This is Why I Hate Summer 

This is Why I Hate Summer 

Hating summer is a downer. It’s comparable to not liking ice cream (I’m not a fan, sorry) or going up to the giant Easter bunny at the mall and punching its head off. (Actually, that last part would be fun). But what I mean to say is, people start to not like you because you hate summer, and well, I want people to like me. Usually. 

It’s a time to enjoy being outside — the cloudless skies, the extra hours of sunlight — and oh yeah, my birthday. But, I still hate it. Not my birthday, summer. I HATE summer! I really hate summer and for one relatively small, yet tremendously overshadowing reason: it’s hot!

Okay, maybe I should instead say I hate hot weather. Because if I was living somewhere like, say, Seattle or Portland or Vancouver or, I don’t know, Antarctica, I most definitely would not hate summer. Actually, I’d probably hate summer in Antarctica too, but for an entirely different reason. 

Seriously, summer in the Pacific Northwest would probably be my favorite season — just the right temperatures — 50 to 80 degrees. The winter there might be a different story, but I’ve always been one to enjoy cold weather — bundling up indoors under a blanket. Besides, I find it much easier, or at least tolerable, to get warm opposed to cool off. 

New Yorker cartoon
To a certain extent I’ve always been like this, but even more so since getting MECFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome). A few years ago I came across an article by Dr. Sarah Myhill who is located in the U.K. The article explained how some people with the disease are essentially unable to sweat enough to regulate their body temperature in hot weather. 

While recently researching my symptoms, I found another one of Dr. Myhill’s articles that says people with MECFS are “heat intolerant” because our blood supply is low. She goes on to explain:

If you shut down the blood supply to the skin, this has two main effects. The first is that the skin is responsible for controlling the temperature of the body. This means that CFS patients become intolerant of heat. If the body gets too hot then it cannot lose heat through the skin (because it has no blood supply) and the core temperature increases. The only way the body can compensate for this is by switching off the thyroid gland (which is responsible for the level of metabolic activity in the body and hence heat generation) and so one gets a compensatory underactive thyroid. This alone worsens the problems of fatigue.

The second problem is that if the micro-circulation in the skin is shut down, then the body cannot sweat. This is a major way through which toxins, particularly heavy metals, pesticides and volatile organic compounds are excreted. Therefore the CFS sufferer’s body is much better at accumulating toxins, which of course further damage mitochondria.

I had an epiphany when I first read her explanation a few years ago. Not long before, I went on a short walk (I was still walking back then) in 95 degree weather. Right before I got back home, ascending a steep hill, I started to get heat stroke. I became dizzy and nearly passed out before finding some shade. There I was literally across the street from my house but I was unable to walk any farther. I realize this happens to other people without MECFS –normal people, you know, the healthy ones who can actually sweat and cool themselves down — but my case was different. 

My body was overheating, but was as dry as a sandpit. So I was basically stuck — every time I tried to get up and walk the 20 yards to my front door, my body would give out. I got this weird poking sensation all over my skin and torso. It felt like some evil person I had wronged was poking a voodoo doll that looked like me. I was eventually able to get home, but never again did I go out in such hot weather. 

Beyond the issue of cooling myself in hot weather, not being able to sweat presents another big problem: Toxins. 

As Dr. Myhill mentioned, sweating is a vital way for the body to eliminate toxins. And that got me thinking … Maybe one reason I got so sick was because my body wasn’t able to eliminate enough toxins and they were basically just building up in my body. Between my inability to sweat enough and my body’s trouble retaining fluids because of diabetes insipidous, I think it’s plausible. The fact that IV saline has helped me so much furthers the idea. 

As I imagine it: the IV fluids perfuse organs, like my kidneys, and now that’s how I flush toxins from my body. I think this because, ahem, my urine indicates so. Before I started getting IV fluids, my urine was always clear. Always. And I’m no expert but I believe toxins, among other things, are what gives urine color. So that my urine was clear meant the toxins were staying in my body opposed to being eliminated in my urine. 

New Yorker cartoon
If my idea is correct, IV fluids have helped, at least temporarily, reduce my toxin build-up. It’s a good thing too because, like some people do to detoxify, I refuse to try a coffee enema, I’m just not a fan of putting things up my butt, especially coffee. I don’t even like to drink coffee. (I know, if you had a problem with me hating summer now you’re really going to hate me for not liking coffee or ice cream). 

But my hatred of heat still remains, and no IV is going to change that. For now, until I find a nice, cool place on the coast, I guess I’ll just stick to cold rags on my head and ice water to drink.  Sounds like a party, doesn’t it?

A big thank you for reading this post! Please subscribe and read some more of you get a chance. Maybe leave me a comment below?

Oh, and please check out my latest piece for The Washington Post.