Buddha in the fish tank – brrrrrrr
My dad used to tell me the story of when I had my first ear infection as a baby. I think he said I was about nine months old, and he called the pediatrician in the evening and said that he was sure I had an ear infection, and could we be seen that night? The doctor asked if I had a fever, and since I didn’t, he was certain that there wasn’t an ear infection but my dad insisted and the doctor met us after-hours at his office. You know, to humor the new parents.
He looked into my ears, and sure enough, I had an ear infection (the first of hundreds) but no fever. My dad and I both rarely run a fever, and when we do it means we’re really sick. Years and years later, when I had my appendix out, I was nearly sent home because I didn’t have a fever. Luckily the doctor in charge of the ER had a feeling that they should do a CT scan anyway and saved me from a ruptured appendix.
Over the years I’ve learned that my normal body temperature isn’t 98.5. It’s not even in the 98s. It’s usually 97.7 or so. It’s read lower than that before, and I always chalked it up to a cruddy thermometer and didn’t give it much thought until today. I’ve been cold lately. Like, Scuba and I are in bed at night and he’s toasty warm and I’m in long pj pants, a thermal, fuzzy socks, and under a comforter and a doubled over 100% wool blanket, and still my nose and fingertips are like ice cubes. My bones feel cold. Today I was sitting at my desk working and I was shivering in my jeans, Ugg boots, tissue-weight t-shirt, and long sleeved cashmere sweater (cause sometimes I like to dress fancy while I work from home). So, I was like, Hmmmmm, I wonder if I have a fever or something? So I found the digital thermometer and took my temp and it said, I swear, 95.4. And I was all, Well, CLEARLY that is incorrect and this thermometer is wack or the timer on it went off too soon. Then I took it again. 95.3. Then I took it again while I googled and got a few more 95s. And then, THEN it read 94.9 and I was like, Maybe I should move around some or drink something hot or sit in the van and crank the heater? I finally got it up to 97.1.
According to google, I’ve either got hypothyroidism (maybe? my grandmother did and my great-grandmother had Reynaud’s which is why I have such an excellent collection of gloves from the 1950s – 1960s), I’ve had too much exposure to cold (also possible, since it was chilly in the house and I was sitting and not moving), I have estrogen dominance and need to take wild yam supplements and eat a ton of mung bean sprouts daily (yummy!), or I’m drunk (sadly, not the case). I think, probably, that I just have a low baseline body temp, which seems to go along with my 90/60 blood pressure, and that I need to get up out of my chair and walk around every hour so that I don’t sit here at my desk and slowly freeze when it’s 60 degrees or colder in the house. Also I learned that if your temp dips under 93 degrees, you are screwed twelve ways to Sunday.
I’d also like to point out that the nearly-dramatic lower body temp messes with your brain, or my brain, at least, and makes it super hard to remember the basics and be a fine, upstanding citizen. I guess the moral of the story is that if you are freezing your ass off all the time, maybe you should get your thyroid checked, or start putting mung bean sprouts in your breakfast cereal, or take some activity breaks during the day to warm up your sedentary ass. Or, maybe I just invest in one of these guys.