When I was in college my sister hired me to be a temporary secretary at the place she worked. Because I was going to be at the front desk, I was going to be the face of the company and I really wanted to make Ann proud. I needed to be professionally dressed so I went to the store and picked out a pair of panty hose. This is where my near demise began.
Lets just say there is a difference between regular panty hose and active support panty hose. I had picked up the first pair that was the color and size I needed without looking at the rest of the box. BIG MISTAKE. The first day I was there I wore them, and I thought they were tighter than the ones I usually got, but I really didn't give it much thought. The second day I wore pants so there was no need for the hose.
The third day is when it all started to go horribly wrong. I wore another dress. When I pulled the panty hose on, they felt strangely tighter than they had the first day I wore them. I had rinsed them out but had never had hose shrink to that extent before and was sure they would stretch back out. I went with my sister to work and started my day. By about 9:00 my feet started to hurt. By 10:00 I was getting an upset stomach, and by 11:30 I started to get light headed and went to Ann's office to tell her I was sick. She asked me what was wrong and I tried to explain my symptoms. She decided that I needed to eat. We went to lunch but the problem seemed to get worse instead of better. I was starting to think there was something really wrong with me. Ann suggested that I lay down in her car for a little while to see if I just needed to put my head down. I managed to drag myself back in and finish the day, sure that I was having some sort of medical crisis.
We went back to Ann's apartment where I was staying for the week and I changed my clothes. Immediately I felt better. It was as if I was able to take a deep breath for the first time all day, and life was seeping back into me. It was later that evening that I found the container and saw they were active support. I went out and asked Ann what active support meant. It turns out that they are pressure stocking for people that have circulation problems or clots in their legs.
I am now unable to wear anything tight on my stomach, and if it feels the least bit tight I start to get a panic attack. I was so happy when it became socially acceptable to have bare legs. If it is necessary to go through the torture of hose I will buy thigh highs, or I will completely cut the top band off of them which makes them slowly roll down and form an unsightly ring around my hips. Control top is completely out of the question.
I do believe I was scarred for life that week. I thank God that I had Ann there to protect me from sure humiliation if anyone else in her office found out. It was not the first time she was my protector and I suspect it won't the last.