…really are the big things in life. The ones that mean the most.
Like shopping for clothes. Most people do this without a second thought. They walk into a store, see something they like, probably try it on and buy it, then take it home and enjoy wearing it. For someone with psoriasis, though, shopping for clothes can be torture. Especially during hot, summer months. For more than a decade, for me as a psoriatic with at least 80% coverage on my body, finding “summer” clothes meant finding as thin a long-sleeve t-shirt as I could find, usually on fall or winter clearance. It meant shopping online, mostly, because I’d be able to find something long-sleeved and in my size, more likely than in a store because all the season’s merchandise was picked-over.
Last August, I began a new treatment for my psoriasis, and to date, it has been the only thing to clear my skin. Other treatments (and I’ve tried everything) would make my skin calmer, and would make me more comfortable (not feeling like I was on fire or crippled), but wouldn’t actually clear me. Within just a few weeks, my skin started clearing and it has continued to improve ever since. This year, this is the first spring and summer that I could liberally wear short sleeves! No more red, flaky lesions on my arms. I hadn’t shopped for any new short-sleeved shirts, though, until now. (It was nearing fall as my skin started to clear last year, and I had a few short-sleeved shirts to get me through and didn’t buy any extras.) Except for buying a short-sleeved blouse in aqua to wear to my niece’s wedding in April, I have not shopped for anything, just for me, just for fun, just for the thrill of BUYING SHORT SLEEVES.
I had a gift card to Kohl’s that I hadn’t used, so I thought I’d look around in there. Brian and I went the other day, and it was kind of surreal. For one thing, I normally wouldn’t shop in a physical store, I would shop online as I said above, and that made it less painful and difficult, I guess, to not be bombarded with so many choices that I couldn’t make. So many shirts that I wouldn’t be able to wear because too much skin would show. Normally, I would just dismiss 90% of what was on the racks, and zero-in on that back corner, you know, the one little rack that might still have some winter clothes, things with long sleeves (and be thrilled and count myself LUCKY if I found something long-sleeved and thin, something that wasn’t a sweater and would be way too hot). I normally would ignore all the current seasonal clothes. But not this time. This time, my eyes just danced all around the clothes, the bright, spring and summer colors, the light, sheer fabrics and the short sleeves that surrounded me. I picked up several options right away to try on. I covered the whole area, looking at nearly every single rack of thin, sheer, short-sleeved awesomeness. On my way around, I did come upon that winter rack, the rack full of clearance sweaters and long-sleeves. I had a bit of a moment, I must be honest. To be able to quickly glance at it and then just walk away, to not have to stop and SCOUR that thing for any possible clothing option–it was so freeing and fabulous.
I ended up getting a couple really pretty blouses for summer. Light, sheer and pretty.
I normally hate summer, and my disdain for it has only grown during this last decade, and understandably so. Wearing long sleeves can certainly make for a more miserable time during Georgia summer. But this summer, I still may not like the extreme heat, but I will be lighter, I will be freer, and I will be joyful and grateful that my arms don’t have sleeves on them. Feeling like I can LIVE through a season and not just ENDURE it. It really is a BIG, big thing.
In other news, we stopped by Goodwill, where I found some priceless art that I had.to.have. They cost all of $6 for the pair and are now hanging in the bedroom. 😀
Little things, BIG smiles.