Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's that dreaded time of year again. If you've followed my blog for a while, or if you've known me for a while, you know that summer weather isn't exactly one of my favorite things in the world. Heat and humidity make me cranky! And the older Judith gets, the more obvious it's becoming that she takes after me with that. John didn't mind it up until recently (and he'll still try to tell you otherwise, but he's not fooling anyone because he'll complain a lot in the moment!), but the heat and especially the humidity can take a toll on Judith.

I do think that a lot of this is CF related. Some people with CF are fine with temperature extremes, on both ends of the spectrum, but Judith doesn't do well with either. She'll complain that the cold hurts her lungs, but in the summer she's not as quick to say that it hurts or bothers her. Instead, she shows other signs, like getting very cranky, and not being as active as she normally is.

Yesterday, we were under air quality alerts, or a "code orange," for poor air quality, and Philly and the surrounding suburbs had some level of heat advisory because of the heat index. For anyone, it's so important to stay well hydrated when the weather gets this hot. For a person with CF, it becomes doubly important not only to stay hydrated, but to add salt to their diet to replace what they're losing through sweat.

People with CF need additional salt as it is, but during the summer months, many have to up their intake more to make sure they keep their salt levels in balance. Dehydration can happen rapidly for a person with CF due to the rapid loss of salt.

We've received some strange looks in the past when we've salted Judith's food or even her formula. I'm sure there have been some who have judged us heavily. That's simply a matter of people not knowing that A.) she has CF and B.) they aren't aware of the loss of salt that happens in people with CF. After 4 years of doing this, I've become a pro at ignoring people's judgment, as long as they don't make a snide comment to my face. Anyway, the past few days have been rough, because the heat has really wiped Judith out, and I had to up her salt intake through salty snacks because she's at a point where she won't always drink beverages with salt in them. It's challenging, because she won't always want to eat those salty snacks, and a great go-to beverage, Gatorade, is something she rejects.

We're going to be starting a new adventure in a few weeks, and Judith will be going to a special preschool class 1 day a week. Since this will be the first time she's in a formal schooling setting, I'm starting to worry that she will be too distracted to remember to drink enough in the hot and humid weather. I'm sure her teachers will be on top of it, per her health plan, but there's that mother's worry that is going to stay for a bit. I'm hoping that a new, fun container will entice her to drink more so she stays hydrated!

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