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My Relationship With Support Hose

support hose and growing olderYou can find Melissa at GOODNESS.MADNESS where she shares stories about her life as a mom, wife, writer and reader. This post was originally featured there.

I am 45 years old. Which might sound quite elderly to any teenaged readers out there (just kidding, I sincerely doubt there are any teenagers reading this), but I am here to tell you that in reality, 45 is quite youthful. Especially if you plan to live to 150 like I do. The age of 45 is when you realize you probably don’t have enough in your savings but then you think, eh, I’ve got time. 45 is when plastic surgery might start to look appealing, and yet, you’re not quite panicking. You’re closer to 50 than you are to 40, but still, middle age seems ages away. 45 is the new 26! This is what you tell yourself.

And then you get your support hose.

In the spirit of absolute accuracy, I should tell you that what I have is not technically what you might consider “hose.” This is not a control top/sandal toe situation; in fact, it is for one leg only. Singular hose. Ho? That can’t be right. Sort of like that one-legged thing Sheila E. used to wear, except totally not. Maybe it’s more like a single-leg Spanx. Or sausage casing.

“We can get you the open-toed variety,” they told me, which was excellent because nothing says summer like a thigh-high leg warmer with your toes sticking out. Also, I had a choice of colors. I would have liked a vibrant Alice-in-Wonderland-type pattern, maybe wacky stripes or miniature teacups or something. No can do, said the remarkably unimaginative medical supply community, and so I chose black. It was either that or one of several shades of “nude,” and if you’ve ever been to a nursing home, you know the shades of nude that I mean. More like shades of doom and despair. Shades of, “I have totally given up and this is what I wear on my leg now.”

It turns out black isn’t much better. Say you have on black yoga pants of the capri-length variety. From a distance now you look like you have inexplicably rolled your pants to the knee on one side only. Or like you are wearing one-legged open-toed pantyhose for no reason other than that you are insane. Still, I can accept this. You gotta do what you gotta do, and so forth. What I cannot accept is how totally primitive the whole situation is.

I mean, really. It is the year 2016. We have a pill that can give a man an erection lasting up to four hours, pills to make you happy or skinny or sleepy, pills to make you more masculine or more feminine. We have all that, but there is NO PILL TO SHRINK A LEG. Instead, my doctor suggests the best course of action would be to squash it to death. Next perhaps he will throw me in a vat of leeches.

I’m not bitter it, though; I’m really not. I try not to be bitter in any area of my life. Instead, I’m looking at it as a blessing. You might be thinking, “Wow, how does she do it,” or “I could never be as strong as her,” but I’m telling you it’s no big deal. I have simply come up with some mantras which I repeat in my head on a regular basis. I will share them with you in case you ever have a need for them.

  • I could have easily had both my legs crushed in a tragic tractor accident, but luckily I only have to wear these support hose. This support ho. I don’t know.
  • It might be 95 degrees out and I am dressed in layers, one of them being black and very tight, but on the bright side I have access to clean running water and as many to-do list apps as I can possibly download.
  • I am going to totally love this thing in the winter!
  • Some percentage of the Earth’s population is currently in full body casts. I am not one of them.
  • If I ever happen to wear black tights, and I find that the one pair I own is missing a leg – well what do you know, problem solved!

So when you really think about it, I’m pretty lucky.

The luckiest part of the whole situation is that no one has said “wear this thing or you will die.” So after the first three days of diligence, I took it off and have come up with my own possible cures, including “lose approximately 700 pounds” and “drink 8 gallons of water per day in the hopes of reducing the swelling via nonstop peeing.” Quite frankly I think these methods sound just as promising as the “squash it to death” route, and if they work, well, then you can call me Dr. Janisin. If they don’t work, I guess it is back to the sausage casing. In the fall, though, when it’s not 95 degrees outside. Maybe around Halloween. So if you happen to see a 45-year-old trick-or-treater in a Sheila E. costume – by all means, stop and say hello.

Melissa Janisin

Melissa Janisin is a writer, reader, library patron, and baseball fan. She's a mom of two boys and stepmom of one, and you can find her work on Sammiches & Psych Meds, Scary Mommy, BluntMoms, and the upcoming anthology Voices From The Middle.

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