Last winter was a snowy, icy, super cold one. People complained all over Facebook and threatened to pummel anyone who complained about the heat in the summer.
I, for one, never once complained about the winter and insisted I had reserved my right to grumble about the July/August heat all I wanted. But I’ve been good and stayed away from voicing my weather preferences.
But it’s been hard, especially when people, probably the same ones who complained during the winter, try to compare their discomfort in the heat with mine. Trust me folks, It’s not the same.
Your misery is extreme discomfort. My misery is misery.
Here’s a common dialogue-
Person, “how’ve you been?
Me, “ok. Had a difficult time during the heat wave last week but am better now.”
Person, “Everyone had a difficult time during the heat wave.”
Multiple sclerosis makes all extreme temperatures a problem. I wrote about my difficulty with the cold and losing power after a blizzard a few winters ago. The post was titled Could Be Minutes, Could Be Days and in it, my biggest lament was not being able to have my treasured hot tea to help me through. A fierce winter storm attacked and hot tea was the main thing I was whining about.
True, I can’t fall asleep if the temperature in my bedroom is below 73 degrees and if I don’t have hot water I go unclean until I do; cold water in a shower feels to me like being stabbed with hundreds of sharp needles. I get enough of needles taking my meds thank you very much.
And perhaps I’m lucky that I work from home; if you can call these weekly scribbling and promoting my book, work. (Subliminal message- MS Madness! buy, buy, buy.)
If I happen to venture out after a storm I do have to watch my footing on icy sidewalks, sidewalks that I am lucky to have shoveled by other people.
I’m Mister White Christmas
I’m Mister Snow
I’m Mister Icicle
I’m Mister 10 below
Friends call me Snow Miser
Whatever I touch
Turns to snow in my clutch
I’m too much
From Snow Miser, in “The Year Without a Santa Claus”
So to recap- with the cold I have trouble falling asleep, can’t shower with cold water, have to be careful outside and if I don’t have power, can’t have my daily hot treat.
Now let’s look at the problems with the heat.
When the heat ramps up, everything MS wise ramps up too.
The fatigue becomes beyond belief, beyond able to manage because if I’m overheated I’m not sleeping at all.
The cognitive issues become unbearable. I can hardly think at all.
My lack of balance issues and loss of coordination issues greatly increase. Everywhere I move, inside, outside, up stairs, down stairs I’m likely to fall.
I have trouble breathing and often feel like I might pass out.
What usually feels like 5 lb weights added to each leg whenever I move suddenly becomes 25 lb weights. Thus, what are usually mild aches become downright pain.
My bladder becomes even more obnoxious than usual whether or not I’m hydrating properly. I tried extra hydration and less hydration during the last heat wave and neither helped the bladder issues. In addition to having to go more than ever I also covered myself with bruises from walking into the walls in my rush to get where my bladder needed me to go.
So, with extreme cold comes trouble falling asleep, no showers, no tea, trouble walking outside.
With extreme heat come no sleep, trouble walking everywhere, no thinking, trouble breathing, pain, bruises, and lots more increased bladder ridiculousness.
Maybe it’s just me, but I kind of like breathing. And thinking isn’t too bad either.
Funny, but the A/C does helps with the cognitive trouble as while I’m miserable the one thing I’m clearly able to think about is my cash flying out the window towards the electric company with every troubled breath I take near the unit.
For people with chronic illness there are heat remedies.
I had a cooling tie once but that just cooled my neck while the rest of me overheated and then I had no equilibrium whatsoever and was even more confused.
I do have a cooling cloth that may actual work. The problem with that? During the heat wave I didn’t remember that I had it! I only remembered it just now as I’m typing.
(Don’t worry. I took a break from writing, dug into my closet, found it and will hopefully know what it is when the next heat wave hits.)
I’m Mister green Christmas
I’m Mister Sun
I’m Mister heat blister
I’m Mr. 101
They call me Heat Miser
Whatever I touch
Starts to melt in my clutch
I’m too much
From Heat Miser in “The Year Without a Santa Claus”
Seriously, which would you prefer?
A white Christmas or a green one?
An icicle or a heat blister?
Something important melting and disappearing all together or turning into a ball of snow? A ball that you can maybe use to defend yourself if necessary or eat if you are hungry. They don’t make delicious snow cones for nothing friends!
I live in a free country and I can prefer the cold of winter over the heat of summer if I want to. I can even talk about the differences of each on Facebook if I want. Yet, too often people are inclined to minimize my input, challenge me or outright argue.If you ask and I tell you about my problems with the heat, please don’t tell me you can relate; not unless the heat makes you physically unhealthy.
And please don’t judge me if I prefer the negatives that come with Snow Miser over the negatives that come with Heat Miser.
Snow Miser just works best for me and that’s all there is too it, winter, summer, spring or fall. But you can prefer Heat Miser if you’d like, even if I don’t quite get why you do.
Here’s the thing. Nobody’s perfect and I don’t think for a second that Snow Miser has the answer to all my temperature troubles. He alone, cannot save me from ongoing woes. Heat Miser’s not without his own charms but me, I prefer the other guy.
Speaking of Snow Miser and Heat Miser, is it my overheated imagination or does Heat Miser’s crazy hair remind you of a certain Presidential candidate?
This blog post is dedicated to all the people in the United States that are so hot all the time that they even appear red on a map!
Snow Miser lyrics are from FM Static
Snow Miser image from en.wikipedia.org-Snowmiser74shawn.jpg
Heat Miser lyrics are from Thousand Foot Krutch
Heat Miser image from watchmovies90s.com
Donald Trump image from politicalhumor.about.com