Before I start this entry I must make it clear I am not complaining I am just stating a fact that is true, not only for me, but for many who suffer from autoimmune diseases. With that being said I can begin.
Summer. Just seeing, reading, or hearing the word makes most people great excitement. Thoughts of the beach, camping, picnics, weddings, and many other outdoor events all bring smiles to many souls. I will admit that the thoughts of these things bring joy to my soul too but there is one problem. The heat.
Heat for people with autoimmune diseases can be an evil companion to bring along to all those summer events. I love sitting outside on my swing enjoying nature and all the beauty that surrounds me. There are days in the summer I am able to do so but on most days with our hot and humid Michigan weather it is out of the question because the heat is my enemy. I try on those hot days to be like the rest of the world but when I do I get sick and sometimes very sick. I feel like I am going to pass out, I overheat very fast like a hot car on the highway. You know what that looks like when you drive by one on the road, now think of a body doing the same thing. Yes, it is that bad. I get rashes if I stay in the sun for any length of time. I get dizzy and ill if I am out in the heat too long. When we have to go away in the summer and it is an outside event I begin to panic before we get to wherever we are headed and as soon as we arrive I look for the shade,and being selfish, I race to the shade. I move my chair so I am out of the sun. It sounds crazy, I know, when most people are meeting and greeting their friends all I can think about is finding my spot in the shade and getting to it. While the rest of the party is enjoying the summer I am in fear of becoming ill. Like I have said many times being ill isn't something you can take off and put on a shelf while you attend a party, it goes with you everywhere. Summer for me, is much harder than winter. I swell up like a balloon. I am stiffer. My eye droops from the heat which isn't a big deal unless it is drooped and causing more blurry vision which has been the case already and is right now. My fatigue is much worse in this heat even with the air on but I must push on. I keep my goal to do at least one thing a day even on the days I am wore out. I keep the house picked up. I make dinner and do the laundry. I must. It is what keeps me going when all I want to do is crawl into a hole. Life goes on no matter what each day brings us good, bad, hot, cold, pain, no pain, the list could go on.
The sun to me is evil. How much I hate having to write that. I don't understand people who want to sit in the sun and bake and worry about how tan they are in the summer, to me, that makes no sense at all. Why in the world would anyone want to do that to themselves? But then again I am sure people look at me and think, white as a ghost, she must never get out. This is where the understanding of how different we all are from one another comes in. I fear the sun while others worship the sun. It is what it is.
One of the sweetest things ever is when we go outside or somewhere with Rich and he will automatically look for a shady spot for me. How he will make sure there is a chair under a tree for me. How he makes sure every summer we have covered canopy's in the backyard to shield me/us from the sun. How he makes sure the house is cool enough for me. Last year he bought an extra window air conditioner to keep our bedroom cooler because it gets warmer upstairs than downstairs. He tells me not to go outside on certain days because it is way to hot for me. He knows and understands what the heat does to me. I am so fortunate to have someone who understands it all. I know there are times he gets fed up with me so I try my hardest not to complain but there are the times it catches up to you holding it all inside and you have to explode. Its all a part of the dealing with it.
Summer approaches once again and not to wish my life away I will look forward to fall. I will still enjoy summer and will live through the heat, what other choice do I have? None. We all have our "stuff" whether it is illness or other problems. We must take our issues as they come and face them with a positive attitude. If we don't it just makes it all the harder to get to the other side. We must enjoy the ride and make the best of it. This summer my joy is knowing that Richie and Leah will be getting married. All the joys of a marriage and all the excitement that comes along with it. Looking forward to the wedding is what will get me through June and July and the heat of summer. What a great way to pass the time and wait for the heat to pass!