As you can see from these before and after photographs, I am finally gaining control of the chronic lymphedema in my legs. Especially note the improved skin color. I don’t often blatantly promote a product but I am so excited about the progress I am seeing from the CircAid graduate leg garments that I can’t resist telling you about it. The video below is my way of expressing thanks to the CircAid people.
Helpful sources of information, products and activities
When you are disabled, clothing can occupy a big place in your daily life. I typically spend one to two hours per day getting dressed and undressed, so what I put on is very important to me.Today I would like to talk about pants. The slacks you buy off the rack at a department store are not designed to be worn in a wheelchair all day. (How many Macy’s ads show the male models seated?) Ordinary pants won’t come up high enough in the back and come up too high in the front when you are seated all day. That’s why I purchase my pants from a company in Albuquerque, New Mexico called USA Jeans. They recognize the need for special pants for wheelchair users and have an amazing selection of fabrics, colors, and sizes. Their slacks and shorts are also designed to avoid seams in places that could lead to pressure sores. They are not inexpensive – a pair of jeans with shipping is $90 to $100. But the benefits and comfort and appearance are worth it. (I have not been paid for this endorsement nor was it solicited. I believe in letting people know when a company is doing something to help those of us who have special needs.)
As good as their product is, it still has one important flaw for me: it doesn’t put itself on. That is why I spend two hours a day in the dressing process and why I recently bought a sewing machine. I am trying to design something that will fit my unique requirements and maybe give me a little more free time each day. I will be talking more about the garments I am designing and sewing in a future article.
P.S. I am also in contact with a San Diego area startup company that will be designing, manufacturing, and marketing clothing to the disabled community. I will keep you posted on their progress.
I have been dealing with this company since 1998, shortly after I was first diagnosed with inclusion body myositis. They sold me my first scooter, and my first van with a lift in the back for picking up the scooter and taking it with me. Since then, I have purchased two wheelchairs for me and a scooter for my wife and two more vans with ramps. Not to mention numerous other mobility aids such as walkers, crutches, sliding boards, and cupholders.
Here is the point I am trying to make: if you have an illness that is compromising your mobility, you really need to develop a relationship with a local company that sells the kinds of equipment that you will be needing. Yes, you can probably buy the same piece of equipment for less through a discount Internet retailer, but where will they be when you have a crisis? And believe me, you will have a crisis. What’s more, a professional mobility specialist will be able to help you get reimbursement through your insurance company or (in the case of my wife and me) an organization such as Muscular Dystrophy Association. They will (or should) also have experts who can make sure your wheelchair or scooter meets your lifestyle needs.
I have not been paid for this endorsement nor was it requested. I simply believe that good people and good companies should be recognized.
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