Thursday, April 17, 2014

Live & Learn -- Fat Feet Fixes

I actually think feet are super disgusting, so writing about them here is kind of a stretch, but I just had to share a couple things I've learned about during this pregnancy.
During the third trimester I've experienced a horrible amount of swelling, or Edema (if you want to get technical). It started as mild puffiness that forced me to take off my wedding rings and only wear my most comfy shoes. Since then, I've gone up two whole shoe sizes and had to buy new ones to avoid going barefoot (actually my preference), and my hands and feet hurt all the time (except for the portions that go completely numb).
It's pretty uncomfortable.
As you know I'm a pretty busy person, and since I work full time I don't have a lot of opportunities to just sit down and elevate my feet above my heart throughout the day (my doctor's recommended solution to help alleviate the discomfort). So by the end of the day, when I limp home and collapse into bed, my feet look something like this...
Sickening, just sickening.
I can barely even look at those fat piggies.
And Stew has taken to calling me his little Hobbit.
Since my doctor can't prescribe me anything to help water retention during pregnancy, I decided to explore some nontraditional remedies (with her blessing).
First up was trying some alternative medicine.
I made an appointment with a local acupuncturist who was recommended by my yoga instructor. For over 3,000 years people from all walks of life have enjoyed the many benefits of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is a time-tested form of health care based on a medical theory that defines good health as a balance of systems and circulation in the individual. It can reestablish balance by improving the flow of energy and blood, by enhancing circulation to systems that are depleted or by directing it away from areas of excess.
The doctor examined my feet and hands, took my pulse, looked at my tongue (I promise I couldn't make this up), and concluded that I am suffering from "dampness." As treatment, she intended to target my kidney function and fluid metabolism through four acupuncture treatments, along with having me avoid foods that exacerbate "dampness."
So far I've been to two appointments and haven't really noticed any results, but that hour long, extremely relaxing appointment has to do some good by helping my stress level, if nothing else.
Next came some real hippie stuff.
My yoga instructor also recommended using cabbage leaves to help with swelling. Apparently cabbage has quite a few medicinal qualities. Uncooked cabbage is high in glutamine, an amino acid that is essential for intestinal health. It has also been proven to be both antibacterial and antiviral. The Egyptians ate cabbage with vinegar before a night of drinking to prevent hangovers, and cabbage is still today considered one of the best remedies to cure hangovers! I'll have to try that after Baby Boy is born... Cabbage leaf compresses are often suggested by herbalists to reduce swelling, and I figured it couldn't hurt to try!
Rinse and dry common green cabbage leaves. Right before applying, puncture the veins of the cabbage leaves with a fork to break them open. Apply the cabbage leaves directly onto the swollen area, making sure to cover all inflamed or engorged tissue. Wrap lightly with a towel to keep the leaves in place. In 45 minutes to an hour, when the cabbage leaves wilt, remove the leaves and reapply fresh ones as needed.

Reduction in swelling.

Okay, okay, I'll admit it... the cabbage didn't really seem to reduce any swelling. But even if you don't really see results, the cool cabbage on my elevated feet did feel nice, and it forced me to sit and relax for almost an hour, something I rarely do...
Your husband laughing at you, and calling you a hippie.
Whatev. I'm in so much pain at this point I'm willing to try anything. Stew keeps saying that I brought this on myself, but I seem to remember there being two of us involved in creating this baby... Perhaps I deserve a little more sympathy.

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Life As Always
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  1. Your poor feet! My best friend suffered terribly with swollen feet throughout her pregnancies - she could only wear flip flops for the last few months. You should definitely put your feet up more, you deserve to relax!

  2. i love that you're going the acupuncture route. the tongue is indicative of how your internal systems are doing; i tend to have too much 'heat' in my body which makes my tongue swell. remember that acupuncture is a therapy, not an immediate treatment so after a few sessions, you'll see results. i had the worst carpal tunnel and after trying everything other than surgery, i turned to acupuncture. after 4 treatments, carpal tunnel gone but prior to that, i had lived with this debilitating condition for over 2 years. i was floored and i never dissed acupuncture or traditional chinese medicine ever again.

    i hope it works for you!!

    Vodka and Soda

  3. Oh my god! I've never seen anything like that before in my life on such a small woman!! You are working too hard-- when does your maternity leave start?? Or are you even taking one?!? You need to tell your Boss that it's a must you be able to put your feet on your desk!!

  4. I love your learning stories! Don't get mad but you had my laughing reading this post! I love all your advice on the nitty-gritty of having a baby and not just the cute hats and perfect countdowns!

  5. At least in Seattle socks and sandals are acceptable footwear ;) lol!

  6. Awwww... honey, I'm so sorry... that sounds and looks so painful! :(

  7. you poor thing! the cabbage leaf thing did wonders when Harps and I were stopping breastfeeding...

  8. oh sorry. I hope all of what you're doing helps tremendously. looks painful that's for sure. Have you tried soaking them? just a thought.

    Just letting you know I'm following you. Would love to have you come check me out and hopefully follow me back

  9. OMG. BAHAHAHAHA! Too funny! And I'm only laughing at the cabbage and "dampness". :) I swelled like crazy too, and it SUCKED! I promise though... the instant you have baby, it'll get better!

  10. Suffering from "dampness"? I have never heard of that, what a silly thing to be suffering from. I love how you are open to trying anything and everything - why not right? Keep up the amazing work, you are going to be a great Mom!

  11. Hey Sarah!! That's awesome that you tried the cabbage! The cooling must have felt amazing!! I am flat footed too!! I hope you feel better lovely! Talk soon!! :) Xo

  12. Haha! Your feet remind me of Ellie's!!! Hopefully your baby boy will get those pudgy feet!

    The lady at our agency also told Ellie's birthmom to apply cabbage to her boobs to help stop or at least reduce her milk from coming in!

  13. OMG my best friend had the same type of swelling during her pregnancy! I always felt so bad for her! Her face and hands swelled just as bad!

  14. oh gosh your poor feet! I hope you find some relief soon!

  15. Ouch, girl! I feel for ya! It aint fun being on swollen feet :(. I can see why you miss your stilettos now. As for the cabbage leaves, you're not hippie at all. I had a friend recommend cabbage leaves to me for breast engorgement (when they are full to the point of pain because of too much milk. Sorry, not trying to scare you) It's soothing, like you said.

  16. You poor thing! The way your feet look is the way mine FEEL after too many hours in uncomfortable (but pretty!) heels! It's good that you tried to do something to help yourself. Somehow, I don't think it's practical (or encouraged) to elevate your feet at your desk.....

  17. Yup, that's totally how my feet looked too... Towards the end I couldn't even wear flip flops without them cutting into my feet...

  18. I've found myself on this page after searching for a swollen feet support group since my feet look twice as large as your do in these pictures. The only difference is my feet have looked like this since I was 8. Consider yourself lucky it was temporary. I already have much shame and issues regarding my feet, being teased because I have to wear small boots in the summer because the one time I did wear sandals everyone keep gasping in shock and exclaiming "what's wrong with your feet!". So thanks for sharing but calling them disgusting isn't fair for people who have to live with it everyday.

    1. Of course my post was not meant to hurt anyone's feelings; it was a reflection of how I was feeling about my own body at the time, nothing more. I wish you the best of luck in finding the support group you're looking for.


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