Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Temper Tantrums

To many, the start of summer brings warmth, sunny days, sandals and sun dresses. My summer typically starts with a temper tantrum because if you're like me with Lymphedema, the start of summer means increased swelling and decreased comfort and clothing options. I realized I have a temper tantrum every year and it starts with getting ready to go out to bars or dinner and soon every item of clothing has been tried on, is lying on the floor and I'm in tears. My jeans don't fit the same, my foot is bigger so wearing heels is more painful and knowing what to wear to feel confident is incredibly difficult. This year was a little different as it was the first summer I’ve lived with my husband and he had a front seat to the crazy show. To his horror, I resembled a 5 year old who isn’t getting her way. It was somewhat of an eye opener to see it from his point of view. I also realized I didn’t listen to my own advice to wear what feels comfortable and don’t dwell on your swollen limb. As I tried on each outfit, I stared at my leg as if the swelling would magically disappear. Well, it won’t. But what can be done is to not focus on my leg as all of me and to dress in a way that I’m comfortable and confident. If my leg is too swollen to fit into my skinny jeans, wear the stretchy trouser pants. If my leg can’t wear heels, wear a maxi dress with sandals. The idea of going out for dinner with your spouse and friends is to have fun. Focusing solely on your flaws when getting ready is unhealthy and harmful. Instead, focus on why you’re going out, to have fun so dress however you feel best. And as I’ve realized, it doesn’t hurt to have some plan b outfits that you feel good in and will be dressy enough for the occasion. My lesson of the summer is to accept who I am and my body, Lymphedema and all, and to focus on enjoying the laid back summer time with family and friends rather than harping on my flaws.


Anonymous said...

I agree! Although sometimes I have my heart set on an outfit and then discover it will not work. It seems like all I can focus on is what I CAN'T wear.

Unknown said...

I know how you feel! I was diagnosed (finally) with secondary lymphedema this October. After getting out of wrappings for four weeks I was ready to get into my cute jeans for the fall. WHat??? How could my fat leg not fit into my jeans? I am sooo tired of wearing the same four maxi skirts. Finally found my answer-tights, cute boots and fabulous knee length skirts. so lucky that is an "in-style" look right now. I haven't dealt with the really hot summer weather yet. Long skirts and cute tank tops, I guess. Thanks for your blog!