Lipedema: The Surgery, Its time to go!

I was planning on Blogging my way through my surgery, but for some reason I couldn’t get into my blog!( So I’ve compiled some of my Face Book Post & photos to share of my trip. So far I am very happy with my results of my surgery! Although I have pain and swelling from the surgery, the Lip pain I had is gone! yeah!! Life CHANGING!

From Germany Trip, posted by Kara Rittenhouse on 11/01/2014 (182 items)

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OMG!! Travel day to Germany is here!! Saying bye to kids this am was hard but they promised to be happy I was getting “fixed” and not sad they missed me. A big thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me on this journey- my hubby, kids parents, my friends, neighbors, and clients thank you it means so much!!

Made it to Germany at 5am local time, got our bags and rental car and my mom drove 3+ hours to our cottage. The place we are staying at is perfect, and the landlords are so nice! Bob took us to town and to grocery store. The area we are in is so beautiful! Large rolling hills, lots of trees and farm land and cute little towns. Cant wait to explore a bit!

Today is my pre-op apt with my Dr here in Germany. I’m looking forward to meeting him and his wife who also will do my pre & post op treatments. But first a beautiful walk in the mountains and after a bit of grocery shopping as the stores have been closed for 2 days!

I had a great pre op with my Dr and his staff. But I got a surprise -Surgery is pushed up to tomorrow! I didn’t know if I should be excited or scared! lol

Me in my space suit! lol! Getting a pre op treatment that looses up the connective tissue which is very think that surrounds the lip fat, it also helps move lymph fluid out of the lip fat cell. If you don’t know- lip fat is different then normal fat because it cause the connective tissue to become fibrotic and it swells with fluid- that is why I’m in pain. this fat can not be lost with diet or exercise and it can expand for no reason/change so you cant control it. My gait and knee have already been effected, but Dr said today he can fix that
Tina giving me my treatment- it feels like a small vibration/suction. Its hurts me a bit but tolerable, if a non lip lady had it it would feel like a nice massage! lol


Surgery Day

Me in Surgery. Yep awake the whole time!

Me afterwards- compression, wraps, puppy pads and also in a dipper. I’m keeping it real folks! lol but its only for fluid leakage not to pee in!

Have to walk a lot- as soon as we got home we walked around the house and took advantage of sunset

Day 2 after surgery I’m still moving very slow but I was able to get a good long walk in, in the town of Bed Steban and have lunch with some amazing new friends. They leave German tomorrow but I’m so thankful for our time together! Safe travel to you all!

After my surgery they gave me a shot of Heprin. OMG does that sting! I have to give myself one every 24hrs to prevent blood clots. Well I can’t stick myself, but I made my mom do it! lol Yesterday she told me my grandmother’s belly is all bruised from the heprin shots she gets and I looked down and saw a bruise from the 1st injection. After she gave me my shot I rubbed pain cream on it because it freak-en hurts!! It stopped the stinging pretty fast, today when we did my next one I had no bruise from yesterday! Lavender helps bruises which is in my pain cream. I like taking care of 2 issues with one thing!

I’m starting to notice a trend with Dr. Stutz- he thinks I am “a rare type” He told me I’m rare because: 1. I have rare “type 4” Lip. 2. I had more Lip fat then he expected. 3. I had no normal body fat on me. 4. I had very good muscle tone. 5. I had the most amount of pain before surgery for my size. 6. I had the most amount of pain after surgery- I beat the record for using (and getting more) pain pills. Hopefully I continue this trend and become a leg model! lol I not really but he
makes me giggle

Got in a very long walk this morning right after breakfast. about 90 mins. Its cold and wet outside, about 34, I’ve got on 2 jackets and a vest. The hills are hard on me but I’m pushing through! Way at the top of the hill is the Barn by the house, we did one lap around the top field and then ventured down this road on our second lap around. I’m curious to find out how far we are walking so my mom downloaded a walking app to her phone, so next walk this afternoon we will find out!

Trip to Town of Kroanch

Town of Bed Steban

After my surgery they put me in full compression (kind of like really tight pants) but it goes up to my bra. I have to wear it 24/7- yes I shower with it on! But one of the ladies that had been here for surgery said she had hers taken in 3 times before she was about to leave. I could not imaging mine even being taken in at all. Well they are so loose right now I had to put my moms light weight knee high compression socks on, on top of them so they feel tight again! They get taken in on Tuesday! Yeah for progress!

Town of Kroanch- Again!

A new couch from our landlords- so glad the other one was hard! And its a Fruit themed dessert kind of night!

Making great progress! Tomorrow will be 2 weeks post surgery. The first day I walked once in this circle and it took me 23 mins today I did 3+ laps to equal a mile in 21mins!


Two weeks post op
smile emoticon
2 more to go till next surgery. Although I’m 1/2 done and still very swollen I can see big changes, but my chronic pain in the areas done is gone, still sore from surgery but I know that will go away!)

Frost on the ground!

