When we think of summer, a few images usually spring to mind: Going outside for a barbecue, taking a dip in a swimming pool, and buying sweets from an ice cream truck. These summer activities are fun for everyone… or nearly everyone, anyway.
Unfortunately for 4-year-old Carys Pickles, she can’t enjoy any of those things. She’s had a lactose intolerance her whole life, so ice cream’s off the table but, more importantly, she can’t handle extreme temperatures.
“The heat’s the major issue. Heat and cold actually,” her mother, Sophie Pickles, said. “She can’t adjust to the temperature change. So that’s what makes her body panic a little bit, hence the reactions.”
These reactions range from swelling to rashes to blisters. Depending on how intense the weather is on any given day, it can take anywhere from 5 seconds to 15 minutes for these reactions to manifest.
Carys must also be wary of swimming pools, since her body reacts poorly to chlorine and her body doesn’t know how to react to the rapidly-changing temperature as she gets in and out of the pool.
These bodily shifts only started occurring within the past year and 2018 will mark Carys’s first summer dealing with them. There’s still a lot that her parents don’t understand about how her body works.
“Some days she can wake up one morning, same bed, same pajamas, and be fine,” said Sophie Pickles. “Next day, she can do exactly the same and be reacting.”
Still, the Pickles are doing what they can to ensure that their daughter doesn’t spend too much time out in the sun this summer.