When I was working, I'd watch the old ladies with dementia plucking aimlessly at their blankets with small scowls on their faces. Fragile fingers pulling threads from their blankets and the hems of their sleeves. Pulling on the various items around them, they'd spend their days making small noises of discomfort or discontent. They'd be fractious when I went in to say hello or when the nursing staff would try to check their IVs or take their vitals. By virtue of their advancing dementia they were unable to communicate what was wrong, yet all around them were left in no doubt of their displeasure. The advanced nature of their impairment meant that even should they still be able to vocalise their fractured thoughts, they would still be unable to identify the subject of their agitation beyond a vague feeling of restlessness. As I sit here typing I understand them only too well. Just call me Beryl and pass me a boiled lolly. Because this is me today, in all my discontented glory.
Summer has been exhausting this year. More humidity than usual, combined with day after-day of soul sapping 30+C and a broken AC, does not a Dysautonomia-friendly environment make. My body is beyond exhausted and truth be told, I can't exactly pinpoint what is making me feel so out of sorts at this point.
I know the physiological explanations, the dilating blood vessels, the tendency towards rapid dehydration, the effects of barometric changes. I know about heat intolerance and how my anhidrosis contributes to my inability to cool down. But this general malaise is not clearly explained by the realms of science. My fatigue has fatigue at this point and my ability to deal, is nearly non-existent.
I grew up in an area of country Victoria that had Summer's filled with 40+C days. I lived in the top of Australia, smack bang in the tropics, for 7 years, where humidity was part and parcel of my everyday existence and Winter days a lovely 28C. But now, since Bob came into my life, I simply can't cope with the smallest increase in heat.
It gets to the point where there are so many competing sources of feeling unwell that you can't pick where to start, or what to do. It's like some omnipresent fog of malaise where all the various aspects of illness coalesce into one giant super-storm of feeling foul.
I couldn't tell you what is wrong today with any true clarity. I am at the point where it's a case of do I want to throw up, pass out, fall over, have my head explode to finally relieve the building pressure? Do I go sit on the loo, lie on the tiles, drink yet another litre of water, camp out in the fridge? Is it my building migraine or my low bp which is worse today? Or my bradycardia? Or the pain radiating up my legs? Or maybe it's Jeff, my stenosed jugular, who seems intent on sending excruciating pain up my neck and behind my ear? Or perhaps my lower back which I seem to have tweaked yet again as I tossed and turned in the heat of last night? What to pick and where to start? Some days I wish I could just do a reverse hibernation and sleep through the worst of Summer to awake in the more temperate days of Autumn.
The accompanying overwhelming physical weakness makes me want to pick aimlessly at the cushions of the couch and make incomprehensible mumbles of discontent like my old patients. I could fit right in, right about now. A bag of barley sugars, a crocheted blanket and a tube of Ben-Gay, and I'm there.
I am over Summer. I am over the unrelenting heat. The constant oppressive-pressure of the Summer storms. I have always been an Autumn girl and now I am even more so.
Come on Autumn weather and be-gone foul Summer. I'd really like to feel semi-human again sometime this year.
I've spoken a lot about Heat Intolerance here on the blog but this probably explains my experience best Hot blooded, plus it has a shout out to 80's rockers Foreigner, who can you go wrong with that?
Time like this, Henri the cat says it all.