As a nurse, Jo Crossey is used to being on her feet all day as well as running around after two young grandchildren.
The 58-year-old first became aware of her veins 15 years ago but was too busy with work and bringing up her three children to do anything about it.
“My legs were really aching, my veins were protruding and I was very conscious of them over the years.
“I kind of just accepted that it was part and parcel of life and having children, and doing the job that I do.
“It was making my legs more uncomfortable, feeling very heavy and tired, especially in the heat. My varicose veins were on both calfs but not all the way up my legs.
“I was so conscious of them that I wouldn’t wear shorts or skirts but long dresses. When we went away on holiday, I would go through every kind of leg make-up and fake tan to try to disguise them.
“I started working part time and part of the reason for that was that I couldn’t keep on my feet all day, every day.”
With a history of varicose veins in her family and having recently taken on the strenuous job of looking after and digging an allotment, Jo eventually went to see her GP but was told she would have to apply for funding to have treatment.
Although her veins were painful and uncomfortable, Jo’s case was deemed to be not high on the list of priorities for an operation.
"To walk in and out on the same day as my operation was incredible."
Her husband had been a member of Benenden Health for 30 years through his job as a civil servant and his family were covered by the policy as well so Jo chose Benenden Hospital, having previously had her gall bladder removed there.
She was referred to Benenden in January, 2018, and was “quite impressed” that she was given a consultation with vascular surgeon Eddie Chaloner just nine days later.
Within just over two weeks she underwent the procedure using Endovenous Laser Treatment (ELT) and was discharged that day. She returned for the operation on her second leg five weeks later.
“The new hospital is absolutely amazing and I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at a very high tech, airy and spacious hospital.
“Walking into such a lovely environment like that, I felt very confident that I was in good hands and that everything was going to be OK.
“I’m a nurse in the NHS and I can remember when you were in hospital for about a week if you had varicose vein surgery, so to walk in and out on the same day as my operation was incredible.
“It was a very pleasant experience and I would not hesitate to go back there again if I needed to in the future.
“My life has changed now in that I’m not feeling the heaviness in the legs and I’ve been wearing shorts which I’d not done before."
Published on 26 September 2018