Blood moves through the veins of the lower extremities from bottom to top, opposing the force of gravity. So that, under her own weight, she could not descend back, there are valves in the veins - but sometimes their work is disrupted. In such cases, blood, accumulating in the vein, can stretch its walls and change shape, so that the vessels become varicosely dilated.
Most often, varicose veins are found in women, and most often on the legs, although there are other options. Risk factors include heredity, heavy weight, long standing or sitting. Age is also one of them: over the years, concomitant diseases can accumulate, and the valves "wear out". But even at a young age, you can face the disease. Anya Naumova spoke about her experience of living with varicose veins, leg surgery and the importance of talking about “awkward” topics.
When I noticed the first bulging veins in my leg seven years ago, I immediately went online looking for explanations and support. Tons of topics on women's forums have pumped anxiety levels to the skies. Perhaps my experience will be useful to another teenager who does not know what to do with bulging veins, sore legs and swelling. Varicose veins are not limited to the elderly. This is more serious than the fatigue of walking in heels, and the psychological acceptance of its consequences can be much more difficult than physical.
My varicose veins are most likely hereditary. Tracking down a specific cause is difficult - probably family genetics, smoking and general physical condition are to blame. In terms of health, I immediately flew on all fronts: my parents, succumbing to the fashion for natural childbirth, dragged me into the light right in the waters of the Black Sea, and I immediately caught staphylococcus aureus. My newborn had to be immediately taken to the hospital. And although my mom and dad raised me psychologically strong, I was sick all the time - partly because they refused to give me vaccinations.
The first manifestations of varicose veins at the age of fifteen were superimposed on general feelings about the lower body: "too big" butt, "too much" hair on the thighs. I hid my legs, tried to wear long things or leggings. By the time I was eighteen, I had a bunch of bulging veins, and my legs ached constantly. Once a year, I consistently went to a phlebologist, listened to about knitwear and injections. The first helps the veins and muscles to push blood, it is recommended to wear it at the initial stage of the disease. Sclerotherapy, however, "glues" the walls of the damaged vein, after which it again ceases to be visible, and its work is performed by other vessels. But I did not dare to interfere.
I saw a purple mess with greenery
and with threads and burst into tears. Acceptance of your changing body and the intervention of people in your body turned out to be more painful than the operation itself
They told me something about “the worsening of the situation,” but there was no particular panic in the voice of the doctors, and I scored a goal - after all, dealing with sores is expensive, long and scary. The situation worsened in the warm season, but in winter it became easier. Last summer, it became unbearable to walk: my legs hurt every day, and a sports knee pad that hides the veins from others was not enough. Veins protruded almost all over the lower leg of the left leg. My grandmother signed me up to a friend of a surgeon-phlebologist, he immediately said that the inflammation had begun, and appointed an urgent operation in a week.
If I had taken care of myself earlier, I would have got off with simple cosmetic bonding, that very sclerotherapy. Since I delayed, I had to do a phlebectomy, that is, an operation to remove a vein - the diseased vessels were pulled through a small incision in the skin. Today, these operations are rarely performed due to the trauma and long recovery period.In addition, the injections with the anesthetic were difficult for me, so in the end they underwent general anesthesia. I was so afraid of the hospital that I did not think about the recovery period at all. To survive the morning on the operating table and run away from the green walls - it seemed that I didn't need more. But the hardest part began later.
The first week after the operation, the bandage should not be removed at all, then you need to go to the dressing once a week, and then you can already cope on your own at home. When they first unwound my leg, I saw a purple mess with green stuff and thread and burst into tears. Acceptance of your changing body and the intervention of people in your body turned out to be more painful than the operation itself. The leg peeled off and itched, turned pink, turned yellow and blue. When I took off the bandages myself, I deliberately laid my foot in the sun and peered into it in order to somehow combine the images of this mess and my beloved limb in my head.
