Monday, July 17, 2006

We're havin' a heat wave!

We are, and most of the country is, as well.

That's not quite accurate. Our latest heat wave arrives later this week, with temps in the 90's again for most of the weekend. Hot weather and MS are NOT compatible. Heat makes it even more difficult for the Central Nervous System (CNS) to work properly -- nerve impulses are even more erratic than usual when the body overheats, which means that symptoms get a lot worse and even more unpredictable than usual.

Last summer, when we lived in a rental house without air conditioning or cross ventilation (we had to keep the front and back doors closed to keep the cats inside), it was hell. I felt sick - really, really sick - until David figured out how to hook up the portable AC unit in our bedroom (odd windows that needed to be jerry-rigged in order to handle the vent) so I could hibernate in there until the sun went down and the temps outside became bearable for me.

One of the many wonderful aspects of living in Kensington, CA was that we were smack in the middle of the finger of fog that drifted in through the Golden Gate, over San Francisco Bay and up towards the East Bay hills. That fog generally arrived at our house in the late afternoon, and truly was 'natural air conditioning'. I used to watch the temperature gauge on the dashboard of my Passat when I'd head home from work in Menlo Park; there were a couple of days when it started out reading over 100 degrees and ended up at 70 degrees when I pulled into our driveway! I loved the fog and the cool, comfortable temperatures that accompanied it. On the handful of days that the temps got too high for me, we'd set up the AC unit in the bedroom and I'd hang out there until evening. Here in Portland, though, there are a lot more than a 'handful' of hot days in the summer, and I'm finding myself housebound a great deal longer than in Northern CA.

So I'd better log off and get out in the garden to do a little weeding and pruning before the temps get too high for me!

Stay cool, everyone, and drink LOTS of water!

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