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Valarie
Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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My feet and ankles have been severely swollen for at least

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My feet and ankles have been severely swollen for at least the past 2 months. This past Sunday night I was awakened with what felt like a real fire had set on top of my left foot. It was so painful, I couldn't stand for anything, even the sheet to touch it. I had to wake up my husband to help me. I had some BioFreeze on hand and very softly started patting it on my foot. I have Fibromyalgia (in my 5th year) and yet my feet have never been so swollen. I couldn't even get on my very large houseshoes which are a size 10, yet I normally wear an 8 1/2. When people see my feet they can't believe what they are seeing. After the episode early Sunday morning, I can barely even stand on them. It hurts so badly. I go to 4 different doctors. One gave me a low dose of Lasix and said to take one every 2 to 3 days. That basically hardly doesn't do much. I also have a pair of pharmacutical brand of compression stockings, which help a little. Basically I haven't found anything to help for long. I lay with my feet elevated all day and see very little difference. They are driving me crazy. What in the world could be causing this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 3 years ago.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.

 

Before I answer your question, can you provide a few more details.

 

--Do you have any other health problems (diagnosed)?

--Do you take any medications, prescription or over-the-counter?

--Have your feet ever become swollen before 2 months ago?

--Can you describe how you elevate your feet?

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I do have other health problems. Most notably I suffer from Fibromyalgia and was diagnosed with it in 2005, so I have had it 6 years, but actually longer, because I suffered for several years before that. I also have suffered from high blood pressure for the past 3 years and I suffer from panic attacks and also anxiety attacks. I have had a lot of skin problems in the past 2 years. My skin turns really red a lot and in big splotches, and I also have breakouts of eczema on my shoulders and back.

 

I do take a lot of medications. I will attach that list to this as it is long.

 

Yes I have suffered with swollen feet off and on since I was a little girl. However the swelling over the past 2 months is off the charts. Everyone who sees it is like what is it, that cannot be just swelling. They are like elephant feet and they hurt all the time, but as I noted before they feel like they are burning a lot, but this past Saturday night, I was awakened with the left foot feeling like that was an actual fire on and in it. It was horrible and I had to wake my husband up to get the sheet off of it. Just the sheet was making it all hurt even worse. It was in a particular wedge that had formed from me wearing flip flops much larger that what I normally wear ( just to be able to get them on).

 

To elevate my feet, I lay on the sofa with a lot of pillows stacked up and then working the pillow down so that I have something supporting under my knees. I make sure my feet are above my heart a good bit, but not to where it is uncomfortable.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

XXXXX@XXXXXX.XXX

Yes, I do have other health problems. Most notably I suffer from Fibromyalgia and was diagnosed with it in 2005, so I have had it 6 years, but actually longer, because I suffered for several years before that. I also have suffered from high blood pressure for the past 3 years and I suffer from panic attacks and also anxiety attacks. I have had a lot of skin problems in the past 2 years. My skin turns really red a lot and in big splotches, and I also have breakouts of eczema on my shoulders and back.

 

I do take a lot of medications. I will attach that list to this as it is long.

 

Yes I have suffered with swollen feet off and on since I was a little girl. However the swelling over the past 2 months is off the charts. Everyone who sees it is like what is it, that cannot be just swelling. They are like elephant feet and they hurt all the time, but as I noted before they feel like they are burning a lot, but this past Saturday night, I was awakened with the left foot feeling like that was an actual fire on and in it. It was horrible and I had to wake my husband up to get the sheet off of it. Just the sheet was making it all hurt even worse. It was in a particular wedge that had formed from me wearing flip flops much larger that what I normally wear ( just to be able to get them on).

