Saturday 15 August 2009

Hot Blooded

Well, I'm hot blooded, check it and see
I got a fever of a hundred and three

(Hmmm I think I'm beginning to show my age with my song choices, but you've gotta love a bit of the old Foreigner).

Come on baby, do you do more than dance?
I'm hot blooded, I'm hot blooded.

Sorry got a bit carried away. This blog is not actually a tribute to the magical era of mullet rock but about the joy that is Heat Intolerance. (Though the more I think about it I may have to write a blog about my love of mullet rock just to get it out of my system).

Heat intolerance. How do you capture the essence of heat intolerance in writing? An overwhelming, all encompassing, claustrophobic, suffocating, feeling like you're about to explode from the boiling heat within your body. It works like this: hot day or hot room leads to body rapidly overheating, massive blood pooling, dehydration, blood pressure drops, body quickly cascades into meltdown. Speaking, thinking, moving, standing become akin to finding peace in the middle east. FUN!

Heat Intolerance is one of the many exciting symptoms of Bob, and it is the bane of my existence. I am permanently hot, which of course my husband has always known,(Heidi Klum delusion rears it's gorgeous head again. Stop laughing David!). Since Bob came to stay I can't really recall the last time I was truly cold. Even when it snowed I was in my thongs (the shoes not the underwear, I'm weird but not that weird) and t-shirt. I did succumb to trackie dacks but that was my only acknowledgement that the temperature had dropped below zero.

Nine times out of ten this Winter I've had the air-conditioner on in the car whilst driving. I often forget its on and it's not until I notice my passengers turning slowly blue next to me that I think perhaps I should turn it off. I apologise to everyone for creating a polar landscape in the car. A special shout out goes to my in-laws from the tropical north who tried valiantly to hide their discomfort in my icicle lined car by directing all the vents in my direction. Thanks mum and dad-in-law, it was much appreciated.

I'm always getting stares and comments about my lack of apparel. Hmmm..... on reflection I realise that sounds rather wrong. Perhaps I should explain. I am not a nudist or stripper/lady of the night (although I do quite like to belt out Roxanne by The Police). I just can't stand to wear much beyond t-shirt and shorts any more. By now you'd think people would realise it's just me, but alas this is not the case. I live in a small community. I shop at the same stores every week, I go to the same post office and chemist, the same charcoal chicken shop and petrol station. Yet each week it's the same old routine: question "Aren't you cold?", answer "No". Question, "You must be cold (chuckle, chuckle)", answer "No". It always makes me think of our dogs. Being great danes it's always the highly original "Is that a horse?" or "You could put a saddle on that". Oh ha, ha de ha ha ha, comic genius. Just one day I'd like to respond with "No you moron. I'm not cold. Just like I wasn't cold last week or the week before, or the week before that, or any other week that you've asked. I have a neurocardiogenic disorder. It craps on all areas of my life. Thank you for reminding me yet again that I am a freak", just to see how they respond. But I wont. I'll continue to grit my teeth and just suck it up. My favourite comment would have to be "You make me feel cold every time I look at you". Take that as you will. Even my Dad, bless his heart, cannot cope with my lack of jumpers in Winter and constantly tells me to put a coat on. Maybe it's just the remnants of the paternal gene kicking in again, though I did think there was statute of limitations on that. At least he has never mentioned that old adage about clean underwear because that would just be awkward.

I hardly sweat now. This does have it's benefits, no unsightly sweat marks when I lift my arms up for instance, but it also means I find it hard to cool down. Once I'm hot that's it. Can't wait for menopause! A shower can be almost claustrophobic due to the heat and I often need to have a little nanna nap on the cool tiles for a while to recover. Very elegant, especially if I shove my legs up the wall as well. Bad visual I know. So sorry, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts. Though I do seem to remember some celebrity (scarily I think it may have been the rather bizarre though very talented, Miss Liza Minelli) commenting about all your wrinkles disappearing when you lie down. Gotta find that silver lining, though the silver is a bit tarnished coming from old Liza.

