Hypermobility and the rest of the world!

Anyone see this pic doing the rounds over the last few weeks?

Cross Legged Woman on Tube
Photo borrowed from the Daily Mail

This really got people talking. Can you sit like this? Have you tried? Chances are you can’t but we’ve all had a bit of fun having a go. What got me interested in covering this un newsworthy story were the comments I saw on the Facebook post of the same story shared by Metro. In the article we were all told that according to Postural Alignment Specialist Ameet Bhakta this lady has Hypermobility but we are not to worry. If we can cross our legs like this then all is fine, there is just a small minority who have Hypermobility.

What the article failed to mention is that alarmingly a high number of people suffer from Hypermobility Syndrome. I got chatting to quite a few ladies who all seem to suffer in pain and discomfort every day. The illness affects us all in many different ways but what we can all agree on is the relentless pain at times, the fatigue, the weakness and the overall discomfort. Every day I feel like I come across as a hypochondriac – I’m not one at all, it’s the hypermobility syndrome working its way around my body on a day to day basis. Yesterday for example my tummy was bad, it’s common for hypermobility and IBS to go hand in hand. Today it’s my head and bruxism where I grind my teeth so much that I can feel them moving. Tomorrow I may well be fine or I well have a debilitating headache. Your guess is as good as mine.

So many people fail to understand what hypermobility means and how it affects each individual person. My family don’t, well that’s actually a bit harsh, when they remember they do but sometimes I think they’re fed up with whatever they might hear me wince about when I am with them. My fiance totally gets it but there isn’t anything he can do and usually I can function so I just have to carry on. My friends on the other hand, no matter how many times I explain it to them just don’t understand or even remember I don’t think. Invisible illnesses do that, if you haven’t got something visibly wrong with you, if your leg isn’t in a cast or you’re not frothing at the mouth it gets forgotten. That’s fine, but please understand that I can’t shop til I drop anymore, I have to go slow and steady with regular stops. I can’t get drunk anymore unless you want the syncope (fainting) and hangover symptoms to start halfway through my third drink. I can’t wear high heels anymore – my feet just hurt too much to even entertain it. There are so many little things that make it a constant reminder even if you are having a good day.

So, this little blurb that I didn’t plan, is just to say that if you suffer from hypermobility and you want a friend then follow this blog – you can comment anytime. If you don’t suffer but are interested in learning more please ask away. I am still learning, every time my health throws something at me it’s normally a new experience. We can all learn and educate and put up with it together.

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STRESSED!!!

Not in a million years did I expect to be this stressed with the planning of our wedding! Stress and hypermobility do not go well together. I have spent the last week dizzy, unsteady, in pain and irritable. I can cope with the dizziness and the pain but its the emotions that I struggle with. I can cry in an instant right now and I have just awful thoughts and feelings about everything. The days are becoming a struggle but I just to have to fight on. Sometimes when I feel like this a urine or blood test at the doctors usually shows I am lacking a vitamin or something at an alarming rate so if it continues I will be booking myself in. They are used to my randomness there!

So, the reason I am so stressed isn’t down to my dress or the venue it’s down to the groom/best man/father of the bride outfits. I thought this would be easy but no no no no! Simon, bless him isn’t interested in fashion in the slightest, yes, he likes to look good but styling is not his thing. The best thing I could think to do was book them in with a personal shopper somewhere to get started. We live and work close to London so Brent Cross shopping centre looked like the best place especially as they have John Lewis and Fenwick. We attempted to book appointments at both but only Fenwick came back to us.  To prepare them for the trip we created a Pinterest board with styles we liked. As our wedding is in Portugal we didn’t want to go with full on suits and have them sweating all day but nor did we want to go super casual with shorts and a t-shirt. The guys still needed to stand out, Simon especially so armed with my dads measurements and with the best man Chad in tow off he went to get sorted.

It turns out that on the day of their appointment there was a 20% event going on in the store, there were models walking around in the latest fashions, a Gin bar and other exciting things going on, they told me there was a real buzz and it was a good day to be there. They loved it as they got to enjoy beers and gin whilst being styled by the lovely Ben Roberts and Andrea. They had already put out a few bits aside for them to try on based on what Simon had explained over the phone. I told them to take photos and send them through to me later on.

