Dry Heat and Symptom Relief

In my post about my trip to Los Angeles, and the subsequent trip to Arizona, I talked about how amazing dry heat feels on my body. While there is the possibility that the sun can make certain symtpoms worse, especially for lupus warriors, heat itself can be helpful in relieving chronic pain.

IMG_1007Dry dessert heat of Los Angeles (Griffith Park, 2018)

Back in November, my rheumatologist told me that many of her patients feel the same way, and often vacation in warm, dry heat places like Arizona. Or go to bath in the Dead Sea, which also has those amazing natural healing properties. But, since she can’t write me a prescription to immigrate to the Southwestern States, I guess I’ll have to make do with my yearly trips. Or… as she suggested, find a sauna. And I did.

downloadImage from: http://time.com/5354994/saunas-health-benefits/

Lucky for me, the gym I belong to and frequently work out at has a sauna, and girl, is it amazing. I honestly never spend more than about ten minutes in it. I don’t bring anything in with me that would tell me time but whenever I check when I leave, it’s been about ten. That’s the time my body seems to naturally have enough. Even to have temporary symptom relief of a few hours is great. What I haven’t started doing, but probably should, is just going to the sauna on days I’m not actually going to work out. Why not? My motto is take advantage of what works for you.

57146771901__18F14EE2-A8F3-44F3-B024-42596EF9A5FFWhen it was cool in the evening in the dessert, I just hopped in the hot tub for some heat (Florence AZ, 2019)

Single Ladies Guide to Autoimmune Disease

Have you ever found it hard to date since you were diagnosed with your chronic illness? Or run into problems like when do I bring it up? Do I bring it up? Dating is the hardest, most annoying thing ever, in my opinion anyway. How many swipe lefts do I have to do before I swipe right, and forget trying to meet people organically at this day in age. I date both men and women (though honestly, men were getting a little annoying so I’ve most been dating women of late). Two things I’ve learned: (1) bigger dating pool does not mean more luck; and (2) the only way to meet women is online. This “single ladies guide” is still in the works as I navigate the waters, but I’d love feedback on these topics and experiences you’ve had. Simply comment on the article (I’m writing a book on this subject as well).

IMG_0329This 9-year old is my forever date.

Do I bring it up and if so, when? So I always bring it up, and often on the first (worst case, second) date. Why do I bring it up so early? I have literally been asked that by people I’ve been on dates with. Apparently it’s weird to? Granted that reaction tends to come from people who do not have a chronic illness. The answer to the question is mostly practical. If it’s going to be a problem or deal breaker for the other person I’d rather find out early, before those darn feelings start interfering with everything. It won’t bother everyone. I’ve gone on multiple dates with several people who weren’t bothered at all. Though they were curious about it.

8FF677B8-636B-43AC-AEAB-C7F8FFC77E79Maybe I should buy a plant… but a fake one because I’ll probably kill the real one.

Curiosity and how to deal with it. I suppose, it really depends on how comfortable you are with yourself, your illness and talking about it. If it’s a first, second, third date, I’ll admit I don’t say much. Just some of the basics. Chronic pain is my main symptom. I deal with it the best I can and try to let it impact my life as little as possible. I usually emphasize my positivity, which usually eases the other person. On early dates I don’t think it’s worth going into more details. If they can handle the basics and we make it into relationship stage (still waiting for that to happen) then more details can come. And hopefully the come organically. No one really likes to be interviewed on a date. If conversation isn’t real, you’re not making it to the next date.

il_570xN.650017990_394oImage from: https://www.etsy.com/sg-en/listing/200567414/cartoon-with-aliens-on-a-blind-date-in

And how do we deal with being permanently single, hoping that mister or miss right happens to come along and be okay with us? Especially as we watch our friends hop into relationships, get married, have children. Will I ever get these things? Maybe I’m the only one who wonders… though I’m guessing I’m not. If I was healthier would things be different? Would I have found my life partner yet? Will I actually ever be able to have kids, or will I get too old before I find someone, or will my illness prevent it from ever happening. Some of these things everyone deals with, but others are really mostly thought about by the Spoonies, the Warriors, those of us who have that extra obstacle in the single world.