Posts tagged ‘compression stockings’

May 29, 2012

Tankini and skirts

Well the new undies I mentioned in the comments broke the spell and sewing has begun again in earnest.

On reviewing Me-Made-May 12 I noticed that I have very few plain skirts and a lot of patterned tops which makes finding things that are not hugely distressing to the eye somewhat of a challenge. This had led to MMM failures or thisk week, wearing the denim skirt almost every day which appeals to my uniform tendencies but it doesn’t magically solve the washing and drying of said skirt in a timely fashion so it got more and more manky looking as the week wore on.

Friday was our wedding anniversary: 10 whole years! Who knew the Queen would be having another big bash with two bank holidays again so soon! I decided that as a gift from Mr G was unlikely, I would gift myself a day of sewing for myself. I spent a good part of the morning sitting in the sun on the front doorstep unpicking two failed attempts to fix the waist on a lime green skirt that I first sewed two years ago. It started out as a BurdaStyle bias cut, zippered A line-ish skirt with back seam and back darts that was far too wide. Then I took the zip out and cut it down to an Angry Chicken Five Minute A line skirt with FOE waistband and trimmed the hem with cream bias tape but I never really liked how the top pouffed out so I haven’t worn it.

The fabric is a kind of satiny stretch drill so sewing elastic onto the waistband again didn’t really help unless wavy is what is required so I threw this down the side of the machine and went upstairs to hunt for Plan B. This appeared in the form of a very long jersey dress that I bought at a jumble sale and only wear in winter under other because Wedgwood blue really doesn’t suit me. It was in a pile for the charity shop but I thought I would cut a skirt from it and see if that worked because I needed to have achieved something by the end of the day!

I went to the caravan for the overlocker and distracted myself pulling the seat cushions out to stand against the fence in the sun to freshen them up a bit, brought in the washing that was already dry and hoped that the machine was still threaded with navy thread so I could start straight away. It was, so I got cutting. Less than half an hour later I had a pull on,  yoga waistband skirt ready to wear with any patterned thing in my wardrobe.

Having sewn a jersey waistband on that skirt I realised that this might be the best solution for the green one too – doh! Here it is on the line. It looks better but is now a bit narrow across the thighs… so I won’t be wearing it much any time soon!

Then I hemmed El Famosisimo’s work trousers that have been waiting to be shrunk by four inches since around November. I have done a tute for this which I will post next later. As I had the overlocker out I also sewed Miss Amoo’s tankini, do you remember that word? It went with Library Card and some other obsession of the week. The pattern is from Patty Young’s Sewing Modkid Style and it went together really easily. Thankfully Miss Amoo thinks it is great and although the top front foe is a bit stretched she told me that the first thing you do is not always the best one so not to worry, I’ll do it better next time……..

I finished the hem of the top with a folded band rather than stitching a hem and it holds the top down well where it could have a tendency to roll up, I think. I cut an age 10 to fit her circumference but I needed to take 2″ off the top of the shorts after taking this photo as they were a bit too high. She has already swum in them and said the set was really comfortable once she had put the shorts on the right way round!

Thrifted dress over usual skirt with usual compression stocking. It gets a bit hot under all that lycra when the sun is beating down!

I went for a haircut on Thursday and ended up with hair quite a bit shorter than I had planned due to a hairdresser who doesn’t know me mistaking me for a boy and my usual lady having to cut it even more to make me look a *bit* more feminine!  This is the newly-sewn bottom half of dress skirt with a top half of dress top. A very cool combination which I wore two days in a row.

The denim skirt again with a Made by Rae Spring Top and a sun hat from a Japanese pattern book which I squeezed out of one leg of a pair of jeans. The sieve to the left is taped to a pole and is much better than a net for pond dipping. The hear no evil monkey was rescued by Mr G from a skip somewhere.

I have another skirt that I finished this week but haven’t taken pictures of yet. It isn’t plain at all though so I still need more plain tops!

March 12, 2012

Protein S Deficiency

What is this? Skip this post if you are more interested in sewing!

Protein S Deficiency is a genetic mutation that means that I don’t have enough Protein S to plug in to Protein C to switch off the clotting cascade when my blood clots to heal a wound. This can lead to clots happening to me when in other people nothing bad would happen.

Not very many people have this deficiency and it seems that most of those who know they have it spend a lot of time online trying to find other people who do. I have yet to meet anyone in real life who has PSD other than other members of my family but the beauty of the internet is that any minority can find like minded (or bodied) souls quite easily and this leads many people to this blog.

What follows are my responses to some of the questions put to Google which then leads to a page here. I thought I put these things all in one post to make it a bit easer for the searchers to find information.

