This is my first summer after being diagnosed with Lupus and it is hard to say the least. I LOVE the outdoors. I love sunbathing, I love swimming, I love running outside, I love the beach and I love the lake. Texas is hot, so water is a must to cool off and what better way to cool off than the pool or lake? In the past, I have indulged in these things with little or no thought, but this summer is different. This summer, I am aware I have Lupus which is activated in large part by the sun. Sucks to be me…
For the first time, I have to think about it and weigh the pros and the cons. Today, I spent an awesome day with my friends at the pool. I wore SPF 100 sunscreen, I wore a hat, I put on the lotion often and I spent some time in the shade…but I am sitting here tired, achy and little cold from what I think is a flare from being in the sun. I did forget to take my medication, so I am hoping that some of this is my fault for being neglectful, but I am also accepting this could be my new normal. Summer may never be the same as I contemplate this world of the sun being my enemy.
I cannot say 100% how my form of Lupus reacts to the sun. Maybe I am just tired from playing all day or maybe it is more related to the lack of medication, but if it is related to the sun then I know I can do something to stop it. The challenge is I love the beach and our friend has a lake house which makes the choices hard. You want to go and have fun, but you have to put your health first and consider how irresponsible you are being when you don’t. This disease does not have to kill me and I am very lucky-so don’t chance it. I know what I should do, but it is still hard. I hope the summers in the future get easier because it sure is difficult to make the healthy choice when for the past 32 summers you never had to question it. On one hand the pool was fun, but on the other, I love my liver and kidneys. Choices…choices.
The good news is: I may avoid wrinkles and aging with my new sun regimen. I hope this disease helps me to age beautifully as I am more aware of the damaging effects of the sun.