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Compression bandages - seem like torture

(40 Posts)
winterwhite Tue 31-Oct-23 11:56:02

Had an SOS from a neighbour yesterday afternoon - her legs had been bandaged from knee to toe, couldn’t get any shoes on so could I bring over some emergency supplies.
Found her with her legs wrapped in reams of Elastoplast-looking bandaging over a sort of lint layer. Practic nurse had helped her ram her feet into loose trainers before she left, but once taken off imposs to get on again. She’d ordered something more appropriate but obviously not yet arrived.
She has to go back and have the bandages 3-4 times over the next 2 weeks then be measured for compression stockings.
Reason: to prevent swollen ankles getting worse. Cause: something called venous insufficiency resulting from knee replacement.
She was in some distress. Legs felt heavy and clumpy. I don’t know her well but she’s only marginally overweight and wears normal shoes. She’s late 80s and lives alone.
Have never heard of this carry on. Can it be worth it. Leaves me wishing medics would pick on someone their own size.

Whiff Tue 31-Oct-23 12:24:30

Just Googled it . It's a very serious condition. And unfortunately that is the treatment for it. Your neighbour will just have to have the put up with having the bandages on hopefully they help with the blood flow to her heart and swelling goes down ready for the compression stockings. But it looks like they are for life.

Have a Google and you will see for yourself. But read the UK description.

welbeck Tue 31-Oct-23 13:21:15

maybe she needs a careworker to help her get dressed.

Nannarose Tue 31-Oct-23 16:18:29

They are truly horrible, and almost impossible to put on yourself, but I gather that she has appointments to get them changed - the issue is her shoes.
Nurse should have checked that she can manage her shoes, so that is a cause for criticism / complaint. My own suggestion is a long handled shoe horn, and a 'sock putter onner' available from most shops / on-line retailers that cater for disabilities. Also somewhat slippy socks such as stocking like pop sox so easy to pull on, and put shoes on.

This should have been thought of, but I am unsure what you mean by 'pick on someone their own size'????


Nannarose Tue 31-Oct-23 16:19:12

PS: This issue is regularly researched and sadly shows the value of these things

winterwhite Tue 31-Oct-23 17:23:58

Thank you Whiff and Nannarose. Neighbour certainly knows that compression stockings once acquired are for life. She's been told they are to prevent ulcers.
I was horrified at the lack of advance explanation of the procedure to a woman of her age, not telling her what she would need so that she had to order special footwear online with expedited delivery, and describing as 'snug' bandaging that is in fact hugely uncomfortable.
The other appointments she has are for renewing these horror bandages. How she manages with the stockings when she gets them will be a different matter.
Seemed to me that no attempt had been made to calculate the risk of ulcers against her current condition, or if it had no one had discussed it with her. They had piled in on her aged 85+ with their bandaging leaving her in a helpless state - that's what I meant by picking on someone their own size - silly thing to say, sorry.
Am also surprised that have never heard of anyone else having this done.

BlueBelle Tue 31-Oct-23 18:20:17

Winterwhite my elderly friend also has problems with legs and feet and couldn’t wear ordinary shoes The NHS has made her, free of charge shoes, to her specification and her style and her colour choice they have also told her she can have another pair made again free of charge She’s very happy with them I wonder if that’s something that might be useful to your neighbour Worth asking
It didn’t happen overnight though

BlueBelle Tue 31-Oct-23 18:21:10

She’s 87

winterwhite Tue 31-Oct-23 18:28:16

Thanks Bluebelle, I'll pass that on. Neighbour rang me because she couldn't get any shoes on over the bandages so couldn't put a foot out of doors.

Nannarose Tue 31-Oct-23 18:28:28

Winterwhite - thank you for your thoughtful reply.
I am not sure if they are for life - it depends on individual circumstances.
I also think that if neighbour feels that they themselves are preventing her from being active and rehabilitating, she should talk to the nurse - and maybe physio.
I do agree that this has been badly handled, and she should have a more considered discussion.

