Memorial Day Weekend: Avoid Flares and Enjoy the Sun

By Carie ShermanCarie Sherman

First things first—thank you for the gracious support you provided through Lupus Colorado’s Facebook page. (Have you been there? If not—GO. It’s awesome!) You’ve given me the confidence to keep going with this blog in the hope that together, we can help other Coloradans dealing with issues of the auto immune.

I love this holiday—a chance to remember and a chance to celebrate my favorite season. I’m a summer girl. Bleached hair, tanned skin, dirty feet—that’s who I am. Well, used to be. My days of sun-up to sun-down outdoor antics have become rare. But that’s okay. I’ll address the boo-hoos and emotional mind-messing in a later post.

Since I traveled last weekend and am beyond exhausted, I’ll spend most of the days resting. But I do plan to get outside. So today’s focus is an important practicality: protecting yourself from lupus flares that result from sun exposure.

  1. Sunscreen. I hate putting on sunscreen. Whether I’m sick, rushing to a meeting, or desperate to know why my dog is wet and my toddler is hysterical, I don’t need another “to do.” That’s why I LOVE Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration—a moisturizer and sunscreen in one. It sooths my dry skin and gives me 50 SPF. 50! It has a light coconut smell and a little bit of shimmer, which perks me up even on dark days. You can find it in any drug store.
  2. Hats. I spent much of my teens and twenties hiding behind a grimy ball cap. And while you can often still find me in a navy blue cap with half the visor eaten off (thanks, Farley-dog), some occasions require a refined look. Luckily, hats are back. You can find something that fits your style in nearly any store. I like Target.
  3. Clothing. Your average white tee has an SPF of 4. You should apply sunscreen everywhere, but a little protection from your clothes can’t hurt. Once a specialty store item, SPF clothing is showing up at retailers like REI, Athleta, and Lands End. Can’t afford a new wardrobe? The makers of RIT dye provide a sun guard rinse you can add to your laundry. I haven’t tried it (let me know if you have!).

Steve Martin once said: A day without sunshine is, you know, night. I’m sick of night. Even if it’s for 10 minutes and in the shade, I’ll be outside this summer. I hope you are too.

Do you have any sun protection tips? Share them below.

Diagnosed. by Carie Sherman

Carie ShermanIt was August of 2011. I had just returned from a weekend at the beach with my best girlfriends. We spent three days lounging like lizards with drinks in hand, carrying on as if we were 21 again.

I returned a hot mess. After a week of what I believed was worst hangover ever, I turned to my primary care doctor. After my exam, she suggested I see a rheumatologist. I can’t remember asking her why. I trusted her, so I went.

Man, rheumatologists take a LOT of blood.

By the time I went in for my follow-up, I’d convinced myself my diagnosis would be extreme laziness.

After all, I’d just changed careers. Moving from a relatively stressful corporate job to a lot less stressful “freelancer” status totally fit Diagnosis Lazy. My daughter had just turned one. Aren’t all new 35-year old moms tired?
Continue Reading

April Newsletter

Client Support in the 21st Century

From Debbie Lynch, CEO
One of the issues we have struggled with for the last 10 years is how to facilitate providing support, other than financial assistance, for those with lupus and their families.

In the early part of the decade we organized support groups, 18 to be exact, in various parts of the state. A written manual and training were available for group leaders as was a quarterly stipend for meeting expenses.

About 9 months into the first year, imagine our surprise when we were ready for the quarterly conference call and no one called in! Follow up phone calls found that for various reasons groups were not meeting, had disbanded altogether or had decided to call each other as needed.
Continue Reading

March Newsletter

LC launches electronic newsletter

Welcome to our first electronic newsletter. Lupus Colorado staff members couldn’t be more thrilled that hundreds of you responded to our mailing indicating that you want to continue receiving the newsletter, but in its electronic form.

“While we know there are some who will miss the printed piece, the cost-savings benefits are substantial,” said Lupus Colorado CEO Debbie Lynch. “If we can allocate more money directly into lupus research, we believe that is the responsible thing to do.”

Postage costs are increasing in 2013 as has been the trend for the past few years. Lynch estimates the organization will save more than $14,000 annually on printing and postage costs. The newsletter will still be published each month, but rather than be delivered to mailboxes, it will be delivered to Inboxes.

Not to be forgotten are the advantages to the environment. Reams of paper will be saved, not to mention envelopes, ink and stamps.
Continue Reading