Saturday, February 16, 2013

What the Heat

It's a beautiful day in Southern California. The skies are deep blue with those glorious wispy clouds stretched across the sky. You can see the mountains as if they're just a short walk away and not 50 miles. The sun is shining and there's a gentle breeze. It's a perfect day to go to the garden center and pick out herbs, fruits and veggies for my garden. My shopping cart is full of carefully chosen plants and some soil. All I need is a pink grapefruit tree to complete my shopping trip. All of a sudden the heat is overwhelming. If I don't do something quickly I'm going to be on the floor in the garden center unable to explain what I need. My body goes immediately into fright and flight mode. I abandon my cart and head for my car. Turn on the air conditioning and wait until it's safe to drive home.

How could I forget I'm heat intolerant? Every year I go through the same surprised reaction to my first trip out on a hot day. For some reason it seems to always be connected with my first trip to the garden center every year. Maybe I'm hoping that I have just imagined the severity of my reaction to heat. Maybe I'm thinking I've gotten better. Or maybe I'm still in some sort of denial. What ever the reason I'm still heat intolerant!

I do think it may have something to do with the fact that I've learned to manage my daily symptoms of dysautonomia. My meds are working. I've learned to tolerate the side effects of those meds. I sit, stand or walk when I need to. Avoid hot showers. Eat small meals. I avoid activities that set my body off. I've hit a point where my dysautonomia feels normal. Weather isn't consistent, it is always changing. In California 1/3 of the year is comfortable. For four straight months I can go outside without the worries of how the heat is going to affect me. I forget to check the weather. I forget to have a safety plan (ice vest, friends to help, early morning trips). Well my body has given notice. Hot weather is a possibility this time of year. Be prepared and don't forget how luck I am to be able to go to the garden center in the first place!


P.S. I haven't written in a while because I've always written about the new experiences I have with POTS. Dysautonomia has become my normal, so it isn't that often that it gives me a surprise.

Psalm 121:5-8
The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade of your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and forever.