Stewpot100 Fri 03-Nov-23 11:42:46

I've suffered with varicose veins all my life and have been wearing firm support stockings since I was 16. It's been a real curse over the past 50 odd years especially as they have worsened to resembling grapes. Six operations later and I now have nhs made to measure supports and always in the top compression. Can you image how hot I get in the Summer months? People I don't know often comment, "how can you wear trousers in this heat?" I remind myself that at least I have legs that I can walk on but it has been difficult to live with such unsightly veins in my legs all my life. Seems to run in families but mine have always been worse than others. It's difficult getting the stocking onto the legs despite the gadgets available. Also I'm now with arthritic hands so I can imagine how your neighbour feels winterwhite.

Vintagegirl Fri 03-Nov-23 11:43:07

A relative in Australia was struggling with compression stockings and we found some gadget (online search) to help with putting them on.

RakshaMK Fri 03-Nov-23 11:58:29

My partner has been in compression bandages on and off for nearly 20 years. He has a pair of shoes on prescription that fasten with velcro.
I now wear compression socks which are available on Internet for a very reasonable price, but I do use Aliexpress or Temu.
Compression bandages shouldn't hurt - if they do, she should contact the doctors / nurses

undines Fri 03-Nov-23 12:06:25

Personally I refuse to believe that is the only treatment. It seems to me that this kind of chronic 'old person's' complaint is the kind of thing medicine doesn't bother with. She should consult naturopaths/alternative therapists - that's if she can afford it, poor thing.

daisybooh Fri 03-Nov-23 12:11:19

Know how it feels I to have compression bandages on it’s like having planks of wood on leg reason for mine had a fall getting on bus (didn’t lower platform) sliced Leg14 stitches back to doctors nurses were brilliant but 8 weeks and still not healing had been waiting for referral appointment to wound clinic now got these awful bandages on have had to borrow my sons old garden trainers as can’t get any my size8 extra wide hotter ones on clumping round like Sasquatch no help offered either 2 long bus journeys or expensive taxis definitely NHS on the decline

daisybooh Fri 03-Nov-23 12:12:38

Ment to put now classed as ulcer after so long bet if went earlier wouldn’t now have robe

Tanjamaltija Fri 03-Nov-23 12:18:56

I had these three-layer bandages for a year. But I only wore the compression socks once. Also... I wore clogs.

Scottishgogo Fri 03-Nov-23 12:28:31

As said previously, this is a recognised treatment. NHS staff understaffed just now. Compression socks/bandaging is recognised treatment. Appreciate that if you are not used to dealing with this condition that this treatment may seem unfamiliar. District Nurses have my undying admiration knowing what they do.

Nannan2 Fri 03-Nov-23 12:45:53

I have dvt & circulation problems, i got prescribed compression 'tights' but only got the socks- as NHS had stopped supplying tights at the place i went to by then- the socks werent measured right and were far too tight so after struggling as long as i could i stopped wearing them.Ive been ok but legs do feel achey occasionally so i might look into buying the more modern compression tights that are advertised for those who are on their feet all day at work etc. I dont have ulcers though, im sure thats much more serious and would need bandaging.🤔

GrandmaLorna Fri 03-Nov-23 13:29:33

As a retired District Nurse , please assure your friend that toe to knee compression bandages are only applied by someone who has been trained in multi layer compression bandage technique. The application of this bandage system is evidence based and will hopefully improve her condition, if not the District Nurse/ Practice Nurse should perform a treatment review.
Boring as it sounds elevation of the limbs really helps!

Aveline Fri 03-Nov-23 13:34:33

Could she fit her feet into Crocs?

silverlining48 Fri 03-Nov-23 14:20:18

I was thinking crocs too. Lots of space and easy to slip on.

Nicksmrs46 Fri 03-Nov-23 15:23:07

I’ve been wearing Mediven compression stockings for seven years following a femoral artery dvt.. I have an applicator called easi glide which is available on prescription … I have got used to wearing them and are very comfortable . In the extremely hot weather they were quite cool but must admit I left them off for a few days !

Tillymint21 Fri 03-Nov-23 17:55:06

Would these be of any help?

STUNAHOME Extra Wide Width Shoes Women Men Orthopedic Diabetic Shoes with Memory Foam Adjustable Walking Shoes for Elderly Arthritis Edema Swollen Feet Thumb Valgus

Callistemon21 Fri 03-Nov-23 18:28:53

I think the best thing is to ask if shoes are available on the NHS, the problems being that the size she needs at the moment with the bangpdages might be larger than when she is prescribed compression stockings.

This firm is very good and, if she has to buy shoes, they offer VAT relief on the wider fittings.