What to eat if Protein S deficient? Can I eat greens with a Protein S deficiency? What about green smoothies and warfarin?

You can’t eat Protein S so don’t think that adding protein to your diet will ‘fix’ your deficiency. Nothing is going to fix it; it is just the way you are.

All over the net you will find advice to cut down on eating greens to reduce the amount of Vitamin K in your diet. This is not good advice. You need all the nutrients in green foods to keep you healthy and if you cut all these from your diet you will feel unwell after a while. Even if you are taking warfarin you still need green foods and although warfarin is battling to deactivate the Vitamin K in your body to prevent over-clotting you can still eat foods with Vitamin K in them. If this idea is a shock because you have cut greens from your diet since taking warfarin, contact your Coagulation Service and ask them if you can go back to regular testing because you want to add these foods back into your diet. It may be that you will need to increase your dose but this is fine. It is not how much you take, but the effect it has on the clotting time of your blood that matters. I take 11mg per day and I maintain a regular diet full of green things that I love like kale, spinach, salads, spring greens and chard to name a few. Don’t binge on greens one week then eat none the next or your INR will start to change wildly! Have a green smoothie one day then steamed greens the next day then salad the next day, for example.

Do I need to wear compression at night? Compression hurts my ankle. When should I start wearing compression after a DVT? Can I buy orange or green compression stockings?

Don’t wear your compression when you are lying down in bed. You don’t need it then as your blood will flow back to your heart without too much trouble and you need to let your skin breathe. This is a good time to moisturise your leg if it is getting dry and flaky too. Use downward strokes when applying any creams to minimise irritation.

Compression will relive the pain you feel when you have a new DVT. Your doctor or nurse will measure your leg and let you know what size stocking you need. You will need a medium compression, not the kind you get in flight socks. In Europe this is called Compression Class 2, in the UK it’s class 3 and in the US this would be something like 30-40 mmHg.(Let me know if I’m wrong about the US one!) Wearing the stocking will feel odd at first and it will be difficult to get it onto your leg at all at first! You will feel better able to stand up and walk once you have it on though so do persist. Your leg will get thinner so you’ll need to get remeasured after about 6 months and you might need a lower level of compression too.

If your stocking hurts your ankle it may be the wrong size or it may be losing its elasticity and wrinkling up around your ankle which will constrict the blood flow and leave grooves in your skin. I have short legs that fit my 5’0″ frame and I wear short stockings rather than regular which helps avoid wrinkling due to the stocking being too long.

You can buy pink, purple,plum, blue and hazelnut coloured stockings in low-ish compression classes from Sigvaris. They used to do green but I can’t find them now and I also haven’t found any orange ones yet. I do wear my compression (beige) with a skirt and only one adult has ever commented on it. I’m wearing mine on my left leg in this picture and it doesn’t look to bad does it? Don’t let vanity get in the way of looking after your leg. Would you like an ulcer or another DVT due to blood pooling in your veins? Of course not! If like me you have Post-Thrombotic Syndrome you are going to be in pain if you don’t wear your stocking and life is too short to spend all  your waking hours in pain.

Statins and warfarin, statins and PSD, Vitamins and PSD or warfarin.

Lots of drugs interact with warfarin in bad ways so you should always ask your doctor if this is the case for whatever they are prescribing to you. Get them to look it up in their big book and don’t rely on them remembering to take your warfarin prescription into account when prescribing something new. Even anti-biotics can affect warfarin action so be vigilant.

If you add new vitamins or supplements to your diet go back to more regular testing to see what effect these have. I have recently added Omega 3 by eating/drinking chia seeds every day to help my dry eyes. I went back to weekly testing and surprisingly the chia has had no effect on my INR which is good.

I’m not taking statins but from what I read, some of them do increase the effect of warfarin. It may be that in the future the anti-inflammatory properties of statins may be part of treatment to help prevent clotting, but who knows.

Is Protein S Deficiency a disability?

This is a tricky one. PSD sort of doesn’t matter until you get a clot so having it doesn’t affect your life although it can affect your mental well-being for a while after diagnosis. I have had a DVT and I don’t feel disabled despite not being able to stand or sit without compression. In the beginning I couldn’t drive because I had to have my leg up if I sat down at any time for any length of time. I couldn’t push Miss Amoo in a pushchair because I couldn’t bear weight on my leg so I put her in a baby carrier and went out carrying both our weights on one leg and crutches! I couldn’t walk upstairs so shuffled up on my bum and showering was tricky because I couldn’t balance well on one leg for too long. Things looked bad but I knew I could get back to sort of normal at some point because I knew that other people did so I kept trying and learned to love wearing compression. Cycling and short walks were good at first but now I can dance, ice skate and even run if I really have to!

