The content in this blog is based on my experiences and the guidance I have received from my Care Team determined by my individual and evolving needs. Before beginning, trying, or experimenting with anything mentioned in this blog, you

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweaty Spoonie Cheating the Heat

Summer is here!  It is beautiful outside, even though temperatures are already scorching.  Suddenly I am missing those weeks of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.  (I know I know, I'm never satisfied! lol)  But I have to make happy, at least for the next few months, so I wanted to share my cheats for surviving the heat. 

I used to think it was just me, but recently on Twitter I met others who sweat like crazy!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy that anyone else is experiencing it but I’m so relieved to find out I’m not alone.  Because of that, I thought I would share my not-so-secret ways that I try to live as normally as possible during the sweatiest time of the year. 

Here is my top five ways to stay cute and as mobile as possible during the summer.


1.  Sunscreen!  I burn like crazy!  I could watch commercial on TV for a beach resort and get a little sunburned.  I use Gold Bond Ultimate Protection Skin Therapy Lotion with SPF 15 Sunscreen from head to toe.  In my opinion, this is much easier than applying moisturizer and then sunscreen, I get the benefits of both with one lotion.  So even on low-spoon days, I can make sure I prepare my skin properly for the heat.

2.  Equate Baby Powder.  Don’t scoff, hear me out!  I wait about twenty minutes after I apply the lotion/sunscreen combo and let it soak in completely.  Then I take my generic baby powder and dust my body from my chin down.  Not heavy, just a thin coat of baby powder all over.  I tend to sweat less and smell better when I’m sweating after putting on the baby powder.  I don’t know about anyone else, but my sweat tends to have a bitter medication smell to it. (No wonder I’m single, eh? lol)   But the baby powder seems to cancel out that aroma.  I’m not sure if it really cancels out the med smell or if I just get so much of the baby powder ‘in my nose’ (expression) so that it’s all I can smell!  Either way, it helps me stay confident when I’m around other people and helps me not stress as much about the sweating.  Speaking of sweating…

3.  Power Aid can be a muscle saver!  As you know, when you sweat you lose electrolytes, particularly sodium, which is the most critical electrolyte lost and a key component of the hydration process.  Yes this tends to be “common sense” to most with chronic illnesses, but to me it makes a little more sense as to why I have more leg cramps and charley horses during the summer.  Last summer, I started drinking at least 16 ounces of Power Aid or Power Aid Zero every day.  I sip it slowly over the course of an hour (so it doesn’t upset my stomach).  Proper hydration is important, especially when it is hot.  I tend to avoid sugary carbonated drinks and stick more with kool-aids, lemonades, and water.  But I definitely have at least one Power Aid every day.

3.  Men’s deodorant.  Hello my name is Amber and I wear men’s deodorant.  Currently I am using Degree’s Men Stick.  I sweat much more than the average person (especially the average woman because I sweat like my skin is a sprinkler system!) and need the extra protection.  So far it is working.  But I end up changing brands of men’s deodorant about every three/four months, it seems to stop working as well for me so I go to the next one. 

4.  Sunglasses.  Not only am I sensitive to temperature but I’m also sensitive to light.  I have several pairs of sunglasses I keep in my vehicles and purse.  Don’t panic, every pair is from the Dollar General Store so they were cheap.  But the shades have varying degrees of tint, from a gentle color that deflects rainy headlight glare to a very dark color that blocks the blaring sun during high noon.

5.  Hairspray.  I am not the most feminine person in the world, I don’t spend hours getting ready or fixing my hair.  But when I’m already sweating before I even leave the house, I will take my hairspray and spray it through my hair, towards the root before I pull it up into a ponytail.  My Beautician said that the alcohol will absorb sweat and keep my hair from stinking and looking as greasy.  Because of this and the sweating, I have to wash my hair every day.  But my trusty two-in-one shampoo conditioner combo helps make that an easier process too.   

Thought this was interesting:

The Fibromyalgia Network released study results of Sun Therapy for Fibromyalgia.  The article is interesting and something I have always found to be true.  The "study shows UV rays may also reduce fibromyalgia pain by triggering your skin cells to make more vitamin D".  For me, time in the sun helps my mood, increasing my happiness/smiley chemicals and reducing my I'm-pitiful-in-pain tears.  I found the study interesting and reassuring as to maybe why I feel better after spending some time in the sun everyday.  Please don't forget your sunscreen if this is something you wish to experiment with!  

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

The American flag does not fly because the wind moves past it. The American flag flies from the last breath of each military member who has died protecting it.  The American soldiers don't fight because they hate what's in front of them...they fight because they love what's behind them.

Always remember our fallen heroes who have made the greatest sacrifice for our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spoonies Caring for Spoonies

Many that know me know that I live with my Mom.  Circumstances with a previous job and my health brought me back to my parent's home a few months before my Dad began getting sick.  I'm very blessed to have been able to be there to help with him and support my Mom... It's also been good for me too as I have support on bad Fibro/Lupus days where I'm feeling puny.  

Mom has been sick lately and I've been in a month long flare (which explains my silence on the blog), so we have been relying on each other to make it through.  I am happy to be able to be home to take care of my Mom while she struggles with her disabilities, not only does she need me but it also gives me a perspective of what it is like to care for someone full time that has disabilities.  These experiences have taught me a valuable lesson, not to take things for granted.  True, my condition has already taught me to enjoy the small things, find joy in everyday activities, and to treasure each good moment I have... but I don’t take anyone’s kindness for granted now... On the other side, it has made me a little skeptical of anyone who willingly would take on a relationship with someone with chronic illness... why would you sign up for this roller coaster if you had a more sane option?  

As frustrating as my lack of energy or ability to know how I feel later is frustrating to me, it is equally frustrating as a care giver.  I hope that my spoonie friends do not take advantage of those who assist in maintaining the quality of their lives, despite illnesses.

This post is all flustered, fog is rolling in and the pain is getting to me.  On my way to bed, have a blessed night. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Making a Difference

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy he asked, "What are you doing?"The boy replied, "Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back they'll die." 
"Son," the man said, "Don't you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference."
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, "I made a difference for that one." 

~Loren Eiseley 1978

Sometimes there are people that come into our lives, even if for only for a moment, and made big changes in our lives.  Other times, we are the people that crosses paths with others who need us... So take each opportunity to make a difference to someone.  The life you change, could be your own.  

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