Summers here in Australia are hot,damn hot, 40+ degrees C. When I'm already wilting at 20 degrees C, these kind of temperatures mean I feel like I'm living in the bowels of hell for a minimum of three months of the year. I grew up in the Mallee where temperatures vary from -4 degrees C in Winter to 45+ in Summer (Hit 50 degrees one year, now that's liquify the bitumen on the road type of hot. Thank you Mr Safeway's man for not caring as Mum and I sat for hours in your air-conditioned heaven that day). The heat never used to faze me but now I could never even consider going back there again. My gorgeous husband installed ducted air-conditioning in our home last year and for that I will be forever grateful. Prior to the air-conditioning I was restricted to one room downstairs which was slightly cooler and had tiles to lie on. Now I can move around the house like a normal person rather than feeling like a shut in, surrounded by my boxes of crap in the rumpus/junk room. All I needed were bottles of urine, Howard Hughes style, and a manifesto to complete the transformation. Crisis averted. Thank you honey!

Whilst I am saving a fortune on jumpers and jackets being continually hot does have a downside. Even as I sleep I am pestered by my crappy internal thermostat. Currently I sleep on top of the covers whilst my husband sleeps under the doona with the electric blanket on. Romantic isn't it? Of course my husband being the caring and devoted guy that he is has suggested on numerous occasions that I would be much more comfortable sans clothing. He is always caring about my well being!

If only I could be cold just once, even for a couple of hours. Isn't variety the spice of life? I even have another Foreigner song set aside just for the occasion.

You're as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know, yes I know
You're as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know, oh yes I know
You're as cold as ice, cold as ice, I know, oh yes I know
You're as cold as ice...

A girl can dream can't she?

Well if that's not going to happen, I'll crank up the air-conditioner, put the ice pack around my neck, get the cassettes out, put on my acid wash jeans and reminisce about all those Blue Light disco's I attended in the 80's.

Rock on!!


  1. Michelle - thank you for making me feel more understood and not as alone! I have "Fibromyalgia" - yes, in quotation marks. Totally understand everything you are talking about (minus the really bad dizziness and heart stuff) - other than that, you are bang on. (Fatigue, melting, dead brain,etc.) I completed my Masters two years ago and then my body finally told me where to go!

    I love your attitude - you write the way I try to think but as you know, it is really really hard some days! Oh who am I kidding, most days!

    Thanks for sharing, and please keep writing!

    Cindy Pope

  2. Hi Cindy

    thanks for the comment, glad my rambling helped a little. I don't think it matters much what your illness is we all seem to have the same basic issues. I still have the crap want to just sit and cry days but I'm trying.

    Hang in there. I'm sure there'll be more of my psychotic ramblings along the way.

    Michelle :)

  3. Cindy I meant to say Woo Hoo and congrats on finishing your masters. I didn't get to complete my doctorate and it's still a raw issue for me. So again I say Woo Hoo for you!!!

  4. Hi Michelle,
    I have just stumbled onto your blog spot - where have you been all my life? Well for the last 5 years anyway.
    I won't bore you with my full story but have returned from a demoralising appointment with a "specialist" this morning. My wonderful specialist - the one lady who gave me hope, a diagnosis, simple tips to improve my quality of life - has retired .
    Today I met her replacement .
    Essentially I was told I am just experiencing early menopause and my gynaecologist can give me a patch to help with my "hot flushes"!!!
    I was exactly like you - things and singlets all through Winter and dreading going to other peoples houses with excellent heating. 3 years ago I read about an American doctor doing Sleeve Gastrectomies with surprising outcomes for Dysautonomia patients. They didn't understand why but it helped. Book me in!!
    I had my surgery two years ago. A week after surgery I was complaining to my babysitter because I was feeling "uncomfortable" - it took me a few hours but finally I figured it out - I WAS COLD!!! Deliciously COLD!!! Come at me fluffy socks, cardies and long neglected heater!!
    My temperature regulation still has its days but I can wear sleeves now in Winter but Summer is still a struggle.
    Thanks for giving us all a voice.
    Your new friend, Shelby


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