Friday, February 11, 2011

Silly Sleeves!

The seasons bring different meanings to people with missing limbs. For me, Summer was always when I felt most self-conscious. One, because you have spent fall and winter wrapped in clothes, able to hide your differences. Two, because now if you wrap in clothes, you will stick out like a sore you're used to. So, the best advice I was given as a child is to either ignore comments, or stare back. Rude, but it sometimes works. However, I loved summer because I no longer had to fight with my shirts, coats, and jackets everyday!

With one arm, you tend to have this ridiculous problem with sleeves. You can roll them up (57 times a days), have them altered (which I never did), or simply have this huge jumbled up mess that makes your arm not properly fall by your side.<< That's usually Me!

Amber, my Mom will appreciate me telling you this story so you don't fall in her footsteps. :) I was not one that liked to get up and be rushed in the mornings. But, one morning in particular I had to be ready for Scottish Rite and to hurry, my wonderful Mother decided she would help me along by rolling my sweater, followed by my jacket. In case you dont know, trying to layer something that feels already like a knotted mess, isn't comfortable. My arm was only so long, so the more layer, the less force I had to push through more clothing. Anyway, she's telling me, "Bri, push your arm through the jacket." Me: "Mom, I'm's stuck!" Mom: "Let me look...I can see it in there, if you'd just push harder." As she is looking down the tunnel of the sleeve, my little arm broke through and punched her right in the face. I'm not sure who thought it was funnier, but I am pretty sure, I did. After that, not only did she refrain from looking to see if I was truly stuck, but realized once I was all tucked in, I was immobile. I could always leave the sleeve dangling (which happened in rushed or lazy cases), but then I felt like even if I wanted to hold something, there was the barrier, and forget about trying to eat or drink. ;)

Since I was only about 5 or 6 at the time, I didn't know my options on the different types of clothing and that there were places called "alteration" stores! So, as I got older, my jackets that are not roll-friendly gets the ax and shirts are typically rolled as normal. One upside is noone can share your clothes, unless of course they have one arm. Lately, what works even better than having alterations, is wearing a warm vest (like a bubble vest) in place of the jacket. It allows full movement of the hands and you dont have to constantly push your sleeves up. Typically, unless a jacket (with sleeves) is absultely necessary, I go without. Being cold is miserable, but not being able to hold, move, or open anything with a jacket on, is far more frustrating!

Don't get me wrong...if you count the closets that are stuffed with my clothes, you will clearly see I will make just about anything work, but it has to be realistic and adaptable to my circumstance.

Hope this helps a little...and now, you can go shopping! :)

Love to All,



  1. Thanks for this post Brianna :) It is funny you say that summer was when you felt most self conscious. I hate to admit it but winter time is a lot better for me too as Kyla's Mom. It's just nice to not have as many stares and comments from people because it's harder to see in the winter with all the clothes. I think as a parent you also share the same feelings because parents are protective of their children. I like the stare back technique you mentioned. :)

  2. You're very welcome, Amber. I'm sure all parents feel the same, as right now you are her voice since she is oblivious to the reason people stare. Even though sometimes I try to act like I don't see them stare so they will see it is OK...but sometimes it is just irritating. :o)