Monday, October 13, 2008

Travel Compression Socks: One remedy for fat ankles

Fat ankles on airplanes could only mean one of two things: a diet is long overdue or it's time to buy some travel compression socks. I know mine were quite swollen on my last international trip from Paris to Cotonou a few weeks ago. And they ached for days after landing. Coming back home, I didn't notice the same kind of issues, but I do think it's time for me to think about buying some of the fancy-schmancy, perhaps life-saving socks.

Why life-saving? You may have heard of economy-class syndrome or DVT as a possible life-threatening issue on long flights. Economy-class syndrome is more serious than wanting to boot your neighbor out of the plane due to lack of hygiene or invading your personal space. Deep vein thrombosis causes a blood clot to form, typically in the leg of someone who hasn't been moving around for a while, and then it can move to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (blocked artery in the lungs) which is potentially fatal. A dear friend of a close friend of mine died less than a year ago due to a blood clot. She was an international humanitarian worker who has one of those jobs that require travel very frequently. Whether it was a blood clot caused by an international flight and/or DVT, I don't know. But I know she is dearly missed. I know of someone else who had a stroke due to a blood clot, which was apparently caused by an irregular heartbeat. These two situations, one life-changing and one life-taking have made me realize it's time to buy another travel accessory, maybe the most important one I'll ever own.

I did a little hunting around online and found some sites that have all kinds of support hose and travel socks, but two of my favorites sell them, so I plan to buy some in the next few days. National Geographic sells some they call therapeutic travel socks, and Sahalie sells the travel compression socks. The pricing is very similar for both stores. Amazon also has a great selection for men and women travel compression socks.

If anyone has a favorite brand or something to say about these types of socks, I'd welcome any comments.

Oh and by the way, apparently a "sense of anxiety or nervousness" is a symptom of DVT. Don't we all feel a bit anxious and nervous if we're sitting in economy class on a long, full flight???

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