Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hypothermia (in Brasil?)

Since late Saturday night, I haven't been feeling the greatest. All day Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I was pretty much worthless. About Monday afternoon I decided to do a little online research to see if my symptoms were consistent with any life threatening condition I should be aware of. After searching out my symptoms on WedMD, it came back with the grim results: I was suffering from the late stages of hypothermia.

Is it possible to get hypothermia in Belo Horizonte, Brasil? They have never even had a frost on the ground here. I mean, it has been cool at night; I'll admit that, since it is, after all, winter! At night it has been getting down as low as 56 degrees. And, as so many Brasilians have pointed out, houses here are not insulated in any sense of the word. So maybe the temperature has dropped into the 60's in our apartment at night. But seriously, hypothermia?

My problem was a lack of the usual "sick" symptoms. No upset tummy, no stuffy nose, no cough. I was just overwhelmingly tired, extremely sleepy (even after getting plenty of rest), my whole body ached, I felt really weak, and my muscles and joints were very stiff. Monday afternoon I was certain I was running a fever given how I was shivering even while wearing a sweatshirt and cuddled under a blanket on the couch and it was at least 76 degrees in the house. I grabbed the thermometer to see how bad the fever was: 96.9 degrees F. Figuring something was wrong with the thermometer, I retake my temp, and I get the same results. I grab my other thermometer (I have no idea why I have 2 digital thermometers or why I packed both of them to come to Brasil, but whatever, I have two thermometers) and I get 97.0 F. What the heck? I am usually the textbook standard 98.6!

My online research tells me that when a normal human body (let's assume, for argument's sake, I fall into that category) drops below 97 degrees, it is considered to be entering hypothermia. Combined with the shivering, body stiffness, weakness, sleepiness . . . yep, sure enough, I was in the later stages of hypothermia. (Add in confusion (have you noticed I'm blonde?), poor judgement (let's review some of my high school boyfriends), lack of interest (one word: soccer), and well, maybe I've been suffering from some form of hypothermia for most of my life! Yikes! You know what they say about as soon as you start reading a list of symptoms you think you have them all, right? hahaha)

I shared the bleak prognosis with Eric when he arrived home Monday night. His response? "Yeah, so what's new? You're always cold. What's for supper?" Sympathy really is his strong suit! (Okay, so actually he was really sweet to me while I was curled up in a ball on the couch, but he really wasn't overly concerned about the hypothermia. I swear, you marry a guy from the frozen tundra of Iowa and he is never impressed with any stories you offer about coldness when you live in a tropical environment! Geez!)

But I've got good news! After rarely removing my slug of a body from the couch for three days, today finds me well on the road to recovery! I'm not up for running any marathons or anything (because normally I would be soooo up for some running, sure), but I am slowly gaining some energy back and my body temperature is up above 98 degrees today. Turns out, one can recover fully from hypothermia . . . whew, thank goodness, right? I know you've all been so worried. ;)


AcesHigh said...

you sound just like my girlfriend. Always feeling cold. I laughed with Eric´s answer. In the end, if you overlook the cultural differences, we are all the same lol.

she has a german passport (she has like 100% german ancestry, but she doesnt speak a word of german) but I guess she would rather migrate to Recife or Fortaleza than immigrate to Europe. Although I told her that anyway in Europe you have insulation and super internal heating inside the houses and offices, and such...

Amanda said...

uh,not to get to personal but.....are you SURE it's not the hypothermia that lasts for 9 months? :) HA

Emily said...

AMANDA GRACE! (Yes, I just used your middle name, so you know you are in trouble now!) Are you trying to give people heart attacks here?!?

Actually "not to get personal", but no, part of the problem (along with the hypothermia) had to do exactly with something which indicates no nine month hypothermia in my immediate future. But thanks for the concern.

BTW, You're lucky we go back so far - you're one of the few I'll let get away with comments like that. hehe Love ya Chick! :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe you have "dengue". You should check it out, since you've got the symptoms of this desease (except for the temperature thing, cause normally people have fever).

Corinne said...

Geez anonomous, way to scare poor Emily (as if Amanda´s comment wasn´t enough)! HIGHLY unlikely this is dengue.

I am ALWAYS cold in our house and my husband always warm. How I would love to take him to the frozen Iowa tundra just to hear him say "estou com frio!!"

AcesHigh said...

well, if the symptons return it would be nice if Emily would see a doctor (she has a blog entry saying the had a good doctor experience in Brazil already).

That way, if it turns out to be nothing at all, Emily will be able to completely discard Amanda´s and Anonymous theories. :)

Emily said...

Feeling good again today, so I really do think I am going to live. Several of Eric's coworkers immediately thought of Dengue too when he said I wasn't feeling well earlier this week. Seriously, don't think it was that though. I'm guessing I was just fighting off a bug of some sort . . . although my hypothermia theory is still a strong possibility too.

colojo said...

Every woman I've ever dated has shared this affliction. Get well soon!