How to put on your underwear during a sciatica flareup

Things are feeling a bit better. I can hobble around slowly, though it makes the pain worse. I can lift my leg up a lot further, without using my hands to pull it.

For your amusement and edification, a lesson on underwear! It’s hard to put on pants and socks and undies when one leg doesn’t work very well, and I can’t bend over. But I have a million old lady bad-back tricks.

It helps to start with stretchy underwear.

Sit on the edge of the bed.

Drop underwear on the floor, carefully positioned.

Insert non-working leg into place.

With toes of working leg, scooch the underwear up your bad leg to where you can reach it with hands.

Insert good leg. Here’s where you need the underwear to be stretchy. This can be a hard trick. Don’t fall over!


Jeans are harder because they’re not stretchy. Skirts are easy, but they kind of suck because they can catch on crutches and hike up. (Oh well.) Socks, well, I struggle there, it’s not completely impossible, but it’s better to ask for help with the bad-leg sock.

Yesterday was a dark time, and it felt very hard to reach out and ask for help and emotional support, I felt very ashamed and foolish, so thank you to everyone who has been so nice and called or sent sweet emails or is coming over. I need it. It helps me feel more normal and jolts me out of my shame-spiral. People get sick or injured, they go to bed and rest, they get better, it’s normal. It’s not some kind of massive moral failing. (Yeah, that’s where my head goes, weird huh?) It was the hardest thing in the world to ask Rook to come home even though he called me spontaneously to check up and to offer to come back. He took care of Moomin, got us a silly movie (the first Casino Royale – omg the *outfits* and the absolutely ridiculous “plot”!) and brought me things in bed, petted my head, (I think I needed a bit of that all week, and didn’t ask) and held my leg up in traction for a bit, which brought me a complete absence of pain and made me cry with relief. Traction! I wish I had a pulley thing in the ceiling and a counterweight.

Also, I took the muscle relaxants again after refusing to take them for a couple of days. I’m doing the physical therapy exercises – over and over. At least once an hour.

We don’t have any special easter thing – or spring thing – I had gotten some chocolate eggs weeks ago – When Minnie comes over I think we’ll make devilled eggs and hide the chocolate around – or something – I feel sad that it’s not more festive for Moomin – but another year. I hobbled outside and cut a small bouquet of garden flowers. Moomin asked Rook “Am I a Christian?” and I answered he could learn about it and make up his mind later. Really, oursin’s commenters’ holiday suggestions are so much nicer. Discovery Day, with fire and silly cave-person outfits! Big Bang Day! Genocide remembrance day. Antiwar Day. DinoDodo Day (to honor/mourn extinctions).

Other than getting up to cut flowers I will stay in bed. Or maybe I could go outside another time and lie in the sun on my foam cushion – sun would be so cheering – if Rook sets it up for me.

Related posts

3 Responses to “How to put on your underwear during a sciatica flareup”

  1. Jo

    You sound happier – I’m glad. Hang in there.

  2. e

    wait a minute, why couldn’t such a thing be rigged? clothesline pulley wheel thingy hung from a ceiling hook, bag ‘o beans on the other end of the line kinda thing? it doesn’t have to be calibrated, right, just hoist your leg up in the air?

  3. e

    or for that matter, is the wheel thingy even necessary, just string a thin rope with the beans on the end over a couple of hooks, like a hanging lamp, only your leg be the lamp?

Leave a Reply