Mere years ago, I had a hypochondriac streak running deep in my psyche. I am an expert on the symptoms of appendicitis because, at least 6 times a year, I thought I had appendicitis. I’m still not convinced my occasional migraines aren’t caused by an alien spore lodged in my brain.
Fortunately for my long-suffering mom, this eventually kind of went away. I’m not really sure why, but I think it was my gradual sinking into a fatalistic acceptance of whatever messed up thing happened to my body that reached its height when I got a kidney stone. However, as I’m sure you may have guessed by the fact that this blog post exists, it’s back. And this time, it’s psychological. Kind of.
I have always had a very low tolerance for heat and sunlight. Historically I have gotten sunburnt even after slathering myself with SPF 100+ sunscreen, and I have always had an unreasonably strong aversion to sweat. That’s partially why I don’t exercise. Recently, though, it’s gotten worse. I am tired literally all the time. I require naps after getting 9+ hours of sleep. I get nauseous just walking to my car in the heat. And this is all in spite of all the water I drink now– I am consuming more fluids than I ever have, and I still feel like I’m dying in the summer. But I think I know why.
Most of you are probably familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, an acronym which almost singlehandedly makes up for all the stupid names science has come up with for things.
SAD is a type of cyclical depression that causes its sufferers to experience lethargy, weight gain, depression, and other related symptoms in the dark and cold winter months. What you might not realize, however, is that SAD can totally exist in the summer. Researchers think it probably has to do with the effect of heat on the production of certain hormones, like increasing growth hormone and prolactin (which can suppress the effects of dopamine) and decreasing thyroid hormone, which leads to lethargy. So basically half of my complaints.
However, SAD doesn’t quite explain everything. My symptoms are more in line with winter SAD than summer SAD, and neither of them really explain the nausea. So I have a new theory. Well, not really new; it’s something I’ve suspected for quite some time. But now I really think I’m onto something.
Hear me out. I hate the sun. I identify strongly with bats– I even have a cat named Batman. Granted, I’ve never drunk blood, but maybe that’s why I feel nauseous. My body isn’t getting the proper nutrients, because I’m a vampire, and I don’t drink blood. You may be quick to remind me that I love garlic and have appeared in many photographs and mirrors, in which case I congratulate you on your knowledge of vampire lore. But maybe those are the final stages of my transformation, and I’m only just beginning.
That being said, I have many questions. First of all, is the whole garlic thing like a pathological hatred or just an allergy, where like, if you could eat garlic you totally would, but it just makes you sick? Does transforming into a vampire bat take practice? What is a reasonable budget for buying myself a coffin to sleep in? Like I want to hibernate in comfort but I just don’t want to get ripped off and spend too much money on features I don’t really need, you know? Is Bram Stoker’s Dracula required reading, or just recommended?
Whatever the case may be, I have some decisions ahead of me. Whether it’s SAD, vampirism, or just being a pale, fragile human, I’m going to need to buy some heavy curtains. If you see me outside, please don’t stop me. Any delay in me getting reliable access to air conditioning may prove fatal.