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Extreme Heat

September 7, 2012
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Ok, I’ve had enough of summer.  I’m tired of going out as early as possible and then hiding inside my apartment with all the blinds closed the rest of the day.  This week in Austin, Texas the temperatures have been over 100 degrees daily.  We’re all waiting with bated breath for the cold front which will blow through tomorrow morning and bring us a high of 92!  The blessed coolness!

Actually we have been fortunate in our area this year.  Last year at this time there had been over 80 days with temperatures over 100 degrees.  This year we’re only at about 35.  I am functioning better this summer, but still have had to curtail some of my activities quite a bit.  I haven’t been to yoga in a couple months because most of the classes I like are in the afternoon after it feels too hot, and I am too tired, to go out.  I miss taking my dog out for an afternoon romp in the park.  For now we just go out in the morning while the heat is still bearable and then duck out just enough for the dog to “do her business” the rest of the day.

Since I have been a cardiac patient, the heat is a much bigger deal than it used to be.  I get tired faster.  My angina worsens when it’s hot.  I have more trouble with becoming lightheaded. I’ve been dealing with Texas summers all my life and now for the first time I am seriously considering moving north, at least for the hot part of the year.

Many (if not most) people with chronic health conditions have trouble tolerating heat.  In the last few years, it seems the temperatures have been hotter in the summer all over the US.  I’ve spoken to friends in Oklahoma who can barely stir outside these days.  Even in Washington state they have had some 100 degree days.  The heat poses more of a threat in northern climates because people are not acclimated to it as we are here in Texas AND lots of people in the north do not have air conditioning.

Stay cool, stay hydrated, and if you find yourself feeling ill from the heat, don’t delay treatment.  Be aware if your health has changed in the last few years you may not tolerate the heat like you used to.  At least we can all look forward to relief as we move into Fall.  I’ll be happy with 92 degrees tomorrow.

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