About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nightwear Online Shopping Tips

A safe but very expensive online buy: the classic Hanro.

So, what is it that dominates in the wardrobes of a person with CFIDS/ME/fibromyalgia?  Why sleepwear, of course! I've touched on this a bit before, in the March 15, 2012 post.  

At first glance, shopping online may seem to be the answer (akin to the promised land!) for the sick and/or those who are home bound and have no way of getting to the stores because, let's face it, with the Internet, all appears to be at our fingertips. 

But ay ya ya ya yay!  What a misconception online shopping can be.  First, nothing takes the place of seeing the true shade of a color, the proportions and cut of a garment, the weight of the fabric, the feel between your fingers. Secondly, everything looks so wonderful on the various shopping sites to the point that when said item arrives, often you cannot make heads nor tails of what the heck it is and need to go back onto the website to see what it was that attracted you so much to the item that you actually went through the whole hullabaloo of buying. Suddenly you realize what liberties were taken when the product description was written and you also realize that there was a huge army involved in the look: stylists, tailors, hair dressers, makeup artists and an veritable army of who know what to make the article of clothing you're holding in your hand and you are shocked by the "misinformation" or "brainwashing" or "propaganda" - take your pick as to which words apply to your disillusionment.

...I so miss shopping, the thrill of the find, the immediate gratification.  The KNOWING that this article has a huge chance of being successful, or knowing that said piece of clothing will never, ever work out.  Yes, there are times when my BFF Linda and I say right out loud, how we wished we had a crystal ball that would tell us if a garment will be a "success" or a complete and total disaster and a waste of our money.  And BTW: Linda and I are always on the look-out for one of those crystal balls, but no luck. Imagine that!

The perils of shopping online when you're never really able to go out to shop in real life is that a frame of reference is often missing and, unfortunately, desperation often causes you to start adding clothing to various online carts willy-nilly, most of which will need to be returned because of problems with size, suitability, fabric. In other words, said garment looks bloody awful.

To add insult to injury, this necessary "overbuying" and "unsuitability" also ends up wreaking havoc on your the credit card because of delays in refunds, etc.

However, I've finally found a bit of a formula that has allowed me to cut down on the returns part of online shopping, thus sparing my credit card and, hopefully, keeping the overinflated balances down to a minimum.    I have developed a few basic rules for buying my sleepwear (nightgown, of course) which is helping me, though not as much as I'd hoped for.  Another example of my being a work-in-progress!    

  • Cotton is, to me, king. It breathes even as we sweat.  It reminds me of gold: it's largely non-reactive, so fewer chances of skin allergic reactions.
  • Yes, the "new" modal is wonderfully soft, made of a natural source, cellulose, but it has a tendency to stretch out of shape and sag, so you do need to see if you think the spandex (an artificial non-breathing material) often added to the modal is enough, while at the same time not giving you the itches.  I have one beautiful modal gown sitting in my closet at the moment that needs to be returned.  Bummer.
  • White is most practical. I admit it: I love bleach!  Yes, I know that bleach isn't the greatest thing for the environment, but there are some things I'm just not willing to compromise on and that is, killing the heck out of germs!   
 Furthermore, "we" can go an awful long time without bathing and changing clothing.  (Oh boy!  This is just so embarrassing to put on paper for the whole world to see, but I'm really trying to say it as it is).  A lot of us eat all our meals in bed because it's just too hard to eat sitting up (shudder: sorry, I just got a visual of me eating at the table and the word "torture" flashed through my mind) and so our nightwear can start looking something like my babies' "onsies" did after a struggle of the mouth and spoon connecting.  Bleach helps me now just as it did with my babies' clothing.     

  • Jersey knit: may very well be my absolute favorite fabric.  It's soft, easy to maneuver in bed as you toss and turn trying to fall asleep.     
  • Tank-style nightgowns: my favorite.  Need more be said for this über-comfy style?        
  • Tea -length nightgowns work best for me.  If I'm having a clumsy spell, the extra fabric of a long gown can get twisted around the legs when I momentarily forget I'm not healthy and jump up to do something - and proceed to fall down very quickly.  (Admit it!  I COULDN'T make this stuff up!)  Short around the knees, on the other hand, is asking for family members to see something that might scar everyone for the rest of their lives.        
  • "Sleeveless only" is what I buy  99% of the time.  Those nightgowns, when I've broken down and bought them with sleeves, have just newer worked out for me for so many reason.  These buying mistakes tend to be never work, despite how cute they are, how welcoming they are to the skin.   Body temperature fluctuations can drive one mad, so going sleeveless where you can slip on something soft and light when you start freezing works well.  Layers is key to survival.  

So these are the basics I've come up with in this category of the sleepwear/loungewear we all too often live in at home.   Part 2 will be continued in my next post, though depending how I feel (physically) something may pop up before I put the finishing touches on Part Two.

In the meantime, I do so hope that something in this post may end up in your CFIDS/ME/fibro arsenal  as a great tip for survival.  

And I do so hope that all are doing as well as can be!

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