another aimless blog

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you can retrain the brain, but not the vein April 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 11:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

I've had my share of varicose veins. And probably have plenty more to come. In fact I've had so many veins either ripped out of my leg, or injected and shut down, that its a wonder my leg is not just a withered husk of skin hanging from my hip.

Veins are like roads my doctor told me. The blood finds a way it likes to go and then just uses it all the time, and your vein gets bigger and more used up and then the valves won't close properly, and next thing you know, you have a varicose vein.

And your brain is kind of similar, but with thoughts. Circuit roads. The more you have certain thoughts, the easier it is for your brain to think that way. So you can retrain your brain to have more happy, positive, calm type thoughts. I was reading this in a book called Happy At Last, whcih was pretty interesting.

Foe example. Say you are stuck in a traffic jam and you start getting stressed. And you start swearing and slamming the horn and getting cranky, then you just started that little road in your brain, a little connection. And the next time you're stuck in traffic, your brain will go – ahhhh, I know what they want me to do, because they did it last time, so it's easier for you to be cranky and stressed again. But, if you're sitting in the traffic and you do a bit of deep breathing, listen to a bit of music, watch the birds fly by and stay calm, then that connection is made, and the next time you're in that situation again, thats what your brain will want to do.

It takes a while though. Like anything, you have to practice it for about three months before it becomes a habit. So you do it with any thoughts, even just smiling. And so even though your little smiley road circuit in your brain might start out like some dark little track that only a mountain goat can find his way through, if you just keep doing it, before you know it you'll have a huge smooth four lane highway with B double size happy thoughts rolling along it.

Now, back to the veins.

Do you know how they strip a varicose vein? I had to have a huge vein stripped, a main vein. One that runs from your ankle to your groin. And what they do is cut the vein at the ankle and cut it at the groin. Then they start at the ankle and feed a tube up the vein, all the way until it pops out at the top at the groin. And when it pops out these little hooks spring out and catch over the top. So then they grab the tube at the ankle, and rip it as hard as they can and pull the vein out. And yes, there will be bruising.

And I was looking at the doctor when he was telling me they would be doing this, and I said

won't I bleed to death? Aren't there other important things attached to that vein, that should stay that way?

But he said apparently not. He said if they went in and cut all the connected veins with a scalpel then I would have a major blood loss problem. But he said if you just rip them out, it's so traumatic that all the other veins just clamp shut. But what about the blood flowing around, where will it go now, how will it travel. And he said, it just finds a new way.

Amazing really, the old body, and how it just works (most of the time).

Imagine being the first person who ever had their veins stripped.

Okay – now we've never tried this before, but this is what we'd like to try………


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17 Responses to “you can retrain the brain, but not the vein”

  1. I have "shop assistance legs" those horrible blue spider veins. I do not wear short skirts. It is probably best for everyone in a number of ways. The knees are fairly knobbly too.
    One query, that no doubt you will know – what happens when we have bypass surgery – will we have enough veins to go around after all the stripping?

  2. Emjay Says:

    LOL. My foot is crappy but thank God my veins seem to be okay!

  3. OptamissTIK Says:

    My friend just had her vein stripped in her leg. She's been a hairdresser for the past 10 years and has the legs to prove it… her procedure seemed a little different – they made small incisions at about 4 different points along the vein (same one as yours – main vein that runs from groin to ankle), and then apparently 'tied the vein off' at these points rather than the procedure you explained – I think her recovery time was just over a week and she said it wasn't as painful as having them stripped from top to bottom… maybe you could ask your doctor about this, it sounds less painful?

  4. cat Says:

    Surely you can't be doomed to have varicose veins and heart failure! They can go to my left leg, I've never had to have any taken from that leg. Only my right for some reason.

  5. cat Says:

    I had that done about 12 years ago now so things have probably changed. I also have small cuts along the calf where they stripped out smaller ones. Recovery was about the same though – two weeks. They don't seem to like stripping them much anymore, unless they are very bad, they prefer to inject them. But I'd rather have them stripped. Hairdressers have awful legs – they should wear compression stockings every day.

  6. cat Says:

    I just keep getting rid of them as soon as they show up so I don't end up with those awful ulcerated things that seem to be in our gene pool.

  7. Emjay Says:

    Hopefully if I haven't had anything like that by now, it's not going to happen. Those ulcers and cellulitis should be avoided at all costs!

  8. Waterbaby Says:

    Do you know how they strip a varicose vein? — Glad you asked. I didn't, now I do.

  9. Apolline Says:

    I'm so sorry for you … you're not lucky with your legs … May I tell you how your legs would feal better, besides the medical treatment, naturally :
    – to buy a jump rope et practive every day a little session of jumps, as boxers. It would be very good for your heart and legs
    – to go to the swimming pool : your legs would adore it and feal thin and fresh
    – to pratice jogging slowly, half an hour, two or three times a week …
    – park your car a little far from the supermarket and carry yourself your bags of shopping in every hand : it's miraculous for the osseus density and muscles which play a role in the slow and deep breath thus in the blood circulation.
    Sorry for the advices … Y've seen on my blog that I'm a little sportwoman and my legs have 20 years in spite of four babies …
    Friendly kisses

  10. cat Says:

    Good to learn new things.

  11. cat Says:

    lol – I'm happy with any advices. I do all those things you tell me to already! Except swim – I'm not fond of swimming. But I do a lot of exercise and I'm only small, really I am, with skinny legs. Just that one of them seems to have bad circulation.
    Just curious appoline, do you speak english? or do you have to google translate like I do?

  12. Ah, this post gives me sweet memories of the frequent views of venous ulcer in my childhood (We call them "open leg", you get the picture more easily with a simple term like that) . Have had them on both sides, my father's and my mother's. So there was no escape from the bad gens for me and my siblings. My grandmother complained all day long about the pain in her legs, wrapping them in thick elastic bandages – I now know too well what she was talking about. It's getting worse and worse. I had no ripping yet. Just all those good advises and surgical hoses you get and that don't help that much, if your doomed with bad veins. I have to have my veins checked badly. As I usually have to wait six to ten months for an appointment with my specialist, I can only hope I get those images of ripping out veins out of my head until then.Striking analogy with the brain! I so agree that it's you who trains your brain and feelings – unknowingly or deliberately.

  13. Apolline Says:

    I write english … I'd need few weeks in England or States to speak again. When I was student, I met Sheryl, who was hawaïen and dit not speak french, and another girl who adviced me to read DH Lawrence and Faulkner in the text. Thus, I bought bilingual Pinguins Books and made with my friends and their advices, lightning progres. Further, I found a student job in a tourism Office where english is all the day long spoken. But the time passed and I lost my practice.
    Friendly kisses

  14. cat Says:

    Fantastic – clever girl!! I was recently talking with a friend here and we were saying how few australians speak or read or write a second language – hardly any.

  15. cat Says:

    Oh well don't listen to me!! I'm sure the medical world has gone ahead in leaps and bounds and there are all new ways of treating veiny legs. Honestly, I've had veins stripped and I've had veins injected and I'd rather have them stripped any day. That way they're gone and you don't have to worry about them any more. I'm like you – its genetic. Bloody parents, they pass on all sorts of nasty things to you.

  16. Paxton Says:

    Hey, that's a great description of how to remove a vericose vein. I think I'll go throw up now. >:-P

  17. cat Says:

    And those ones that men get, at the back of the leg, behind the knee, he said they're especially tricky to get to.

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