Heat exhaustion compounds symptoms of brain injury

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Here in Britain it has got really quite warm with very little rain. I know that as it is July, and therefore summertime, I shouldn’t be surprised. But the seasons for this little island are not that predictable. So actually to have weather that could be described as summer, is almost unusual. But whilst this is lovely, it is playing havoc with my brain injury symptoms.

How summer is a blessing and a curse for me now.

My biggest problem is the heat. Rather than a shearing heat, it’s very muggy. Even in shorts and T-shirt I feel like I’m being wrapped up in a blanket all the time. I explained before in Irritating temperature struggles after brain injury, how my body is much more fussy about what is a comfortable temperature. So at the moment I am sweating like crazy. (It’s a shame sweat has salt in it, or I could help top up the local reservoir. We haven’t had a hose pipe ban yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.)

But the most frustrating part is how that impacts my cognitive symptoms. It’s probably a combination of dehydration, and the extra work my nervous system is in going though. Together it leaves me in supper slow mode. Even though I have learned from previous summers (Pathetic holiday catastrophe, brain injury fail) I’m still finding it hard.

Oh what’s it called…. the thingy.

I know many survivors, like me, find aphasia a problem. Usually I can style it out these days, so most people wouldn’t think anything of it. Yes I will forget a word, but so does everyone, so as long as I don’t focus on it, nor do they.  But in this heat I can barely make a sentence at times. Or begin to describe the thing so they can help me with the missing word.  Seeing as most of my conversations are with my partner James, we just laugh at it. But I am avoiding speaking on the phone as much as possible at the moment. Otherwise the person on the other end thinks there’s a fault with the line. If you want to read more about aphasia go to Aphasia from brain injury.

How some brain injury symptoms are made worse in the heat.
Too many ideas, little action

At the moment, as my brain is working overtime, thoughts and ideas keep interrupting my day. I will start one thing, and then suddenly remember something else I was going to do. Instead of completing one thing first, I immediately move on to the newly recalled task. But having realised this isn’t the right way to handle things, I divert back. Leaving the recalled task abandoned, and forgotten again. Which only leads to the process starting again later.

I know it’s not just brain injury survivors who can find melting in humid weather a problem. A fellow Brit, Emily Nemchick wrote a useful post about it after moving to South Africa. In How to Survive in a Humid Climate, she has some practical suggestions to try to overcome it. Whilst I’m not suggesting it’s anything like South Africa here at the moment, when you have a brain injury the affects can be devastating. But I’m hoping that by following her tips, I might live to see another day.

Other related articles:

Does hot weather affect your symptoms? What tips work for you?

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How hot weather can make brain injury symptoms worst
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8 Replies to “Heat exhaustion compounds symptoms of brain injury”

  1. I could not figure out why I actually hurt at the end of the day extreme pain. This alleviates some of my concern. Thank you Michelle

    1. Still talk to your Doctor. When I felt like that it was because I was severely low on vitamin D. A brain injury can mean you don’t process nutrients properly and you need different levels of things than you did before.

  2. One of my many TBI symptoms from the lightning strike hit is when it’s hot/cold I seem to be opposite need to either cover up or go around with just shorts and socks on.

    1. That’s got to be so confusing. How are you supposed to make sure you don’t get a chill, or over heat?

  3. Is that what this is? Damn, I thought I was going through the change, actually excited about it. When I first got my brain injury about 20 years ago, I was cold in the hottest weather, I would go outside with a big sweater on. Now, even in the winter I still wear t-shirts, because I sweat so much. I get sun burned even in the shade, I don’t have any answer’s to how to keep cool after you get a brain injury.

    1. Yes I wondered if I was premenopausal, but I’m not pretty sure it’s my brain injury. I think I liked being cold better. At least I could wear lots of layers, but there’s only so much I can strip off when I’m hot.

  4. The dry heat, even with no or low, humidity, wreaks havoc on my brain! I just try to get through the day. I need naps again, long ones, and have now received two moving violations! I had not received any for over thirty years, and now two, within three months?!?!

    1. It’s difficult when you need to go somewhere and you’re not feeling great. Just be careful, there are those who had to permanently give up driving but have learned to adapt. It’s not worth the risk to yourself or others. I know sometimes it doesn’t feel like you have a choice, but anything is better than having an accident.

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