Blogging with Parkinson's

A personal perspective on Young Onset Parkinson's

Fastenings: Shoelaces, Buttons and Zips


It’s the little things that get you – at first, at any rate.

Take fastenings on clothing. Buttons, zips, shoelaces… I’ve had problems with all of them in the past year. More a frustrating slowness than anything else, but when you’re also trying to jolly along two small children on their way to school, clumsy hands are the last thing you need.

Image from Wikipedia.

Buttons can be tricky because they require a fair amount of dexterity in both hands. I can do the button on my jeans without too much trouble, but shirt buttons have proved a little more troublesome (it’s easy not to wear shirts with buttons, mind). The worst culprits are the buttons on the duvet covers – I’ve even resorted to asking my children to do those up for me! I’m not sure why that should be – perhaps it’s the angle, or maybe the large, flat button is somehow trickier. It’s a shame we don’t have more duvet covers with poppers on them at home.

Plastic and nylon (coil) zips. Image from Wikipedia.

Zips are quite variable. I sometimes have trouble connecting open-ended zips, such as are found on jackets (again, jeans are no trouble).

I had two waterproof winter jackets. One is a mens’ jacket, and, although it has a good quality plastic zip, it is actually a little long for me (most of my height is in my legs; I used to do the double-ended zip up and then undo the bottom inch). This winter, I have found that that extra length makes starting the zip off – i.e. connecting it – difficult. The other jacket is much newer, and is a shorter, ladies’ jacket. Unfortunately, it has a cheaper coil zip, and the lowest end of the zip tape has broken, which – again – makes starting the zip off very awkward.

But I acquired another jacket this winter, a short ladies’ ski jacket with a strong plastic zip. Hopefully it will see me through many winters to come, clumsy hands or no.

I’m actually using shoelaces as a personal indicator for how well the drugs are working.

Before the Rasagiline kicked in, I was ridiculously slow tying my shoelaces, and I ended buying some lock laces as a replacement (cheaper than new shoes, particularly as laced shoes have always fit me best). Lock laces are elastic laces with a spring-loaded ‘lock’; they are, it seems, much loved by runners. They worked well for me, even in my lightweight walking boots.

But then I replaced my boots. In the shop, and the first few times I wore them, it seemed easier to tie the laces. I don’t think that there was anything different about these new laces; I think it’s just that the Rasagiline was doing its job, and that tying laces had become more feasible.

So… when I start thinking about giving up on traditional laces again, that’s when I’ll know it’s time to move up a step on the medication.


3 thoughts on “Fastenings: Shoelaces, Buttons and Zips

  1. Love your post! Hate your challenge even more ! First hand witness to similar problems. My husband a Parkinsons sufferer as well. Please check out I’ve created a shirt with magnetized buttons for both men and women…. Untill there’s a cure – creativity is a must!!

  2. Reblogged this on Magnaready's Blog and commented:
    Until there’s a cure.. Creativity is a must! sells men’s and women’s magnetized dress shirts !

  3. Excellent work you’ve done here. Keep up the good work. Best of luck with your condition.

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