Dear Varicose Veins…It’s Been Real

IMG_0557There are certain unseemly rites of passages mothers experience, usually within their mid to late thirties and most always after multiple babies. For some it’s the dreaded stretch marks that defy nine months of aggressive coconut oil lubing. For others, it’s hip fat that’s here to stay despite every Paleo Diet promise or boobs that have waved the white flag to gravity after breastfeeding through a decade. For me, it was varicose veins, a hereditary blessing that results in thigh-long engorgements ruining any chances of wearing shorts, swimsuits or Victoria’s anything without visually offending the masses.

It’s awful for all, but I felt especially grieved when making it to my third child before looking downward one day to discover the first trace of bulging capillary. What the-awww HECK no!!! I’ve drunk a gallon of water a day, jogged through winters in CT to ensure circulatory perfection and this is what I get: green, veiny treachery running from my crotch to my knee cap. This mutiny against my own body might have been less disturbing if I had any other womanly assets intact. But since I’ve basically evolved to a 5’9 version of Skeletor, losing any boobs after nursing and any trace of Anglo-Saxon booty when I hit 32 (like, seriously, what the heck?), this veiny attack was unacceptable. The stems are all I got. Take them away, and I’m basically reduced to an extended femur bone. So with a few emboldened clicks on the worldwide web one solitary eve, I found my haven of hope: The Vein Center of Connecticut. Removes veins in the matter of hours. Hmmm…..

I felt a hardy sense of guilt, pondering this option at first. Spending money on such a vain endeavor.  Being haunted by that II Peter verse with a virtuous woman’s beauty coming from the inside. Reminding myself I’ll never be a Sally Hansen Legs model, and the check engine light that’s been on since August begs more maintenance than my legs. But then I realized that wasn’t a sense of guilt I felt. It was the ever-present pressure weighing my dern leg down because of my gimpy blood flow. Nope, I’m not adorning my hair with jewels, or measuring my worth in fine linen, dear Peter. I’m takin’ back what the devil stole: my ability to wear trendy spring rompers this season.

So when I awoke last Friday I felt the exact opposite of the typical dread one might feel the day of microsurgery. It felt like Christmas, come early. I sped to that office with the gusto of a spring breaker set for Cancun.

“Are you nervous Ms. Kastner?”
“Heck no, yank these suckers out!” Kind of like childbirth being a “good pain,” where you know you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful baby at the end of the journey. Except in this case you get two summer-ready legs and a Motrin prescription. God is good, in both cases.

The only thing I slightly regretted was refusing the Xanax prescription for anxiety. Jesus is on my side, people, pedal it elsewhere. However there were moments, just fleeting moments, between the random poking of holes through my legs when it might have helped to have industrial strength flow of alprazolam to ease the tension.

But all in all, operation hot legs was a good experience. After the first hour of “prep,” when you’re needled to numbness, Magda the vein tugger takes over, literally pulling strands of veins through spaghetti sized holes in your legs. This woman plugged away at that leg with the fever and precision of a concert harpist. Hands from heaven, I tell you.

And the next three hours turned out to be the most productive, enjoyable time of my week. I knocked out a day’s worth of emails by propping my laptop on my stomach(my non-existent bosom enabling complete typing mobility, of course), then was moved to tears watching an online John Piper sermon, and even found a lawnmower on Craigslist. All while trading house hunting stories and pizza topping preferences with Magda.

Thank you Magda, and thank you Lord, for putting me on the Earth during a technological age allowing us to remove unsightly genetic fails, and thank you varicose veins, for carrying me through the birth of three children and 37 years of adventure. May you RIP.

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