Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Variscose Verbosity

(The letter 'V' has been giving me fits. I had several posts about my varicose vein treatment, which were posted four years ago when I was new to blogging. I have edited them into one, more cohesive installment. Because honestly, one story about varicose veins is one too many.)

Dedicated to Mrs. Mose, who taught 5th grade,
loved Lysol and her varicose veins
and felt that I did not use my time wisely.

Four years ago, with a flourish of lasers and lidocaine, I said goodbye to my vascular entity Vein-essa, the ridiculous varicose vein which pulsated into life while I was pregnant with our daughter. I opted to seek treatment at a free-standing vein center, where they also specialize in lasering things people no longer wish to see on their bodies.
I will spare you the boring details of the initial treatment and just leave you with the highlights:

Technician: Do you mind if we leave the door open? We're the only ones here.
Let it be noted that I am in my UNDERPANTS on an exam table.

Doctor: This is going to sting.
(As he proceeds to STAB me multiple times from upper thigh to ankle.)
Here's an interesting fact:
One side of the body feels pain more intensely than the other side.
Oh, wait. I have that wrong.
Actually it is this:
Having someone jab a tiny needle with a syringe full of vein killing solution into a vein above your shin bone hurts like someone jabbing a tiny needle with a syringe full of vein killing solution into a vein above your shin bone.
Just in case you were wondering.

Technician: Wow!
Everyone in room gets quiet. I prop up on my elbows and demand to know what was so WOW! I reassure everyone that I can handle the information.
Technician: Well, as he injected the local anesthetic there, a bunch of it sort of shot out of this hole here...like a fountain!
Internal Conversation with myself: So happy to be of entertainment value.
Me,out loud: Do I get a discount for that?

Technician: Let us know if you taste anything, smell anything or feel anything...unusual.
Internal Conversation and External Conversation, in unison: You really need to tell people that?

Doctor: Wait! She needs her goggles.
Let it be known here – I am the only one wearing goggles. I can only assume they are to protect the other people in the room when the laser shoots up my leg vein and out of my eyes. Sort of like that Nazi Movie Director at the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark...right before his face melts off.

What happened next is a blur of lasers, burning smells and several more stabbing injections after which I reminded myself and everyone in the room that I had entered into this VOLUNTARILY.
I left the office in no pain except for the pulling sensation from two rolls of tape attached to my leg where one of my stab wounds continued to bleed. I also sported a brand new pair of awesome support hose, a spare pair tucked into my purse.

I was sentenced to the support hose for four days post laser. Something about keeping the vein compressed and causing me much discomfort. I feel as though this was karmic punishment for some previous crime against humanity. I am telling you right now, you make a terror suspect wear a pair of support hose for four days and that person will talk faster than a presidential candidate can say something stupid. Feed them a bean dinner and they won't last six hours.

You think I exaggerate?
Let me paint you a little picture. Imagine sticking both feet into a rubber tube that will only stretch apart six inches. Now pull this rubber tube up both legs, avoiding the tender taped up area behind your knee. Next fling yourself on your back, both feet in the air, while you frantically try to loosen the tension caused by an excess of fabric wrapped around your calf so tight your baby toe has turned purple.
Give one, final mighty tug, thus putting your entire fist through the nylon which attaches the lower half of the tube to the upper half of the tube.
Curse, curse,curse.
You can't change pairs because the back up is in the wash so you soldier on with the now semi-disabled stockings finally ending up with so much extra compression fabric that the waistband sits just under your second rib while the crotch remains firmly hammocked halfway up your thighs.

I spent the next three days wearing two-thirds of a pair of stockings and looking like a circa 1982 'Like a Virgin' Madonna wanna be.
If only I had thought ahead . The YouTube video would have made enough money to pay for my subsequent treatments and psycho-therapy for the video's first hundred viewers.

Disclaimer: Except for the localization, this was totally painless. Unless you count the humiliation of laying around in front of total strangers in your underpants.

Disclaimer #2: The Doctor assured me that Varicose Veins are, in fact, not caused by:
Being Overweight
Not exercising enough
Exercising too much
Standing for thousands of hours
Wearing high heels
Crossing your legs
Eating too much red meat
Drinking too many rum drinks
Going Barefoot
Varicose Veins are just bad genetic luck.
So, Thanks Mom and Dad. 



  1. My husband had the same procedure because he had a clot the size of his thumb. It took six weeks to get the insurance pre-clearance. Holy cripe! They could have told us his leg would look like he got run over by a semi truck carrying a load of cattle to slaughter. I took many photos.

    1. Oh NO! Hope he is doing okay. My vein adventure was only related to uncomfortable pain due to swelling at times, and a whole lot of vanity!

  2. My dad has horrible eyesight and mom has horrible legs. So of course I got my dad's eyesight and mom's legs. Grr. Vericose veins included. But I'm too damn scared to have this procedure! So glad it turned out okay for you. You are a funny lady in telling this story!

    1. Cathy - don't be scared. It really wasn't all that bad, just comical. Except for all the tape. I hate tape...

  3. So the goggles were kind of funny...the other stuff, well, that just sounds painful. Happy you're over that episode!

    1. The goggles really cracked me up as my only other experience with lasers involved eye surgery and then WE wore the goggles as the lasers were being pointed at the patient!! (and honestly, except for the tape, it was not that bad...)

  4. That does not sound like a good time at all, glad you got through it with your humor still intact!

    1. some days it is only the humor which gets me through!

  5. I inherited enough from my Mom; thankfully I did not inherit her varicose veins. Well, I have some minor ones. They don't hurt. But, as I sit here typing with legs crossed (despite your reassurance)..um... Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I do think some things contribute to those ornery little spider veins and I wear support hose at work. But that is the end of my diligence.


Got a Hairnet sighting? Other weirdness?