Life Lately | Struggling in The Heat

Guys, Summer is not my friend

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy summer but I like to be inside enjoying it. I hate being too hot and just prefer to be cool instead of roasting myself in the sun like a chestnut.

I’ve felt this way for all of my teenager years, into adulthood and it’s been a struggle to have a good summer. Working also added some drama to this too, unbearable traveling to and from work, both on public transport and driving, I just always long for the Autumn around about July.

What had made my dislike of summer – I won’t say hate here, that’s too strong – has been my IBD diagnosis. I would always see a spike in my inflammatory markers and flare ups during the summer. I was diagnosed after a rough summer which seems to be no coincidence. Jen from The Balanced Belly wrote this blog post on the subject here so it’s nice to know its not just me alone in feeling like this!

But this summer, right now, it’s a struggle beyond just my IBD.

We are experiencing a incredible heat wave in the UK. Highs of 30C + which is unusual and unbearable.

I just want to hide.


Why I hear you ask!

This year I am experiencing all this hot weather with an ostomy. My IBD might be in ‘remission’ but that doesn’t mean my condition is calm. If anything, it is starting to becoming slightly symptomatic and that worries me. My ostomy is an ileostomy, a type of stoma which is formed of ileum, meaning I can get dehydrated quite quickly and it takes a while for me to bounce back.

I had been smart; I knew the weather was going to heat up. I got myself prepared and sorted with rehydration therapy, prepped my meals for the week on the weekend but alas, it has not been enough. I have become dehydrated and needing some rest and so many fluids to get me back to my usual strength. I feel disappointed in myself. I feel frustrated and I’m hating my ostomy a little bit this week.

Why so much negativity?

I’m not usually like this. The heat has sucked all the good vibes I had and the survival strength in me. I feel that dehydration is such a pathetic reason to be off work “sick” but I know that my health is not like anyone else’s. And dehydration affect every one – with or without an ostomy! – differently. I need to remember that my health is more important that being at work, unwell. My well being is key to me being me.

My ileostomy is not even 12 months old yet, we have not gotten through all the seasons together yet! I put so much incredible pressure on myself to be ‘perfect’ and ‘healthy’ because I feel as if that is what I should be. And any bad day is not part of the plan and I get disappointed. I feel utterly sad when I get sick because that is not what I want! I want to be healthy, despite having an ostomy and IBD! Those two things are part of me, not what control me. But it seems, in some circumstances, they have to dictate to me what to do, how to respond, how to react and recover.

What I have found to be a great help is Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) from Oxford. It is an adaptation of the St Marks Solution and I find it much more palatable.

Other advice to follow in the heat:

  1. Rest.
  2. Stay in the shade and out of the 11am-3pm heat.
  3. Always carry water with you.
  4. Eat food rich in water which can be found here.
  5. Drink isotonic drinks which will replaced salts lost from sweating, especially if you are active.
  6. Avoid diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol.
  7. Wear sunscreen!

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