Chad suit
Best man Chad enjoying a beer

Two hours into their appointment I get a call from Simon all excited about the fun they are having. He told me he was sure they had nailed it. Well, what can I say, they sent the pictures through and they were terrible! Think naughty school boy or someone on their way home from the party. Not one picture showed anything suitable. It tipped me over the edge and I told them both they had to start again. Ooops. I think I rained on their parade! See for yourself, this is just some of the pictures they sent me. I ended up speechless with my head in my hands.  Why on earth they couldn’t tuck their shirts in escapes me?!

Simon suit
Untucked shirt in an out of focus picture! Thanks!

 

Simon blue suit

Simon awful shoes
I hate these shoes! What happened to the blue Brogues we discussed?

After a couple more hours of trying everything on again, this time tucked in it was decided that it was best that I was there with them. So, after 7 hours of shopping, beer drinking and snacks they came home empty handed with the plan that Simon and I would return the next day to try again. Simon was a ruined man as he walked through the door. He looked like he had just run a marathon! I did laugh, never before have I waited up late for him to come home from a hard day of shopping, it is usually the other way round.

The next day arrives and off we go, back to Fenwick. Ben and Andrea greet us and immediately offer us drinks. I sat in the comfiest chair in a beautifully decorated room with my ice cold water with lemon and waited for the fashion show to start. I did feel important! Surprisingly enough the suits he showed me looked completely different to the suits he had sent me photos of even though they were the same. The lighting and photography skills obviously made a huge difference and I am glad I was there as very quickly we found the right outfit. It’s a gorgeous Hardy Amies of Saville Row jacket and trousers. It isn’t lined and heavy like your typical suit which makes it light for the warmer climate in Portugal. It is a cotton blend which means it won’t crease like the linen and chino style trousers they were trying on the day before. The colour was different but it looked amazing on and really was perfect for an outdoor celebration. We teamed this with a Hugo Boss white shirt and a light blue tie. We then decided that my dad and the best man should have the same but in a different colour so we chose them the same suit but in a darker blue. We were all set!

After another 7 hour shopping day for Simon, we went to take my dads suit round to show him. I was so excited. Well the wind was blown out of my sales within 10 minutes of arriving. Forget me (the bride) being the diva, my dad wins the award for biggest wedding diva ever. Before he had even seen the suit he was refusing to wear it. I was so upset and just burst into tears. When he did eventually try on the trousers they didn’t fit and it just made everything worse. I left there disappointed, emotional and stressed. It was back to the drawing board.

Luckily for me I have a very persuasive mum. She suggested starting again and getting bespoke suits made for all 3 of them to match what we wanted. That turned into a no go as that fabric is very unique. In the end she managed to talk my dad round into going to Fenwick to try on the bigger size. Great! Off he went on Saturday with my mum to meet the personal shoppers. They were probably sick of me and my family by now! The bigger trousers fitted and he found a better shirt. The only down side was the jacket in the bigger side didn’t fit either. My mum says they don’t make suits in that range for the more rotund man! Ha ha. We decided then that all was fine, Simon would wear a jacket but my dad and the best man wouldn’t. Easy! Then this week I get a phone call to say that the suit company have sourced the fabric and can in fact make a bespoke suit for my dad. Wow! Jackets are back on for everyone and things are finally moving in the right direction. The best man and groom have their shoes so it is just Simon’s shoes to go which I hope and pray will not be an ordeal like the rest of the outfits!

If I was to give you any advice when leaving the men to sort out their own outfits I would offer these words of wisdom:

  • Make sure all men who are meant to be wearing the same are there
  • Do not accept a mans measurements as true, they aren’t. If he says 36″ then he means 38″
  • Brief them before hand that shirts need to be tucked in!
  • Tell them that if something creases don’t consider it an option, it will look awful in your wedding photos
  • Fitted shirts don’t fit if you’ve got a belly

Sorry if that was a long winded blog, as well as being an information hub I treat it as a diary I guess. People who suffer from hypermobility tend to be emotional characters and sometimes a problem shared really is a problem halved. Just getting it off my chest is good enough medicine. I worry about everything so even though it might not sound like too big an issue it just adds to the pile of my existing worries. So thank you if you got to the end of this post!