A few days ago a lady asked me how lupus has affected my life. I could have easily gone into all the things that have altered my hopes, dreams and plans. These are the obvious things, the sudden swerves off the track I was walking down which are evident by the way my footprints go here and there and back to a straight line just to do it all again.
Instead, I told her what I am now going to share with you. When I was a child my mother would have this crazy idea of putting sunscreen on me so I could enjoy the great outdoors. Typically shed slather the sunscreen on me once, and set me free into the yard or park or what have you. She might repeat this same exercise after lunch. And it was no easy task because I tended to squirm away from her as best I could, because I was a child who had better things to do then wait for my mother to protect me from the sun.
When my mother thought I was old enough, she tasked me with taking care of my own sun protection. Needless to say I wasn’t the most diligent of people when it came to applying sunscreen appropriately and as often as I should have.
Enter lupus and suddenly I am a quality control expert when it comes to sunscreen and its application. I’ve been known to wear several different brands of sunscreen on my leg for testing purposes. And I’m not talking about SPF level 10 either, more like SPF 2050 at least. Okay so they don’t actually make it to that level yet, but you get the idea. I have fair-skinned friends who ask me which sunscreen should they use to keep their skin looking pale. Beloved who is exceedingly pale, could pass as wearing the almost white face of a made up geisha just uses my sunscreen liberally. (Yes friends I told her all of that, but now I will add a bit more for you.)
Enter lupus and suddenly I pay attention to what all the ingredients are in a meal. You need to know if there is anything that increases inflammation, I can probably tell you. If not right off the top of my head then within a few moments of checking my resources. You better believe I am a hit at dinner parties!
Enter lupus and now I KNOW the importance of the simple, little things in life. Typically I’d not be able to know this, not for myself, at this point in my life although I’d have heard it from a number of people over the years.