“Hypothermia!?”, I repeated the word dismissively, looking at Jon like he was crazy.
“Yes” he said calmly, “If you look at the symptoms, you had them all.”
I was annoyed that he even brought the idea up. People got hypothermia when they were lost in the woods for days and then they either died or were saved by getting naked and warming their body against another naked person.
It wasn’t something that happened to someone in their backyard, a hundred feet from their house, while they were shoveling.
But I had been irritable and annoyed by everything Jon said and did since the day before. On Sunday, when I was painting our bedroom and Jon was helping, I had no patience for him, and I was letting him know about it. He even wrote about it on his blog, trying to figure out what was going on.
But I wasn’t just annoyed with Jon.
I was second guessing every decision I made. I was sure I chose the wrong colors for the bedroom. The “On Being” interview I was listening to, which I usually find hopeful and thought provoking, was upsetting. Even listening to Krishna Das (my go to grounding music), was getting on my nerves.
I couldn’t focus, was confused and anxious. And I couldn’t get warm.
In the evening I tried to take a bath and half the hot water ran down the slipped drain-stop before I noticed. So the water was only lukewarm. It only made me colder. Afterwards, I was exhausted and lay on the couch staring into space and dozing.
Jon read me the symptoms of hypothermia. He even talked to his nurse practitioner earlier that morning during his physical. And for a moment, what he said made sense to me.
“It alters your body and usually takes a day or two to feel normal again”, Jon told me. “It’s like having low blood sugar, when it’s happening you have no idea what’s going on, because it makes you confused and you can’t think rationally.”
Yesterday I still had my guard up. I didn’t trust Jon, how could I? I didn’t even trust myself.
But this morning I can see it clearly.
It really does make sense that I had a mild form of Hypothermia. Which is different from the kind you die from. The only kind I had ever heard about.
And honestly, there’s some ego involved in my not wanting to admit that I might have been so affected by the cold.
I kept thinking about the time, I went cross county skiing, under a full moon, when it was zero degrees out. Or how I used to work outside, or in unheated houses and never have a problem with the cold.
I was seeing my having hypothermia as a weakness.
Today I see it as reason for what I was feeling the past couple of days. And I appreciate knowing that it’s what happened to me. Because otherwise, I couldn’t explain it except to say that I went a little crazy. And not a fun or harmless crazy, but a mean crazy.
Jon could have reacted differently to the past two days with me. He could have gotten angry and been mean back to me. But he could see something wasn’t right. He could see clearly when I couldn’t.
It still makes me a little uncomfortable to think that Jon cares so much about me. It makes me feel vulnerable, which feels dangerous to me. I’m seeing that I more comfortable being emotionally vulnerable around Jon than physically vulnerable. That’s something I’ll have to think more about.
It’s cold outside again, the temperature below zero.
But the sun is shining and I’m going a little stir crazy from being in the house so much.This afternoon I’ll take a snowshoe walk in the woods with Fate. I’ll bundle up in layers of warm clothes and pay extra attention to how I’m feeling. It’ll be a short walk, I’ll try to embrace my physical vulnerabilities, I won’t let my ego get in the way.
18 thoughts on “Hypothermia?!”
What a frightening experience, Maria. Happy for Jon’s perception and understanding, and relieved you are alright. These are extreme times…..the donkeys sure show it! WOW.
Enjoy your walk!
How odd you must have felt. A good message from your body to think about.
It was odd indeed Susan!
I’m 76 years old and I learned 35 years ago that the full moon every month also had that kind of effect on me. I’m a Pisces … a water person, and the full moon has a very profound effect on my attitude and disposition starting sometimes a week before the moon is full. I find myself so moody and tearful which is not like me at all. Since then I have always kept track of the full moon on my big desk calendar and that helps me to understand and track the changes in my body.
Hope you’re feeling much better now. Bonnie
I thought of the full moon Bonnie, but this was a different experience than I’ve had before. Could be a combination of things I guess.
Maria, I really enjoyed reading this post because I can identify with what you are saying….I have had several of those “mean crazy” days this winter myself…don’t feel alone….wouldn’t a “spa” day be nice with maybe a friend.(Athena or Mandy) . a hot tub, hot oil back massage, drinks served and totally being catered to? I think that would be a game changer…hang in there…..think spring….
It’s actually been a pretty mild winter except for this past week. And I’ve been enjoying the short days in a way I can’t remember ever before. I know what I feel like when I’m cranky and in a bad mood. This was different. I don’t think I’m up for a whole day at a spa, and today I actually love snowshoeing. So we’ll see how it goes.
I think menopause is a lot more likely than hypothermia. Just sayin’!
Ha! Well, I’ve never felt quite like this before Sybil. I’m 55 and have been experiencing menopause for some time now. This was very different.
It could be a combo of the major full moon/eclipse and low grade dehydration. I find that is the biggest problem when it gets cold, it is dehydrating.
I’ve also had that awful not warm enough bath, the worst. Once you get in and realize it is not getting you there but no more hot water. Next time I’ll put on the kettle like in the old days and heat it up.
Glad you are on the mend. I did notice the pic Jon took your expression was…. shall we say otherworldly??
Many, many, many(!) months ago I started reading your blog and Jon’s from their beginnings…mostly to fill in a lot of blanks, but also because they are interesting. Today I got to this entry. Picture this, warmer days are coming: bloghttps://www.bedlamfarm.com/2015/07/26/porch-reading-nothing-more-natural-in-the-world/
Oh wow, David, I definitely had forgotten that it was possible to be siting on the porch reading with a sun dress on. I still find it hard to imagine, but it was actually really nice to see and imagine the warmth. Thanks for reading my and Jon’s blog and thanks for the pic!
I have followed the hypothermia conversation in connection with confusion, similar to experiencing heat stroke. The only sign of my heat stroke was confusion, but I recognized it soon enough and got myself inside.
I am more careful in the cold to wear layers, have my head covered and wear heavy enough gloves. Used to have a cavalier attitude toward cold, not any more. Also have an inkling reaction to cold might have something to do with nutrients and minerals in my body but have not tested this out.
Interesting Sharon Thanks. I actually felt warm from shoveling. It was definitely confusing.
wild hypothesizing here: barometric pressure, biorhythm …. and yes feeling warm after shoveling is confusing, now wondering what the Oregon man who just crossed Antarctica did to keep warm….
looking up more on hypothermia, and proper hydration seems to be important in preventing heat loss, who would have thought…
That makes sense to me Sharon.