There’s no denying actually having a summer and having no university work to do is amazing, but there is a downside to all this heat we’ve had in England. That is; heat and M.E. like many other chronic illnesses, don’t mix too well.
To begin with I found the heat quite nice, my pain levels reduced and I felt a bit better. But once it started reaching 30C it became very draining and my energy levels plummeted. The humidty and changes in air pressure have my pain levels all over the place with storms occurring quite frequently. I know I’m not alone in finding this, and some of my friends have struggled with the weather more so than me. So why am I blogging about it? It’s not that I want to complain, although it would be the typically British thing to do, it’s that I want to make people aware of the impact a significant change in weather can have on someone with M.E.
Now if you’re reading this as a perfectly healthy individual, recall how you feel in 30C temperatures and above. Sluggish? Sticky? Unsure of what to do with yourself? More tired than usual? What do you normally do to alleviate some of these things? Do you shower to relieve the stickiness being hot has created?
Now imagine having M.E. where you live with limited energy levels everyday and have found they’ve dropped even more due to the hot weather. To add to that you’re sticky because of the heat. You normally manage some low energy activities during the day but since you’re energy levels have dropped even further you can’t do as much as you were. So you have to rest. You can’t relieve the stickiness being hot has created by having a shower because you simply don’t have the energy to shower. You’re reminded of just how limited your life has become. Suddenly summer doesn’t seem quite as nice as it once did.
I never thought I’d be one to say I missed the typical British Summer of temperatures in the mid-teens to low twenties, I always enjoyed the hotter weather. But as I’ve discovered in recent years, the impact on my health is far too great for me to enjoy a very hot summer. So a typical British Summer (minus all the rain perhaps?) would be ideal for me. Instead I’m running on emptier than normal batteries, less spoons or whatever other analogy you can come up with to describe very low energy levels! However that’s not going to stop me making the best of my time off, even if I do end up doing less than I planned.