Surviving summertime on Plaquenil

November 27, 2010

One of the many meds I am on for Mixed Connective Tissue Disease is Plaquenil which is actually an anti-malarial, strangely enough. Well for anyone who has dosed up on antimalarial before a trek in Thailand or somewhere equally as exotic, you may have found yourself burning like a lobster after ten minutes in the sun. This is my new reality.

I’ve always had pretty good skin, had to wear suncream if I was at the beach for a while but generally tanned and not burned. With the weather finally getting hot here in Sydney (I can’t believe it’s December this week and still felt way too chilly for my liking) I’ve started to understand a new aspect to my new body-ultra sensitive skin to sunlight.

I was quite enjoying the sun and the fact that I hadn’t experienced Raynaud’s phenomenon in days, it only took about ten minutes for me to feel a bit burnt. That evening I felt severely sunstroked, nauseous and hot. The day hadn’t even been that warm. Of course I had done my reading an expected this a little but not on such a luke-warm day.

It has made me a little hesitant to spend a long time at the beach especially in the middle of the day. I’m realising I’m going to be one of the women with the big hat and the shirt on at the beach, under the umbrella….hey at least I’ll have even less chance of getting skin cancer.

I guess a positive is, I am actually looking quite tan already just from walking to the shops and back, just got to keep it under control.

Another new experience was my first trip to the beach for the year. I went in the water for a dip with some friends and the water was icy! Immediately my Raynauds flared up on my hands and feet, I was trying to jump over the waves and get out to join my friends further out, but a wave of fear crashed over me (it might have been a real wave too) I had been in the water less than five minutes and I was exhausted.

I suddenly thought about what all this activity was going to do to me for the next few days, it had been effort enough trudging through the sand and now fighting the slight rip in the water, I didn’t know how much I could handle.

So I turned around and made my way back to the towel, where I immediately felt myself burning so put my clothes back on. So, there’s a chance that the beach may not be as fun as it used to be. Ah well, there’s always a rashie and the pool 😉

Have you read my post on Raynaud’s Phenomenon?

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2 Responses to “Surviving summertime on Plaquenil”

  1. susana said

    Yep MCTD and sun don’t mix well. I believe it has been years since I have been able to enjoy the sun and heat, that comes with summer activities on and off the Plaquenil. I was able to get a tan on my legs while hiding the rest of my body under a shade cabana made for sunbather’s that I rented on the beach in Waikiki years ago, and then again in Miami a few years back. I miss being able to walk at water’s edge barefoot under the hot sun in my bathing suit, an umbrella and clothes just look plain silly in this environment. I am sure other people have to give up other things, like sugar for diabetes, or wheat for celiacs, I guess giving up the beach and sun is not that bad after all, I can sit home and enjoy a great sweet piece of chocolate cake.

  2. So true Susanna. My doctor was concerned I had celiacs recently but it turned out to be food poisoning. Was so relieved, I would be devastated to give up the foods and drinks that make me so happy. We can still enjoy a sunny day from the shade.

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