Here we are again, with another installment of “Things that Make My Life Easier.” Some people with SLE/Lupus are mildly to very photosensitive. I am one of those 'very' people. Some medications can make you photosensitive or more so if you were already dealing with that situation. I am taking one of those medications.
Recently I was gifted with a UV Monkey, from ThinkGeek.
This is a small, round device with four colored panels around one circular central panel. The whole thing measures barely an inch and a half across. It can be put on a key-chain, but since I am unsure about how durable or fragile it really is, I keep it in a pocket in my purse.
The colored panels correspond to different UV Index ratings, and you are able to determine the reading by matching one of those to the middle circle, which changes color to let you know what the rating is in your current location. Level 1 is a UV Index of 1-2, Level 2 is 3-5, Level 3 is 6-8, and Level 4 is 9 – 11. Once you have been sensitive to UV light for a while, you start to get a handle on what your own particular tolerances are and how to manage them. I may do a separate post on how I manage, but I do not have any really nifty secrets (hell, my skin will burn and blister sitting in a car!).
I have only used this a few times so far, but I see the potential for it and it looks good. Cloudy days are the ones that screw with me, when I forget that UV rays are not blocked by clouds. Sigh. This will help me remember.
If you have photosensitivity, I recommend the UV Monkey if you have $9.99 (currently on sale for $7.99) plus shipping. In the long run, it is probably cheaper and definitely more comfortable and convenient than treating the sunburns, headaches, and nausea that can result from over exposure!
*Note: The UV Monkey is also useful for knowing when is best to charge solar devices.