Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Summer Sucks! Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Summer has never been my favorite season. I much prefer Fall and Spring; out with the old and in with the new! Winter has always been a time to catch up and Summer; a time to endure. It seems that no matter where I have lived, and I have lived many places, the summers were always miserable. The east, south and mid-west are horribly hot and humid, and the desert is purely intolerable; yes it is hot and dry, but it is so hot that you cannot even breathe. I lived in the Palm Springs area for 16 years and hated the heat more and more with each passing year.

If I were to choose my favorite year round weather, it would be Big Bear Lake, Ca. I lived there for 7 years and it boasts 350 days of sunshine per year, yet all four seasons are equal in length and generally, moderate. It may be hot in the afternoon, but by four o’clock it cools down enough to put on a pair of jeans; gotta’ love that!

I constantly joke that I have a broken internal thermostat. Just ask my friends; I am always either hot or cold! I have about a four degree window in either direction. Seventy Eight is perfect, seventy four and I am cold, eighty two and I am hot! What a whiner!

Staying Cool in the Pool!
I will admit though, that I would much prefer the cold over the extreme heat. This summer is proving to be increasingly difficult. Prior to leukemia, the heat just caused a discomfort; now it causes me to literally feel “sick”. I wasn’t entirely certain of this fact until yesterday. I kinda’ thought it might just be coincidental, that I was feeling crappy every afternoon, but I am now convinced otherwise. Yesterday I went out in the morning, feeling fine, and was back by noon. It was already in the 90’s and I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling nauseous, headachy and miserable. By nine o’clock that night I was feeling much, much better. I also woke up feeling fine.

Today I shall remain inside, in the air conditioning, until it is time for my last dance practice before my competition this weekend in Portland. I already know that I am going to be hot and miserable, but I am just going to have to suck it up and dance. Tomorrow I will not leave the house. I am thinking that summertime with leukemia just isn’t going to be fun. I will have to do any errands either really early before it gets too hot or in the evenings when it cools down. I am not sure whether it is the Sprycel or the actual leukemia that makes the heat so intolerable, but I am going to try and really pay attention to my body and to do everything that I can to ensure that I do not end up really sick and back in the hospital.

I will be staying out of the heat, as much as possible, and hydrating myself with tons of water and de-caffeinated iced tea. I wish I could choke down those sport drinks but I just can’t do it! I will refrain from doing any physical sport outside in the sun and be sure to wear light-weight loose clothing and a hat. I have found that running cold water over my wrists, when I am extremely hot, also helps; as does a cool shower or bath.

The major signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

1.                  1. Nausea
2.                  2. Vomiting
3.                  3. Fatigue
4.                  4.Weakness
5.                  5. Headache
6.                  6.  Muscle Cramps
7.                  7. Dizziness

If you experience any of these symptoms, get out of the heat immediately and cool and hydrate your body. 


  1. Josh has been having an extremely difficult time with the heat this summer. Can't handle even sitting outside and watching the kids for extended periods of time. We've also had to hire someone to do our yard for us - he just cannot handle the heat. Of course it doesn't help it's been hitting 98 each day!

  2. I have always been an outside person. My entire life I would rather spend time outside. But now it is soooo hard to stay out side or do any of the things I love to do. Just walking outside for a even short period of time can make we feel so miserable. This summer has been really hot and not a lot of rain or I have not had to hire anyone to cut the grass. I did it one moring and spent the rest of the day in bed and slept the entire next day. This sucks, but I am glad I am not alone.

  3. Well, sounds like CML hates summer as much as I do!

  4. This blog is really a great source of information for me. Thank you for giving me such important information.



Bricks for the Brave!!