Thursday, July 14, 2011

Migraines and Japanese summer

I grew up in West Texas, which has two seasons, hot and not so hot (hot meaning over 100F many of the summer days, but steady in the upper 90's). But since I grew up with it, I knew how to deal with it. Don't stay in direct sunlight too long, drink fluids, etc. But really, I guess it's because our house was centrally cooled, and anytime we traveled it was in our air conditioned car, it just never seemed to affect my my so much.

Then I moved to Japan. An Island nation with insane humidity. Not as hot as my home town by any means of the imagination, but HUMID! And no central AC and no car.

When I lived next door to where I worked it wasn't so bad. I mean I complained, but I lived. Then I started commuting to work, but since it was school I commuted in the mornings before it got so hot and in the evenings when it was cooler.

Now I start work in the afternoon. This means commuting in the worst of the heat. I bicycle 10 mins to the station from my house and then it's an hour on three different trains and a 5-10 min walk after that.

My brain is fried before classes begin.

The humidity makes me sick. I have trouble drinking water, or most drinks because they make me feel ill. I also have trouble eating because it also makes me feel ill. I eat lots of salad in the summer, or cold noodles etc.

In any case, this summer has been bad, and this whole past week I've been trying very hard to not get dehydrated. But last night I came home with a headache, and this morning I work up with the worst migraine yet.

I have never missed a day of work because of being sick or anything the whole time I've been in Japan. (I did miss one day of classes when I was in orientation though.) So 6 years of perfect attendance for work ended today. I had to call in sick and cancel a whole day of classes.

This sucks.

A lot.

After sleeping away most of the day in the living room (the only room with an AC in our house) I'm finally starting to feel better, but still a little woozy, probably from lack of food and water. My poor roommate was exiled to her room while I slept in the living room like an invalid. (She's been very gracious the whole day. I appreciate her help. And she understands because she gets heat sickness WAY faster than me.)

Well, I have two more weeks of classes to figure out how to keep myself properly hydrated while commuting and teaching (on an increasingly smaller budget) and then I'll be off to America for the first time in about 3 years to see my family, and be hit by Texas heat and drought. This summer I'll be able to tell you for sure which summer is worse, Japanese or Texas. ;-)

Now I need to find food that doesn't make me sick so I can go to work tomorrow... :-/


Emily D said...

I know exactly what you mean.. I want rain more than ever right now :)

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Jenny Woolf said...

Oh, this sounds like hell on earth to me. I was told by a specialist migraine clinic that dehydration can be a trigger. I guess you already know that. I wish I could think of something to say. But anyhow I'm sending you waves of s*y*m*p*a*t*h*y!

Leake09 said...

I am from Colorado where we have close to 0% humidity. After visiting Texas this spring I shudder at the thought of the kind of humidity your describing!!!

Emily D said...

Cool, I am from Colorado too Leake09!

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