Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: Bathing Suit Season and Us

I saw it the other day. Had to blink and clear my eyes to make sure I’d seen correctly. Yup. It was there. Plain as these springtime-lengthened days. What was it?

An advertisement for bathing suits.

What is a lupus patient who cannot go out in the sun, let alone go to the pool or beach, doing writing about bathing suits?

Well, more to the point, I’m talking bathing suit season – and with it, all the other appearance-driven things that can be frustrating, challenging, and sometimes even comedic for those of us with chronic illness. What do I mean by that? Well, for me, as well as people who have had skin cancer and some other sun-sensitive conditions, there is the need to stay covered up, even when the mercury soars and the sun is brilliant. Long sleeves, long pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and even gloves are still part of the year-round wardrobe, sometimes causing others to stare or comment. Once, at a conference, a fellow presenter shook his head at me and said, “You look very overdressed.” I wasn’t, by lupus standards, but I knew it would take more explaining than I had energy to give to help the man understand why I was wearing long sleeves and a hat when other women weren’t. Sometimes, not saying anything is more potent than saying a lot.

For those who can put on summer-ier clothing, there can still be awkward issues, especially if the chronic illness has caused weight gain, skin discoloration, or other visible manifestations. These can be easier to “hide” in winter’s bulky sweaters and coats. But in summertime, well, not so much.  And then there is the situation for those of us with alopecia areata/totalis/universalis – complete hairloss. Nothing like wearing a wig when it’s 80 to make you truly appreciate times when you can do without in the quiet and cool comfort of home!

Bathing suit season’s challenges for us are, I suppose, not all that daunting when you think about the other things we have to face. But they do make us think about appearance and how we feel about how we look. Of course, we are each beautiful in God’s eyes, and in the eyes of those who truly care about us. And the negative health ramifications for, say, not protecting the skin from sun exposure, are not worth any societal acceptance. In fact, there are benefits to being more cautious; once not long ago, a young woman asked me what I did to keep my skin in good shape. I told her I avoided the sun. She didn’t look entirely convinced, but I could see she was going to think about what I’d said.

So, ready or not, here come spring, summer, and bathing suits! Let’s make the most of this time, like all others, however we may appear!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

A Praying Spirit: When You Don't Feel Like Praying
Perhaps you're tired. Bone-weary. Angry. Deeply torn. Spiritually dry. Perhaps it's taken a long time to admit it, but now you do. You don't feel like praying. Are you a bad person? Sinning for saying it? Hopelessly lost? Not at all. God still and always will love you, and He knows how d

posted 10:58:26pm Mar. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Just Because
Today's a great day to encourage yourself and others...just because. So often, we wait to express our appreciation, admiration, or pleasure to someone else. It might be a

posted 10:41:02pm Mar. 19, 2015 | read full post »

TLC Tuesday: All About Us
Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope that, if you celebrate today, you will have a fond and festive time. Any kind of holiday centered on a particular race or ethnicity makes me think of what makes us us. I also think about this when I hear of genetic studies and how scientists are trying to identify

posted 10:48:38pm Mar. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Food for Thought: Participatory Humor
The old saying goes, "Laughter is contagious," and so often, we discover that's true. Someone in a meeting starts to giggle. He or she happens to glance over at a coworker,

posted 10:23:39pm Mar. 16, 2015 | read full post »

A Praying Spirit: Pray It Aloud
Today, we think of it as speaking in our regular tone and volume, but did you know that an archaic meaning for the word "aloud" is "singing with joy?"  For this post, I'd li

posted 10:16:52pm Mar. 14, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.