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Chronic Venous Insufficiency with Leg Ulcers

Updated on September 20, 2014

Help with medical supplies

Can you get disability pay if you have chronic venous with leg ulcers?

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My Story

I was in the Army for 6 years. I was a medical specialist. I did a lot of stand during that time with no regard to what it might be doing to my veins. After the military I worked at a hospital in Ohio in Labor and Delivery. It was the best job I ever had. I also had not idea what standing for hours in a operating room was doing to my legs. It was 5 years later when my body decided to clue me in.

I had huge knots in my upper thighs, I have no idea why and I stupidly did not go to the doctor. I was taking care of my aunt who was bedridden and did not like to leave her by herself. In about 2 years the knots went away. My aunt passed away and my legs and feet started to swell badly. I went to the VA and was told that it was probably due to high blood pressure. I was given several blood test and a prescription to lower my BP. When I got home there was a message on my answering machine from the doctor who saw me earlier. She said I needed to go to the emergency room. She(the doctor) told me that my blood test came back and my blood level was so low she had the lab run it again. She said by all rights she didn't know how I was still standing. The ER gave me 3 pints of blood and told me I had fibroids. I ended up having a hysterectomy.

That's when my legs started to swell even more and the ulcers started. The VA dressed my leg up with some kind of silver gauze and a band aid. That made it worse. My ulcers got bigger because the band aid would cause the surrounding area around the wound wet there for increasing the wound size.

They tried something else called an unna boot. They would clean my wound, sometimes scraping it which was very painful. I learned not to cry. Next they would put something over the wound, hopefully it would not add moisture to the surrounding area but it usually did. A gauze wrap that was soaked in calamine lotion would be wrapped around my leg starting from my toes all the way to just below the bend in my knee. Then another wrap made of soft cotton would be wrapped the same way as the first wrap. Another wrap came next, it looked like an ace bandage and it was wrapped the same way but it got tighter as it got as it was applied. That was for compression to keep my leg from swelling. We had to change things around every time I went because sometimes the bandage over the would be to wet. We just left it off.

The unna boot did wonders for my wounds. One of my wounds healed and another was the size of a penny when before it might have been the size of half a paper dollar.

The VA was 45 minutes away and I ended up losing my car. No worries though, I found a wound clinic that specializes in leg ulcers. They tried everything but the unna They finally decided to do the unna boot but they would always cover up the wound with a band aid. I had had enough.

I stopped going to the wound clinic. I bought some compression stockings and used some of the calamine soaked wrap I was given to wrap my own leg from the VA. I had 10 boxes of that stuff. I cut enough of the gauze just to cover the wound. Next I need something to cover the gauze that was water proof so I would not get my stockings wet and would leave the surrounding area of my wound dry. With a lot of hit and misses I chose a maxi pad. It worked wonders. I just cut it the same length as the calamine wrap. I could not use tape to keep it in place but I found that I could put my compression stockings on with out moving the bandage.

I had now found the winning recipe to healing my wounds. They have healed and as long as I keep my compressions stockings on all day I don't worry about them returning hopefully.I do not wear them at night. I took and ace bandage and cut it so it would wrap around my let once just to cover my wound at night. Instead of taping it closed or using those metal tabs I just used Velcro.

I have two pair of compression stockings. You have to wash your stockings every other day or they will roll on you causing a tourniquet type of effect cutting your circulation down.

Well, that's my story and I hope that anyone suffering with chronic venous insufficiency can use my journey to help theirs.

Here is a hub that helped me a lot.

How to apply an unna boot

How to apply an unna boot

This video is showing you how to apply what they call a Profore Wrap. That is all the wraps used except for the calamine wrap. The calamine wrap is also called the unna boot. The clinic used both the Profore Wrap and the unna boot on my legs starting with the calamine(unna boot).Cotton wrap comes next then the main wrap or compression wrap called 3M Coban. Always get the 4x5 wrap size. Since I was a medical specialist in the army and knew how to appy ace bandages the doctor let me put on my own unna boot when I couldn't make it to my next appointment or they were closed because of the holidays. It is not easy putting on you own unna boot, especially if you are overweight. Don't be afraid to suggest doing things a different way to your doctor or wound care provider.


Putting on an unna boot by yourself

Before you put on an unna boot, it should be ok'd by your doctor. If you can you should get it done by a nurse twice a week just to save yourself the hassle. A nurse should teach you how to wrap your leg.

If doing it yourself here are some tips:

Every wrap is snug(not tight) except for the last one, the coban wrap. Even the cotton wrap should be snug.

Every wrap should be taped at the top to keep it from unraveling and on the last wrap the tape should be at the top of the coban and on your skin itself to keep it from sliding down.

You wont be able to tell if your unna boot is to tight all the time especially right away. You will however be able to tell if it is to loose. I have come home from the clinic only to find that it is too tight and is starting to agitate my wounds. I would just call the clinic and go back to get it redone or if I had done it myself I would redo it. You will have to adjust to the tightness. sometimes you just have to wait and see if it is really to tight by taking a pain pill like amphetamine. If the pain does not go away then it is probably tight.

It is better to not use scissors when taking off your boot. You could accidentally poke yourself.
You do not need another wound. You should be able to unravel the bandages. If you take care you could reuse the wraps.

Remember, it is good and necessary to walk when wearing your unna boot. Walking causes the unna boot to tighten and compress. It is not good to stand in one place for long periods of time.

Always elevate your legs.

Don't get the unna boot wet. If it does get wet then redo it.

Try not to get so frustrated if you can't do the wrap perfect or even good initially. Practice maes perfect.

Unna Boot Checklist

1.unna boot

2.SurePress absorbent padding(usually comes with profore wraps)

3.profore wrap

4.3m coban(usually comes with profore wraps)

5.Tubigrip(keep coban from sticking to sheets) Wear it like a stocking.

6. Towels to wipe calamine lotion of hands. Gets messy!

Be prepared to take an hour per leg until you get the hang of it.

Call your clinic if you need additional help or have questions.

You may be able to get help with med supplies

I ask my doctor if I could get disability pay for chronic venous insufficiency. She said no. That didn't sit right with me. I looked it up and sure enough it is possible.

There are certain criteria that you must meet to be eligible for disability.

1.You have to have been diagnosed with CVI and

2.the condition must affect a lower extremity with incompetency or obstruction of the deep venous system and

3.It must also result in extensive brawny edema involving at least two-thirds of the leg between the ankle and the knee or one-third of the lower extremity between the ankle and hip.

A case of chronic venous insufficiency with superficial varicosities, statis dermatitis and recurrent ulceration or persistent ulceration that has not healed with three months of treatment will also qualify.

Most websites will tell you that you will need n attorney for your best chances of be awarded disability, but if you meet the criterior you can apply yourself. You will need medical records and your case worker will work with you and tell you what more you will need.

If you learn anything from this, alway do your own research. Doctors don't know everything especially if it does not direct have to do with medicine.


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