Sunny D is Not Just a Drink

A new multiple sclerosis sting

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I’ve been lucky so far on this MS journey, at least when it comes to pain.

There are many different types of pain, manifested in many different ways, to those of us living with multiple sclerosis. How can there not be since MS is basically something no one knows what, attacking our nerve ending which are responsible for all types of sensations?

For me, for the most part, the pain I feel, physical pain I mean, comes in the form of super duper achy aches.  Give me two Aleve and a prescription medication for heartburn since Aleve shreds the heck out of your guts and I’m usually good to go…ID-100326652

That was until just last week.

I wish I could say that everything that happened last weekend was a conscious decision on my part.

I wish I could tell you that I had the natural vitamin D vs. potentially cancerous sun rays discussion going on in my brain.

I wish I could say that when I looked up at the partially cloudy sky I made an educated decision.

I wish I could tell you that I actually thought about MS or pain or my skin or the sun.

But honestly, there was no room for these thoughts on this particular Saturday.

And why should there be?  It was barely spring.  And it was a yard sale.

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Some acquaintances had decided to hold a yard sale right in my own rented backyard.  Being the downsizing cheapskate I believe I am, I asked to join them.  That way I could make some money, get rid of some stuff, and wouldn’t have to even advertise- they already did!

I got up early and carried my boxes outside to join my new friends.  And it was actually fun.  I enjoyed their company and tried not to get too freaked out when their junk sold way better than my junk.

I kept hydrated and smiled and peddled my wares and enjoyed the early May breezes and was generally pleased with how it all went.

I thought $40 (mostly in quarters and crumpled singles) was all I got from the morning.

ID-100142636But I was wrong.

The next day I noticed another gift.

It was a wicked sunburn on half of my body.

Not even the good half.

By half my body I mean one bright red arm and one arm still pale as ever.  Way paler than it should be considering the hearty Portuguese stock I come from.

At least my face was spared the half and half look. And by spared I mean that both sides of my nose as well as the tip were sporting the “Rudolph on one foggy Christmas Eve” look.

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But what was even worse than the reindeer games image was the pain.   It was the pain that caused me to notice the sunburn in the first place.

Waking up the morning after the yard sale my right side felt like it was on fire.  I’ve had sunburns before- I grew up on a beach.  But never had I hurt like this.

What was really horrible was that the sharp, spiky pain seemed to radiate from inside my body, likely from the nerve endings themselves.  How did the sun’s powerful rays penetrate through all my fat cells all the way down to the nerves?

My whole right arm felt completely useless and it hurt like a motha… well, let’s just say it hurt a lot.

I had never felt throbbing quite like this before and it wasn’t long before I had something to blame.

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It wasn’t, of course, my fault for not remembering to use sunscreen or for not noticing that what sunscreen I did have had expired five years prior.  No, this was the fault of multiple sclerosis.

Just like climate change, world hunger, communism, capitalism, consumerism and any other “ism” you can think of, my sunburn was now added to the list of things I blame on MS.

Only MS can mess up what was a fun day outside on a somewhat cloudy morning and turn it into a new level of pain and unattractiveness-trust me, the Rudolph look only looks cute on Rudolph.

But even in this unfortunate, new issue, I was fortunate.

While MS sucks and is horrible and does horrible things and causes even more horrible things, sometimes, just sometimes, it calms down for a while too.  Two days later and the hurt was mostly gone and the redness was a little less bright.

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And somehow I actually missed the whole disgusting skin peeling aspect that follows a sun burn.  And so, in this too, I try to be positive.  The worst of this new symptom had passed and lesson learned.

Perhaps I could go on to try to better appreciate the sun this summer.  Especially since now I had $40.

That should be enough to buy some decent sunscreen.

Maybe…

Hope all of you my friends are having a safe and healthy fun start to the summer season!  

To get you through do what I’m going to go- grab some sunscreen, ice water and the nearest AC!


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8 thoughts on “Sunny D is Not Just a Drink

  1. Oh no Yvonne. Sorry to hear about this misadventure, and glad it is better. Thank you for the reminder as I am going to have a yard sale one day “soon”. See you before too long. Sally

  2. Good one Yvonne and I am so grateful you do not experience the neuropathic pain of MS as it SUX big time. As for the sunburn – well $40 won’t be a chic Nordstrum brand but it will buy a lot of Coppertone which is probably just as good. Enjoy the sun and summer and spend some of that $40 on a nice bottle of vino.

    • Awesome idea about the vino Judy- I am in!!!! And yes, I’m lucky to not have the level of pain my MS friends describe. It’s crazy and sometimes seems unfair how it is so different for each of us…

  3. well if it makes you feel better jut remember that Blessing of the Fleet when we all went in Lynn & Mike’s boat and our friend used my low sunscreen as for once I had a decent tan going and ended up with such a bad burn he missed work for days.. Joel used to make fun of me for bringing a couple of bottle of it each year for the Blessing yet at least 3 people would come asking for some.

  4. Yikes!
    It’s the early season sun that catches most of us off guard. “Eh, I’ll be OK. It’s just a few hours outside.” But the sun seems to work overtime making up for a winter of gloom.
    Last weekend, I got a little too much sun myself. I forgot to grab the sunscreen!
    Gonna wear it around my neck from now on!

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