The Cool Kids Wear Compression Socks
Hi. I'm Stacia. I'm in my twenties, and I have varicose veins.
I have one in particular that is a real booger of a vein. It goes from "ankle to @$$" now, but when it started it was just behind my knee. I noticed it when I was early in my twenties. I went to the doctor because it was this weird lump on the back of knee. It was dismissed as "a fatty deposit" and that was that. I tried not to notice it and figured that "someday" I would get the cosmetic surgery to remove it or laser it or whatever else my options were.
Then it got worse. I went to my chiropractor and mentioned my tight calves. He's a chiro/athletic trainer and uses more than just adjustments to treat people. He was going to work on my calves, and I mentioned the vein. Not that it hurt just that I get weird about people touching it, so if I seemed jumpy it wasn't his fault. He took a look and mentioned that it looked kinda bad. He asked if I'd seen anyone? Well no, because it's cosmetic, not something insurance would cover. Apparently, that's false.
I had no idea. I also had no idea that so many people my age wear compression socks (I thought that was something you only did when you were like 70+). I sent a Snapchat to some of my friends with my snazzy socks and mentioned the how all the cool kids are wearing compression stockings and apparently, I wasn't the only one. MULTIPLE of my friends responded with Snaps of theirs. I guess I'm just late to the compression sock party.
So, if you're in your twenties and have varicose veins, listen up. If it's bad enough, insurance might just cover it. So now the question is, how do you go about getting it removed? What do you look for?
If you're like me and they don't run in your family (that you know of), you may have no clue what to look for or think about or ask. So, as I start this journey, I'm going to share things with you. Please know, this isn't me offering you medical advice, but rather sharing my experience with you in the hopes that you may feel less alone. Not many of my friends even knew I had one, so, it's not really a "shared" experience out here for me. So, here's what I've learned so far:
Essentially, varicose veins are veins that have stopped working properly and let blood flow backwards the wrong way. This results in the veins bulging, burning, feeling painful, swelling, etc.
They can cause long term damage. I wondered "do I need to fix this now?" Apparently, that unoxygenated blood can cause skin damage. Once it has caused skin damage there is no way to reverse it.
They can run in the family, you can get them after having kids, or you can be like me and just get them. I assume it's from when I was much heavier (because it was probably the same weight some women gain with a kid), but I don't know for sure. Pregnancy can also make them worse, so if kids are in your future there's something to think about.
There are different ways to "take care" of them. The oldest way is to flat out remove them. The newer, less invasive way is to cause the walls of the vein to collapse in on themselves and seal up. This means blood is rerouted to other places. The time of healing depends on what procedures you have done and how big the vein is.
You have nerves that run near your veins when you get close to your ankle. Make sure you're going somewhere that knows this and doesn't try to do radio frequency ablation too close to your ankle.
Get a second opinion. Something felt off about the first place I went to. I got a second opinion. I learned a lot more at that appointment. I also felt more comfortable with that one. The first place that I went was going
Know that you're not alone.
I'm still debating and researching when I'm going to do this, how, where, and what's going to happen with insurance. So, I'll keep you posted. But if you have one that you're annoyed by or hurts you, I encourage you to go check out because it might not be JUST a cosmetic thing.