You’re Getting Warmer…or Is it Colder?

Today dawned with a chill in the air and blanket of fog worthy of London or San Francisco. By the time I went out for lunch, not a wisp of fog or clouds remained. A glorious seventy degrees, the itchy twitch in my left eye declares Spring is here.

Judging by what I was wearing, some poor soul trapped indoors who glanced out a window might think it was cold. I still wore my coat. What that observer couldn’t see is the cardigan vest, the long-sleeve blouse, and tank layered underneath.

Most of you are probably sweating just reading that.

Maybe I have a negative Boltzmann distribution of energy?


Stick with me…

Earlier in the year scientists announced that they cooled molecules below absolute zero.  According to that writer’s explanation, temperature scales are circular. Supposedly at that temperature the Boltzmann distribution is upside down and going below zero is like circling back to hot. Yeah, I don’t get it really either, but I seem to share something in common with these confusing little gas atoms:

“Objects with negative temperatures behave strangely, for example energy flows from them to ones with positive temperature. ”

All of my friends and family would certainly confirm that I behave strangely.

In addition, I abandon body heat to my surrounding environment like I’m a billionaire tossing out wads of hundred dollar bills, when in reality I’m far from it. The result? I’m often cold….and broke, but that’s a different problem.

A joke I often tell, especially to crowds, is that I have the heat retention of an endothermic reaction. Once in awhile people laugh. More often they stare at me with eyes glazed over and give me reason to bemoan the nation’s horrid basic science education standards.

Assuming I’m not from some upside down distribution universe, it seems that a more likely explanation is fibromyalgia. It runs in my family, and people with one autoimmune condition tend to collect disorders like trading cards no one wants. Yes, I have pain, but not all of the time. I’ve noticed a distinct correlation between eating foods I know are difficult for my system to handle (pro-inflammatory in nature) and systemic pain. Gluten, should I happen to accidentally ingest it, triggers systemic inflammation and fatigue, but other foods can do that as well. If I grow lax in taking anti-inflammatory herbs and my vitamins, I likewise notice an increased incidence in flare ups.

Personally, I think the underlying pathology is the same for most, if not all autoimmune disorders, but since we don’t yet understand the causes, beyond a chronic state of inflammation, we end up cataloging certain symptoms as one illness and another set of symptoms as a separate illness. My current collection: allergies, asthma, gluten/casein intolerance, and fibromyalgia. If I count the gluten and casein separately, can I say I have a full house and maybe my body won’t call my bluff and I win the game?

A girl can try.

It occurred to me that aside from typical aches and pains of pregnancy, I enjoyed being pregnant. Aside from the obvious part of getting a teenie human out of the gig, for the first time my body behaved. My innards worked. I wasn’t freezing. My allergies….well, those mostly behaved. My asthma gave me no problems. Not to mention, my hair grew thicker.

Studies show there is a link between the mysterious process of creating a new little person and auto-immune disorders. Unfortunately big giant gaps filled with question marks dot the landscape of what we know. Connection? Undoubtedly. How/Why? No clue.

Not every auto-immune disorder reacts the same during pregnancy, either. Likely, age and number of pregnancies could also factor. One might theorize that the circumvention controls which protect the baby “protected” me. Then, after baby, I now had all sorts of kind-of-me cells floating around. Considering my immune system thinks dust mites deserve more attention than viruses, I can see how my easily confused system now thinks everything is fair game.

Of course, being from an upside down Boltzmann distribution universe could still be a possibility.



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