It’s six am. I’ve just woken up to find myself without the top I wore to bed. It’s strewn on the floor telling me that at some point during the hellish heat I most likely peeled it off. I do remember sweating and being restless, Tibby tossing and turning, trying to manage the fan’s direction and Tibby’s position. I remember several times turning on the AC to cool down the room but not daring to fall asleep while it’s on because… JPS! The worst part is, it rained yesterday. A lot, but that didn’t stop the heat from attacking last night.
My head hurts. I keep waking up exhausted and my eyes feeling heavy. I dare not go outside without shades because I have migraines and walking around in normal daylight without them is an issue. Heat is also a trigger. I stay indoors as much as I can. I keep up with my magnesium supplements.
My kid, isn’t doing great with it. In fact, since the summer I was pregnant with her her, I knew something was wrong. ‘I’, who didn’t normally sweat very much couldn’t stand anything higher than about 27 degrees. At nights, when temperatures stayed up to 29 and 30, I nearly stroked out. I remember I kept a basin of ice water and laid the wet rag or face towel on my face, neck, back and belly to cool down. After she was born I realized it was her. Since this baby came into our lives our fans have NEVER stopped running. She needs it, and when she sleeps, she sweats buckets. Fan, AC? Doesn’t matter. Tibby sweats. The only time I’ve seen her not sweat soo much (and she still did when she slept) a when she deh a farrin in AC 24/7. A coupl of times I let her play on the bath tub for a while (sometimes adding ice to bring the water to room temp because the water in the tap warm as hell) a few times a day because once she is out and playing its problems. She guzzles water like nobody’s business. She sleeps so much and is often very miserable.
Last month (June 2019) registered as the hottest month on earth. Seeing 40 degrees registering on your dashboard is insane! As Jamaicans, we’re used to hot summers, but chilllee! This is next level. Nevertheless, it’s predicted to get hotter still over the rest of the summer period.
I really hope you guys are taking care of yourselves during this heat. Here are a few tips.
1. Pay special attraction to the young and the elderly.
They are most at risk for heat strokes due to a reduced ability to regulate their body temperatures during heat stress, as well as other factors like self care limitations, medical issues, etc.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drink! Drink! Drink! Avoid dehydration.
3. Dress down, or appropriately.
I also know some people have uniform restrictions and hope these corporate companies are doing better with relaxing dress codes.
4. Wear Sunscreen
Wear sunscreen when out and about, especially for extended periods. Melanin isn’t an automatic substitute guys!
5. Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol and heat stress combinations can affect your body’s ability to effectively regulate temperature. Also, you don’t want to make matters worse with dehydration from excessive consumption.
6. Plan outings to involve cooling down activities. Such as trips to rivers, the beach, waterfalls, etc.
8. Plan outdoor activities for earlier or later in the day to avoid maximum daytime temperatures.
For example, I do laundry so that I’m picking up/putting out either 7/8am or after 4:30/5pm. It’s a simple thing, but that way, I’m not about to faint to get some clean clothes to wear.
Bonus: Support Climate/Environmental focused initiatives.
I hope those who don’t believe in climate change or still think that the governments ‘one little move’ to ban single use plastics isn’t helpful realize worse is to come. We’ve all got our part to play and trading the convenience of a plastic bag when you shop is an insanely small price to pay to protect marine life. Especially for an island heavily dependent on the seas for tourism, recreation and livelihood.
Stay cool, guys! (Pun definitely intended.) 😎