Wool Socks for Winter Months

Sheep - WoolWhile spring may seem within reaching distance, we still have a few more months of cold, snow, slush and bad weather until we reach those May flowers. So – I thought I’d remind everyone that if you’re suffering from cold feet and toes (or maybe even damp, stinky feet), think about switching your cotton and nylon socks out for wool socks. I know – wool sounds itchy and scratchy like the sweaters you got over the holiday season, but if you get the right kind of wool – Merino Wool – you’ll be surprised how soft and comfortable it can be. So, why is wool so great? Let me explain:

  • Wool insulates: Wool fibers trap body heat against your skin to keep you toasty in cold weather.
  • Wool wicks away moisture: Whether you have an issue with sweaty feet or a leaking boot, wool socks have got you covered. Wool can absorb up to 1/3 of its weight in moisture without feeling wet. Plus, they’ll continue to keep your feet warm.
  • Wool is odor resistant: Who doesn’t want to prevent stinky feet? Right. Wool is naturally anti-bacterial, which means it can kill odor causing bacteria around your feet. This also means you can wear them a few times before washing (no judgement).
  • Wool is durable: Wool fibers can bend back and forth 20,000 times without breaking – cotton breaks after 3,200 bends. Think less holes!

Why does this matter? Well, cottons socks can absorb moisture too, but they take a lot longer to dry and have no insulation properties at all, which means damp, cold, stinky feet all day long.

We’ve got some really great Merino Wool (i.e. soft) options for your consideration:

New Lower Bandage Pricing – Lohmann & Rauscher

Lohmann & Rauscher was formed in 1998 with the merger of the German company Lohmann Medical, and Rauscher of Austria.  Together they form one of the largest medical products companies in Europe, with more than 150 years of experience manufacturing bandages, surgical dressings, and medical devices.

lohmann-blogBrightLife Direct is very happy to announce that our Lohmann & Rauscher bandage prices have been significantly reduced.  And unlike most of our competitors, we offer free shipping on any size order.  Just choose Super Saver Free Delivery at checkout.

Anyone who has been through decongestive therapy for lymphedema, or wound care, knows how important quality compression bandages are to the success of their treatment.  Poorly made bandages or the wrong type can slip and slide, requiring lengthy re-wraps.  Lohmann & Rauscher’s dedication to quality is unmatched, and they manufacture the greatest variety of stockinette, padding, gauze and short-stretch bandages in the world.

The Story Behind Our Best-Selling Italian Cotton Socks

Italian-foothillsIn 2002 we were sourcing Italian manufacturers for the finest, softest, and most luxurious compression stocking we could find. The foothills region of the snowy Italian Alps is renowned for producing some of the finest and most expensive fabrics in the world.  We toured many small, family-owned hosiery and knitting companies until we came across exactly what we were looking for.  Premium medical-grade garments made from exceptionally soft, long staple cotton, with just the right amount of Elastane (spandex) to provide true medical graduated compression.  For more than a dozen years BrightLife has been the sole importer of these socks to the United States.

We have yet to find another sock that offers the same combination of compression, quality and comfort.   We now carry two compression levels, the Swing is “firm” and the Samba is “extra firm”.   Almost immediately, these socks became the best-sellers in the BrightLife Direct catalog of compression garments.  The biggest problem we now face is keeping them in stock!  We’ve just received a shipment in five unisex sizes with a color choice of black, brown, grey, navy and beige.

The Swing and Samba knee-highs are refined and lightly-ribbed.  They are both sporty and elegant at the same time.  The premium materials make them especially easy to put on and the super-soft top band keeps them in place all day.  Because these socks are classified as a “medical device”, they have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you haven’t tried the Swing or the Samba, all we can say is “do yourself the favor!”

Kathy Bates – Life with Lymphedema

While most people know Kathy Bates for her humorous or award-winning roles, many people don’t know that she is a two-time cancer survivor. A couple of years ago, she developed lymphedema in both of her arms after a double mastectomy. After going through nine rounds of chemotherapy and beating ovarian cancer, she was faced with adapting to life with lymphedema. Now her focus is to offer her support to other cancer survivors.

“Up to 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide suffer from lymphedema. It will occur in up to 50% of breast cancer survivors, and 100% of those with head and neck cancer.” – Lymphatic Network

Lymphedema is caused when your lymph nodes are taken out or damaged, usually when treating someone for cancer. This leads to the blockage of lymph fluid, which causes swelling in the arms, chest or legs. Lymph is the fluid responsible for discarding bacteria and bodily waste from tissues. Although there is no cure for lymphedema, there are ways to help manage it on a regular basis.

After her mastectomy, Kathy had a hard time adjusting to wearing prosthetic breasts and feeling tired and weak all of the time. It wasn’t easy for her to get the energy to get ready in the morning, so Kathy really appreciated the help of her makeup artist and hair dresser on set. The downside to being on set were costume fittings. It was hard to find something that didn’t restrict the flow of lymph under her arm. According to Kathy, the hardest part of all of it was when her TV show, Harry’s Law was cancelled; “The timing could not have been worse. When you have a network canceling your show because your viewers are too old, there’s nothing worse than a double mastectomy to slam the door on your sexual attractiveness. It was a double whammy.”

Luckily for Kathy, her lymphedema is mild, but she still goes to therapy and wears a compression sleeve to keep the swelling down. LympheDivas is a company that sells compression arm sleeves in a variety of colors and patterns to help breast cancer survivors to feel confident again. Instead of wearing medical looking attire, patients can dress fun and fashionable. These garments are made with moisture wicking fibers to keep your arm comfortable and dry all day. The fabric is also infused with aloe vera to keep your skin soft and smooth.

Now, Kathy is a celebrity spokeswoman for Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN). She kicked off the Face of Lymphedema Challenge at the fifth annual Walk for Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases this past September. The cool factor here is that not many celebrities share their experience with the world. Kathy Bates is one of the first Hollywood celebs to be out in the open with her condition.

Her advice to those recently diagnosed with cancer?

“It’s no picnic, but it’s not necessarily a death sentence either. Go through the initial panic, and when that dies down, focus. Listen to your doctors, and ask questions; the more you know, the better. But stay off the Internet at night worry­ing. Rest instead. Be good to yourself. Use your chemo time to visualize yourself becoming healthy, no matter how silly the fantasy may seem. The rest of the time, try not to dwell on can­cer. You are not your cancer. It doesn’t define you. You can decide who you want to be. On the positive side, cancer can be a wake-up call. Take the opportunity to enjoy life and be a kinder person. You’re still at the party, so have a good time until last call.”

Click here to read more about Coping Magazine’s article on Kathy Bates.

Kathy Bates never let cancer or lymphedema stop her. She has inspired tons of people with her story. For more information about lymphedema, Kathy Bates, or other resources, check out the links below. Thanks for reading!


Lymphedema Resources:

About Lymphedema -breastcancer.org 


Give Voice Campaign

LympheDivas Armsleeves

Lymphedema Compression Products


More on Kathy

About Kathy Bates – success.com 

Video: Kathy Bates’ Secret Health Struggle

In Her Own Words – mskathybates.com

Video: Treatment for Lymphedema

Celebrity Survivor Spotlight – Kathy Bates

 Video: Raising Awareness for Lymphedema