Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Daddy Long Legs

I don't like spiders very much....and I don't like spider veins either...especially now that skirts and dresses are back in style...and I'd like to start wearing them more often.

After I had kids I got terrible spider veins...that's not to say that it wasn't worth it...I do love my kids...during my first pregnancy I was still in my late 20s so I didn't notice as many of those creepy crawlers all over my legs...but then after my son was born and I was in my 30s they seemed to reappear...and then when I reached my forties it was out of control...the webs were there for good.

I think it was after I had kids that I started wearing pants all the time...after I had kids I was just so busy in the mornings trying to get them dressed and myself dressed it was easier to put on a pair of pants or a pants suit versus putting on stockings. The stockings always got a run or I'd have to hand wash them ...it was just too much work to maintain stockings...so I stopped wearing skirts and dresses.

A year ago I decided to try skirts again. My kids were grown so there was no one else to dress anymore except myself. I bought a flared black skirt because I knew I could wear black stockings with it...plus it looked good on my pear shape. You cannot see through black stockings...so those ugly veins were hidden away.

This year I ventured into new territory and bought a brown brocade a-line skirt. I decided a-line skirts also look good on petite pear shapes. But what was I going to wear on my legs???...no beige stockings for me...I could not wear beige stockings with the brown skirt...you can see those spider veins through beige stockings. I was so happy when I found brown tights (just like the Danskin tights I used to wear when I was a child)...heavy, heavy tights...no one was going to see through those dark brown tights...no peeking through for my daddy long legs.

I wish they had as many creams for spider veins as they do for wrinkles on the face. One of my friends had a procedure where they get rid of your spider veins. It was a pretty stressful procedure and she said she had to wear heavy stockings on her legs. Not sure I could go through with that type of procedure. Although after doing some research on the internet it looks like there are new laser procedures that get rid of spider veins. Now that could be my 50th birthday present to myself.

But what will I do this spring while I'm still 49...how will I wear pretty skirts and what about that pretty green wrap dress that I saw in Macy's new spring advertisement.

Summer is a whole other story...notice I haven't said anything about wearing bathing suits...that is totally out...on top of the spider veins I have to deal with the lilly white skin...that is unless I decide to have my body spray tanned every weekend...will have to talk about bathing suits at another time.

I found some tips for preventing varicose veins on mayoclinic.com (think they are similar to spider veins...I'm sure I have some of both...there are so many lines on my legs). Mayo had some helpful tips:

There's no way to completely prevent varicose veins. But improving your circulation and muscle tone can reduce your risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional ones. (That's not an encouraging first line for a 49 year old female baby boomer):

Exercise. Get your legs moving. Walking is a great way to encourage blood circulation in your legs. (I do walk on the treadmill at the gym...this is a little more encouraging.)

Watch your weight, and your diet. Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off your veins. What you eat makes a difference, too. Follow a low-salt, high-fiber diet to prevent the swelling that may result from water retention and constipation. (I try to watch my weight...I don't necessarily follow a low-salt diet... yes on the fiber... thanks to my favorite Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal and my Kashi Good Friends Cinnamon Raisin Cereal most mornings.)

Watch what you wear. Avoid high heels. Low-heeled shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for your veins. Don't wear tight clothes around your waist, legs or groin. Tight panty-leg girdles, for instance, can restrict circulation. (Who wears panty-leg girdles anymore...not me...maybe I should...it would likely help with my pear shape and provide the necessary tummy tuck I need...glad to hear that I should not wear heels since I cannot wear high heels anyway...and flats are in style this spring...now I will have to go buy those cute patent leather flats I saw in the Bloomies catalog...I like this tip.)

Elevate your legs. To improve venous circulation, take several short breaks daily to elevate your legs above the level of your heart. For example, lie down with your legs resting on three or four pillows. (Now how am I supposed to follow this tip???...maybe when I'm home on the weekend...but I rarely sit down...except when I'm at my computer and then my legs aren't in the air...can you see me doing this at work...especially not good if I want to wear skirts or dresses more often!)

Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Make a point of changing your position frequently to encourage blood flow. Try to move around at least every 30 minutes. Don't sit with your legs crossed. This position can aggravate circulation problems.(I do have a habit of sitting with my legs crossed...after so many years it likely has contributed to my spider veins...I am going to make a conscientious effort to keep my legs separated...its hard...but I'm going to try.)

So, I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do about the skirts for the spring...and the dresses for the spring...and my legs for the spring. I think I'll just have to go shopping and first see if I find any skirts and dresses...then I'll see about those legs. Spring is still a few weeks off...so there's still time to decide...any suggestions?



Dorothy said...

I love your blog and your spirit!!!Thanks letting me know about your site. You've hit a nerve with the spider veins and lily white skin. I share your pain. (and we all know that by sharing the pain, we lessen the pain). Kudos to you for sharing. Love ya! Dorothy

Rhea said...

Hi, fellow boomer. I am 48, so a bit behind you. Here we go. Ugh.

Joyce said...

I love skirts and dresses in the spring! You should wear them regardless of how your legs might look. (You are your own worst critic.) Bare skin is in, stockings are out. So just avoid the mini skirts and wear a longer, flowy skirt. Keep your toenails painted nicely to draw attention there. And since you love to rationalize, look at it this way:

As a petite woman wearing flats and a longer skirt, your legs will barely be seen by anyone of average height or taller anyway!