April 12, 2013 by The Lupie Chick
Winter has finally realized that his season is over! Spring is here; the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, sun shining, warm weather (75+ degrees daily), fresh spring/summer fruit is ripe and sweet (I had the best strawberries from Sam’s club last week). I love this Caribbean type weather, the hotter it is the more I enjoy it! What’s there to complain about?? The sun… ooh the sun is NOT my friend. Lupie Chicks such as me should avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible. Photosensitivity is one of the most aggravating triggers of our disease. It doesn’t take much exposure to ensure that we have a reaction. I went out yesterday for lunch with a girlfriend (trying to be “normal”). After lunch we walked around, enjoying the fresh air and the street vendors. Minutes after I returned to my desk, the nauseous feeling, and migraine hit me like an atomic bomb. I could feel myself slowly deteriorating right at my desk. I wanted to crawl under the desk and lay in a fetal position until it passed. I held it together trying not to bring attention to myself. As soon as 5 o’clock came, I was OUT of there, went straight home…. 3 extra strength Tylenol and 2 hours later Advil, I SHUT IT ALL THE WAY DOWN….
For us, sun exposure, even for as little as 30 minutes, causes us to develop migraine headaches, makes us feel nauseas and/or we will experience painful joints. Additionally, exposure to the sun can cause our disease to flare-up (an increase in the activity and symptoms of the disease. This may cause an acute attack of arthritis, pleurisy (chest pain when inhaling), fever, kidney disease, and even epilepsy. Sun sensitivity and UV light sensitivity (photosensitivity) is present in about 90 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 40 to 60 percent of patients with discoid lupus, and about 70 percent of patients with subacute lupus erythematosus.
I had to get back into my “summertime” routine. ** I occasionally, try and move about my day like my counter parts and not like a Lupie Chick, BUT I can’t, it’s not healthy for me. I’m accepting that the few extra minutes it takes me to do the extra things are well worth it at the end of the day.
Skin, after my shower, I start by applying Shea Butter (which has a SPF of about 5) & Coconut Oil (whipped together) as an all over skin moisturizer (body only-not face).
I then apply sunscreen (to my entire body). My dermatologist recommended Neutrogena Age Shield (SPF 70). Face, I apply Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40, then follow with Clinique stay Matte Sheer Press Powder. You can CLICK HERE to review my complete skin routine (including usage of Clarisonic cleansing brush, hydrocortisone, and daily face cleansing).
Me & Mama Naturalista
( I wasn’t being a diva, I was in my summer time protective gear)
Clothing, I wear either long pants, mid sleeve top, with a long sleeve spring/summer sweater or blazer (to cover my arms) or I wear maxi dresses (that come pass my ankles- to cover my legs) along with a summer sweater or blazer. I can’t adorn a hat or scarf to work, but I will wear sunglasses, if I have to go out during the day. On the weekends I will wear a wide brim hat or scarf. I purposefully bring my lunch and avoid going outside until after 2:00pm (when the UV rays aren’t as strong), If I must go outside earlier in the day, I will also use an umbrella to block the sun. Shoes, I typically wear flat ballerina shoes, but most recently I’ve had to opt for pep toe flats (due to Subungual Hematoma).
I try and wear brighter colors, (it may be my imagination) but it seems as if the dark colors draw more heat. I have to take every precaution necessary to stay cool. The season is here, and we have to be careful and take extra precaution to stay well during these spring/summer months.