Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dressing My Edema

I have a condition called idiopathic cyclic edema, and when it flares, it makes me feel pretty self-conscious. My arms get swollen, my face fills with fluid, my tummy pokes out, and my legs get covered with dimples from the fluid that takes over. We won’t talk about the physical pain that comes with it. Whew. Kind of a downer, huh?

Let’s talk about how I cope with dressing myself when all this takes over. I try to cover my arms so it’s one less thing for my mind to worry over. I wear a shirt that has some flow in the middle for comfort. I no longer try to cover up my legs just for the sake of covering dimpling, because pants can be painful. My body expands as it fills with fluid, and clothes that don’t move and expand with my body can cause even more discomfort to my aching joints. Bike shorts have worked wonders for me this summer around the house.

I made this shirt to meet some of my edema needs and to be easy to nurse my baby. I made a rough pattern from a t-shirt that was flowy. I cut up one of my husband’s old linen dress shirts. Then I reassembled it according to my pattern, used French seams to keep the dress shirt look, went with short sleeves, and added some interest with the hem. I plan to wear it buttoned up with skinny jeans and a cardigan in the fall. If I’m wearing high-rise pants, I like it half buttoned. It’s a simple shirt, but it accommodates my needs. 

I guess I share all this to say I understand if you have some insecurities and if you have some physical ailments that really carry over to emotional burdens you fight each day. Thank God that He sustains me and teaches me through it all. 💛

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