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Temperature Regulation

Sitting on a plane
1 May 2021
My 10,000 day journey
15 June 2021
 

A question I often get asked is, why do you wear so many jumpers? Especially in the colder months.

Spinal cord injuries come with many side effects; one includes the inability to regulate one’s temperature. For me, regulating my body temperature can be really difficult and often I have to either rug up (in Winter) or strip off (in Summer).

Summer:

A typical Brisbane Summer in Australia can see temperatures soar above 30 plus degrees with a very high humidity. Due to my injury, my body is unable to sweat to keep cool which means I overheat easily. To manage this, I keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and often have my support workers put ice in my drinks.

I am lucky enough to have air-conditioning in my house, so I keep this running during the hottest part of the day and avoid going outside. If I have been out during the day, I pre-set my air-conditioning to turn on before I arrive home, so I can cool down.

When I was first adjusting to life with a spinal cord injury, I overheated one day and needed to cool down, so I decided to travel up and down the aisles of my local Woolworths (supermarket) to cool down. A mate of mine recently said to me I should have gone into the bottle shop and gone into their cool room.

Winter:

During Winter I am the complete opposite and get cold very quickly and my body struggles to keep warm. I fill up my drink bottle with boiling hot water and usually have 3-4 layers of clothing on, including thermal undershirts, scarves and a beanie. I have a heat lamp in my bathroom so I can stay warm after my shower. I also use heat packs and place these in the bed to warm it up before I hop in or have around my neck during the day. (Please note: I don't put these directly on my skin in case it's TOO hot, that would cause a burn!)

So, if anyone with a spinal cord injury is looking for ideas on how to keep cool or warm throughout the year, drop me a line and we can share ideas.

 
 

"The challenge of temperature regulation”

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