Monday, April 18, 2005

A Thank You Tip for Readers: Coolibar

I have recently had a few posts from people who read my blog. It makes me feel great and I want to thank you all, whether you've ever posted a message or not.

There are several reasons I write a blog.
  • I'm a writer; it's what I do.
  • It's a creative outlet.
  • Ideas 'r me - I'm always thinking about something.
  • People reading my posts gives me a connection to the world.

So, it is very helpful and encouraging to find out that somebody IS indeed reading.

In honor of readers, I'm going to share some very neat information about a company called Coolibar ( As mentioned occasionally in my posts, I have lupus (SLE). One of the rotten things about the way my particular case of lupus operates is that I am photosensitive. (Allergic to sunlight is the closest I can come describing it.) When I am exposed to ultraviolet light, from the sun or from fluorescent lights, it makes the lupus flare up. I get severely fatigued - like my very cells are tired - my joints ache and I get the bright red "butterfly rash" of lupus across my cheeks and nose.

Aside: Once, before I knew I was photosensitive, Michael and I spent an August weekend in Laredo for my birthday. On Saturday, we walked across the bridge to Nuevo Laredo and spent the day in the marketplace, buying gifts to take home to our children and friends. Our big plan was to go to the famous (original, I think) Cadillac Bar in Nuevo Laredo for dinner that night after ducking back to our hotel for a little nap and shower. Which we did. We took a cab to dinner and ordered drinks - for Michael, probably beer, but for me, a sloe gin fizz, a drink I had read about in pulp fiction but never tasted. Very good, by the way. As the evening progressed, I started feeling a lot of pain in my hands, though, and by the time our dinners arrived, I couldn't even hold my knife and fork, let alone feed myself, because the joints in my hands were absolutely throbbing in pain.

I knew I was photosensitive and had to avoid exposure to sunlight from then on.

Back to Coolibar. My friend June gave me a catalog from Coolibar. They make clothing that is impenetrable to UV light, like clothes with sunscreen, really high SPG sunscreen. Wow - a way to be in the sun again. I ordered a pair of pants and a beach shirt, which is like a lightweight jacket with lots of airy, breathable places, that can take a dunking. They sent me a free hat to go with. The pants I selected are white, the shirt - hooded BTW - is pale pink, and the hat is white, so I am actually coordinated in this outfit. I plan to wear it gardening, walking, swimming ... well, maybe not swimming in the pants. But you get the picture. Oh, and the fabric is so lightweight and silky feeling that it is hard to believe it is cotton.

So, any of you who are sensitive to sunlight or just worried about skin cancer, check out Coolibar and maybe you will find something for yourself. They are not as expensive as I expected, but definitely more than Walmart or Target - think department store reasonable. And when you consider the benefits, they are very reasonable indeed.


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