Cut the bum out of your trousers. Your life will be 113% easier, a little bit safer and it will make going outside in your wheelchair one Metric Bum Load less difficult.
Most trousers are inappropriate and/or uncomfortable for wheelchair drivers.
Cut the back out of your trousers and solve a ton of problems at once.
Measure 5 cm in from each side seam on the back of your trousers and the waistband and place a pin. Then measure 5 cm in from the crotch seam and place a pin.
Take your scissors and cut from one waistline pin in a straight vertical line down the leg seam. When you are almost level with the crotch line pin cut a 90° curve and cut a horizontal line towards the crotch pin.
When you reach the middle of the trousers keep cutting across until you are almost in line with the other waist line pin and then cut another 90° curve and finally keep cutting until you reach the waist line pin.
These trousers happened to have a lining so we stitched around the cut line stitching the liner and outer part of trousers together using a straight stitch. (Only stitch lined trousers or ones made of very frayable fabric: you don’t want to remove seams to prevent pressure sores, only to add your seams and ridges back in!) Finally, remove the pins and wear your new trousers.
After spending nearly a decade being quadriplegic and not finding a single pair of trousers that both fit me, are comfortable and are not tracksuit bottoms, Sally finally hit upon a genius solution: she just grabbed a pair of scissors and hacked the bum off my pants. Couple that great idea with the sewing and cutting skills of my PA Kersty, and the solution is obvious: Cut the bottom out of all of your trousers!
Stuart, I’m not cutting the bottom out of my trousers, that’s crazy
Stay with me here. Doing this satisfies so many problems quadriplegics face when buying new trousers that it stops being funny and the genius fully reveals itself. Here’s a list of things that doing this solves:
- You are not sitting on seams or pockets that can cause pressure sores.
- Cutting the back out means that there isn’t as much pressure on the front of the trousers where a person might have a suprapubic catheter for instance.
- They are very easy to get on and off.
- They are very easy to get on and off (this one is worth mentioning twice, seriously!).
- It means you can get up in the morning and put on your no-pressure-risk, easy-to-get-on bottoms (like a pair of longjohns ) until you need to go out. At this point you simply pull on your new bottomless trousers while you are already in your chair, with no hoisting along with your coat and gloves, and you will be warm and toasty and dressed like an adult, whilst bodding around town. Your bum never needs to leave the chair; your “trousers” are really a cunning blanket!
- You can do to any pair of trousers, slacks, jeans, waterproofs, long shorts1, or any other pair of trousers you care to mention. (So you can wear things with zips and thick denim and things you might have given up on because of the pressure risk or the extreme hassle of wrestling the damn things on.)
But best of all, nobody can tell that you don’t have any bottoms in your trousers. (Apart from obviously everyone now knows this about me because I put it on the internet, oh well.) It really has made my life so much easier. It’s removed one of those nothing-but-everything barriers that stop you from going outside, that great big “I’m not going out because it takes a gigantic amount of time to put on my coat, gloves and trousers!” is made up of a series of little problems like this so it’s just a matter of knocking them out one at a time.
To be able to do this you will need one pair of trousers, and a Designated Pair of Hands™2 that is fairly good with a pair of scissors. This was a first attempt at this so we consider them a prototype, I’m sure that as we do more pairs of trousers our technique will advance and we will be sure to keep you up-to-date.