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Amanda Thorpe

Hatin' in the heat!

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I happen to live in the UK, a place where discussion of the weather is part of the national lexicon because it's usually dismal. Think rain, sleet, cold, cloud, all framed by a colourless, gray sky and you got it. Although it has warmed up the last 15 years or so, our summer can still span just a matter of days or weeks, rarely if ever months. However, this summer we are experiencing a heatwave, which yesterday saw temperatures up to 37° degrees with temperatures predicted up to 27° degrees for two weeks. Oh, yes, and humidity of up to 54%! That's the real killer, the humidity!


You would think this good news, that a country with a usual two day summer would revel in the heat and indeed some people do but I reckon most do not. You see we are really poor when it comes to coping with extremes of temperatures. Example, National Rail, trains fail to run in the fall because of wet leaves on the line, because of snow in winter (when we get it) and in extreme heat the track buckles? What does that even mean? That commuters are stranded on a regular basis because of the weather. During winter, offices are too cold, the open window becomes a battleground, in summer, offices are devoid of air conditioning with fights over desktop fans, maybe that was just the office I worked in? Coffee shops full of "Sweaty Bettys" queuing for bottles of water and scalding hot drinks, thank goodness that most banks, department stores and clothes shops are air conditioned!


Ahh, but let's see what this means for people with scleroderma and Raynaud's as we're also poor at coping with extremes in temperature. My Raynaud's is mild, incited more by stress than cold, but I know that air conditioning plays havoc with Raynaud's and it's on full blast in many places. What a contrast that ice cold inside now is to the hot outside, a recipe for a Raynaud's attack if there ever was one. I also know that most of us struggle with the cold, but not me! Oh, no I have to be one of the exceptions to the rule! Since becoming ill I have been a "hottie", wearing maxi dresses in the winter and now, on top of being a "hottie" I must factor in my age and the hormones it brings (or is it takes away?) and I am having a total and complete sweat fest. One country's heatwave is this woman's hot mess.


Yesterday, the hottest day of the year thus far, I was supposed to go out with friends for a meal, to celebrate my earlier birthday, and instead cancelled. I could not function, sweating profusely and feeling exhausted, I spent the entire day asleep (with the fan on) because I couldn't actually keep awake. Today I rearranged a hospital appointment because of the heat, the clinic is in a portacabin, an airless, suffocating portacabin, so I slept all day again instead. Tomorrow is supposed to be hot as well and so forth and so on so wake me up when this heatwave is over and it's cool again! Oh, for that colourless, gray sky!


Take care.

Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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I fight the same battle. I am sitting here with a blanket over me because the air conditioning is on. It is not that hot here today but the humidity is high therefore the a.c.  I went for blood work the other day and immediately went into a Raynaud's attack because it was so cold. I have to bring sweatshirts with me if we go out to eat.  The supermarket is unbearable, I can't even go in the cold aisles and the rest of the store is freezing.


We have even higher humidity here somedays and it is hard for me to breathe even with the oxygen. Fortunately up by the ocean there is usually a cooler breeze. Even still there are days I just can't go outside. This past winter was freezing, we had a lot of snow and many days of 4 degrees F! 


Happy belated birthday, Amanda.  :balloons:



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Hi Amanda,


That's certainly true about the British reaction to the heat; we just can't cope with it!! Many moons ago I worked in an office and I could guarantee that throughout the summer the window blinds would want repairing and therefore were out of commission; however, as soon as the weather changed and became cold, the windows would need cleaning inside and out, necessitating them being opened during the coldest times. 


Actually, I do quite like the hot weather (but not the humidity) and this year has been a bit of a surprise as we really don't get much of it. Usually, I don't get my summer clothes out until about August and then only for a very short time. It's been another hot day today and I understand the weather's set fair for the weekend as well. I'm expecting a hosepipe ban any day now and already there's been screams of drought! :wink:


Like Miocean, I really feel the air conditioning in supermarkets; the thought of it is enough to bring on a Raynaud's attack.

Jo Frowde

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ISN Secretary of the Board

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SD World Webmaster

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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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