PERFECTLY IMPERFECT – Lainie Ishiba

How I learnt to love, like, accept my body.. And you can too, disability or not !!!

Everyone has something; this is my something. It may sound cliché, but I choose not to define myself by my disability. The leg braces are supportive devices I have to wear, not who I am. Living with an invisible (not obvious) physical disability has its unique set of challenges. See my blog titled, Invisible Disability 101 for more on this.

Trend-ABLE is about feeling and looking confident in the body you have, finding humor in everyday challenges and discovering tools for living a great life. I am not sure where Trend-ABLE is headed, but my hope is that it helps at least a few of you right now.

They see me driving my two white designer dogs around town, at a party with friends, or in vacation photos with my handsome husband, and make assumptions !!

SKINNY JEANS & LEG BRACES

I Evolved From An Awkward, Insecure Depressed Girl Who “Walked Funny”

To A Mostly Happy Middle-Age Woman Who Still Walks Funny But Also Stylishly and Confidently

Trend-ABLE is a site for women, like me, with invisible (not obvious) physical disabilities who want to look and feel their best. The focus is on providing Perfectly Imperfect women with tools, fashion, and inspiration to live their best lives despite medical conditions and physical limitations.

Some of us use orthotic or prosthetic devices due to neurological, movement, or inflammatory disorders. Others use them because of a birth defect, joint problem, or major accident.

It sucks to be the woman stuck in boring flats when your true self is a woman in purple stilettos or classic Jimmy Choos.

It’s frustrating not to be able to do things you wish you could do and perhaps once could. To some, focusing on appearance is viewed as superficial and unimportant. For me, fashion and appearance are things that I can control; giving me some power over my disease.

Typical suburban mom My days are spent ubering my kids everywhere, shelling out cash for them, and attending their many games and performances !!

I started Trend-ABLE because as a licensed therapist and self-proclaimed fashionista in leg braces, I know that increased self-esteem leads to a better life overall.

Trend-ABLE is more than just finding clothing or shoes that work for your disability. It is about finding yourself and loving yourself; inside and out. I am passionate about helping women be the best they can be. I hope you will join our Perfectly Imperfect Tribe.

Don’t miss a single life-changing tip!`

Some women with invisible physical disabilities have autoimmune diseases like lupus, psoriasis, MS, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease to name a few. They may require orthotic/support devices for balance and/or walking, hand splints at night, or wear colostomy bags or hearing aids.

Strangers and even people we know may not be aware of our physical challenges. Depending on the day and situation, this can be good and bad. I Get It.

My parents saw the actress, Lainie Kazan on the Tonight Show (in the olden days before Google and Netflix) and loved her name. People usually torture the spelling, and now that my last name is Ishbia, you can forget it.

I live with my blended family of 7, in a small City in Michigan that has been described as a cross between Mayberry and Wisteria Lane.

Going to the local grocery store is like entering the bar on Cheers, “everyone knows your name.”I am the typical suburban mom. My days are spent ubering my kids everywhere, shelling out cash for them, and attending their many games and performances.

May Sound Cliche Everyone has something; this is my something. It may sound cliché, but I choose not to define myself by my disability !!

Honestly, I love every minute of it (though, not so much the 2-hour choir concerts) and have somehow managed (see my blog called Skinny Jeans for more info about my days at boarding school) to raise some kick-ass human beings. I hold a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.

I wanted to help teenagers with self-esteem related issues (because I had once had so many) and was happy to get my first real job making $22,000 as a therapist and group facilitator.

I found my niche, but It took a really long time to pay off those grad school loans.

My guilty pleasures include chocolate covered almonds, anything on Bravo, anti-aging face creams, and consignment shopping. So, what’s the deal with the leg braces and this Trend-ABLE site?

Most grown-ups know that what we see on Social Media is really just what people want us to see.

That couple posting “in love” photos, may actually be on the brink of divorce. Or, the Facebook over-poster friend “checking in” to fun places every night might, in reality, be very insecure and lonely.

From a distance, the world sees what I show them. They see me driving my two white designer dogs around town, at a party with friends, or in vacation photos with my handsome husband, and make assumptions.

With Trend-ABLE I am letting go of my perfectionism (maybe for the first time in 47 years) and being truly raw and vulnerable. I have an inherited neuromuscular disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth, which basically effects both my hands and legs. I cannot walk or balance without wearing leg braces up to my knees, and I can no longer tear a sugar packet or button my own sweater.

My mom, sister, and now my teenage daughter Zoe, all have CMT in varying degrees.