It has been a BUSY BUSY BUSY weekend, & a majority of it was spent outdoors! Now, I personally love the outdoors, but unfortunately, as many of you know (or found out the hard way), the sun is not good for certain chronic illnesses, Lupus in particular. I myself am slightly photosensitive, but if it isn't the disease preventing you from basking in the sun, the medications will stop you dead in your tracks for sure. Luckily, my family has an awning in our backyard that encompasses most of the patio, so I am easily able to avoid the suns rays like I did yesterday, for my little(and by that I mean 5 inches taller than me) brother's H.S. Graduation party! (As much as I would love to lay out in the suns rays and be "bronze" which for me consists of lots of freckles that mesh together and make me look slightly less pasty than usual, I live by the code of the chronically ill and it usually keeps my stubborn self out of trouble!) But today... today was a different story. Today, my younger brother graduated from High School ( I know what your thinking, what high school holds their graduation on Sunday? Well apparently ours does!) His graduation was held outdoors, so I took some precautions...and by precautions I mean arguing with my dad about which sundress to wear because he insisted I wear something that covered my chest and shoulders so I would not get too much sun, and bickering with my mom about whether or not to take an umbrella to protect me from the sun's dreadful rays. Now I'm stubborn and if you tell me I cannot do something or that I have limitations/restrictions It will only make me want to do it more, but I gave in, and wore a dress that had a 3/4 length sleeve and offered a bit more protection from the sun, but as far as the umbrella, well I'll be damned if I'm going to be caught looking like Mary Poppins walking around with an umbrella on a perfectly sunny day. Well, 10 minutes after arriving (still about 40 minutes before the actual ceremony was set to begin), I was eating my own words and standing under one of many umbrellas (thankful that my Aunt Joan and Mom had brought Umbrellas anyway even after I made a point of how I would not use one) in a sea of umbrellas that had taken over what used to be the bleachers for our HS football games. I still got a bit of sun and the heat eventually was my demise proving itself as the bigger adversary. Needless to say I think my "lets go to the beach and lay in the sun days have come to an end...So here are some survival tips for being outdoors for the Chronically Ill:
- Wear loose comfortable clothing (and avoid black, which was my first mistake of the day! Also, this does not mean you have to look like a candidate for "What not to Wear," you can still be stylish and fashionable) - Stay hydrated (and as much as I'd like to think my 28 oz iced coffee was "refreshing" it probably did more harm than good!) - Sunglasses are a must! (I recommend a stylish pair of Oakleys or my personal faves, if your into throwbacks, the Rayban Wayfarers!) - Umbrellas are key! Especially if you are unsure if there will be shade! (Again, Umbrellas are good for more than just rainy days... who knew?)
And Lastly, Mom and Dad are usually right. So know matter how old you are, listen to your parents, they do know best and are always looking out for your best interest! (Yes, thats right, I said it...They were right and I was wrong... but mom and dad, if your reading this...DON'T get used to hearing me say that because I'm NEVER wrong, except for RARE instances like today! ) On that note I'll leave you with the daily Jolt-of-Java, which was inspired by the recent passing of a sweet soul who lost her life to Lupus (and it's complications) & the battle for her life another one of our Lupus sisters' is currently facing Jolt-of-Java: When life's problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more blessed than you imagined...& remember We are all in this together & we're here to chew bubble gum & kick some ass (Lupus' & Chronic illnesses'!