Unfashionably Disabled

Unfashionably Disabled



Shirt & shorts.  Usual garb.
Shirt & shorts. Usual garb.




Pull-on shorts.



I’m ready to roll.  Literally.




With MS, one must dress for comfort.  As well as a quick disrobe when nature calls faster than it takes to unbutton & unzip!




I try not to dress like a fashion train-wreck.

But I know some of my clothes would frighten fashion-guru Tim Gunn into a straight man.



Fact is, with the dreaded ick (MS) and fingers that are at times as lifeless as a member of Congress–elastic & velcro have become my saviors.  Yep, I fall right in with the oldsters playing bingo at the senior center.


Dressing for special occasions on the other hand, can be quite an experience, as I learned recently.

Apparently it is in bad taste to wear t-shirts & shorts to a graduation ceremony, so I would have to trade-in my comfy duds for the popular shirt and tie combo.


Dressing for success.
Dressing for success.


What?  I hadn’t worn this get-up since I left the working world over three years ago!


Already tired from my shower & shave, I put on the dress shirt only to realize I had twelve buttons to fasten.

Laboring through eleven, I saved the top collar button for later.


Time for the pants.

I slid into my khaki Dockers and tried to button the waist.

Too flippin tight.

I tried sucking in my new-found gut while maintaining my balance to no avail.

It was all for naught.

Time to try a different pair of Docker khakis.  (I have numerous pairs as I am over 40 and thus it is required by law!)

The second pair was snug but my hands were too exhausted to work, so I asked my son to button my pants while I layed on the floor.


Next was the tie.

I could deftly tie a tie.  But there is a big difference in tying a tie for a standing man as opposed to a man sitting in a wheelchair.  For a guy in a chair, you must make it shorter as otherwise the tie hangs long between your legs and you end up looking like a 70’s porn star.



Now I know why FDR didn’t want his picture taken while he sat in his wheelchair….

His tie was too damm long!



Finally dressed, I was worn out.

It took about 30 minutes and what seemed like a day’s worth of energy.

What do you do when you need to get gussied up?  Do you struggle through it like I did?  Do you ask for help?  Or do you skip the event all together?


Black is slimming!
Black is slimming!



I couldn’t wait to get home to shed my fancy skin like a reptile.

Sliding into another t-shirt and pulling on a pair of elastic waistband shorts, I exhaled.

“Ahh, home sweet home.”




6 Replies to “Unfashionably Disabled”

  1. Like you, I dread having to get “dressed up.” I’m exhausted before I begin. Because I wear a leg brace, I shy away from skirts and dresses, and pantsuits have become the norm. I do need help at times, but I ask as a last resort. Make-up can also be an adventure — Rocky Raccoon or Bozo the Clown!! The hardest part in the whole routine is trying to get an all over image of myself. I, too, love the homecoming and changing into my comfies!
    PS. I have to go through this nonsense on Sunday, and I’m dreading it!

  2. Bahahaha! Right now I have on my favorite pink sweats not too tight or loose, thick fuzzy socks, worn tshirt and thick robe. In the summer I am very cold today. No, I am not depressed justresting so I can go to my sons ballgame. When I get dressed nicelyi wear classy flipflops or tennis shoes…comfort wins always ….the fashion dude would fine me heavily. My flip flops I wear till they break and I wear the same ones everyday, they are gold which makes them classy and worn which makes them comfy. Maybe we should be the comfort police and fine the fashionables for their lack of comfortable duds and neck breaking shoes! Olivia

  3. All of the above…..My MS has progressed to the point that I can no longer get in and out of bed, or dress myself. Therefore, I have an assistant that comes twice a day that gets me in and out of bed. Most days I stay in my night clothes. It became too much of a struggle to get me dressed, when no one saw me except for my assistant AM and PM. Yesterday I had my monthly Tysabri. I went in my night clothes. For the last few days here in Florida we have had rain and wind due to a tropical storm. I almost cancelled the appointment. Instead, my Dad, who drove me, held an umbrella over my head as I drove my power chair into the van. Fashion was the last thing on my mind.

    As for social occasions, I have missed many. The ones I really want to go to, I plan months in advance, starting with a list. My sister comes over and helps go through the closet to pick out an outfit. The day before the event, she comes over and sets out my outfit, shoes, jewelry, packs my purse, etc. for my assistant. I don’t like my assistant going thru my stuff. After the event, I’m always glad I went, but have fatigue so bad, I have had to stay in bed the next day.

  4. Margaret,
    Yeah, it can be a hassle getting ready for the big dance, but don’t give up on it. Good to read you enjoy yourself at the event!
    Keep plugging!
    -Odd Sock

  5. My pants are all elastic-waisted stretchy numbers; some are capris, some long leggings and some are flared yoga pants and all can be dressed up or down. If I want to dress them up, I wear ruffled knit tops or a nicer sweater for a feminine flair.

    If I do wear a button-up blouse, I keep it all buttoned on the hanger except for the top two or three and pull it on over my head. In winter, I only wear Ugg boots, so the pants are always leggings. In summer I only wear sandals, so I have more options with the pants.

    Men have my sympathy, you guys pretty much have to stick to variations of the monkey suit for dressy occasions.

  6. I get dressed up only occasionally. I do wear long pants every day, usually blue jeans. This past winter ms destroyed my bladder so I now have a super pubic catheter. Basically this means I pee down my leg into a bag. Shorts sadly, are out of the question. I am with you and the others who commented, I’m for comfort.