Sunday, October 16, 2011

Colder Than Space

I get cold sometimes.

It usually happens at night. I'll wake up and it will hit me almost like a seizure.

Have you ever been so cold that if you moved at all, you would break out in a shivering so severe that it would post as a seismic event? Have you ever shivered so hard that you couldn't even move to get under the covers? Have you ever felt as though every single muscle in your body contracted all at once, so hard that it makes your head hurt?

I get cold like that. It really feels like my core temperature has dropped; my chest feels encased in ice. If I manage to get a little warm, the shivering just goes nuts, to wear I am surprised that I haven't broken all of my teeth with chattering.

My husband doesn't understand. He wouldn't. He's the guy who wore shorts and a t-shirt to visit a glacier. He's doesn't even own a coat! Is there some kind of rule that says that cold-natured people have to marry warm-natured ones? I admit that when I am locked in my little cell of Antarctic cold, I have called him some names. At that moment, he has what I want, which is warmth. I may be forgiven for thinking mean thoughts about someone who is nice and toasty in those moments, especially since I am so frozen that I can't even move close enough to take advantage of that warmth.

I am no stranger to cold weather. I've lived in the North. I've been camping in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. I've shoveled snow, and I've tried to push my car through the snow. I know how to dress warmly, with the mittens and the long underwear.

But this is South Texas. Even in a "harsh" winter, it rarely gets below freezing. Even if the temperature falls that low, it's only for a day or two. It may be said that I have lost my winterizing abilities over the years. This presents me with a dilemma.

I don't want to wear a coat or sweater all the time, because most of the time I am not cold at all. If I wear flannel jammies*, and get under the covers, then I am SWELTERING, and that's no good. I've tried having a robe or blanket at the foot of the bed, but often I am too rigid to get it.

How do I prepare for spontaneous moments of freezitude, then?

What I need is some sort of science-fiction pajamas. These jammies need to be comfortable, but they need to be able to monitor body temperature. They need to be able to warm up if I get cold, or chill a little if I get too hot. These jammies could monitor my heart rate and all my other vital signs while I am asleep. Someone out there could monitor this information, and send the information to my doctor.

I'm describing the suit that astronauts wear into space, I just realized.

Dang. Those suits are way out of my price range!

It's just as well. I don't think that I could sleep with that helmet thing on.

*I just like the word 'jammies'. It's a comforting sort of word.


  1. Two words - electric blanket!! I'm also in a climate where it rarely gets below freezing - but MAN its comforting to get into a bed gently warmed by the blanket, then to leave it on a low, slow burn that keeps you toasty all night! In my worst cold experience, I thought my scalp was going to shrivel up and I NEVER want to feel that again!!!!

  2. I have been chilly most of today, but not cold like you get--yikes! Now I feel badly for chastising my daughter the time she had a bad case of the freaked her 9 year old self out at the time!

  3. I totally understand. For several years I have these - moments of cold. NOTHING can even START to make me worm. My hubby doesn't get it either, he just 'layers' the blanket on me when I tell him I am cold! ~KM


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