It’s cold waiting for the doctor. Nervous patients tend to sweat, resulting in a ripped gown that sticks to your body. Body parts we don’t want exposed are exposed. Most patients become embarrassed and uncomfortable.
Many of us only have to see a doctor once a year for an annual exam. During those visits we may be asked to disrobe for an examination. A nurse hands us a paper shirt or gown to cover up.
However, for individuals who visit doctors frequently for treatments of chemotherapy, kidney dialysis and pain management, this is a constant chore.
Medical Dignity Clothing Corporation, an online business owned by Mary Hogan, has designed and patented the Medical Dignity Garment to help maintain the wearer’s dignity and warmth during treatment.
Former Minooka resident Sarah Sauer, 17, who now lives in Indiana, inspired Hogan to create the medical garment. At the age of 10, Sauer was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and doctors only gave her a 50 percent survival rate.
“She didn’t want to wear pajamas all the time to treatment in order to be comfortable,” Hogan said.
Sauer’s mother Cindy, a close friend of Hogan, expressed her concerns that she was having difficulties finding clothing that would provide her daughter comfort and easy access for her post-op treatments. Hogan, an interior designer felt that she needed to put her design skills to the test.
Hogan had no problem sketching some ideas onto paper. Her sketches and patterns were given to a seamstress to assemble into what would be the medical garment.
The result was a white garment that had break away sleeves and Velcro flaps on the right and left side of the chest that opened all the way down the front. This allowed Sarah to change clothing without having to disconnect from the central line.
“She wore her garment during all her treatments,” Hogan said. “She is doing well these days. She is in remission.”
The unisex garment comes in sizes for adults, children and toddlers, Hogan said. She hopes to eventually offer more colors to the line.
But in the meantime, the garment can be worn casually with jeans, she said. Some patients even like to spruce it up with sparkling jewelry, colorful scarves and big belts. Men will don their favorite tie to create a business look, she said. Children will have their garments embroidered. One child had a truck on his, she said.
Hogan said she has given thought to designing a special gown for both children and adults for standard physician visits as well as one for women to wear when they are at their obstetrician/gynecologist. But right now it’s too soon to tell when that will happen, she said.
Washing the garments are simple, said Hogan. Garments are to be washed in cold water and tumble dry low; immediately taking it out to avoid wrinkles. Hydrogen Peroxide can be used to lift blood and other stains from the garment, she said.
Garments can be purchased at online or by calling Hogan at 815-941-4894. They also can be ordered by email. A form can be downloaded from the website if the customer prefers to order by mail. Costs are $44 for adults, $37 for children and $33 for toddlers, she said. There is an additional $5 charge for shipping.
Hogan said she keeps the prices low because she doesn’t want to burden the customer with additional high costs.
“I just want to help people keep control over things and allow them some dignity,” Hogan said. “ It’s heartwarming to see people wearing the garments.”