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Sleeves In Spite of the Heat
I just want to
say I’m trying to tell myself what you quote is so true — Why stay
so stressed over something we cannot cure?
It’s been so
terribly hot and humid in NY and not being able to wear the clothes I want
is very depressing. I’m
always wearing sleeves. The
other day I finally decided to wear a tank shirt and two men commented on
my skin condition. Now I’m
back to sleeves, regardless of the heat.
I’m unable to
attend the conference [National
Psoriasis Foundation® 2002 National Conference, August 9-11 in
Orlando] — do you ever appear anywhere else? –Lois B.
Response: Well, Lois, you
won’t get any “thicken-your-skin” lecture from me.
For half of the year I was on cyclosporine I was entirely
flake-free. I mean, no lesions
anywhere, and family hounded me through the summer to try something a
little more seasonal — like short sleeves at
least. That summer I used
as my excuse that I didn’t own
any short sleeve shirts (which was true), but then had to quell others’
intentions of buying me some. Why?
I ask myself in retrospect.
I wonder if I
wasn’t protecting the status quo inside my own mind.
I had no misconceptions about the temporary-ness of my remission.
I knew that cyclo was a 12-month reprieve and there was little hope
of staying clear once I stopped using it.
Would it have been torture for me to feel life in short sleeves
again? (Something I’d not
felt for nearly a decade at that time.)
Worse yet, would it have been too bitterly depressing to have to stop
wearing those short sleeve shirts down the road a few months?
No, it was easier for me to keep wearing what I had become
accustomed to wearing.
At the moment
it has, for several days straight now, hovered right at 100-degrees around
my home. Men have been here
working on the house — putting up new siding.
Yesterday, in fact, during one of my few and brief appearances
outside among them, one of them commented:
“You can tell who’s working in the air conditioning!” I was
wearing black sweatpants and a dark long-sleeve knit shirt.
Spending five minutes out doors [100 degrees by the thermometer on
the porch] was misery. “Why
don’t you put on something fittin’ and give us a hand?”
I heard myself
respond, “No. I don’t wear
things fittin’ for this weather. And
you would be glad I don’t.” I
left them to ponder what that meant.
So, no Lois, no
lectures from me suggesting you toughen
up and wear what feels good despite the comments.
The sun and summer isn’t my cup of tea.
You will find me in the air conditioning, dressed as though I’m
waiting for something, which I am. –Ed
P.S. — The
NPF Conference this weekend is my first speaking engagement in the
psoriasis community. I
attribute that to the great courage, compassion and gambling esprit
de corps of the Foundation.