PULMONARY: The Heat Was/Is On



Note: Links to previous posts about my pulmonary issues are at the end of this blog post.

Allow me to be heat-grumpy for a few paragraphs. When I am done and you have enjoyed it all, you can surf off to TMZ to get the real lowdown about Tom and Katie splitting up.

There are certain universal things that you will find when you are on social media on a day like today. Among them, you know that people will moan about getting up for work, about the indignities of the work day, about traffic, about co-workers, about bosses, about the double grande fou fou coffee they had to wait for in line that morning. These are time tested and time worn complaints, they occur every day, and guess what, they are part of the work experience.

People will also complain about the weather. Surprise, weather happens everyday. Tomorrow, there will be weather. The next day there will be weather. Whether you like today’s weather or now.

Last week for the first time this summer, the Philly area had its first heat wave. Three (count them) three days with temperatures over 90 degrees and high humidty. This ended with a deluge of rain Friday night that annoyed Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, twitter was filled with personal accounts of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA style perseverance in the face of three (count them) three days of high temperatures. True, Twitter is made for outrageous poetic license when discussing a subject, but sometimes, it is awe inspiring.

Now, Philadelphia about to go all dramatic equatorial again.

I bring up these two items to tie them into my pulmonary update. You see, the heat that you have to slog through is different in one major respect from the heat that I have to slog through. Mainly, you get to slog through it. Yes, you will sweat and be cranky and be uncomfortable and be cranky (yeah, I said cranky twice). However, you will have that opportunity to be cranky.

Pulmonary patients know that every weathercast about high heat will include both ozone advisories as well as the warning that those with respiratory issues should stay indoors. Well, that now includes me.

I used to hate the hot weather, but for very different reasons. I was hot, I was sweaty, I was uncomfortable. Except I did not have Twitter to bitchtweet about it. I had my co-workers, my friends and my family. I loved the cold weather, also loved the chill.

Now, with my interstitial lung disease, the words that every weatherperson says when the heat is high (PEOPLE WITH RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS SHOULD STAY INSIDE) become a depressing refrain. Mainly because they are true. Now, the weatherpeople also tell you to check in with people with respiratory problems to make sure they are comfortable. If you really want to make me comfortable, send me off to a luxury hotel in Hawaii.


Since that will happen about as fast as snow will be forecast in July, I go back to the reason for the refrain. In hot and humid weather, the air density forces me to try to breathe deeper and more frequently and the air itself becomes annoying. I grow tired from activity in hot weather. Strangely, since I’ve lost so much weight, hot weather no longer makes me sweat profusely, but it does make me work harder at doing normal body functions like breathing.

So, when you complain “Boy, it is SOOOOOO hot out”, and you say it on your way to work or a show or a movie or a ball game or just playing in the park, think again. You at least get the choice to do these things. I and others now have that choice made for them. That doesn’t mean that it is not uncomfortable for you or that you should not drink lots of water, wear a hat, or put on SPF45, but that you have all of these options available to you. I, and others with similar problems, can only watch you stubbornly not wear a hat or not put on sunscreen from the relative safety and uneventfulness of our homes. If the power goes out, then we can have a shared experience, but barring that, you can take the heat. We are not allowed near the kitchen.

The same goes for a workday. Yes, working sucks, and it sucks more on the first day of the week than the last, even though the last day will drag on forever. However, all jobs suck to some degree. Unless you are a self-employed quadzillionaire or work with unicorns and glitter, your job will most definitely suck. Hoover vacuum style suck.

However, your sucky workday will also include some instances of talking with a good friend or sharing in some good news. Your bad workday will include some proud accomplishments or some exciting projects. Yeah, it might be mundane for the majority of the time, but for the most part, there will be something during the day, on the way to work, on the way home, or just a few seconds out of the day, when you can think of something a little above crap.

I can no longer think above the crap level, since I can no longer work at a regular scheduled job and workplace because of my Interstitial Lung Disease. So, I will make a bold statement. I ENVY YOU AND JUST ABOUT EVERY COMPLAINT OR COMMENT THAT YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR JOB. Yep, envy. I used to have those days, too. I also forgot more than remembered that it is good to work, to do, to plan, to participate, to organize, to see results, to share in the pride of a completed project with others, to accomplish.

Again, this is not yelling or chastising. This is simply to let you know that it isn’t easy being told to take it easy. It is hard work, and it is the worst kind of work ever.

Now to go back to talking about Falling Skies, listening to the latest Jeffrey Gaines and Brian Ray tracks, stare at the BluRay DVD’s that I own and realize than I cannot decide what to watch, and to bitch long and loudly about the Philadelphia Phillies.

Oh, yes, and to talk with all of you on Twitter and Facebook and other places. Because, while I ENVY you braving the heat and working for a living, I value you more as people who will listen and respond every so often, making me feel like part of the team for 140 characters or so.

Thanks for letting me blow off “steam”.

Jeffrey Gaines on NBC Philadelphia’s THE 10! SHOW 6/26/12

PREVIOUS PULMONARY POSTS:

[Pulmonary] Of Discipline And Desire

[Pulmonary] Of Anniversaries, Happy And Happier

Pulmonary: A Dream Goes On Forever…

Pulmonary: The Air That I Breathe (Revisited)

Pulmonary Tales: “Air” Travel

Pulmonary Tales: Apprehensions On Ice

Pulmonary Tales: Crazy In A Birthday Way

Pulmonary: I Got A Phone Call !!!

Pulmonary Rehab: Profile Of Me On NeighborsML

Pulmonary Rehab: Magna Cum Successful

Pulmonary Rehab: Take It To The Limit

Pulmonary Rehab: Almost Time To Graduate/ What Next?

Pulmonary Rehab: Enjoy Every Sandwich

Pulmonary Rehab: Long Ago, Far Away

Pulmonary Rehab 9/24: Doxys Are The Best Medicine.

Pulmonary Rehab 9/19/11: Decisions, Decisions

Pulmonary Rehab Tales 9/7/11: Clout Vs. KLOUT

Pulmonary Rehab 9/1/11: Earthquakes, Hurricanes, And Steps To Climb

Pulmonary Rehab 8/19/11: When We Last Left Our Hero…

Pulmonary Rehab 8/17/11: Adrian Is Doing Well. Give Him A Sticker.

Birthday Wishes And Pulmonary Dreams 8/11/11

Pulmonary Rehab Tales 8/10/11

Pulmonary Rehab 101: 1 Of the Future

Tomorrow Starts The Next Phase: Pulmonary Rehab And Education

Expecting Expectation, Getting Ramblings

Those Three Words

2 comments on “PULMONARY: The Heat Was/Is On

  1. Pingback: In the Heat Of The Day: A Miss And A Hit | A View From Under The Desk 2.0

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