The A/C Challenge

It’s hot in Wisconsin. I mean HOT. Stifling, suffocating, saran-warp clinging clothes, hazy, skin-crawling HOT. I just want to lie on the floor and cease to exist until a major storm front rolls through and whisks this numbingly awful heat away. Except we’ve had a series of dramatic, earth-trembling storms in the past few days that did no more than water my plants and shake the house.

So here I sit, immersed in this forsaken, unending, apocalyptic heat.

Of course, this would have to be the summer I dared my husband and myself to try living without turning on our air-conditioning once.

I may usually take pride in the fact I grew up without a/c, but this week that pride seems foolish. Afterall, I am not from the Midwest. I grew up in temperate Oregon where you suffer through a couple of weeks of dry 90-100 degree heat in August by driving to the coast or up into the mountains in a mass exodus with the rest of the city. This dense-as-a-waterfall humid heat is no joke.

Time to bury my pride. Hats off to my Midwestern neighbors. Suddenly I get why complaining about the weather is such a treasured past time here. We swing from one extreme to the other; frigid winters to sweltering summers, with a pause for all-too-brief spring and fall.

To add to this stupor of misery, extreme heat and violent summer storms are relentless to my fibromyalgia body. Am I the only fibromite whose symptoms exponentially multiple with extreme weather? All of a sudden, my skin is crawling. I keep swiping at spiders that aren’t there. My joints would weep if they could. They seem ready to swell and constrict at the same time. And this fibrofog only furthers the heat’s dull stupor of my mind. I would chalk it up to dehydration except I guzzle water like no tomorrow.

I must be crazy – I still haven’t turned on the air. Because that would be admitting defeat. Defeated by the heat, humidity, wildly swinging pressure systems, the vise of fibromyalgia.

It also helps that I am flying to Iceland and Greenland in under two weeks. I daydream of highs in the 60’s, nights cold enough to shiver in a fleece, and glaciers and massive waterfalls of crystal clear cold water. In the midst of this Wisconsin summer, this all seems a mirage, shimmering on the horizon so close, yet so far.

I reach out thirsting for it. Only a week and a half.

Until then, I refuse to budge. If I can endure a 110 heat index without air-conditioning, I can take on anything.


About chronictraveler

Chronic Traveler starts as a dream, one that I thought I had lost, but that has slowly changed into a mission to realize and live that dream every day. In December 2007 I became seriously ill and the doctors did not know what was causing my illness. I had to stop teaching as my life tumbled into a never-ending nightmare of doctors, hospitals and tests. Finally, in May 2008 I was diagnosed with a chronic condition - fibromyalgia. I was only 26 years old at the time. I have had to give up teaching, and now work part-time at a performing arts center as I learn how to manage my condition and improve my quality of life. What helped me through the months of uncertainty and sickness, and continues to inspire me, was a new focus on what truly mattered to me: family, friends, gardening, the arts, and especially travel. I have always fed my soul by traveling, ever since I first stepped off the plane at age 16 in Kathmandu, Nepal to help with an orphanage's building project. Meeting new people and experiencing how they live and how they view the world infuses my life with a richness I was so afraid I would lose when the doctor first said, "You have fibromyalgia". This blog is my story, as I begin to forge a new path. I am embracing my life as it is, with the fibromyalgia pain and fatigue, and learning to do what I love regardless. It may mean I have to go slower and take more naps or breaks! But I am determined to learn how to travel and experience the world, and hopefully what I learn will help others like me who believe their medical condition stands in the way of their travel dreams.
This entry was posted in Greenland, Iceland, Living with Fibromyalgia, Wisconsin and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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