Feel The Burn

It had just started to rain and the dog was whining at the back sliding glass door. 

The cat was still outside so I let him in and stepped out under the overhang of the second floor. The mist immediately made contact covering my glasses, face, chest and forearms.

My forearms are generally my test zones. I've experimented to see and feel if this shit was all in my head or not. About a year ago my aunt and uncle came to take my daughters for the weekend so Brian and I could have a date. It was a little over a year ago that my normally sensitive skin all of a sudden became more sensitive. So sensitive that sun exposure (or simply just ultraviolet rays) caused my pink undertone skin to flare into splotches of red.

I'm pink naturally, so I wouldn't have thought much about that. What makes me really take notice is the flames. With closed eyes, I'd think I was sitting too close to a massive bonfire.

That's what it feels like.

We were told it was likely PMLE, Polymorphic Light Eruption Disorder. But it didn't seem to fit quite right. I don't blister with extended sun exposure except for around the most delicate areas—like my mouth.

(I've suffered from herpes simplex my whole life, though. That's nothing new either.)

My skin doesn't get better with controlled exposure. The pain doesn't lessen. Instead I wind up with permanent red scarring. Studying them it looks like burst capillaries trailing my right forearm, the one the dermatologist exposed to U.V. light for all of thirty seconds before telling me I have PMLE and "here's what we can do".

No thank you. You cannot burn me every year to build up a temporary resistance.

This is different. This is…different.

It's almost six P.M. The rain-filled sky is dim and gray, and I'm standing beneath the overhang of our house being misted as my dog pees partially on the back porch because she doesn't want to go out in the rain. A little rain isn't bad, but god forbid she goes all the way out.

There's no bonfire searing my arms, chest and face at this moment. I'm outside and I'm not roasting. It's wonderful.

I look down at my dewy forearms and see they're "normal"—slightly tinged with capillary-burst scarring, but normal for me.

I don't know if it was the mist making contact with my eyeballs or just feeling the moment, but I started crying. Not my mom died crying, but happy tears.

I'm outside. It's daylight, albeit grayed with heavy rain clouds, but I'm still outside. I don't feel like I'm burning alive. I'm not hurting in this moment.

I guess I just felt it more than I thought I would. 

I stood outside crying for a moment. Letting myself feel it—the mist, the subtle yellow from the sun peaking through the heavy sky, and nature. Feeling the outdoors in my lungs and on the exposed skin so close to summer for the first time in over a year.

Glorious. That's the best word I can think of right now.


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I'm Sara. Mompreneur of 3, wife to super-awesome Brian, business coach, infopreneur and printable product creator.