If I had not exercised after my DVT and worked to move the fluid out of my poor fat leg and not bothered with compression I would probably feel disabled as the poor functionality of my leg and my pain levels I had at first would have persisted and that would affect everything I do.

The clots can happen out of the blue and you don’t really have a choice about that, but you do have choices about how you deal with things afterwards. Read the Protein S Deficiency forum, join the Facebook group , wear your stockings, take your warfarin, keep active and stay cheerful.

I am not a doctor. I am an informed patient who takes advice from professionals whenever I am in doubt. Please do the same before changing anything about your lifestyle.

February 16, 2012


It must be nearly spring? Surely? I see snowdrops and the start of daffs too round here and they are small signs aren’t they?

I was hoping to get a box with new compression stockings in it today as I’ve got a party to go to and I need a ‘skin’ coloured stocking to wear with the ‘James Bond’ dress code. During the winter I wear a black stocking and match it with a black sock on the other leg or with a random sock that no-one can see under a long skirt or trousers. This is not a good look with a dress, high heels and a bare right leg.

I ordered new stockings last week and for the first time ever, Juzo made a mistake with my order and sent me the wrong ones. My current stockings are getting a bit slack and that makes me feel less comfortable than I would like. If they can be put on and taken off without a struggle then they’re past their prime. If I approach anything like Nora Batty wrinkles in the stocking I get more pain because the blood that should go back to my heart gets stuck in my leg.

The postman came and he had this box, not a stocking box. Good and bad news!

I haven’t opened it yet but having received a box like this last year from the Potato Council I can tell you that there are probably six seed potatoes in there and two black potato growing sacks along with a load of blurb about how to engage school children with potato growing. Last year we grew a good few dinner’s worth of potatoes and tipping the bags out and hunting for the potatoes is like finding treasure in dirt.

The bags will be parked in the garden and filled with compost that will need to be scraped out of the bottom of the compost tardis but the garden is a total mess at the moment and I think I need to make a trip to the dump before I can show you any pictures of anything out there!

Hopefully the stockings will arrive tomorrow.

July 29, 2010


I set off and I’m not sure I want to go anywhere but I don’t want to be indoors. Then after a while I get a rhythm and I can’t stop walking.

I think I have spent my whole walking life looking for short cuts. I remember walking to school and working out that there was a reason why crossing diagonally across a patch of grass was shorter than walking round the the sides of it and as we were often short of time or wet, or cold, walking on wet grass was always worth it for the moments saved.

Even when I got the cycling bug and was able to ride my bike to school I still looked for the most direct route: slipping down alleyways or cutting through odd estates (slightly scary in some parts of Portsmouth) and doing slightly dangerous manoeuvres at junctions that I wouldn’t dream of now that I am a responsible-ish person.

Before I learned to drive at almost 30 years old I knew every short cut from my house to anywhere I needed to go and I was acutely aware that taking a wrong turn was a huge waste of precious time and to be avoided at all costs. Driving let me forget all this. I drove for fun, on adventures, down roads I didn’t know just so see where they went and to places that weren’t on the way to anywhere else. Oh how cheap petrol was back in the noughties!!

Now I am walking alone on my way to nowhere and thinking about how to make my journey longer, an unfamiliar habit which is growing on me. I don’t have any sportswear or walking shoes and I don’t carry anything with me; I just open the door and set off ignoring all the usual short cuts and planning ways to get further away from home. I add loops to my route and try to pick roads which are quiet without too much traffic noise and smell whilst avoiding passing the houses of people I know and don’t really want to see, or for them to see me. Some days I feel like I could start walking and not stop. I’d be a crazy woman in Lidl croc-a-likes walking to John O’Groats by accident then turning round and walking back again.

Why? I’m not exactly sure but all of a sudden I want to get away. I don’t feel very creative and I can’t sew because I don’t have enough free head space or real space to get started. I’m thinking about sewing a lot of things but I’m frustrated in my attempts to actually do it partly because people have piled their crap on top of the machine cabinet. I’m bored with working in our business, I hate cleaning up after five other people and trying to keep us from drowning in piles of clothes and paper and shoes and I need to get away from the wantiness, bickering and shrieking that punctuates my day. I’m also becoming more aware that my DVT leg isn’t that strong and I need to do something about it so that I don’t fall over when I’m skating or swim in circles in the pool.

This little creature has been walking around our garden in the daylight which is apparently what some young hedgehogs do when they don’t yet understand the rules of nocturnalism. S/he isn’t unwell or injured, just a bit dim and very sweet.