When picking out your clothes for the day, have you ever needed to stop and think about how much pain they will cause you? You might think about what shoes you might wear depending on how long your day will be or how much time you’ll be spending on your feet. But what about just your jeans? Or what coat you’ll wear? The fit of your shirt?
During the winter months, this is what I need to think about every day. My skin becomes so sensitive during the cold months that even a pair of jeans becomes intolerable. I had to go and buy new clothing this winter just so I didn’t have to wear jogging pants every time I left the house. I had to decide whenever I went out whether I wanted to be cold or in pain because the weight of my winter jacket caused me too much pain.
I wear only comfy clothes while I’m at home, but I like to look good when I leave the house. I don’t mean that I get incredibly fancy, but I like to wear fitted jeans, makeup, and I do my hair. It got me thinking that I should do a blog post about how it is possible to be comfortable, in as little pain as possible, and yet still be fashionable! Thankfully, leggings and tunics are very à la mode right now, but it’s possible for those of us that are in chronic pain to still get our unique fashion sense in without feeling like a bum all the time.
So I enlisted some help from two other of my Spoonie Sisters.
Here’s Sarah! Sarah likes to say that she has Alphabetitis. Her diagnoses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Neuro-endocrine Tumors, to just name a few from the extensive list of ailments she battles with. Sarah and I have known each other for a few years, and our friendship has become stronger as we are able to relate to each other. We know that we can cancel on each other at any time and the other doesn’t get upset. We get it. Sarah pushes herself as much as she can to have a fulfilling life; giving everything she has to her passion of art and food, and to her husband and two beautiful girls. Seeing her face beam as she modeled these dresses was just amazing! We don’t get to feel this good all that often because we’re in constant pain, but one afternoon of feeling like a star just made it all worth it!
Amaryllis Dress by RAMONALISA
Wonder Woman Dress by ANNIE 50
Ombrelle by CHERRY BOBIN
Bicicleta Dress by RIEN NE SE PERD, TOUT SE CREE
Catharine has recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This is a connective tissue disorder which leaves Catharine’s joints loose, causing them to dislocate often. Her muscles are also constantly tense, compensating for her joints’ slackness. Catharine has moments where even being touched is too much to bear. Every time I see Catharine, she’s got a huge smile on her face. Although I know that she has some unbearable days, Catharine’s joy radiates through her and it’s hard not to be infected by her attitude when she’s nearby.
Joe Dress by FIG CLOTHING
Daiquiri Reversible Camisole Bicycle Print by RIEN NE SE PERD, TOUT SE CREE
Annabelle Dress by 3RD FLOOR STUDIO
Foa Cardigan by FIG CLOTHING
Abela Long Camisole T003L by MOOVMENT
Sakura by RAMONALISA
And then there’s me! I have had Short Bowel Syndrome for nearly two years. I have a central line going into my chest that my IV nutrition gets pumped through five nights a week. Now you may ask, how in the world do my bowels affect the sensitivity of my skin and the stiffness in my joints? I don’t actually know why, but my guess is that this is my body’s way of reacting to the trauma that it endured back in April 2015. The day after shooting these photos, I felt like I had bruises along my spine, I was waddling around the house like I was 9 months pregnant, and literally every inch of me hurt.
Capitaine Stripe Tee by CAMELEON
Cerveza by RIEN NE SE PERD, TOUT SE CREE
Take It Easy by ANNIE 50
Archipel by CHERRY BOBBIN
Memories Dress by ANNIE 50
Babette by MOOVMENT
So then why did I put myself through it? Because doing this photo shoot made me feel good about myself. I felt gorgeous! We had so many laughs. We enjoyed ourselves. For one afternoon, we could forget about our illness and truly enjoy ourselves. And these moments really are few and far between when you’re constantly fatigued and aching.
I also wanted to show the world that it’s possible to be chronically ill and fabulous! We three ladies are proof of that.
Thank you so much for the wonderful contributions of the following:
Clothing – Flock Boutique (Store is in Ottawa, Canada. Everything shown on this blog and more can be found on their website. Direct links are embedded in the pictures.)
Photography – Vintage Bow Photography (Ottawa, Canada)
Makeup – Make-up by Julia Sangalli (Ottawa, Canada)
I couldn’t have done it without any of you!