Don't feel bad -- you're not alone. Many patients have complained about the TED hose. The very thing that makes them so difficult to get on is why they work so well: they are tight! This is how they provide compression to help keep the blood from pooling.
The ultimate purpose of the TED hose is to help prevent swelling and blood clots. Blood clots called thromboemboli (plural) can be superficial or deep. It's the deep clots that are dangerous. They can break off and travel to the lungs or brain causing death.
So until the surgeon tells you it's okay to stop wearing the hose, they are essential and must be used as directed. If you just can't get them on at all, contact your doctor's office.
A home health nurse or aid may be able to offer you some guidance and tips for getting them on easier. There is a special device that can be used to help you get started. These are often available at a medical supply store that sells wheelchairs, canes, bathtub chairs, etc.