Hello Hot Season

About one month ago, while I was suffering under sweltering heat and humidity, I thought it to be the hottest day yet. Yesterday and today’s weather proved me wrong. Yesterday was the first time in many months that I splashed my head and shoulders with cold water every few minutes.

Nasty weather like this and I are not the best of buddies. Spinal cord injury short circuited my body’s thermoregulation system. I do not feel hot or cold below my upper chest. My perspiratory system does not react to heat due to this lack of sensation to temperature. I do not sweat.

Bathing constantly is not an option. The transferring from wheelchair to bathroom chair multiple times can easily tire me out. Therefore, I have to resort to splashing myself with water, mostly to the remaining parts of my body where I have sensation. Yesterday’s unforgiving weather has worn me out even with the constant splashing.

Today, I will have to retreat back into the bedroom with the air conditioner blowing at full blast. I might as well. The air outside also smells of ash. The haze is back too with no rain to wash it away. This is not my time of the year. I cannot think coherently. I feel weak.

The fact that I have not been sleeping well lately nights adds to the trauma. My tummy has been unsettled. The cut on my buttock sustained from a careless transfer in the bathroom on Saturday is bothering me as well. For now, the cool in the bedroom is the best sanctuary for me to recharge and rejuvenate from these sleepless nights.

Haze In Penang – July 2009

The stench of ash and thick veil of haze shrouded our entire journey from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh and then to Penang last Saturday. It has never been this bad since we started travelling the E1 of the North-South Expressway (NSE) three years ago.

From our observations, the haze not only came from Sumatra. It is also a locally-induced problem as people are still practicing open burning even in this hazy condition. The following two images were taken on Sunday from my apartment at Taman Pekaka in Penang four hours apart. What a world of difference the view was after a downpour.

Haze in Penang as viewed from Taman Pekaka
Haze in Penang as viewed from Taman Pekaka at 8.04am, July 19, 2009.

No more haze after rain in Penang as viewed from Taman Pekaka
No more haze after rain. Taken at 12.03pm, July 19, 2009.

Haze In Kuala Lumpur – May 2008

The haze season is upon us again. The visibility is still good but there is this unmistakable burnt smell lingering in the air. There is nothing much we can do except to drink lots of water and wait it out. The daily Air Pollutant Index (API) readings for the various cities and towns in Malaysia is available at the Department of Environment website – www.doe.gov.my.