Thursday, March 11, 2010

sun, tanning, lupus

Like all the rest of you with lupus, I had to give up sun-worship.
This makes me incredibly sad for several reasons.

I love being outside in warm weather. I love the beach. I love to swim. I love lying in the sun like a lizard and getting all hot, then diving into cold water. And now when I'm outside in the sun for any amount of time, I can't enjoy myself because I'm filled with anxiety about whether my enjoyment is going to cost me my kidneys. I miss the doses of natural vitamin D and the smile a sunny day puts on my face. I feel like a vampire.

Aside from eradicating lupus from my life, which I'm always working on, I don't have any solution to all this.

But I do have a tiny temporary occasional solution to the one other reason I grieve my sun-worshipping days (I also miss how great I look with a tan, sun-kissed hair). I met someone in an acting class I was taking who does spray-tanning in NY city, and she uses all natural ingredients.
So, I think I might, for a special occasion (friend's wedding in July) treat myself to a "tan" just once, so I can feel like myself.

Meanwhile, I have found that when my lupus is under control, I can spend small amounts of time in the sun (not long enough to get a burn- like 10-15 minutes) and have no ill effects. Obviously, we have to be very careful with this, but FYI, some of us do become less sun-sensitive when the disease goes into remission.

Carla Ulbrich

The Singing Patient: Author, Survivor, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer - Carla's book "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?"
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