The surgical stocking reprieve


We finally have a summer – 30 degrees, sunshine, baking hot – and I’m wearing full length dark green surgical stockings 24 hours a day with a 1/2 hour reprieve for washing.

That 1/2 hour a day is heavenly, but it goes so fast. The feeling when they are taken off is such a relief. I can almost feel the blood draining back into my legs and feet – even though my legs are swollen and my little feet look like hobbit feet.

The theory is, and I quote from Wikipedia, “compression stockings use stronger elastics to create significant pressure on the legs, ankles and feet. Compression stockings are tightest at the ankles and gradually become less constrictive towards the knees and thighs. By compressing the surface veins, arteries and muscles, the circulating blood is forced through narrower circulatory channels. As a result, the arterial pressure is increased, which causes more blood to return to the heart and less blood to pool in the feet.”

Apparently surgery on the pelvis and legs can significantly increase the risk of DVT, even though I’m probably exercising and moving about as much as I usually do, given that my job is online based so I don’t move much anyway. I was back at work on Day 6 post hip replacement surgery!

I tried tanning my legs in the little sun there was pre op, knowing I was going to have to wear these for 6 weeks or so post op, but isn’t it just typical that, given our ghastly summer last year, that this year would be glorious while I was having to wear them. They are hot, tight and dig into my swelling and bruises. Talc was suggested, but it really doesn’t seen to make much difference, with the possible exception being to my bedroom carpet. I was bruised from waist to ankle, but it is clearing gradually now. My right leg unfortunately is a greenish yellow all over now that clashes nastily with the jade green of the stockings. Just as well no one can see it when they are on!

I had a little trip out yesterday. I know I’m supposed to be confined to barracks for 3 weeks and then just close to home, but I was going stir crazy. We had an exciting (!!) trip to Waitrose. My husband went in for a wheelchair. Now that is like being on a fairground ride without the confidence that the ride has been security and safety tested! I then had a wheel chair trolley attached to the front so my husband could collect the shopping. What fun we had! Me in a pretty summer dress with jade green thick surgical stockings on a baking hot day being pushed around in an ultra long unwieldy vehicle by my, fortunately better driver, husband. What a sight we must have looked 🙂

But here I am again today, on a rare day when I am thankful we have a cool dark shady living room, with a fan blowing, and the ever present stockings. I should be thankful. Lovely weather and also only 4 weeks to go! ….. and maybe just an extra sneaking 1/2 hour off this evening …..


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