1. The first rule is to stay out of the sun, especially during the middle of the day.
Not make up, it is malar!
Lupus malar rash and an unforgettable social reaction!
Once, I had very uncomfortable and unforgettable moment at work because of my malar rash. A woman who really didn’t like me or our managing attorney very much began belittling me in front of other co-workers. I was bewildered as this woman began broadcasting her catty critique, “didn’t you get a little too carried away with your rouge this morning?” assuming the unbalanced redness on my cheeks was because I had used my cosmetics without skill.
I will never forget standing there, with my mouth gaping, wondering what in the world she was talking about! I wasn’t even wearing any cosmetics that day, not even lipstick. Unbeknownst to me, my malar rash had erupted during my morning bus ride to work from the sun exposure during my three block walk to my office. I had not looked in mirror since leaving my house, so I was caught completely off guard by her stinging comment.
Forgive the unkind, unaware, rude people
This woman had an unkind habit of making fun of people to try to lower other people’s opinions of them, I suppose in misguided efforts to try to make herself look better. It is sad that some people think that making fun of someone who is different, albeit diverse from themselves, is somehow a social “sport.” I think that people who act this way should actually be pitied, and even prayed for, but not hated — because of their lack of wisdom, kindness, insight and understanding. They reveal the true shallowness of their own soul by their rude acts, and they completely miss out on the rich blessings that kindness produces in relationships.
Fortunately for me, a couple of coworkers who were the intended audience for her unkind “put down,” instantly arose to my emotional defense. Without me saying a single word in retort, a couple of other coworkers immediately engaged the woman and publicly shamed her for her rudeness toward me. They spoke directly to her and harshly condemned her behavior! Others standing by in the room joined in a spontaneous chorus of rebuke. My coworkers who knew about my lupus recognized it as the cause of my overly red cheeks. After confronting my critic, they turned to me with many encouraging comments. As for me, for once, I was speechless!
Grateful for lupus awareness
In retrospect, I was very thankful most of my coworkers were lupus aware, and cared enough about me to take up my cause and handle this woman’s rudeness through a little well-timed peer pressure. Later, I overheard a “water cooler” discussion among other members of the office about their disbelief and disapproval of the woman’s social crudeness, judging it grossly inappropriate for the woman’s supposed professional, economic and social class.
This woman’s stack of degrees and professional position did not impress anyone that morning, but lupus malar rash certainly had an unexpected impact on my day.
[NOTE: This post was inadvertently published unfinished at 7:00 a.m. using the pre-scheduled posting feature, before I had really finished writing it and including the personal story I felt was very important to share. When I realized that this morning, I went ahead and completed it over coffee this morning, and re-published the updated version at 9:30 a.m. My apologies for making major changes to a post after its initial release. LA 5-22-2012]