Do you have sore or tired legs? Recently had a surgical procedure on your legs?
Then compression hose are for you!
They come in full or knee-length, different sizes according to your height, and either dress, athletic, or casual styles.
There's only one problem: getting them on!
I recently had a minor surgical procedure done above one knee. Since companies don't make support hose for single legs, Laurie, the doctor's assistant, asked what my height was. After I told her, she returned with a pair of skin-toned compression stockings and some thin rubber gloves.
"These should fit," she said, "They're casual, and not too thick. Please wear them for two days, but take them off at night." She had a smirk on her face.
The stockings looked like Pantyhose, with the standard construction of a strong elastic band at the waist and nylon covering the hips and buttocks thicker than the leg portion. If these were the thinnest variety, I pictured the thicker ones resembling an alligator's skin. "What are the gloves for?" I asked.
"You'll see. First, sit down on the examining table so I can help." She handed me the gloves to put on, put another pair on herself, and sat on a low stool at my feet.
"Many patients think this is just like putting on Pantyhose. It's not. The first thing you do is scrunch up the hose in your hands all the way down to the ankle. That way you can put your foot in without getting it caught."
She handed me one scrunched-up leg. The flesh-colored nylon that filled my entire hand was at least three times the thickness of a Pantyhose. I slipped it over my foot. So far, so good!
"OK, now pull the hose up about six inches. It's much thicker than Pantyhose, so don't expect it to go farther than that. You'll have to straighten it every few inches. The gloves will let you get a firm grip." From the floor she helped the hose go north of my ankle. "You try the rest of the leg."
The opening for my upper thigh was about the size of my fist. "Are you serious? I have to put that over my thigh? I feel like an elephant trying to get into a pail."
"Keep working every few inches."
At first I pulled so hard I thought the stuff was going to rip. Then I jumped down from the table and twisted. I squirmed. I thrashed. I got the damned nylon up to the middle of my thigh but by then sweat was dripping into my eyes so I couldn't see. Laurie was trying to stifle her laughter. She handed me some paper towels.
"It is pretty funny," I said, sitting back down on the examining table. "I felt a twinge in my abdomen. Maybe I pulled a muscle there I didn't know I had!" The stocking was binding my thigh like a lasso pulled tight. "Maybe I've got some blog material here." I began to laugh with her.
"Now the other leg," Laurie said. She left me on my own for that one.
"Can I try it without the glove?" I asked, thinking I'd get a better grip with my very sweaty hands. It felt as if my first leg had a tourniquet around it. I began to feel pins and needles creeping along the seam and looked down to make sure the leg wasn't turning purple.
"Sure, go ahead," she said.
I removed the gloves and held them upside down. They dripped moisture as though I'd used them in a tennis match. I scrunched up the other leg all the way down and tried to put the wad over my foot. My hands slipped and my foot got caught half-way up the wad. So much for bare hands! I put the gloves back on, got my second foot in, and jumped down from the table.
At mid-thigh level on the second leg, I felt as if I'd played three sets of hard tennis. "There's no way the rest of me is going into this opening," I said to Laurie, holding open the elastic that was supposed to go around my waist.
She just kept grinning from the floor. "Just a few inches at a time," she said.
My hips weren't the problem. It was my butt. I've never had a small butt, even when I was twelve years old. It's a wonder I was able to get off the ground during all the years I was a cheerleader! You would think the exercises I've done for years at the fitness center and all the tennis I play would have made it smaller.
I began to do the twist, pulling the nylon over my butt first on the right side, then on the left. Laurie clapped from the floor. Next I pulled up the waistband and jumped up and down. Too bad I couldn't get a few jumping jacks in, but I'd had enough exercise for one day. "Just a few more inches," she said. "Maybe your husband can help you tomorrow."
That sent me flopping back on the table in hysterics as I pictured Charley stuffing me into a sausage casing from the floor. "Are you sure I can't leave them on tonight?" I asked.
"Trust me. You won't want to!"
- Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
- Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in English, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with MA from R.I. School of Design. Barking Cat Books published my first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. My humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. In 2018 Barking Cat Books published my SURVIVING YOUR DREAM VACATION: 75 RULES TO KEEP YOUR COMPANION TALKING TO YOU ON THE ROAD. See website By CLICKING HERE.