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?

7 Responses to “Throw Down with the Sun”
  1. I understand how frustrating this battle can be! I crave laying out in the sun at the beach– especially because I live in LA and that’s what people here do in the summer! Just know that moderation is key for those of us with lupus. I know I can’t take ANY sun exposure without lots of sunscreen and at least a hat. But I still get out in the sun for 30-50 minutes/day. I often feel tired after, but it’s worth it to me to feel the sun’s warmth. Learn to find your balance and what your body can tolerate.

    • lupinelife says:

      That’s really encouraging to know that you get regular sun exposure without any major effects. I’m still figuring out my tolerance level; I think I overdue it a lot of the time. It’s a little like experimenting on myself until I figure out what works…

  2. Autumn Newman says:

    Perhaps it isn’t about a fight, but about a balance and knowing your body. The more you experiment with sun exposure and how it affects your body, I think the better you will be able to gauge when you can sneak in some sunshine and when you should just stay in the shade. I’m sure It’s nice to know you don’t have to avoid it completely, but be smart about what you should and should not do. I have to do this with lots of food because my tummy is a bitch.

    • lupinelife says:

      Words of wisdom… moderation and patience. Good life lessons. 🙂

      • Ben says:

        Happy Sits Day!Oh man, I understand what you’re going tohgurh. I am so happy you were able to get a diagnosis from a doctor. I’m still waiting .except for the anxiety part (all my doctors agree on that one!)I know that chronic illness can be maintained and won’t kill you (if treated) but I hope you find the right choice of treatment so you aren’t in that horrible slump or in pain! Being sick (especially when people can’t physically see it!) is no fun!Jamieb4s last [type] ..

  3. sjretails says:

    I know you can win! I’m glad you enjoyed every minuet of your time in the sun!

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