Update on All Things Swelling, Fluid, Skin Graft, and Compression Related. How am I Really Doing With all of this?

Jacqueline at the beach

If you have been around here for a while, then you would have witnessed firsthand just how complicated my journey has been so far. Not to mention how in the last year, things have been a lot to handle. Especially with my body, weight gain, swelling, wounds, surgery, and compression, it has been a lot to handle.  I am looking forward to sharing this recovery update with you.

If you are new around here, welcome, and I am so glad you are here.
I will give you a quick backstory before I just jump right into how I am doing right now and a recovery update on how things are healing and how I’m doing.

Jacqueline Selfie

A little about me

I have lost over 350 pounds by changing my diet and exercising and I am in the process of having excess skin removal surgery. I most recently had skin removal part 1 on my legs and had some complications. These complications resulted in my legs, and body being more swollen and retaining lots of fluid- which is still causing some issues today. I have recently been diagnosed with a binge eating disorder and I am dealing with some weight gain. I am on the path to recovery now, which includes weight loss.

Jacqueline Adan before and after 300 lbs lost

All that being said, my body is struggling. With having so many surgeries, weight gain, and fluid issues– my body has been fighting hard to “correct” itself, learn how to get the fluid out of my body, and process everything.

I have different pills, compression garments, compression gear and still seeing lots of specialists to help my body heal and recover.

More information

I have shared a lot of info about my journey up to this point- if you want to check out more in-depth information about everything.

But in this post, I want to focus on how I’m currently doing, answer some questions I am getting quite frequently, and overall just let you know how things are going.

Let’s get to it
How is the swelling and fluid retention?

I feel like with anything in life, some days are better than others.  Recently, I am noticing a difference in my body and fluid retention a lot more. I feel the fluid moving, coming out, and I see a difference in how my body, especially my legs look.  Other times I feel puffy, swollen, heavy and I can see “fluid lumps” in my legs. I think my body is working hard to learn how to get rid of this fluid and the proper way to flow through my body. But my body and I still have some work to do.

Does anything help the fluid come out?

I am on a water retention pill which seems to help. Drinking water seems to help so I do my best to drink A LOT of water.  Drinking my water is important since I see a big difference when I can drink my gallon of water. I also have a mini-trampoline I use after my workouts that is supposed to help the fluid. It is yet to be seen if I feel this is helping but I keep trying and will keep you posted. Dry brushing my body has also been something I am trying. I used to get lymphatic massages weekly which, I not only loved but felt they helped me a lot. Since I cannot have them right now because of COVID, I am trying to do my own lymphatic massages and using a dry brush. I also find eating out and extra salt and sodium make a difference for me and add to feeling puffy especially in my face and stomach area. It’s important to note that the swelling is just not in my legs. My whole body is working hard at properly moving fluid through my body. The surgeries, scars and weight gain make it more difficult for my body to adjust to changes and fluid.

Jacqueline at the beach

Do I still have to wear my compression?

So what my doctor told me is “wear it as much as possible or when you feel it would be helpful.” So yes, I do wear my garments sometimes, but not all the time. I should be better with them, but they are not comfortable and honestly, I do not notice a huge difference when I wear them vs. when I don’t. I do have arm pieces, leg pieces, leggings and a chest piece…so I feel like Baymax from Big Hero Six when I have all of my gear on.  Although I love Baymax, it’s not comfortable at all.  So, yes I technically should be wearing them more, but realistically I cant move in them, so I don’t. I also think my body likes naturally being able to move the fluid without always being in compression too.

Jacqueline compression garments legs

How is my skin graft healing?

AMAZING!!! My surgeon is a wizard and he did a phenomenal job with all of my surgeries, taking care of me and my skin graft. It is 100% healed and the graft took 100% which is rare for a wound that size to do. So it’s great. In terms of how it feels it’s a lot less tight now, but still has some sensitivity issues where it will feel like tiny ants are crawling on it or it will start throbbing when I workout. So it still feels a little weird but it’s all healed!!!

How are the wounds/swelling in your arms?

Ok, so this one is a little tricky to answer. Because of the fluid build up in my body and weight gain, my poor arms are taking the brunt of everything. I have lots of information on this topic you can check out HERE, but it looks like I have a tight rubber band around both arms and on the right side it even split open causing a wound. The good news is the wound is healed and closed.

The new skin is still really delicate so I have to be careful.  Putting weight on my arms like holding a plank, still bothers my arms a bit.  The banding is still there and still looks pretty tight, although I think it has improved a bit.  I am hopeful the swelling can start going down in my arms too and help release that band completely.  I am seeing huge progress in my body with weight loss and the overall fluid, but my arms are still pretty “puffy” and tight. But no wound so that’s a positive!

What are those compression garments you are wearing?

I purchased some compression gear that helps with overall recovery.  It helps fluid, swelling, muscle fatigue, tightness, and helps with overall circulation.  I am seeing a huge difference when I wear these with the fluid. They’re pretty pricy but worth every penny to me. I did save up for them and I am so happy I did because I have been loving them! Since I am struggling with this fluid retention throughout my entire body I did get the arm, hip, and leg pieces and I feel they are helping a lot, especially in my legs.  I did have to purchase the extended size recovery boots and I did have to directly call the company to order them as the extended sizing is only available from them directly.

Jacqueline Normatec Boots

How is weight loss going?

If you didn’t know I started WW. I feel good and I think this program is helping me with my overall relationship with food and with myself.  Yes, WW is helping with weight loss too.  While weight loss is a goal, it is not my only goal.  Overall I am happy with how things are going so far and the progress I am making.  I have a few posts about my WW journey that you can check out if you would like to know more.

Jacqueline 85 Days WW

Any other surgeries coming up?

I do plan to have more skin removal, but not for a while. My focus is on having my body heal, figuring out the fluid situation, and getting back down to a healthy weight, where I feel good.   I do have surgeries in the future that I would like to have done, but nothing anytime soon.

There you have it- my update so far

I think that about covers it. That is pretty much an overview of how things are going, weight loss and fluid retention wise. I take 100% full responsibility for the weight gain and the issues that caused it, but the other issues my body is going through is out of my control and all I can do is just keep doing my best to take care of myself. It is also important for me to remind myself, and share with you, that gaining weight did not make all of these issues happen. Weight gain added to them, but is not the sole reason that my body’s struggling right now.

I also think all of my surgeries have been so worth it and I do not regret anything. I am upset that things have been so complicated, but I just keep doing my best every day and I know that is all I can do.  In terms of the complications from surgery, there was nothing that my surgeon or I did wrong…those things can just happen. I am lucky that this complication in my legs is the only thing that has gone “wrong” with how many surgeries I have had.  Even though this complication was very hard for me to deal with, it is a very minor complication overall in the grand scheme of what could have happened with surgeries like this. Right now, I am focusing on loving my body and doing what it needs to heal, recover, and keep moving forward.

If you have any other questions, please leave them down in the comments and I will be sure to answer them.


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1 Comment

  • Thanks for the update! I was actually thinking of you the other day… I just got a vibration plate (got the Turbo 3D model by Lifepro, bought on Amazon). Was wondering if that might help you? I also have a rebounder, which you said you are using too, which is great. I know one big benefit from the vibration plate is also helping lymphatic drainage. I’ve only had mine a couple weeks but I can say it’s kinda fun to just stand on it and let it work! 🙂 Has so many different levels and such, from super easy to hard. Lifepro so far has great customer support, lots of videos and a private FB group just for those who own a plate. I’m excited to see what it can do for my/my family!

    Katrina 19.01.2021

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