February 27

Curse the mighty heat wave…

I don’t know what it is like where you are, but here in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia), it certainly feels like hell has cracked open and is spewing its fiery heat all over the place – it is HOT!

Luckily, I have managed to ensconce myself in my air-conditioned house (I work from home) for most of the Summer, but obviously I can’t stay locked in here 100% of the time and when I venture out,  man do I feel it.

Me and heat do not get along. Aside from becoming instantly irritable, I feel light-headed, I feel nauseous, my stomach acts up, and I just feel generally unwell.

Until my diagnosis of IBS and joining the FODMAP related support groups, I always just thought this severe reaction to heat was just a individual quirk of mine.

I must admit it was with some relief that I discovered that perhaps the reason that I fade so quickly when the temperature rises may in fact be less of something that is just weird and unpleasant about me, and perhaps something, at least in part, that is attributable to IBS (poor IBS, copping the blame for everything… said no one ever!)

I am not sure of course, but I have definitely noticed a trend where my fellow IBS-sufferers do seem to share my aversion for the heat, and feel like it increases their symptoms.

While this doesn’t change the fact that I still turn into a pint-sized version of the Incredible Hulk when the mercury soars (and especially if the humidity goes up with it), it does make me feel less like a crazy and out of control bitch that can’t handle a bit of heat, and therefore, this discovery has been good for the soul.

But, as we said, it doesn’t change the effects. So I am on the hunt always for any good ‘cool down’ tips.

We could all jump in the fountain of course, and trust me I have wanted to, but sometimes we need slightly more ‘public friendly’ tricks. So if you have any, I would love to hear it.

Here are my main tricks, keeping in mind that most of the time, I get to work at home and therefore can be a little less ‘professional looking ‘ at times (and obviously assuming the use of fans and air con where possible). I would love to hear any suggestions that you all have?!

  1. run wrists under cold water, or place against a cold object (cold drink, inside of freezer etc).
  2. place a cold hand towel across the back of my neck
  3. place my feet on something cold while I work – a cold hand towel also works for this – my dad always told me when I was a kid that if my feet were warm, I would be warm, it turns out that it works in the opposite direction as well!
  4. ice water in a spray bottle
  5. hand-held fans or hand-made paper fans (fold a piece of paper into a concertina shape or just into a square and fan yourself)
  6. wet hair – not really a professional look but it works!
  7. wet/dampened clothes – ditto to the above
  8. cold drinks – always remember to keep drinking water – I have forgotten when my tricks have worked and I have felt cooler, but forgotten to keep drinking in what are still hot temperatures and gotten heat stroke – don’t do that!