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.
I need to move to a country with temperate weather. Here in Malaysia, there are months of hot and humid days that make me extremely uncomfortable. Today is one of them. 35C with 80% humidity is simply too much to bear for my body. The poor thermoregulation is caused by spinal cord injury.
Throughout the day, I have been splashing myself with water and then sit in front of the stand fan blowing at full blast. When the water on my skin dries off, I repeat the entire process again. I can turn on the air-conditioner in the bedroom and hide in there until late evening but I do not want to be too dependent on it.
There are days that I need to get out from the house. Should I become too dependent on the comfort of the air-conditioner, it will be difficult for my body to adapt to the sudden and extreme change when I am out and about.
I do not remember suffering like this in the first decade after the injury. Has the temperature gone up by that much since? There used to be a few places in Penang where the air was chilly even in hot weather. The Penang Botanical Gardens was one of them. Sadly, that ambience is no longer there the last time I went.
I dream of living a place with 20C and low humidity throughout the year, and where nature is still unspoilt and the air fresh as can be. That is my kind of paradise. Now, please excuse me while I go splash myself with water again.
This must be the hottest season ever. The heat during Chinese New Year was scorching. The sky was blue, almost devoid of clouds. I could almost hear my skin crackle whenever I got out from the car in Ipoh. The heat in the afternoons are now being replaced by thunderstorms in the evenings for the past week or so. That did little to bring respite to the discomfort I have been feeling. I am most unproductive during times like this.