Like many chronic conditions the weather has a huge effect on my condition. After the cold spell in February I attributed my flare up to being a permanent snowman. Very rarely would I venture into the positively Antarctic conditions without layers upon layers of thick and cosy clothing.
To paraphrase a great and green man. “Onions have layers, Ogres have layers (and so do those with heat sensitive fibromyalgia.)”
Walking around I probably looked like a ginger Michelin man. I would waddle around, barely even able to move my arms due to my clothes. My mindset was focused on heat. If I went shopping I looked for something that would keep me warm. I would look for foods and drinks that would warm me up. Like a bloodhound I could sniff out log fires from a mile away. My body was a magnet, gravitating towards heat.
From November to mid April I was cold. I was permanently too cold. If you used a temperature sensitive camera I probably greatly resembled Elsa from Frozen. No matter what I tried I was cold. I would wear five or six layers as a minimum yet I remained a walking ice cube.
These last few days has been the complete opposite. For the benefit of those readers living outside of Wales. My country is famed for being wet and cold. Welsh people wander around permanently soggy with squelching shoes and umbrellas at the ready. However the last few days have been ‘glorious’ for most people. Temperatures soared to the mid twenties (77°F.) Readers from hot countries don’t laugh. For Wales that is comparable to a heat wave. Anything above 25°C sees outdoor pools over maximum capacity, and suncreamed children scurrying around parks and fields. The UK barbecue and burger market rely on these days. Stores saw disposal barbecues practically fly off the shelves.
Where was I? Inside. I hid from the sun like a distant cousin of the Cullen clang. Only I wish the sun made me sparkle. Instead it turns me into a rather sweaty lobster, not nearly as glamorous. I lay on my bed, window open, curtains closed and fan on the highest setting. I looked like a beached whale wearing a t-shirt.
Like the cold, heat can have a detrimental effect on my pain levels. Being a red head I was already half way to being allergic to the sun. However in conjunction with the fibro, anything above 15°c now turns me into a melted puddle.
Everything is just a little bit more exhausting. It’s as if the sun pulls out the plug that gives me energy and uses that energy to shine brighter. When it’s cold all I want to do is hide in bed. When it’s hot all I want to do is hide on my bed. Fibromyalgia is a fickle toddler, always wanting what it can’t have.
When I finally ventured into what felt like the Sahara desert the heat was unbearable. Despite wearing my coolest clothes I was always too hot. I felt like I wanted to starfish in a freezer. The world around me was a Carolina Reaper chilli and I had to try and endure the pain and the burn.
The best way I can describe fibro sensitivity is that our bodies are like a sound system turned up to the max. I’m always too hot or too cold, never just right. Sounds are too loud and the lights are too bright. I always feel too much. Too many sensations and too many pains.
My internal magnet has changed its pole. Now the sight of a fire repels me as much as freezers attract. But for now at least I will use the heat as an excuse to eat my body weight in ice cream.