Pants. For many years, women rallied for the ability to wear pants instead of skirts and dresses. As an extremely active individual, most of the time I fall into the category of women who prefer to wear pants rather than skirts.
I get tired of pants, however, when I’m stuck wearing them because the bruises on my legs are so bad I don’t want to show them to the world. (There’s a reason my column is titled “Black and Blue Ribbons.”) As we’re getting into the heat of summer, I sometimes get frustrated when I want to wear shorts but I don’t feel like answering 101 questions, sometimes from people I don’t even know.
One of the most obvious parts of my EDS is the way I bruise: largely and with lots of pretty colors. I get so tired of people asking me, “What did you do?!” Well, I may be able to tell them, but I may not. Sometimes, I don’t even know. But even if I do, why do random strangers feel it’s appropriate to ask me, often in a grossed-out manner, what happened? While I do realize that, at times, it comes from a place of caring, mostly it comes across as rude curiosity.
Perhaps more frustrating than the people who ask without knowing are the people who know me well enough to know that I have EDS, yet ask me regularly what that terrible bruise is from. Well, it’s the exact same thing I explained to you the last time; it’s not like my EDS will magically go away. It makes me frustrated when it seems like people ask and then don’t listen. If a person genuinely wants to learn, I’m happy to teach, but when it seems to just go in one ear and out the other, I get frustrated.
Some days, I struggle with wearing pants; I get tired of them. How many variations of the same outfit can you make? Other days it’s just plain hot (I live in southern Virginia), and I’d much rather wear a skirt or shorts. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of deciding whether or not I care enough on a particular day to just wear what I want anyway.
More often than not, I come down on the side of “I’ll wear what I want,” but I do feel sometimes that going to work with huge bruises showing isn’t professional. Many times when I go to work, pants it is. Luckily, I’ve managed to accumulate a broad array of styles and colors to keep a common outfit as bright and fresh as possible.
If I’m going to be stuck wearing pants, they’re going to be bright, colorful, and fully me.
Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.