but leaking through your compression tights onto the pads doesnt make you feel particulary nice. I had the pads changed a few times by Steven and a few by the nurses to keep me comfortable and clean. I stayed in that weird space between being awake and asleep pretty much all night. It was hard to try and get comfortable because both the back and the front had been worked on. The back of my calves had been improved, my knees again and the front of thighs as well as my back of thighs. Mr Karri also worked inbetween my legs in my groin area to debulk too.

I was taking oromorph to help with the pain and there were some points in the night were I really did feel desperate. Never at any point though did I wish I hadn’t done it!

In the room next door was a lady I met through my blog and she had had her surgery after me… small world isnt it?! We had text each oher through the night to keep each others spirits up which really did help- even though we were both not really quite with it! As ususal, Steven was there by my side on a reclining chair to take care of me and show me love. He did manage to have a little sleep or two and I am always amazed by what doesn’t wake him! On a number of occassions the nurses came in to give me pain relief and to give me antibiotics through the canula throughout the night which was exactly the same as last time. I think that the beginning of my recovery was probably better this time because I wasn’t as anxious about what to expect.

IMG_7611Here is my ‘leaking’ from the wounds in my legs. These dressings have been changed VERY often but the leaking is very common after this surgery. I did actually leak more after my last surgery.

Pre- Lipoedema Surgery 2 16th June 2017

On the morning of Friday 16th June I woke up at 5am for my second surgery. The car journey to the hospital was very quiet because I fought back nerves and tears all the way.  It didn’t matter how much it might hurt or how nervous I was because I was going to do it anyway. My outcome from surgery one was so many times better than I expected that 99% of me was desperate to keep on going as soon as possible to round two. When you have total trust in the medical professional you have chosen I think that going into surgery is easier. I didn’t even consider for one second that I would have any issues whatsoever in surgery and had complete confidence that I would have a positive experience. All of my fear was about how I was going to cope with the pain afterwards.

I arrived at Goole Hospital just after 7am. It’s a lovely little place with hardly any patients in it. One almost feels that it’s a little like going back in time. Super quickly, I was in my huge and sunny room waiting to be ‘checked in’. The most friendly nurse I could wish for came and sorted out all of my paperwork and we had the opportunity for me to discuss the things that I was worried about. I was concerned about my catheter and how quickly that was going to be removed. Last time, after removal of the catheter I had wet myself due to lack of mobility and then had sat in it for 24 hours in my compression tights. As you can imagine urine and nylon don’t mix and so I had nappy rash that became infected and sore. This is just one of those things, something you have to deal with but I certainly didn’t want it to happen again. The nurse, who was so kind, promised me that it wouldn’t happen again so I put it out of my mind.

I got into my hospital gown and waited for Mr Karri to come and see me for my photo shoot. These photos that are taken for guidance are a part I really hate. Standing there with the bits you hate about yourself having photos taken isn’t my idea of fun! I am always so grateful to Mr Karri because he always ensures that you maintain your dignity. I have this feeling that he doesn’t need to try to do this, it just comes naturally to him because of the way he is. My partner knows I feel (now felt!) uncomfortable with my legs exposed but he too commented each time on how the investigative part of the matter was performed with real care.

Mr Karri spent a lot of time drawing on my legs, looking at them from all of the angles and asking me about what I wanted as an outcome. I am not in denial about how my body is. I am a woman. I am a woman with a bottom and curves. I want to continue to be like this but proportion is key and I am aware of this. My bottom with very, very skinny legs isn’t going to work. It is clear that Mr Karri looked at me as a complete individual and advised me based on what would work for me rather than a non- realistic ideal. My outcome would be my outcome and it was going to be individual and the one that was going to be right for me.

I was ready for round two and so the pacing up and down started as I waited for the theatre staff to come and collect me. Suddenly arrived a trio or theatre nurses to come and collect me and they instantly put me at ease. What a nice bunch of ladies. Being close to tears I got into bed and they said to Steven to come and say goodbye to me. This was emotional. I hate to be separated from him really if I am honest. We are absolutely the best of friends before anything else. He asked them ‘please look after her because she is so special’ and this obviously choked me because  I was on the edge anyway. We had a huge hug and they took me away down the corridor.

The night before surgery…

This week has been a strange one for sure. I have worked every night until late into the night working on a range of different projects that my school needed me to complete before my surgery. Because of this I am nowhere near ready for my surgery. I had nothing organised, none of the things I wanted to buy for hospital and I don’t really feel mentally prepared either.

I am pleased that I am going to do this but I am nervous… this time I am more scared that I have been before. Tonight it is time for me to try and sleep and I will be back to my blog after tomorrow!

Fingers crossed everything will be okay.