Thursday, March 30

What not to wear.

How Id love to go on 'What not to wear'!! Have they ever featured a wheelchair user? Anyway my view of clothes has seriously changed. On the one hand Im suddenly a lot more aware of how I look. Its bad enough being in a wheelchair without looking as though you dont care about your appearance or have any self esteem at all. Trouble is, wheelchairs are somewhat limiting as to what you can comfortably wear. For starters I have had to ditch most of my coats, because the arms are too long. I only have short arms to begin with, and its even more difficult now. One of the most frustrating things is trying to get yourself fom A to B and finding that your cuffs catch in your push rims, or are being rubbed away on your tyres. So its best to look for things with shorter sleves or 3/4 sleeves. Then there is the issue of skirts. I have a big problem with wearing them these days as I just dont feel that good in them. My gut reaction is to hide my legs away as much as possible, lets just pretend they are invisible eh? I know I do. So wearing a skirt makes me feel very self conscious as men seem to suddenly stare. 'Watch out female in a wheelchair alert'.... hmmm dont like it one bit. There is also the practical aspect that if you wear a skirt its impossible to jam things between your legs to carry them. Bags are a bit of a sod as well. I have one that goes on the back of my chair, its alright though you are doing everything with your hands literally behind your back and in the dark. Takes practice but its ok. Its quite difficult to buy clothes and try them on. Most shops dont have wheelchair accessible changing rooms, so I mostly go to M & S in the knowledge I can bring it back if it doesnt fit. Finally there is the issue of gloves. Now I could go on and on about gloves because I hate wearing them with a vengeance. If anything makes me feel like a cripple its gloves. I really really resisted wearing them for as long as I could. Firstly I prefer to touch my chair and really feel I have control over it. But by the end of December I realised that as my hands look at least 10 years older than the rest of me I couldnt continue to give them a bashing and hope to get away with it. So I bought 2 pairs of gloves, one a plain pair of green leather which are ok, but are thin and I can feel the heat on tmy thumbs whan I go down hill. Secondly I have pair of gell filled half finger cycling gloves. These are a lot more effective so I will have to go down this route I guess. Hopefully though we will get some nice weather and I can leave them off for a while.

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