#HAWMC, au naturale, beauty, beauty products, castor oil, challenge, chronic autoimmune, clarisonic, co-wash, exfoliate, face, face wash, facial, lupie chick, lupie chick project, lupus, lupus Awareness, lupus foundation, natural, natural hair, neutrogena

#HAWMC Lupie Chicks Love Hate Relationship with the Sun

20130411-204927.jpgWinter 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….

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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).

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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).

420403_3700599594512_871037023_nMe & 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).

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Dress  & Sweater Target, Sandals Nine West, Necklace-hand made by Me

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.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
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Eden Body Works-Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Product Review

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Manufacturer: Eden Body Works

Type: PEPPERMINT Tea Tree Shampoo

Size: 8 fl.oz

Price: $8.50

Rating: 4

Attributes: This invigorating shampoo increases scalp circulation for a refreshed, renewed feeling. Removes all traces of dirt and oil build up. Formulated to help alleviate dry scalp with the use of pure peppermint botanicals. (Taken from the Eden Body Works website)

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Lauramidopropylamine Oxide,  Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Hydroxypropyl Guar,  Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, PEG-150 Distearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) Oil,  Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Leaf Oil, Phenoxyethanol (insert-hand cramp, had to type that out due to their ingredients being a pic instead of typed..*sigh*)

The Good: My hair felt clean as if I had used a clarifying shampoo. My hair did not feel striped once I rinsed it. I used a product sample I’d received from a hair event, the sample contained enough shampoo for me to wash my hair twice (I have a TWA) while in the shower.

The Bad: The shampoo lathers really well, A LOT. I have become accustom to sulfate free shampoos, and am not use to a lot of lather. Although my hair did not feel striped, it didn’t feel as moisturized as when I use Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. I did not feel the “tingle” many  spoke about when using this shampoo.

Overall: It’s a good product, and personally I will continue to use this shampoo, but as a clarifying shampoo. I will opt for the more moisturizing Shea Moisture shampoo or my sulfate free brands for daily/weekly use.

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Day 2: #HAWMC 5 Ways to Fight Like a Girl For Lupus

Sometimes when dealing with chronic illness, you’re inner you says FIGHT, the outer you don’t know how or where to begin. It can all be a tad bit overwhelming, and at times confusing. Below are my top 5 tips to FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL FOR LUPUS!

lupus2Step 1: Acknowledge It!

First we have to acknowledge that we have an illness before we can take a step in any direction. Though symptoms of Lupus differ, people with them are united by the denial, anger, fear, hope, and acceptance and other feelings they bring. At diagnosis, feelings of grief and loss had consumed me. I felt that Lupus was restricting me from the things I enjoyed; no longer able to attend cabarets (because of the loud music and the migraines), it was summer, and I was unable to attend barbecues, crab feasts, or hang out at the beach/park with my children and grandson. I felt inadequate, isolated, and withdrawn from family, friends, and the MC/SC community. A month into my diagnosis, I took to YouTube and posted a video. Instantly, when I acknowledged my disease, and stop acting sick, people stopped treating me like I was sick!  I buried my grief-stricken feelings, and haven’t looked back!

imagesca53ej72Step 2: Claim Your Power!

Ask yourself a question. Are YOU ready to “Fight Like A Girl”? By claiming your power you pledge to stand strong and fight against Lupus. You declare that you have a power within that will help prevail against weakness and that if by chance we fall while struggling to stand we will not feel guilty but reach out to our Lupie sistas & brothers for help! I pledge to do all this and believe we can because we have claimed our power!

lupus4Step 3: Find Your Social Media-Family!

We are not alone! There are 1.5 million lupus survivors in the United States. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have hundreds of different groups and pages dedicated to raising awareness and support for Lupus. On Facebook, you can do a search (in the search box) for the keyword Lupus. A list of Lupus support groups & pages should appear. On Twitter and Instagram the way to find someone is to search for a hashtag mentioned in a tweet/picture post. All the people who have used those hashtags will appear-you simply “follow” and most will “follow back” Some of the common hastags to search for are: #lupus, #LupusAwareness, #spoonie, #butterfly, #ChronicIllness, Together we share our pains and sorrows, our joys and pleasures. Whatever we experience we can learn to share it and fight it together!

lupus.1Step 4: Become an educated Patient!

Whenever I get a new symptom, like a rash or chest pain, I say to myself, “Its Mister (aka “my Lupus”) begging for attention. No need to worry. No need to check it out. It’ll go away in a few days.” At times, this is probably true. But more often, a new symptom needs to be evaluated and perhaps treated so it doesn’t become a life-threatening event. I will post on one of the support groups that I belong too and/or I will turn to Google. It’s imperative to our health that we become “hands-on” patients and educate ourselves. As patients we cannot just depend on our doctor to tell us everything. We have a responsibility to our health and well-being to do our own research! Find out the current medical news, keep a food/illness diary (this helps to discover what foods trigger symptoms-check out this app), look up alternative medicines, talk to other patients and find out what works for them. Some great Websites to visit are: Lupus Foundation of America, WebMD, MayoClinic.com, John Hopkins Lupus Center, Alliance for Lupus, NIH, and Life with Lupus.

lupus3Step 5: Sharing is Caring!

You’ve heard it before: “It takes a village”, “Two heads are better than one”, Each one can reach one! So reach out and help someone else begin the journey to overcoming Lupus. It can be scary, but 9 out of 10 times, there is someone who can relate and/or has experienced something similar to what you are dealing with. Together we can stand strong!

The informational content of this article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.