Interviewer: Do you remember when you started asking questions, like ‘What is going on?’ and ‘Why is my body like this?’
Shana: The hardest part was at every doctor’s appointment they just told me I was obese. That was it and all they would tell me is I had to lose weight. I was in high school when I started weight watchers. I have been on every weight loss journey there is. My background is I was a pharmacy technician and I expanded into durable medical equipment and compression. I worked in the compression field for over 10 years and never heard the word lipedema.
Probably about 15 years into my career, I saw a picture of lipedema and asked my husband, does my body look like this? And he said yes. I thought - there is a reason for this!
Interviewer: You’ve probably had a lot of struggles with weight loss, can you share with us some of those struggles?
Shana: I have had 2 weight loss surgeries, the first in 2008. I was probably 285lbs at the time which marks me as severely obese. I had the gastric lap band surgery and was happy with the weight loss. It was successful for about 5 years, until I had to have emergency surgery when the band moved. After this emergency surgery and a hysterectomy, I gained 100lbs in 3 months.
In 2016, I started my weight loss surgery again and had the gastric sleeve surgery. After this surgery, I had weight loss and was happy, but the majority of my weight loss was in my upper body but not in my hips or legs. Weight loss surgery is a good thing, but you better be prepared because it’s not going to be what you think it might be.
Interviewer: Tell us about the sensitivity that comes along with lipedema.
Shana: I have always had pain and sensitivity in my legs and upper arms. I always thought that was normal, I would get bruises so easily.
Interviewer: Can you share with us your compression journey? Having worked in compression, I know that you have tried many options.
Shana: When I worked at the pharmacy, I was offered compression from many of the reps that would come in but for years, I never tried it. After I got my diagnosis, I tried Knee High compression and it felt great. After my first weight loss surgery, I got a custom Elvarex pantyhose in Class 2 and it was too much compression, I could tolerate them for an hour or two but had to take them off. When Elvarex Soft came out, I tried that in the lowest compression and I was able to wear those for about 5 hours, it was better but still couldn’t wear them all day. Last year, JOBST® came out with JOBST® Confidence and I can’t tell you how exciting it is, people said to me this is a product you sell but it is also a product I wear. It has made a turnaround difference for me and my lipedema. It is crazy what the difference has been. I love the pantyhose and I can wear them all day.
Watch back our Facebook live with Shana Grantham on our Facebook page: https://fb.watch/gR44H3qTHF/
Find out more about the products Shana mentions below.
Signs and Sympoms of Lipedema
If you have questions about lipedema, know that there is a lot of information out there. Here is some additional information on lipedema: Signs and Symptoms of Lipedema - LymphCare
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Don’t sit around and go through this in silence. Share your story. Doing that was a real eye-opener for me
Claudia Lymphedema patient