March 29, 2011

A Sjoggie's Night Out

Web Radio Appearance Rescheduled
For anyone who may have missed the can still 'hear me hear me' on web 2 weeks.  Trish, the lovely lady who hosts the show, has not quite recovered from a recent procedure and we had to reschedule.  We have now booked my guest appearance for April 10 - which happens to be my birthday - so I will post new details closer to that date.  And in the meantime, if you're the praying type, please include Trish in yours so the rest of her recovery may go smoothly and she can return to the work she loves as soon as possible!

In the meantime, I had a weird thought to share with you (yes, I know, just what you've always wanted).

A Sjoggie's Night Out
Picture found here, from Payless Shoes.

On Saturday, Shawn's firehouse had their annual banquet.  While officially "semi-formal", it brings out every outfit from leggings and tunics to strapless body-hugging cocktail dresses.  Many of the girls get their hair done, and the local nail salons are practically overrun (which is saying something, considering my town is known for our abundance of pizza parlors, parks, and nail salons...don't ask me why).  It seems over the past six years I've tried every look imaginable - one year I went hot & spicy with a long red halter dress and sassy strappy shoes with big sunny flowers on them.  Another year I wore the "anti-Jen" outfit, comprised of a blue strapless dress, high pointy silver pumps, and a sleek hairdo (things I generally avoid).  Of course, I've tried the pant-ensembles as well - something every inflamed-jointed Sjoggie appreciates especially in the unpredictable weather March brings.  This year, I think I finally nailed a look I'm pretty happy with - but in the process I noticed a few peculiar things I have to cope with for a night on the town.  Afterall, no special event would be complete without giving consideration to my physical (dis)abilities, so here's a list of battles I fight with my body to get out the door and through the night.

Challenge 1: Time!!
Getting ready for something like this is truly a day-long event.  As you'll notice from the rest of the challenges below, to ACTUALLY do my hair and makeup, get into my outfit, and out the door takes a while (more than just the stereotypical 'girl prep'time).  Oh, you want to do it without getting into a fight with my husband or sobbing?  Tack on another hour or so.

Challenge 2: My Arms & Shoulders
I can't afford to get my hair done for this so I have to plan and execute a style myself.  This is always one of the hardest things for me.  Leaving aside the fact that my hair is as stuborn as I am, any look I try to go for involves holding my arms over my head for an extended period of time.  With the style I chose, I had to obviously start by washing my hair (arms raised), blow it out (arms raised AND flipping head over), roll it in hot curlers (arms raised and dexterity), coerce the locks into a style after curling (arms raised and finer dexterity to use pins)...ugh I'm aching thinking about it.  And a little side perk - the hairspray isn't exactly sicca syndrome friendly (dry eyes + hairspray = problems). 

Challenge 3: My Hands
With antibodies that go for connective tissue & chronic inflamation comes a certain tendon-cy.  Ha, haha, get it?  Tendon?  Tendonitis?  Tendon-cy?  Hoo boy I guess those hairspray fumes are still affecting my brain power. 

Well anyway...yes, I am prone to tendon problems pretty much throughout my body, though the majority of these problems manifest in my hands.  In particular, the tendons in my hands which connect to my thumbs get pretty darned angry.  Imagine fanning yourself with a flyer or brochure - those are the tendons I'm talking about.  It's amazing how many things we do which use those tendons...and which it is now hard for me to do at all.  For example, I can't handwash dishes anymore because holding plates and working the sponge or towel into crevices sets them off (no, this one's not a joke, it's really not funny being dependant).

There are countless other things I do that use (and aggrivate) those same tendons.  They acted up while putting on makeup, fighting with an awkward side-zipper, and using hairpins or other hairdo activities (see above).  Possibly the most obnoxious task?  Putting on hosiery.  For those who don't know, to put on a pair of hose one must scrunch up one leg and then using all your strength battle that scrunched hose up - carefully maintaining the right balance of 'yank' and caution lest one wrong move pop a run.  Then, with that leg partway up, you balance while scrunching up the other leg and starting the process over, this time while pinned to your half-hosed knee!  Then when they're about even, you start the similar process of getting them the rest of the way up, which includes all the previous steps PLUS a very bizarre looking dance.  This was possibly my most frustrating and surprising challenge of the night.

Challenge 4: High Heels
Stiletto pumps (pictured above).  'Nuff said.  (Although, small victory - this is the first time I've EVER kept shoes this style on my blasted feet as I walked!)

Challenge 5: Purse Packing
This sounds like it shouldn't be so rough, but I was trying to get all my necessities into a tiny bag.  What are Sjoggie necessities?  Well, there's the usual things - credit card, ID, business cards (I never leave home without them); then, the girl things - nail file, lip stick; the things every good wife carries - a Tide pen.  But then I still have to cram the Sjoggie supplies - eye drops, Advil, stomach meds (gotta love that GI system involvement that springs up at the worst times).

Challenge 6: The Cold
And finally, we get out the door...and into the cold.  I faced the usual choice - which coat.  There's the amazing warm jacket I've fallen in love with this winter, but which not only ruins the look but also leaves it's down feather filling calling card on everything I wear.  Then, there's the long black trench coat which makes my outfit and almost makes me look skinny no matter what, but doesn't provide adequate protection against the below-freezing temps.  Of course, I chose the trench coat (hey, I'm usually pragmatic but once or twice a year a girl's gotta feel like a real woman, not some balsawood toy plane held together by paperclips and rubber bands).  I may have made my choice but of course I still had to live with it - and pay for it

Challenge 7: The Day After
The grand finale - and one familiar to every Sjoggie (or other chronic patient) I've ever met.  So I wore out my arms and tendons in my hands, did battle with nylons (or whatever those things are actually made of), and out of sheer pig-headed will danced the night away in my silly (but oh so pretty) shoes.  The next day I felt like I'd done the tango with a battling ram.  I only wore stilettos on my feet, why did my whole body have to pay for it?  I guess because the only time my whole body communicates is to share inflamation.  It's now three days later and I have a sore throat, extra dry eyes, and a lingering problem with my left hand.

Was it worth it?  I don't know, ask me after my next dose of Advil.  Hm, I wonder what I'll wear next year....


  1. Jenny, I totally understand what you're saying. Whenever we have a get-together with family/friends, I'm all excited about seeing people, but by the time I've gotten ready, I'm ready to stay home. I'm tired out by the preparations and just want to rest and lie down, and don't feel like leaving the house for more noise and activity. Hope you'll feel better.

  2. I loved this post. And, ironically enough, was planning on posting something similiar to this soon. I had one of those nights out last weekend and was thinking about everything extra we chronic chics have to deal with while getting ready!!

  3. Jen - especially loved your description of putting on panty hose! hehe. Post a picture. Betcha you looked gorgeous.

  4. I hope you had a great time, no matter what.


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