Healthy Living

How This Woman with Multiple Sclerosis Solved the Challenges of Getting Dressed

How One Woman with Multiple Sclerosis Overcame Clothing Issues

Photo source: Everyday Health

Anyone with multiple sclerosis knows just how difficult it might be to do even the simplest of tasks. Muscles are tired, and it can be exhausting to even get out of bed. The thought of getting dressed might even bring shudders of dread.

And then comes getting clothes on. People with MS might have trouble fastening buttons or pulling up zippers. So comfort is most important.

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When you're exhausted and can barely get out of bed, who's going to care what you look like?

Fashion and style can have a huge impact on self-esteem and positive energy

But sometimes, it's good to get out of bed and feel good about how you look. Fashion can be fun, and an enjoyable pastime that is good for the soul and for your overall health. Besides, positive energy is what we all need sometimes, especially if you suffer from a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis. But how is it going to be possible to find the energy to find some style in your life? Believe it or not, it totally is possible.

Mona did it, and you can too!

Despite living with multiple sclerosis for over 30 years, Mona's still got style

Mona Sen is one woman who refuses to let her disease take over her life. The 51-year-old woman shares how she refused to let multiple sclerosis take over her style. She remembers always facing that dilemma as a young woman - what should I wear today? She had always liked fashion, and it made her feel good about herself. 31 years after her diagnosis, it still holds true today.

Mona loves fashion - and she still looks chic even though she suffers from multiple sclerosis

It might seem like nothing special; a lot of women out there love to pay attention to their clothing. But when you have multiple sclerosis like Mona, it isn't easy to get dressed every day. Mona was determined not to let her disease take away the simple things that she enjoyed in life, such as choosing what to wear and enjoying the process.

For example, just this past summer was Mona's 30th college reunion. As it was for any special occasion, it called for attention to her fashionable attire. To make things even more challenging, the reunion was going to be a three-day long trip away from home. But Mona was well prepared for this type of challenge.

Always check the weather when planning any outfit

The first thing Mona did was to check the weather of her destination. Though it's sensible for anyone to dress appropriately for the weather they are going to face, it's even more crucial for someone living with multiple sclerosis. People with MS are more temperature-sensitive than others, and sometimes they may even need special devices to help them if the temperature is too hot or cold. For example, a cooling vest is really important if it's too hot or muggy outside. After determining what the weather was going to be like, Mona was then ready to get packing.

The problem with buttons and zippers

Some things people might overlook are buttons - buttons are hard for people with multiple sclerosis. Buttons and zippers and any other clothing contraption that requires finesse in the fingers are almost impossible for someone living with multiple sclerosis. That's because many of those who have this condition suffer from a lot of fatigue and numbness that can affect their fine motor functions. So what should you do if your favorite piece of clothing requires buttons?

Fear not! Mona has some tricks up her sleeve.

Mona saves the day by letting us in on a little secret - there are such things as button "helpers". These helpers are little hooks that make buttoning extremely simple for anyone who might struggle with getting the job done. You can find these hooks all over the internet. She adds that sometimes, she will pre-button some clothes that are able to just slip over her head. This can help you save time and energy later on when you're simply trying to enjoy your trip.

There are some great clothes that are hassle-free too.

Avoiding buttons entirely can help you out too. Get a couple nice T-shirts that can look great with a pair of slacks or even a pull-on skirt. Yoga pants are also great because there are no zippers or buttons like jeans have. They simply pull-up and are so comfy too. This is especially handy if you're someone who struggles with bladder issues - pull-up yoga pants are not only easy for emergency bathroom situations. Yoga pants can come in all sorts of styles. You can get them in all sorts of shapes as well, and there's a size out there for everyone. Bootleg, capris, straight leg, and flare are all available in some sort of stretchy, yoga-style pant. What a great way to express yourself and stay comfortable too!

Shoes - how to put the right foot forward when living with multiple sclerosis

Mona talks shoes too. It can be tough to pick a nice looking pair that is functional for someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Many people who have multiple sclerosis suffer from problems with getting around, and many also have special orthosis or brace devices which require larger shoes to accommodate them. Sometimes, this means that there aren't that many cute options out there for you to choose from. So what are Mona's favorite, fashionable solutions for this conundrum?

Lace-ups and Velcro are a girl's best friend

Mona likes to use lace-ups or sandals that use Velcro for fastening. These are great because you can loosen them so much more compared to the originally intended size of the shoe. Now, you can accommodate any type of brace or orthotic device that you need to squeeze in there along with your foot. Mona herself suffers from what's called foot drop, where her muscles have a hard time keeping her toes pointing up as she walks. To help her get around with foot drop, she needs a WalkAide, which is a special device that helps to keep her foot level. Her personal favorite shoe brands are Teva or Keen, as these sandals will even accommodate for a brace if that's what you need. Not only are they great for people who need extra accessories, but they are actually quite attractive too.

Don't let multiple sclerosis ruin your style!

Just because she has a disability due to a chronic disease, doesn't mean that she has to suffer from a fashion failure too. Mona has really found a way to make it work for her, and you can too! Mona strongly believes that every problem has a solution and that you just need a dash of creativity to solve it! That's what she's done for her fashion sense, and she really has done a great job. If you're someone who struggles with multiple sclerosis, try out some of her tips! Just like Mona, you could step out tomorrow looking fabulous and feeling great too.

References

https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/my-health-story/chic-stylish-living-with-multiple-sclerosis/