What great timing for this question! I am a former athlete who played volleyball well into my 30's and played some basketball in my 40's. Since the onset of EM (and Raynaud's at the same time), I have been struggling to find something that works for me.

Anything that I used to do to stay in shape (running, treadmill, elliptical, etc.) sets off a bad flare and takes me out for the rest of the day. I did try a yoga class and really liked it, but sometimes the room was too hot and that creates extra issues for me as I also have Epilepsy and stuffy, hot rooms are a trigger for my seizures. I'll have to try doing it at home.

My gym has a pool that my husband likes to go to (he has RA), but I just haven't found the motivation to go and be in the pool with a bunch of strangers. Motivation is a problem for me when it comes to individual activities since my former pleasure was always team-oriented.

We are considering moving to a new home... one that is a single-story (getting rid of those stairs) and has a swimming pool in the backyard. That way we can swim every day or not and with privacy. (Plus, our first grandchild was just born and we think it would be fun to teach her how to swim.) :)


That sounds wonderful kruizerchick !

I would give my right arm for my own pool! Ok .... maybe not my right arm. That would make it difficult to swim in my new pool!!! What a joy and to have a grandchild to share it with. What a blessing.

It takes care of the hardest part of swimming for me is getting to and from the gym. In and out of car and parking lot Gym itself and all temps involved. Getting dressed and undressed and dressed again.

At home I could swim for as much as I could even if just a few minutes then go back in later that day. With the gym I tend to push myself too much because I know I won't be able to just come back.

I hope it all works out for you and you get your new home. It sounds lovely!

Take care,


You can still swim with compression stockings on. Swimming would probably be helpful for your CVI, as it results in a "pumping" motion of the muscles in your legs, especially if you do the frog kick.

When you next get your new pairs of stockings, keep your old pair(s). You can then use these for swimming. If you're worried about what other people would think seeing you in stockings (it's bad enough for a woman!) then wear the full length swimming "leggings" that are often promoted for those who swim outdoors. I don't find the ones I have too warm, although the pool is pretty cold.

I hope that helps.

dkel9307 said:

Hi Sara

Thanks for creating a discussion.

If I could, I would swim. I have to wear compression stockings, full length, due to Chronic Venous Insufficiency (valves in deep and superficial veins don't work, throughout both my legs).

I did try cycling on an indoor exercise bike, but that seemed to be worse for my veins.

Even with all this, I do 4 short walks a day (that's as much as I can handle). The time of the walks (about 15 mins) generally is short enough that EM doesn't flare so much.

I wet my stockings, use chillows (see urls below - I am not associated with them at all :-)) to rest feet on and always have feet elevated when stationery.



I believe exercise, whilst it triggers EM flares, is important for other health considerations...so I would encourage you to try to find your balance. Your post is a great start!

Lots of luck and best wishes,


Good idea Starsmurf! wearing the stockings while swimming if need be.

As far as what others think of how silly or strange I look ....I am so past that!. It has become all about doing as much as I can with as little pain as possible and if I have to look weird to do it so be it!

If someone is new to this it may not be so easy but after a few years all of your old ways of thinking go out the window and you get new ones with new priorities. My new priorities have nothing to do with the way I look or am perceived by others. Such a long way off from the young healthy girl that wouldn't run to the store without full makeup on.

Take care,