October 1st and the weather reporters have been warning us to expect record high temperatures today.
I think I'm going to die.
I keep wondering why my family didn't choose to settle in Santa Monica 50 years ago instead of the hot San Fernando Valley. (I know the answer: home prices were cheaper here -- just as they are today, which is why I continue to live here.)
It was bad enough when I was a kid. Worse, because we did not have central air conditioning. We did have an AC unit in our dining room window, and I can recall hot August nights when I could not sleep until I had relocated to the dining room floor so I could feel the cold air on my face.
Now, I am dealing with a completely different phenomenon: hot flashes that have been coming on more or less continually. You don't know what I'm talking about until you experience sweat dripping off your face in 50-degree weather, which occurred with frequency last winter while I was driving carpool. The minute those kids were out of the car, I would open all the windows to get some relief on the drive home.
I have control when I'm alone in the car, but it's tougher in the house. For some reason, the other members of the family complain when I set the thermostat down to 70 because I've got sweat dripping down my face (a sensation I have been particularly fond of). So I do what I can - grab a glass of ice and rub it on my face and neck, or use some of those new products that are being advertised to women in my condition (which work OK but for me, not consistently).
I've learned that certain things trigger the flashes, which are the body's over-reaction to things like temperature changes outside. The minute the temp in the house gets over 75-degrees, I start to sweat. Coffee and alcohol sometimes set them off. This has made me half-seriously consider giving them up -- except for the fact that the vast majority of the hot flashes occur for no discernible reason. So what would be the point?
It would be nice if I had the time and access to shower more than once a day, but that isn't possible (or practical). So I pray that I do not get to the point where I am offending others.
In the meantime, I'm preparing myself to be uncomfortable for the day. At least, at 105-degrees, I won't be alone.