Monday, August 17, 2009
One of the charming side-effects of having a massive clot take up apparently permanent residence in your leg (along with the whole constant threat of imminent death by P.E.), is that blood has a hard time travelling back up to your heart which results in some rather uncomfortable swelling of the leg in question.
Fortunately, compression stockings (combined with drugs) go a long way towards easing this.
Unfortunately, I hate them.
Because really, any garment that requires a daily battle involving textured rubber gloves to get me into it is bound to cause some resentment.
In cooler weather they tend to fall down, which just feels wrong (think stepping into a still wet bathing suit), unless I wear snug pants. Trying to discreetly adjust thigh-high stockings while bundled up in public often results in antics worthy of Mr. Bean in church (in a wet bathing suit).
Worse than that however, is the summer, when the rubber that keeps the damn things up, bites into my upper thighs and leaves seriously irritating blisters all the way around them.
This, and the fact that my legs aren't the same size, is the reason why I generally only wear one on my bad leg. Unfortunately, the "flesh tone" of the stockings I wear in the summer is not particularly close to the tone of my actual flesh and so, when I go out in a skirt or shorts, it does catch people's attention from time to time. What shocks me, is how many of them are vocal about noticing. I've had strangers do everything from visibly pointing out my leg to their friends, to stopping in their tracks to quiz me about it.
This weekend I braved a pair of shorts and told myself it was just too hot to care whether people were staring. Sure enough, people were. I'd like to assume it was because I just look so damn cute in shorts, but a young woman at Sparta's rugby game neatly burst that bubble by asking "why the stocking?"
I try to laugh it off. I generally throw on a bright smile and explain that it's a medical thing, I try to remember that most people just haven't encountered a young woman with my particular brand of medical mystery but the temptation to respond "Oh damn, I must have been drunk when I got dressed again" or worse, to say "I have a life-threatening condition that requires me to wear this, thanks for bringing it up," is strong.
Because as much as I can, for the most part, convince myself that it's no big deal and things could be so much worse than having people look at me and think "Fashion moron," a little self-consciousness creeps in. As does the more depressing reminder of why I'm wearing the thing in the first place. I have yet to come up with what I feel like is a satisfactory response for complete strangers who feel they have the right to know why I'm attired so outrageously.
To be honest, I'm not sure that I wouldn't ask someone my age the same question, and I'm usually not offended if someone asks me once we've already struck up a conversation but I can't help but wish people didn't feel quite so free to comment on my appearance just because I look young and healthy.