How I Learned To Relax And Love the UV Index

Oops, did I forget to mention that I’ve been diagnosed with malignant melanoma? Blah blah blah closely monitored by great doctors blah blah blah que será será. I’m adjusted to the idea and realize that I have been in need of a mortality wake-up call but there are a couple of things that vex me about this situation:

  • The irony Apparently, I was cultivating this enemy within from my time in NJ. When I was in 4-seasonville, I sought out the shade wherever I was and never let the sun shine on me to the best extent that I could. I did this mostly for the sweat factor. I just don’t like the sun shining on me/making me sweat. Now here I am in the Sunshine State with the swimming pool and the beach and so forth and I cannot enjoy the great outdoors without looking like a freak.
  • The wardrobe
    • I cut up an old tube sock to make a driving gauntlet. I laugh about it and call it a fashion accessory but truthfully I don’t mind wearing it because I get nervous when the southern sun shines through the car window right onto the spot where the primary site was. I also don’t mind wearing it because it cost me $0 compared to the $Many for a commercial UV blocking sleeve, and they are all tight compression sleeves anyway. A big deal to get on and off.
    • gtlThis one kills me though. The swimwear. Not only do I wear a wide-brimmed hat and a long sleeved SPF-50 shirt in the pool, lately I’ve added a pair of full length seersucker drawstring pants. That’s for the benefit of my head more than my skin because I’m sure they are SPF-zero. My legs are starting to look tanned. Anyway – freakshow, but a color coordinated one. I might have to rearrange my morning schedule, which right now is as follows:
      • 7:00 am – Arise
      • 7:05 am – Make Coffee
      • 7:12 am to 10:00 am – Sit on patio drinking coffee, reading the internet on my iPad and making fresh mouth remarks on Twitter. Concurrently, pretend that some kind of outdoor work task is about to commence. Nah, maybe another cup. Oh, look – 10 o’clock and it’s too hot to work outside now.  I’ll go out after 6pm when it’s not so sunny and humid.
      • 10:00 – 1:00  – FlexTime. May include meals, indoor internet reading, feeling guilty over lack of accomplishments.
      • 1:00 pm to 4:00pm – Pool time.
      • 4:00 – 6:00 pm – Nap.
      • 6:00pm to Open End – cocktails/hors d’oeuvres/ TV. (Why should I go outside to do work NOW? Maybe tomorrow morning.)
      • 10:00 pm Bedtime
      • note – Occasionally, I will throw in a trip to Walmart or some laundry management. I’m not a complete sloth.

A little weather add-on that I have on my Chrome browser gives the basic temp/sunrise/weather of the day but if you click on the day –  and I just found this out – will reveal more and hourly- specific detail, including the UV index. I’ve been doing this all wrong.hd.JPG

My timing needs adjusting. I guess mad dogs and Englishmen instinctively know enough to stay out of the mid-day sun – too bad Florida retirees with skin cancer didn’t. I’ll have to work on rearranging the schedule . Perhaps cut out the self-delusion that outdoor work is going to start and just jump in the pool at 8am. Maybe again at 5pm. Both are times that the UV Index is 1-3 and the pool is in shade any way.

sfOn the positive side, I’ve discovered that Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+  makes a marvelous moisturizer. It’s the only thing I wear now, pool time or otherwise.

13 thoughts on “How I Learned To Relax And Love the UV Index”

  1. Fuckety fuck. That sucks majorly. I know someone who weathered this. But it sucks. Clothe thyself and cocktail. Oh and a prayer for you.

  2. Well, Cripes, Suzie, I’ve suffered with basal cell skin crap since I was 20, flash forward to 72, I have another basal “thing” on my nose that needs MOH and a plastic surgeon to close it. Great. I keep putting it off. Did I tell you I’m 72, I’ve already beat the odds as a smoker and a drinker for decades. That thing on my nose may kill me in 20 years or so? LOL. my lungs and kidneys wiil give out first 😀

    1. Thanks for sharing that, Denise. I do credit this turn of events with pushing me to finally retire. I worked 2 years past retirement age and had been pondering retirement but I was reluctant to give up the “big(ger) money” after I worked for chicken feed most of my life. This made me realize I have other things I want to do besides being a corporate drone 24/7 x 20 years.

  3. Oh, I’m sorry to hear this! I’m sure the doctors will keep a close eye on you. I echo frothingatlemouse’s comments!

    Thank you for the recommendation on the sunscreen lotion. Two years ago, I had MOHS surgery on my forehead and ended up with 155 stitches as the surgeon put my forehead back together. I’ve had a bunch of the basal cell stuff from age 19 on. Doctors always ask where I grew up and when I tell them the Southwest, they just nod their heads — I’m from the era when Mom sent you outside in the morning, brought you a sandwich at lunch, and you went home to dinner. The only time we wore “suntan lotion” was when we went to the pool. Rest of the time we were out in the sun w no protection.Who knew?

  4. oh dear, i’m very very sorry to hear that. I had a basal thingy removed vis MOHs from my bald spot about 10 years ago. On the plus side, it wasn’t malignant. On the really really plus side, they scooped out a chunk of the top of my head with the MOHs melonballer, and when they sewed it all back together and pulled it tight to close the gap they gave me a wonderful facelift, so byebye crow’s feet!

  5. Yikers! I’m sorry about the C train, Suz. That’s quite a kick in the tush (and arm, apparently). Sending love and SPF. xoxo

  6. Gosh, so sorry to hear this! Just yesterday my daughter sent me a selfie (she lives by the beach in San Clemente, CA) and she is waaaay over tanned since she is learning to surf and has started to kayak as well. I am going to recommend the face sunscreen you are using. As for your swimwear, I hear the “burkini” is making quite the splash in Sports Illustrated this year 😉

  7. My MOHS surgeries are too numerous to mention,but I know why. Melanoma is… a whole other class of nasty. Praying those great doctors know what’s they’re doing and you heal with no other instances.

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