Today was my post-op appointment with one of the surgeons that worked on my venous leg. (There were two surgeons–I do have long legs!) This was the first time I met Dr. Tinker. She was pleasant and sometimes so honest that it made me laugh and cringe at the same time. She had me stand up and said, “Wow! You really are very tall. I saw you spread on the table and knew you were tall but didn’t really know HOW tall!” Seriously, how can you not like a woman that says with a smile, “saw you spread on the table”?
Dr. Tinker examined my leg, ripped off the rest of the steri strips that clung to the tiny holes that map my leg from groin to calf, and talked to me about pain. We discussed the discomfort I’ve been having with my calf and in my upper thigh. I have lots of sore, hard spots that are essentially blood clots just under the surface. (Sounds scary, but is apparently normal.) With time the clots will dissipate, but I may have the pain for up to 2 months.
As I stood in front of Dr. Tinker, she pointed out that some of the swelling in my leg will go away. She had me turn around and as she looked at my calf she let out a little sigh. I turned back around, sat down on the table and she said, “I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed. Some of the veins on the back of your leg are still there. I like my work to be clean!” She also explained that on my upper thigh….I already have new varicose veins forming.
Let me repeat that. In just two weeks since the surgery, I already have new varicose veins forming.
As she said this, I nodded and bit the inside of my cheek so I wouldn’t cry. The doctor explained that yes, I do have severe venous disease and unfortunately, I could have this surgery done each year and would just have to keep coming back. Every damned year I could do this.
Don’t get me wrong. There are way worse things to have to go through, we all know that. I think just for today I wanted to mourn the fact that I will never, ever have nice looking legs. “Oh, pish posh! Who cares?!?” you may say. Well…let me put it this way. When you have been fat, really fat, then worked very hard on losing 85 pounds and then you run and lift weights and look pretty good while wearing clothes, then just once, JUST ONCE you want to show off those gams you’ve worked hard for. They are long and lean and look good in leggings, but without that cover-up they currently look like this:
So….I’m angry. I’m really pissed off. I’m also very sad. I’m going to feel sorry for myself for today and possibly tomorrow…..and then I’m going to get over it.
The good news is I no longer have the constant ache in my leg AND I was given the go ahead to run. I may experience pain for a few weeks or months, but I’m grateful to just know I can run. I won’t be harming myself any more than my heritage has already done (both of my parents have varicose veins) so I might as well go ahead and do something that makes me feel good and is essentially good for me, right?
Tomorrow morning I will pull on my ugly compression stockings, plug those buds into my ears, tie up my shoelaces and step outside. I may have to grit my teeth through those few miles I plan on running, but I will be damned grateful I can run at all.