Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer Solstice!

June 21. The day of the year on which "daylight" is at a maximum, and "night time" is at its shortest. According to, "People around the world have observed spiritual and religious seasonal days of celebration during the month of June. Most have been religious holy days which are linked in some way to the summer solstice. "

No matter how you view Summer Solstice, at Traveller's Rest it is a day of celebration. Especially for Betty Boop.
Betty suffers an autoimmune disorder called pemphigus foliaceous. Her immune system sees her own tissues as foreign substances and attacks her cells as if they were bacteria or viruses. The result is a number of skin lesions which, when not managed, can cover her entire body, causing itching, infection, weight loss, irritability, anxiety and other problems.

Betty's immune system is controlled by daily doses of prednisolone, a corticosteroid. Since long term steroid use is often accompanied by unpleasant side effects, we strive to keep Betty's dose as low as possible while controlling the pemphigus symptoms.

Oddly, the most problematic "trigger" that sets the disorder in high gear is exposure to sunlight. Betty must stay indoors from dawn to dusk, sunup to sundown, 365 days a year. Betty's quarters are a 12x24 stall, deeply bedded, with fans at each end and attached to a run-in shed where two of her "roomies" hang out during the day. Even with roomy accommodations and company, however, being inside and free from symptoms is no substitute for turnout.

And so, we celebrate June 21, for starting tomorrow the hours of sunlight begin to shorten and Betty's turnout time will increase, little by little, until Winter Solstice when the cycle begins again.

Happy Summer Solstice, Betty!

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