Heading to Frankfurt today! Paris tomorrow!! So excited to travel there again but with my mom this time! I hope I remember my French, at least I know more French then German at this point! lol

Drove to Frankfurt today, about 3-4hr. Stopped at the most beautiful rest stop overlooking the vineyards and had lunch with a view! Staying at Airpot Hilton overnight so took advantage of some indoor walking, didn’t map it all but figure at least 4 miles, dinner and drinks with mom and now my first soak in a tub since I left home! Feels so good!

Lupper (late lunch – early supper) today was fantastic! St Regis is a very busy/popular place close to the B&B we are staying at in Paris. I had the ravioli and it was outstanding!

I realized this morning that when I say I went to Paris in High School, it was actually 20 years ago! Holy buckets!! Am I that old?? Lol today was amazing! The Eiffel Tower is bigger then I remember and seeing it at night is amazing! Walking back to our B&B we decided to go into Norte Dame since it was still open, we walked in and they were doing Vespers- um so moving and truly amazing!! I Remember being in awe at the Cathedral during the day with sun coming through the stained glass, but it’s just as beautiful at night, especially with the music filling the church. Best part is I’m doing this with my mom!

Tour of Notre Dame and the Crypt, lunch at Cafe Panis

OMG!! So yummy! A friend made a suggestion to go to Odette for macaroons. I had never had one, and they were amazing! Out host (English xpat) made us some tea to go with it!

Lunch, snacks, and lots if walking to see closed museums!

A big Happy 6th Birthday to my sweet, smart, loving little man! I love and miss you like crazy! Mom is so proud of all you do! Per request I will be getting him something “Gold and shiny” and when I told him The Pompedu Museum had Kandinsky, (he learned about him in Art class) he got all excited and said “oh please bring me one” lol… Maybe a print!?

Wednesday in Paris- Museum Orsay, The Louvre, and The Pompedu.


Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family! So much to be thankful for this year! Thanks Marge and Bo for having my family over, I sure will miss enjoying T-day with you all! Enjoy some pumpkins pie for me!

Got back into Germany last night and drove to our little cottage this morning. I had my pre-op apt with Jutta (Dr’s wife) she has to take in my compression again so she has me hop on the scale and was going to do some measurements. My mom laughed and said “oh no we ate really good in Paris!” I said “no I’m sure I’m good!”. They both look at me like “ok!” So I hop on and said “Look I lost weight!” Folks that is what happens when you fuel your body and your metabolism is through the roof! You get to enjoy EVERY single bit you ate, not feel guilty, or like crap and continue on. Its the Rit-Fit way

Hot mulled wine… OMG so good! Thank you Kronach Christmas Market!

OMG! Jimmy Fallon my cheeks and abs hurt from laughing so hard!

Surgeries are all done! Not looking forward to the next few days or hours but I’m done and a life time of pain will be no longer. I can’t tell you what a relief that is! Thank you to my mom Cheryl for being my rock today and keeping me calm, thank you to my hubby Mark for his love and support through all of this and encouraging me to get help, love you!!

My knees are the size of grapefruits, OMG swelling sucks

I think this is the first time I wish I had put on weight before surgery! Man I’m hurting!(

A quick trip to Bayreuther today to walk the mall there and we found that the Christkindlesmarkt was right there as well. We walked 5k, drank 3 (yes three lol) mugs of hot wine, found a stand that had fried dough, and just enjoyed a day out of the house. We plan to go back next week before we leave.

So day 2 post op I had to take my medical compression off because I was too swollen and it was not allowing fluid to move, I down graded to another pair I had and some compression socks. Today I’m a lot less swollen so I decide I would takes these off so I could shower and try and get the other ones back on. My blood pressure is not my friend right now, and I think my blood sugar might be low so I ask my mom for an orange. She -with out warning- lobs it at me from 4 feet away. I was not ready, tried to grab it but it hit my thumb and nailed me on the knee. Holy bucket that hurt but luckily it hit right below my incision and swelling. Lesson is don’t throw oranges in the house Mom!

If you don’t speak German and the owners of the local restaurant don’t speak English… You just smile and nod yes to what ever they suggest for dinner and desert… Although we did say we wanted wine and beer when they asked if we wanted coffee to start. I’ve got that Schwartz Beer down pat… LOL (My moms post)

We love our landlord here in Germany!! She brought us a little surprise package this morning. A bottle of the mulled wine (you warm it up) a candle, a little guardian angel, and a funny story to read later titled ‘Snow or 30 days to the nervous breakdown’… Sounds like my winter last year!! We will read it later while enjoying the wine! โ€” (My moms post)

“Oh its 9pm, time for your shot” says my mom… “not sure how that will go after bottle of wine” …. seriously see what I have to put up with! an orange to the knee last night and a drunk Granny with a needle. 5 more days….
Walk outside, it was so cold, everything was frosty!

Driving to Frankfurt and my mom says “ok I finally got to 150!” I said “yeah it only took you 6 weeks to do that! Congrats, let me take a picture” she says “well that’s probably only 75 or something so why don’t you look it up” haha nope is 93mph โ€ช#โ€Žgrannydrivestheautobaunโ€ฌ

I’m going home!