Throw Down with the Sun
Living in the land of perpetual winter (it drizzled the other day), I rarely have to worry about the consequences of sun exposure; so whenever I come across websites and forums directed at those with lupus and the perils of the sun, I usually read on as a casual observer, feeling fairly removed from the subject.
Over the last two weekends, however, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the sunshine, and I was caught off guard when I discovered that I, too, am affected by the sunshine. First, I went to San Diego to visit family. Now if I currently live in the land of perpetual winter, then San Diego is the land of the endless summer. I indulged myself with long walks on the beach without a hat or even sunscreen–and I have to admit, I loved every second of the sun’s warmth on my face.
After an hour of this, my feet started feeling heavy, and I felt tired. But other than that, no big deal. Fast forward to the following weekend. My husband and I went on a bike ride followed by a swim in a lake. So much fun! It had been way too long since I’d been physically active, and it felt good. Again, lots of sunshine. But this time, I wore a big ol’ floppy hat and lots of sunscreen. After a little while of sitting out in the sun with a long-sleeved swimsuit coverup on, I realized how much I’d missed laying out in the sun. I threw off my coverup and threw down the gauntlet: Bring it, Sun. I dare you to turn me a darker shade of pale.
Challenge accepted, bitch. After 15 minutes, I started feeling like I was frying, so I put on more sunblock. A little while later, I put my coverup back on. Then I edged towards the shade. By the time we got home, I was done. I fell asleep sitting upright on the front porch.
Now all of this could’ve been avoided, but as I told my husband, I don’t want to be one of those people. You know, the person who lives in a plastic bubble, who never goes outside, who never enjoys life? It felt so good to do the things I used to do, like ride a bike and swim on a hot summer’s day. But am I really ready to throw down with lupus? Can I win that fight?
How do people with lupus enjoy summer?