Warm Weather Brings Both Discomfort and Gratitude

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by Jaime Christmas |

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We have had warm summer weather here in Auckland, New Zealand, the City of Sails. It’s been clear and sunny, and many are hitting the beaches just 20 minutes from us.

People are making the most of the season, even as they cautiously adhere to the 6-foot social distancing rule set by the government to safeguard against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Temperatures can get up to 32 degrees C (89.6 F), which is too hot and humid for my liking. I think I have become more of a winter person, which is ironic, given that I grew up in the tropical climate of Southeast Asia.

But perhaps it’s because my husband and I can no longer enjoy summers the way we once did.

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My husband of almost 25 years, Aubrey, has hereditary ATTR amyloidosis. This diabolical disease messes with life’s normalcy, pushing both the sufferer and the caregiver to the very edge of a cliff. Our family has had to make so many changes because of it, and we no longer can afford to be spontaneous, throw caution to the wind, and do something adventurous. Our life is restrained and controlled, as we take measures every step of the way to safeguard Aubrey’s well-being.

Amyloidosis has taught both of us to never expect too much and always be prepared for sudden changes. It has taught me that my mood and my emotions are not sound bases for decisions. I suppose this is true for most people, but when it involves someone whose health is compromised, even making a simple decision, such as what to eat, or whether to meet with friends, can become a headache.

So despite the gorgeous day outside, inside my home, my husband is dealing with many issues. The warm weather triggers dizzy spells, because his body struggles to acclimate to the heat. His legs swell, and he becomes unproductive and morose.

But summer also brings the promise of new life. The flowers bloom and the birds prance around on the deck. The fruit trees are budding and the neighbors are busy outside.

Aubrey gets to sit in the shade in our backyard and enjoy these things. That is something. As Victor Hugo once said, “Be grateful in your own hearts. That suffices. Thanksgiving has wings and flies to its right destination.”

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Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.

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