I have always been consumed with the way I looked. I joke “Clothing is my life”. I can look at a picture and know by the clothes I was wearing what was going on. It’s how I express myself. For example, at a certain period in my life, if I was wearing pants to work, it meant I was unhappy and didn’t want to be at that job.
I grew up in a household where “ladies didn’t wear trousers”.
And I was/am a dress and heels kind of woman. People would say Oh we are getting older now we don’t need to wear heels. Or isn’t it wonderful that flats are in fashion. NOT.
I used to walk a 15 – 17 minute mile.
When I went to get fitted for the spectral leg as I call my brace or as the doctor calls it my appliance, the ortho guy told me I would never wear a skirt or heels again and I would have one on both legs and probably my hands. Can I tell you I will never go to that man again or recommend him?
I still have only one spectral leg which I am actively looking to ditch. I do still wear skirts and therein is the problem. I used to take the spectral leg off at work and wear reasonable kitten heels or flats. Somewhere along the line, I began to fear and kept the spectral on all day. I had some relatively cute black lace oxfords for summer. I bought a sensible pair of black oxfords in the fall. Doesn’t that sound awful – sensible black oxfords? And I bought some wonderful clothes – beautiful sheath dresses, a skirt with panels. They look great when I am seated or when I am behind something but the full length? It’s horrid. It makes me feel really old and ugly.
This is bad for my health, seriously. My image is intrinsically part of who I am and if I am feeling old and ugly, it’s not good. I don’t want to hear the nonsense about blah, blah well you are lucky you can still walk. Uh, I get that but there’s more to me. And I said when this whole thing started I wasn’t going to let it define me and those freaking shoes do.
So, I keep on looking for something that will be less obtrusive. Mail order hasn’t been working. Today we went to Lord and Taylor, one of my favorite stores. Major shoe sale. My husband says let’s try it, It’s the first time I have tried to try on shoes in public. The spectral leg just hung out. I tried to try on three pairs of shoes. It did not go well. And then my husband put the appliance back in the sneaker (it’s the weekend) tied my shoe and covered my leg with my pants. The salesgirl (she was young) just stood there and said “Wow, till death do us part and all”. I said “Things happen and life keeps on changing.” It’s one of my mottos.
But this is not the life we thought about.
We have been through a lot together, sometimes me, sometimes him. Who knew those vows really meant something? I am amazed and grateful that we are doing the “in sickness and in health”. They are not just words. They are our reality.
One of my doctors said she had noticed a spiritual evolution in me. I don’t see it. But there are moments like today with my husband on his knees in a department store helping me that I know grace.