 

To elevate my feet, I lay on the sofa with a lot of pillows stacked up and then working the pillow down so that I have something supporting under my knees. I make sure my feet are above my heart a good bit, but not to where it is uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

List of Current Medications Prescribed For

 

  • 1. Savella 50 mg. twice a day Fibromyalgia
  • 2. Amlodipine Besylate 2.5 mg. once a day Blood Pressure
  • 3. Losartan Potassium 100 mg. once a day Blood Pressure
  • 4. Carvedilol 6.25 mg twice a day Blood Pressure
  • 5. Potassium Chloride ER tabs 20 MEQ Low Potassium
  • 6. Magox 400 once a day Low Magnesium
  • 7. Gabapentin 300 mg. 1 cap. 3 times daily Severe Fibromyalgia
  • 8. Trazadone HCL 50 mg. 2-3 tablets @ bedtime Sleep and depression
  • 9. Fluticasone Prop. 50 mg. two sprays in nostrils/day Allergies
  • 10. Tizanadine HCL 4 mg. 1-2 tabs/ 3 times daily Muscle Aches/Spasms/Fibromyalgia
  • 11. Protonix 1 w/first bite at evening meal Acid Reflux
  • 12. Lortab 10 mg. up to 4 tabs daily as needed Severe Fibromyalgia
  • 13. Embeda 20-0.8 mg. one capsule every 24 hrs. Severe Fibromyalgia
  • 14. Clonazapam 0.5 mg. one tab./3 times a day Nerves, Anxiety, Fibromyalgia
  • 15. Bentyl 10 mg., 1 to 2 caps. Prior to meals & as needed Irritable Bowel Syndrome (as needed only)
  • 16. Pheno-Belladonna Alkaloids - 1 to 2 tabs. every 4 hrs. (as needed only)
  • 17. Vitamin D-3 2,000 IU 1 daily Low Vitamin D
  • 18. Women'sOne "Just Once" Food based multivitamin 1 daily General health

 

Expert:  Valarie replied 3 years ago.

Good morning. Sorry for the delay. I saw your response this morning when I got up.

 

Your medical situation looks very complex. However, reading through everything you wrote, I am inclined to ask why you are not taking a diuretic on a regular basis.

 

There are 2 common causes for edema as you describe. One is congestive heart failure, the other is a compromised vascular system. In your case, from your description this would be venous insufficiency, or venous stasis. This happens when the internal structure of the vein is damaged. There are normally, what you might call "one-way check valves" in the veins which keep the blood flowing in the correct direction (toward the heart). When these are damaged, or no longer working properly, the blood can slow down enough that fluid leaks from the blood vessels into surrounding tissues----which causes the edema or swelling.

 

The treatment for this is diuretics (more than a low dose "as needed"), leg elevation, with some walking in between to help the blood flow (muscle action), and compression with specially made stockings.

 

You would need a doctor's approval for the compression stockings, however. If you also have impaired arterial circulation, this would not be appropriate because it would cause a lack of oxygen to your tissues.

 

You have the correct idea about leg elevation, but with your swelling it would have to be almost constant. If you have a recliner chair, you can also add a fat seat cushion (like the size that comes off of most couches) to the elevated foot rest. Also, at night if you use a fat cushion to prop your feet and lower legs (ankle to under knee) and allow heels to dangle a bit (prevents pressure and skin breakdown), this would reduce the swelling so that you can put compression stockings on first thing in the morning (if your doctor approves), and before you get up, and the swelling starts getting worse.

 

Something else to consider is diet. You need to have no more than 1500mg of sodium in your diet daily. If you have not yet drastically reduced the amount of sodium you eat, this might help quite a bit. This requires some effort. You have to keep track of all the sodium you have ingested for the day. And need to read labels and pay attention to serving sizes. But it would be worth the effort.

 

The pain you are describing in your feet is from the pressure put on your tissues with the shoes you were wearing. You must be careful with footwear, since edematous tissues can be damaged very easily, and you could end up with pressure ulcers.

 

You need to check with your doctor about the reasoning for low dose Lasix before you increase the dose. Your doctor may know of a reason why you cannot take a larger dose.

Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience: 36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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