Smile again: the scoop on varicose vein stripping (3)

  • I love all the traffic on the varicose vein posts here and here. Any other operations you'd like to see featured? :-) But seriously, I'd love to hear your comments. Was the information useful? Anything missing? Let me know!
  • I realized that some of you might want to know why I chose the stripping method, which a lot of sites call "old-fashioned" (or words to that effect). I had the choice of getting the veins stripped or getting them lasered. At first I thought the laser treatment would be better, less invasive etc. But two things made me decide to get them stripped.
  1. The area around the veins would have to be numbed before the laser treatment. That involves putting a thing all the way through the veins and inching it back, injecting anesthetic fluid every so often. According to the surgeon that would be about 10-15 injections. Per leg. This did not sound attractive to me at all. I've had anesthetic injections before and they aren't fun.
  2. Since the veins have to collapse and heal, I would have had to wear compression stockings for six weeks. This wasn't necessary with the stripping method. Apparently there are studies suggesting that six weeks after stripping, there's not any (or much) difference between patients who wore compression stockings and patients who didn't.

    The scoop on varicose vein stripping (2)

    • So I got a whole lotta traffic on the varicose vein post. Made me smile. I'm also one of those people that searches the whole web for pictures and descriptions of any procedure I may undergo, any product I'm thinking of buying, so I get it. I'll bet y'all are begging for more.
      Here's a pic of my right leg, four weeks and a few days after the stripping.

    • Please don't think my leg is actually this exact shape. :-) It wasn't easy to get the leg in the right position and take a picture with my other hand, while not being able to see the little camera screen. Also, I have very pale skin. I just do. So any marks look more intense in the photo than they do in real life.
      Anyhoo. As you can see there are several little scars in various stages of healing. A couple of them are already healed; I remember I had nine little incisions and two of them don't even show on the pic. So these little scars are gradually fading and I don't think there will really be anything to see after a while.
      You can also see a few spider veins I can have treated at some point. Too bad I didn't think to take a "before" pic so you could see the difference. There was a big vein lump right around those spider veins, for example, and a couple big ones halfway down my calf. All gone now!
      In the first post about the operation I mentioned having a reaction to the dissolvable stitches, but that turned out to be just some fluid that collected there; apparently that's normal. (And it's gone now.)
    • I don't think about the operation during a typical day, because I'm not reminded of it anymore. I don't feel bruising or tightness, and I can do everything I'd normally do. Isn't that great?
    • Information about how I made the decision to have the stripping here.

    Ahhh. What a relief!

    • I ended a relationship today. (Not the one I wrote about in my previous post.) This wasn't a virulent relationship like the one with my family member, but it had been eating at me for some time. There were no fights during the almost three years we knew each other, and a lot of good things. I learned important things from this person and for those things I will always be grateful.
      But at some point in the last year or so the relationship ran out of steam. It happens. That doesn't necessarily mean anyone's at fault; sometimes you've just said everything you can say to each other. Our mistake was not recognizing that. There were hints both ways, but neither of us took the initiative of saying it was time to move on. The result was a really draggy year in which we didn't look forward to seeing each other, but hoped that we would enjoy it sometime again.
      That didn't happen. We saw each other for the last time several weeks ago, we agreed that that would be the last time, and that seemed to be fine. But today some unspoken feelings reared their heads, and the relationship saw its only above-board confrontation. I said what was on my mind; the other person did the same. It wasn't fun, but it needed to happen. 
    • In retrospect we both could have avoided the final confrontation by speaking out earlier in the relationship. We had understandable reasons for not doing so, but it meant that we spent a year ignoring the elephant in the room. Everyone's done that. It's perfectly human and we'll all do it again sometime. The problem is, it costs a lot of energy, energy we can use positively. That in itself is a reason to speak up.
      The other reason is perhaps more subtle. It's actually a social lie to keep a relationship going that's not benefiting the people in it. Again, that's something we all do sometimes. And sometimes it's useful in other ways, for example, if you desperately need a job at the moment and you consciously decide to "deal with it" in order to keep the job. But there's something poisoning about it, especially in a personal relationship. Being honest with one's self and with another person is an expression of a "lovingkindness" we need to cultivate.
    • That being said, the final confrontation between me and the other person was actually a relief. It was crystal clear that we disagreed on some key points and would not agree on them again. That's the "closure" we all keep hearing about, and I've got to say, it feels great. Light. With freed-up energy. I'm happy. It's a good feeling.