Yesterday, I went to see the Frisco RoughRiders play the San Antonio Missions with my friends C. and A.
When I asked my friends if they wanted to go, they were enthusiastic, and then asked, ‘Wait — will it be all right for you to go? It will be so hot.’
It was a reasonable question. My chronic illness makes it easy for my body to overheat quickly. After my brush with heat stroke a few years ago, my body has been even more sensitive to heat. We haven’t reached the hottest part of the summer yet, but already we’ve had heat advisories and heat indices above 105 F (40 C). It is unsafe for me to be outside for any length of time when the temps go above average human body temperature. The game was scheduled to start at 7.00 PM, and though that would be cooler than the afternoon, it was likely still to be excessively hot.
One of the lessons I’ve had to learn about having a chronic illness is to not let the chronic illness ruin my life.
If I stopped whenever I was in pain, if I stayed indoors every time the temperatures rose above 98 F, then I couldn’t work, play, or live. I was reminded of this earlier in the week when I read ‘I won’t apologize for having fun while chronically ill’ at The Mighty. I would figure out how to stay cool at the game.
I looked up the ballpark’s policies for what could be brought inside the park and assembled a bag of supplies. I assumed that we would be in the sun for part of the game, at least until the sun went down.
My bag included:
- a parasol
- a folding fan
- a spray bottle
- a reusable ice pack
- two instant cold packs
- sunscreen lotion
- insect repellant
- a bottle filled with Gatorade and ice
It also happened to be ‘Thirsty Thursday’, which meant all drinks were $1 and cups of water with ice were free. I would be able to stay well-hydrated during the game. I made sure to wear light and loose clothing and noted the location of the first aid tent, just in case.
And you know what? It turned out that I was over-prepared. When we found our seats, our section was already in the shade. There was a consistent and gentle breeze. Despite the clear sky, beating sun, and heat advisory, it was surprisingly pleasant. The only items I used from my bag were the spray bottle, the Gatorade, and insect repellant. It was a thousand times better than what I was expecting.
Of course, I’m exhausted today. Being outside for four hours still wore me out, even if it wasn’t sweltering. But I budgeted for the exhaustion; that’s part of having a chronic illness.
Baseball, fireworks, and friends — what more could you ask for in a fine summer evening?
Photo: The Frisco RoughRiders vs. San Antonio Missions in Dr. Pepper Park, Frisco, TX.