After the bandage period comes the long era of compression hosiery, which seems to be specially designed to be uncomfortable all the time. The stockings will peel off, and the tights will press on the stomach - besides, they are very difficult to put on. The first time I was able to pull them only thanks to the physical training of my young man. Now I have trained and pumped up, but the process of getting to the street still increased by ten minutes. In addition, the speed of movement drops to one kilometer per hour. After a couple of months I was able to restore the former half-run, but this was preceded by a long process of pace. Knitwear is now - with the exception of the indulgence in the summer - my lifelong companion.
We can say that in terms of sports I was "lucky" - even before the operation, I did not particularly like to strain. Now I am officially forbidden to engage in any physical activity with an effort on my legs. At parties or concerts, after fifteen minutes of dancing, the leg gets terribly tired - and finding a place to sit down is very difficult. I'm seriously thinking about buying a folding stool that can be tied to a backpack. With all my heart, I hope that at my new job I was not considered a lack of culture when I, lounging around, put my foot on the second chair. But there is nothing to be done, when sitting for a long time it must be kept in a horizontal position.
Before the operation, my knowledge about varicose veins was based on two things: the words of my grandmother and commercials. In the first case, they showed me dilated veins all the time as evidence of the dangers of smoking, in the second - as a result of walking in heels. I re-read a bunch of materials about the causes of the disease and so far I have found the only logical answer: "this is how the stars converged." Much of the matter is in heredity, which cannot be influenced.
Varicose veins can affect not only health, but also self-esteem. Legs with dilated veins are not like those that are usually considered "beautiful" - and everything is "non-standard", it is customary for us to blame and suppress. Because of this, complexes appear. To tell in the company of unfamiliar people that I have varicose veins is terribly embarrassing - sometimes it seems to me that sex has become a simpler topic of discussion than illness. Even the word itself sounds intimidating. This is largely the fault of advertising: manufacturers of ointments with might and main talk about "swelling", "fatigue" and "heaviness", but they never pronounce the name of the disease itself (neither in American nor in British clinical guidelines for the treatment of varicose veins, creams or ointments are not mentioned; major reviews of treatments include surgery, sclerotherapy, laser, but not creams. - Approx. ed.).
Varicose veins can strike not only
for health, but also self-esteem. Legs
with dilated veins do not look like those that are usually considered "beautiful" - and everything "non-standard" is customary for us to blame
In general, the most terrible consequence of varicose veins is the formation of blood clots. Thrombophlebitis threatens at least with ulcers on the skin, and at most - with death.Some of the blood clot that has come off can enter the pulmonary artery or cause a stroke. To prevent this from happening, you need to monitor the disease and engage in prevention.
Varicose veins should be treated comprehensively and following the advice of specialists - without thinking that a contrast shower and an over-the-counter cream are enough. It is very important to get tested. For example, in addition to all the components that predispose to varicose veins, I also had a very high level
D-dimer - a substance responsible for blood clotting. Very high - this is three times more than in healthy women in the third trimester of pregnancy. If I continued to endure and self-medicate, I would not even know about it.
The likelihood of relapse is high - doctors associate this with young age, hereditary and hormonal factors. There is no way to eliminate the risk, so you just have to try to keep your legs in good shape. Once a year I have to go to a phlebologist surgeon and do tests. The first year you need to constantly wear compression socks, then only on flights and in the cold season, when the load increases due to heavy winter shoes. In the summer, you need to do exercises and a contrast shower and not be in the heat.
To prevent varicose veins, you need to follow simple rules: change position more often, do not wear clothes that strongly compress the limbs, monitor your weight, move - for example, swim or walk. It is useful sometimes to lie upside down - if you are bored, you can read. The pressure drop in an airplane has a bad effect on the legs, so it is recommended to wear light compression hosiery during flights. And do not be afraid to go to the doctor: it is better to appear for prevention than to bring yourself to complications later.
Photos: teen00000 - stock.adobe.com (1, 2, 3)