Friday, 18 October 2013

Adventures in Temperature

I've gained a new symptom.

I think so at least, either new or a furthering of an existing one. Usually my problems with temperature rest in the colder and damper part of the year where I struggle to get warm and end up waddling around in multiple layers looking like a very small Eskimo. It does however mean I get to indulge my love of knitwear, and for that you will never hear me complain! I most recently bought a really thick over-sized purple creation and this sort of thing reliably induces “child at Christmas” mode.

(Over-sized knitwear makes me happy. And a little brave.)

However, the last couple of months my ability to regulate my temperature at either end of the spectrum seems to have vacated the premises.

I mentioned in my post covering exercise that I love to follow it up with a long soak in a hot bath. After my years with a back injury I got used to having the water as hot as I could stand – just shy of scorching – and have continued with this. Recently though a very hot bath has caused my core temperature to rocket upwards to the point of being faint and pouring with sweat. Hardly the result you want from a bath.

Please feel free to leave me a comment below if this is something you encounter, as it’s completely new to me. It makes a sort of sense that if cold temperatures cause problems then hot ones will too, although I survived our unusually hot summer without trouble at all. Possibly it’s the sudden change in temperature provoked by so much as stepping into a bath which causes the problem.

In light of this I’ve also found my temperature is jumping about a bit during the day regardless of stimuli. Layers are fast becoming not only an option but a necessity. The temperature of the office I’m working in certainly doesn’t change, but my temperature just won’t settle.

Having recently been burying myself in Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion, it’s almost as if Petunia, ever one for extremes, has absorbed the sprawling vistas of Middle Earth and decided “The cold of Helcaraxë or the fires of Mount Doom? Pick one.”

("Fingolfin Leads the Host Across the Helcaraxë" by Ted Nasmith)

Cheers, madam. You missed all the nice gentle places like Rivendell and Doriath then?

This was particularly bothersome last week, it being the time of the month when dysmenorrhea leaves me pretty much gritting my teeth and trying not to scream for a week. Usually I’d grab my wheat bag or hot water bottle and a blanket and just settle myself down for a bit until things calmed down - except that didn't work because I couldn’t stop fidgeting about as a result of my indecisive temperature. 

There are days when I really do wish all these conflicting symptoms would just kiss and make up, or in the very least conduct their squabble in such a way that I don’t have to deal with it!

Thus far I’m resorting to wearing layers most of the time so I have some leeway and having cooler baths, although it seems to depend on the day as to where the line of “too hot” lies. What was fine one day won’t necessarily be so the next.

Just to make baths even more interesting, Misty has recently taken to standing next to the bath with her front paws on the side and looking as if she’s considering trying to leap over the bath and onto the windowsill.

She’s tried that before. It didn't go well, and I was amused with the resulting sogginess even if she wasn't.

Uncomfortable I may be, but at least I’m uncomfortable with the strong possibility of entertainment!

Does anyone else find they suffer at both extremes of temperature? Have you found any ways to make this a little easier? Feel free to comment below.

Wishing you all many spoons xxx


  1. Ah, temperature. I know this one well. I can still be a tad dizzy and feel faint after getting out of the shower, and that one has been getting worse the longer I have to be in the shower. When I had a bath I could lie in comfortably, I would usually get a touch of both but put it down to the heat (oh, how innocent I was!). Showers are very painful as I have to stand and I think that contributes to the dizzy/faint spells, but I'll get back to you on that after my OT visit and item procurement.

    But, as you say, both ends of the temperature scale are a problem. The cold makes everything stiffer and can increase the pain levels. I'm also susceptible to Hypothermia to the point that I can't camp outside the months of May and August- and even those can be tenuous. This makes any LARP events other than the mainlines a problem, which means my LARP fixes are few and far between, which in turn makes me sad that everyone else is playing and keening away.

    And at the minute, the temperature is *just* enough that I'm too cold outside the duvet and usually too warm underneath it. Which, in turn, means I wake up through the night more as I can't get comfortable. Not helpful at all!

    1. Gosh Lauren :( I'm sorry to hear you have so much bother, best of luck for the OT visit though :) xx

  2. Yes, I've definitely had my share of the temperature fluctuations! At first I thought I was going crazy, but I've talked to several people with fibro in the fb support groups that have the same problem. I still can't seem to keep a consistent body temperature, and it's worse when I'm flaring. In addition to that, I've developed hyperhidrosis, so when I'm roasting I'm also dripping with sweat. Like you, though, it's not a "this far and no further" thing. I never know from one day to the next what is too hot and what isn't, or cool and too cold. My consistently inconsistent yet frequent fevers probably don't help the matter at all.

    As far as coping with it? As you say: layers. I carry a sweater or flannel shirt with me everywhere I go, just in case, and laying on the heating pad can sometimes cause me to strip down to my skivvies and point the fan at myself. The AC stays at a constant temperature, at least that's what the thermostat tells me; I could swear that it jumped all over throughout the day, just to torment me.

    1. Haha, the AC in my office jumps about all day too, at least according to my inner thermostat! I've taken to keeping a couple of layers in my bag for work too, seems to be the only way forward! Sorry to hear you're suffering too xx

  3. You got me with the title! I can no longer have hot baths well not for 10 long sad years. I occasionally have one, when I have a lapse in memory and am in great pain and end up worse after. Also if the hydrotherapy pool is too hot I cannot stay in for long. At the other extreme if an air conditioner is blowing on me it actually hurts. Sorry no suggestions only sympathy. From another tea lover.

    1. Other tea lovers are always most welcome! :) do you find hydrotherapy helpful in general? It's something I've had on my list to try for a bit xx

  4. I've been diagnosed with Fibro for 13 years (since I was 24, but I've probably had it longer than that). I've always had problems regulating my body temp. My "normal" temp is somewhere around 97.5. When I have a fever my temp goes up to 99.5. My hands and feet are always cold, even if I'm wearing socks/gloves. It's like the blood doesn't flow to my extremities. I also have low blood pressure. Up until fairly recently I've experienced much more cold intolerance, however the last few years I've also developed a heat intolerance, complete with heat rashes. That's harder for me to manage, because it's easier to bundle up than to walk around naked. 8-)