An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Choosing to Act

I am a cautious person. With decisions I ponder, mull, and consider all the facts.

And when it comes to questions of health, I don't like to take risks.

What am I talking about? Well, I have varicose veins AND venus reflux disease in my legs. There. I bet you didn't know that about me. Varicose veins...ugh. I even hate the words.

For years I simply ignored them and dressed accordingly: long, wide-legged pants, long skirts, stylish black tights in the winter, etc.

What I couldn't ignore was the fact was that they were painful, caused swelling, and were the reason for which, during my third pregnancy, I had a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in my right leg.

But the time came when I was tired of dealing with them. I was tired of planning my wardrobe around them. I was tired of having to elevate them. I was tired of hearing myself complain about them. And I was tired, very tired, of being afraid to do something.

So I did something.

I was referred to a vascular surgeon who is an expert in the field of VNUS closure, a minimally invasive procedure that closes a defective vein using radio frequecy waves. Since he diagnosed venous reflux in seven of my superficial veins, he said that taking care of the problem veins in four surgical procedures would relieve the strain they were placing on my deep vein system (which, thankfully, is disease-free).

So yesterday I underwent the first of what will be three outpatient surgeries (we're still haggling with the insurance company about the 4th one).

And it was fine. My husband took me in at 6:15 a.m. for the procedure, and by 7:40 a.m. we were driving back home. My leg was bandaged from ankle to thigh, but this morning I took it off and, other than a single stitch and some tenderness, there was no bruising or swelling.

One down, three to go . . .

Will it help? So far, so good. My doctor says that I will thank him every day for the rest of my life . . . I plan to hold him to that.

For now I am content that I faced my fears and chose to do something.

And boy does that feel really, really good.


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

Wonderful news. I can't tell you how relieved I was to read, "And it was fine."

Taking care of our own health is something we moms tend to put last. I'm glad you're taking care of yourself.

Thanks for doing that! You matter to others.

Tiziana said...

Sono contenta che hai preso questa decisione. Io sono stata operata anni fa ad entrambe le gambe, però mi sono state tolte le vene e perciò è stata una cosa più complicata.
Brava! Hai fatto benissimo.

Laura's Husband said...

I have friends who have done this with great success.
Good for you.

Laura's Husband said...

(That's Me...Laura above.) My husband was logged in and I didn't know.)

Suburban Correspondent said...

Vascular surgeon, you say? I'm finding one - pronto!

Bia said...


When I opened my email and saw two emails from "Laura's husband" I thought he was trying to organize a surprise blogging party for you. I was all set to hop on over and wish you a happy birthday or a happy anniversary!

Happy Birthday, anyway!

Kathryn said...

I'm so very glad to hear all went well, good for you for taking a chance and I hope you do end up thanking that doc for the rest of your life. V. veins is no fun!!