Baby steps

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Look, look at that! Do you see what I’m seeing?? Those are COMPRESSION STOCKINGS on my visible legs!

OK, I realize they are skin-colored and the lighting isn’t great in the photo so maybe it is hard to see. But people. Those. Are. Compression. Stockings.

Truly inspired by own post about wearing lymphedema proudly (funny how that works, eh?), I decided to rip off the bandaid and debut my compression stockings at work.

Ok, ok, I wore cropped pants so there’s not that much showing to begin with. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Since switching to flat-knit stockings I’ve become much more self-conscious about people seeing them — they look a lot more like a sock (if that’s the right way to describe it) than the circular knit (they look more like panty hose) and they have a huge seam that runs up the back of the stockings.

That’s one small step for Grace, a giant step for mankind.

Alrighty, I’m getting ahead of myself. In all seriousness though, this day was major for me.

What ultimately made me decide to take the leap was that I realized that by hiding my compression garments in shame and embarrassment, I’m only doing a disservice to lymphedema advocacy and awareness. So what if people stare? Maybe they’ll ask questions, and then I can tell them about lymphedema. It’s an opportunity to educate and raise awareness.

The moral of the story? I survived. Yeah, there were a few times in particular that I was self-conscious about whether people were staring at my legs (can you say walking up the escalator??), but all in all it really didn’t change my day all that much. What it DID do was that I actually wore my compression garments on a hot summer day (also an accomplishment) and at the end of the day I realized my legs hadn’t felt that good at the end of a workday in quite a long while. Now if that isn’t a reason to actually wearing my stockings more often…

I’m super proud of myself, and I see it as just the beginning. It will probably still be awhile until I wear my stockings with anything knee-length, but I’m confident it will happen one day!


Have you taken any baby steps lately toward owning your lymphedema story?

7 comments

  1. Helen says:

    Fantastic that looks really good … Life becomes easier when you are not rying to hide… And a great opportunity to educate others…
    X

  2. Leslie says:

    Grace,

    You go, girl. I’m living in a very warm climate and had to totally rethink how to dress in the heat with compression hose, waist to toes. This is my first summer in compression…so I’ve opted for pretty, loose summer dresses, just above or below the knee. I have toeless tights, and treat myself to pedicures and pretty painted toes. Most people don’t notice the hose unless I mention it! My sandals have straps across the foot, which helps to hide the end of the hose. More camouflage.

    People notice a lot less than you think, so try to let go of your embarrassment. Dress in whatever way makes you feel good!

    Leslie

    • GracefulLymphedema says:

      I commend you for living in a warm climate! Sometimes I want to move to San Francisco just for the weather 😉 And yes, I’m all for the sandals with straps (Birkenstocks are my choice) that show the end of the stocking. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Sarah Bramblette says:

    I used to not want to show my compression garments, then one day shopping friends wanted me to try on a skirt and skort and I said no, people will see my garments, they replied “we see your garments anyway between your pants and shoes. Oh snap, well in that case! Skirts and dresses abound and yes even capris!

    • GracefulLymphedema says:

      It’s amazing how we can project our insecurities onto others, when in fact, they don’t even care :) Thank you for sharing!

  4. Jane says:

    It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I stopped worrying about what people thought about me. Sometimes it still slips in but then I push it right back out. You have great legs, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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