lighten up! it’s just fashion

I used to wear heels every single day. Seriously. Going to work? Heels. At the grocery store? Heels. Running on the treadmill? Heels. OK, maybe not on the treadmill, but you get the idea.

Now—and it’s really embarrassing to admit this, even to my fellow spoonies—I have been known to wear these: That’s right, Sketchers Shape-Ups. Comfy, they are. Stylish, they are not. (The horror.)

I understand having to change what you wear because of a chronic illness. Hell, not only have I (mostly) given up heels (for now), while I’m waiting for my likely de Quervain’s tenosynovitis to heal, buttons are difficult at best, though I have developed a method of buttoning up shirts and pants that doesn’t involve using my left thumb. (It’s probably best if you didn’t ask how. It involves tears, cursing and maneuvering my fingers in ways God never intended.)

But I don’t think ugly, dumpy, frumpy, elastic waist-banded clothes should be our only options. There are ways to look put together—even fashionable—with psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis or any other potentially debilitating disease.

For days when I don’t have the manual dexterity needed to unclasp and re-clasp a necklace, I have a few giant ones I can pop over my head. When I don’t want to fight with putting on tights, there are pants or skirts and dresses with higher boots. When buttons are a no-no, I thank God for pullover sweaters and tops.

So, seriously, ladies: Step away from the elastic waist pants. You deserve better than that. Oh, and if anyone finds a comfy pair of heels? Put me on speed dial and let me know. For real.

(As an aside, season two of Project Runway was so awesome—until Chloe won. Seriously, judges: What were you thinking?)