It’s fair time!!
One of my favorite times of the year is here again!
I have been going to fairs since I was a baby and I hope to continue being able to go for many, many more years. As for my son, he was 9 days old when we took him to his first fair. So it is definitely a family tradition.
I just love to walk around and see all the animals and exhibits.
The aroma of all those sinfully yummy fried foods in the air. We know we should avoid them but we only get them once a year, right??
This year the kids are bigger and older this year so there are more rides they can get on. It will take longer to stroll around looking at everything because they have to ask a kajillion questions. We want to give them the best experiences we can. Unfortunately, with Lupus it’s not always easy to handle the normal everyday things let alone hours of walking around getting on and off rides usually in 90°F plus weather in the sun.
I know I should make like a bat and avoid the sun. Lupus has caused me to be very photosensitive. That means that I am very sensitive to the UV rays from the sun. I tend to get rashes and have sore spots break out across my skin where the sun could get to it. I get bad headaches, hurt all over (more than just the normal lupus pain) and feel extremely exhausted.
It’s not fair to the kids to miss out on all the outdoor activities. I also know that I usually end up paying for it, at least the next day, when I’ve been extra active and especially in the sun.
But what’s a mom to do?
Plan & Prepare
Try to avoid being out in the hottest part of the day. I like to plan on heading out after about 2 pm. There is still plenty of daylight left but the sun doesn’t seem to be as intense and the temperatures will start dropping before long. We usually go to the fair in the late afternoon/evening but this year our oldest nephew was showing pigs so we were there earlier.
Make sure that there will be plenty of places you can get in out of the sun. If you know there will be few shady places you may want to wait a little longer if possible.
Park as close as you can. If you have a handicap placard, use it. If there’s another adult with you, have them either drop you off or pick you up at the entrance. Save what steps you can.
Dress comfortably. I wear a good pair of tennis shoes when I know there will be a lot of walking. I also try to keep as much skin as I can covered. So I wear jeans usually and either a long sleeved shirt or a light jacket. There are many lightweight long sleeve options out there now and many of them even offer special UV protection.
Apply sunscreen often when outdoors no matter what time of year it is. I am horrible at remembering to reapply. There should be instructions on the bottle that can tell you how often they recommend reapplying. I like using the spray on kind and find I can get better coverage with it when I’m putting it on myself. My rheumatologist once told me to use the highest SPF I can find. My go-to sunscreen has been the Coppertone Sport spray. I’ve been using it for several years now. It also works well for those times when Little Man won’t slow down enough to get the lotion type of sunscreen rubbed in.
Wear a hat and sunglasses. A nice sun hat works well but I personally go with a baseball cap most of the time. I feel really goofy in a big hat and it wouldn’t stay put well with all the wind we have here. And everybody ought to protect their eyes with sunglasses, not just Lupies.
If you have young kids think about what you will need to get back to the car when they are totally exhausted. I have a nice lightweight stroller I like to use. Even if a kid doesn’t need to ride in it, it still works well for toting around stuff. I loved my ergo when I needed a free hand and before little man got too heavy. We also have a harness that has worked well for when little man wanted more independence but still too untrustworthy to not run off. Ok so he’s 4 years old now and probably even more untrustworthy when it comes to staying near us. The child seems to have NO fear and wants to know how everything works. If it has an engine and/or wheels the kid is going to try to figure out what all it does and there are a lot of those types of things at the fair.
Use a small or easy to carry bag. My go-to is a backpack. I find it easier to take what I need with me and have the weight distributed across my back is less painful than a shoulder bag or purse. Only pack what you know you can’t do without. Every little thing adds up and let’s face it, we don’t REALLY need the kitchen sink in there too!!
Water. Water. Water. This is another thing I have trouble with. I never drink enough fluids but it is so very important to stay hydrated. Whether you take it with you or buy it there, try to make sure you’re drinking some every few minutes.
Camera. I love to have pictures from the good days where we’ve been able to do something fun or go someplace new. Seeing the smiling faces can brighten a bad day. The pictures prove that you “mom’d” your way through another adventure and didn’t let Lupus win.
So get out there. Go to the fair or whatever other adventure you want to experience. You are a warrior and you can not only survive but enjoy the day. If you need some new ideas for recovering from a busy day check out the post The Day After a Party with Lupus.
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