Saturday, August 08, 2015

Hot or Cold

I learned something about my headaches today, Friday, July31st. At least, I developed a new theory.

A few years ago a friend gave us an above ground pool. When the weather got hot, we set it up in the back yard. Unfortunately for the pool, our backyard is almost entirely shaded. The pool never managed to warm up. You'd think on a 90 degree day, a dip in a 70 degree pool would be refreshing, but it wasn't. It was torture. The kids frequently still wanted to do it, but I really didn't. I just felt like I should for safety reasons.

I noticed something during this time. If I got in the cold water on a hot day, I invariably got a migraine. I thought for a long time it was just a coincidence. Or that it was just the heat. But I eventually recognized that after a short time in the pool, my head would start to throb. It always looked like it would be refreshing, but I came to understand that it would cause me pain.

Something along those lines has been happening here.

We went this week to Cappadocia (kap-ah-doh-ky-uh).  It was hot there, near 100 degrees every day. But Cappadocia is known for its underground cities and 'Fairy chimney' cave dwellings that stay a constant, cool temperature. On a hot afternoon, we went down into an underground city. I came out of the cool refreshing darkness back into the hot glaring sunlight and realized soon after that I was headachey.

Today, we drove from Wendy's apartment in Ankara to the Gordion museum to learn about King Midas (he really existed, but probably couldn't turn things to gold) and the Phrygians and Hittites who lived historically in the Gordion area of central Turkey. Across from the small but fascinating museum you can enter one of the burial mounds that dot the landscape. It's called the King Midas tumulus, but archaeologists now believe it belonged to a different king before Midas. We walked from the museum in 100 degree weather, across the street toward the giant mound of dirt.

We entered the tunnel and were greeted by a blast of cool air. It was amazing and I joked about how, if I worked at the museum, I would always be over at the tomb. The farther down the tunnel we went, the colder it got.

There's not much to see at the end of the tunnel. They've barred it all off like the actual tomb is in prison.  Visitors can merely look through the bars at the wooden building that was the king's final resting place. The wood has been reinforced with metal supports and stone walls keep the piled earth from collapsing back into the excavation site. All the tomb contents are either at the museum across the street or in other museums, so it is only an empty chamber now. It looks like an empty log cabin buried in a mountainside.

After getting a good look inside, we headed back down the 86 meter tunnel. The closer we got to the entrance, the hotter it became. Coming from outside, the tunnel had been amazingly cool even just at the entrance. Returning from the inside, the entrance felt oppressively hot. The closer I got to the exit, the worse I felt. By the time we reached the entry, I was nauseous.

Back in the car, I started to get a headache. I cursed the hot, desert sun. Then, it clicked. Going from hot to cold and back gives me a headache. Maybe even just going from hot to cold. I'm not sure.

It's not like this is the *Only* headache trigger I have, but it was interesting to discover this new thing about myself. Of course, it's not actually a 'new thing.' It's a new discovery of something that has probably always been happening. Extreme temperature changes give me a headache. I'll have to pay more attention to this one to see exactly how it works. Or try to avoid it and have fewer headaches.

1 comment:

Mumzie said...

This is an amazing personal discovery. I wonder if affects Janean like this too?