periodic paralysis,  Personal Health Journey,  Personal Posts

Climate: Heat + Humidity

I step outside and I melt. Literally. This is not an exaggeration. The end.


Just kidding. There is much more to it than that. I wasn’t kidding about the melting btw, that’s what it feels like for me. I should start by saying that I have the Hypokalemic form of Periodic Paralysis. Heat and humidity are both triggers for me. So, by chance, if you are comparing with Hyperkalemic PP or other forms of PP, their/your experience may be quite different (see periodic paralysis).

I’m not melting?
Dry heat is tolerable, from what I’ve experienced when outside of North Carolina. It’s much easier to stay cool. Staying out of the sun, dressing for the optimal balance of warmth in the a/c and cool in the heat, carrying water, wearing a hat. All of those things have worked for me in dry heat. The humidity however, is a totally different story. It sticks to you and drains your energy the longer you are outside.

Ah yes, now I’m melting.
There’s been an intense heatwave here for a couple weeks. Not only is it generally hot outside, but the humidity is off of the charts. The temperature may be about 90 degrees (Fahrenheit) but the real feel is 100 including humidity. When it’s this hot outside, I start to melt as soon as I step one foot out of the door. The amount of time it takes to melt into a puddle depends on a couple of different factors. One. The amount of time I spend outside in the heat. Two. How hot and humid it is on that particular day. Three. How much time I spend moving from a/c to the heat. (I.e. If I were to go to the store I would have to walk outside to my car, cool off in the car by a/c, get back out of the car into the heat, walk into to the store and back into the cooler environment, and so on).

I am but an emotional puddle.
Even when I am in the a/c, it’s only a matter of time before I am completely unable to function. The humidity saps my energy over time, the longer I am out, the more fatigued I get. When it gets really bad and I overheat, I start to feel extremely weak, groggy, a little delirious, and the strong urge to go to sleep. I also become very irritable and have waves of strong emotion. Anger, sadness, guilt, and irritation usually.

A/c or no a/c? (Obviously we pick a/c)
If I decide to just stay indoors, which is what I chose to do these past few weeks, the heat and humility still affect me. It tends to make me feel exhausted so I sleep a lot more. I usually can wake up at about 11am or 12, but lately I have felt like I just can’t get enough sleep. Also, after it finally cools down at the end of day, I tend to crash (what some call an abortive attack). I can usually tell immediately when it’s about to happen. It gives me few minutes to find a comfy place to lay down. The temperature drops pretty quickly in the evening and I usually follow suit.

In some ways the summertime is less variable than the fall and spring season, but still hard on chronically ill bodies in other ways. Combine this with rain and oof- not a fun time. Still, I am very grateful for the warmth, I try to appreciate it everyday. Stay safe out there ~

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