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Readers Respond: Have You Let Your Appearance Go Downhill?

Responses: 9

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Updated May 31, 2011

Arthritis can get you down, in more ways than one. We often talk about how arthritis can limit physical function, but it can also affect your appearance. I'm not talking about joint deformities. I mean how much time you spend on your appearance. You may not take as much time or care putting on makeup, jewelry or getting that stylish haircut because arthritis erodes your self-esteem. Guys and gals may no longer care about what they wear. The "why bother" syndrome.

Have you let your appearance go since having arthritis?

Tell Us Why or Why Not?

Not going to give up yet

My heart breaks as I read these responses, because I am going through the same kind of things. I was always known as the pretty sister, always in to fashion trends (some good and some not so good I must admit, haha) I just had another Drs. appointment yesterday and was told I had OA in my knees. Well, duh, I googled that to death already, and knew that. (Grin) Now what do I do? I have a recumbent bike staring at me, so I will try a few minutes, do some laundry, and try to forget this pain even for a little while. Thank goodness I am able to telecommute 3 days a week for work so people won't know how bad it hurts. My husband and my daughter, I know, are so tired of seeing me with no energy and hurting. I hide a lot of that pain from them at night as I toss and turn at night. My friends have no clue, as I also try to hide how much it hurts from them. Well time to get that bike and then put on some lipstick because I'm not going to give up yet.
—Guest Indy

Yes and No....

I was never all that fussy about my looks in the first place, have always been a jeans and t-shirt woman, and thanks to elastic waist jeans, I still am. If I wore skirts/dresses, they would be floorlength. I've had to go from high heeled shoes, which I love, to flats, but, there are nice looking flats out there. I still work, so I still use make-up four days a week, sometimes five if I have a doctor's appointment or am going out...not often. Bra? Pffffft. Hate em', stopped wearing one unless at work back in the early 70s, lol. But. To put one on in an easier manner, hook it up before you put it on and pull it over your head, take it off the same way. I use baby wipes to "dry shower" as standing up to shower is tiring and I can't get in and out of the tub. Hair is shampooed once a week, pulled into a ponytail, but that's always been the way I am. Haven't changed a "whole lot," after all.
—JBandjoy

Weight gain

While I was working I tried to keep up with my looks. But I started gaining weight and it was hard for me also to do my hair putting my arms up blow drying and curling iron, and tugging on my bra. Before I knew it I had gained about 70 pounds, only worked and slept, when in the heck would I exercise, get up hour and half early to get ready for work again. Finally out on disability, can't lose a pound, darn meds prednisone, and now I am so fat I don't feel pretty even if I do put on make up. And who am I going to put it on for? I do go through the motions when I go to the doctor if I feel ok. I have no moral support from my hubby, but he has taken over the chores etc and is very overwhelmed. I didn't sign up for RA and he didn't marry me to take care of me like this in our 50's, so I see his point. I am on lexapro and cymbalta and I am still so depressed, I have been on it for 2 years. I was just thinking I need to ask the Dr To change/adjust my meds. I want to be happy again.
—Guest Patty

APPEARANCE

SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED SEVERAL YEARS AGO WITH ARTHRITIS AND FIBRO, MY WHOLE LIFE HAS CHANGED, I DON'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO STAND IN THE MIRROR AND DO "MY FACE" OR HAIR, I PULL MY HAIR BACK IN A BUN OR PONYTAIL AND PUT THE MINIMUN AMOUNT OF FACE CARE USUALLY JUST MOISTURIZER. I WEAR LOOSE CLOTHING, LONG COVER EVERYTHING DRESSES OR COMFY LIGHTWEIGHT SWEATS NOTHING BINDING LIKE A TIGHT WAIST BAND OR A BRA. I HAVE A WHOLE PART OF ME MISSING THE PART THAT LIKED TO LOOK REALLY NICE AND I MISS THAT PART, AND NO AMOUNT OF GLORIFIED DRUG HELPS THAT.
—Guest DEBORAH

Trying not to

I am newly diagnosed but have fought feeling so uncomfortable in my clothes for months. I still haven't found a style that works for me but I am so glad to read I am not alone in my clothes hurting me.
—Guest Jane Hinrichs

Wanda the Walnut

I found that dressing comfortably (no girdle) was much better than slopping around in a loose dressing gown which made me feel worse re the OA. When I think back so many years - I had a baby sitter with RA - and she was so young - it never dawned on me that some day I would have OA, and at the time her disability just didn't sink in. What goes around comes around. I simply didn't think it would happen to me.
—vinny152

Feeling alone

So much happened as the OA got worse. I left my husband and my home, I moved into my daughters home. At that time I was still working so at least I had an outlet. Then all of a sudden I'm no longer working, on disabilty, my daughter does not understand the pain I'm in. No one wants to see their mother in pain so it was hard on her to see me suffer. I stopped seeing people because I was beginning to think I was crazy. Driving is hard on my knees so I don't drive much. I have a daughter that lives 6 hrs away and I can't drive that far to see my grandaughters. I feel like my life is over. I know it's not but some days I feel like it's too hard to get out of bed. Now I find out I also have RA. How do I live with that? I see women in pretty clothes but never wear them because I never go anywhere. How can I change the way I look at this? The only thing that has changed is my daughter now understands the pain. She now has OA and understands. I wish she never got this. I hope she does not get it as bad as me.
—Guest susan

It's a question of adaptation....

I have had to change my style for sure! I don't like to think I have let my self go...so to say, but rather I have had to adapt my style. Instead of high heeled shoes I now have to wear flats or sneakers. Instead of stockings I tend to go without (they are just too difficult to fight over) and instead of shorter dresses I now wear a shirt and longer skirt. But I still like to keep with the styles. Now my longer skirts are in (the bohemian look in fact) and flats have become an everyday thing with alot of fashionistas. I am not a fanatic about fashion but I do like to look good if I can. And if not...well we can always have our comfy clothes with the elastic waist band and t-shirt. And with makeup..well I highly recommend the mineral type which can be used for several different uses and is applied with a big round brush. Add a touch of lipstick and you are good to go! My appearance hasn't gone downhill but rather I have leveled the playing field for myself.
—Guest murphthesurf

R.A. has NAILED ME HARD!

My appearance has definitely gone downhill since I got R.A. ~ in some aspects I admit that it's related to depression, but needing to dress COMFORTABLY has a lot to do with it as well.
—Guest nailedmehard

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Have You Let Your Appearance Go Downhill?

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