Chronic pain has changed my life. It has altered the way I do things. It has meant giving up old hobbies and trying new things. It has completely changed the way I view life. The one thing I didn’t expect to change was my wardrobe. My wardrobe overhaul began prior to my first diagnosis 12 years ago, when topical nerve pain and the swelling of joints and muscles made wearing certain fabrics unwearable. Any fabric that wasn’t soft to the touch would make my arms and legs feel as though someone was taking a hot iron and a rake to them. It was horrible. My second fashion challenge came after having three surgeries in less than a year. Each of these surgeries took place in my abdomen. My poor belly was so sore that I could no longer wear pants with buttons or a non-expandable waist band. I didn’t want to give up wearing shorts or jeans, but something had to give. So after deciding to risk being asked when my baby was due, I headed into the maternity section and started grabbing pants, jeans, shorts, and skirts with various waist bands to try on. WOW!!! It was amazing to be able to wear my favorite styles without them causing pain to my belly.
It’s been close to seven years and a total of eight surgeries in the same area, and I am still purchasing my pants, shorts, jeans, and skirts from the maternity section or maternity stores. I have no shame, I no longer care if someone assumes that I am pregnant. Instead of being offended, I now take the time to explain my conditions and how this type of apparel makes my life better.
The best part of wearing maternity clothing is that most maternity styles are the same as the general populations. The only way someone would know I was wearing them is if they lifted my shirt or I told them. Another perk is being the only person at Thanksgiving dinner that doesn’t feel like they need to unbutton their pants!!!
Chronic pain has taught me to let go of the fear of what others think and to do what is best for me and my body. Maternity apparel keeps me fashionable and comfortable.
What are your pain related fashion secrets?