popsicle melting in the sun

What Happened to my Heat Tolerance?

I used to absolutely love summer. I would tan, go out for day trips a lot, and spend days on the beach. Summer is still my favorite season, but I’ve found more recently that I’ve been having to enjoy it more from my air-conditioned house.

When I noticed this

I was traveling in Lisbon last year when I noticed something. I would get overwhelmed very quickly by the heat of the day, and it would get worse with any activity I did. Traveling with my brother and my best friend, and neither of them would break a sweat while I was drenched doing the same things they did.

The day we went to the beach is when I really noticed something was wrong. I was the one that wanted to spend the entire day at the beach, and I pushed everyone to get up early because I was so excited. As soon as we got there and picked our spot for the day, I knew something was wrong.

What I experienced

I felt as if I was baking in the sun. It became hard to breathe and I quickly felt like I was melting. I needed cover but I didn’t have an umbrella or even a hat. Panic set in as I ran to the water to try and cool off. Of course, the water was absolutely freezing, which was a different kind of over-stimulation.

Neither the beach nor the ocean was regulating my body temperature. I didn’t know what to do. My brother and friend were getting frustrated with me because I kept saying it was too hot and I couldn’t handle it. I wanted to come here, this was my idea. So how could this be going so wrong?

I ended up needing to go stand by the beach bar in the shade of the building while they took a dip in the ocean and dried off. I apologized and told them I didn’t know what was going on, and they accepted my apology while being confused.

It never went away

After the vacation, I thought maybe this was just something that happened in the heat of Portugal, but it turns out, it followed me home.

Every time it’s humid now, I get overwhelmed very quickly. I break a sweat almost instantly and within 5 minutes have to be in either the shade or air conditioning. Sometimes if it’s really humid, not even the AC helps.

I have no explanation for it

I’ve never gotten an explanation for this. When I talked to my rheumatologist not long ago, he stated he was unsure of why this happens, and that it could be any number of my medications that I’m on.

It’s frustrating

It’s definitely frustrating that my favorite season makes me feel like I’m burning up and melting. I still haven’t fully accepted that I can’t tan for long or be out in the sun without becoming overwhelmed and needing shade or lots of water.

I’ve yet to ask my family doctor about this heat problem, but I’m determined to find out why this happens to me and many others. I miss enjoying my favorite season.

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