Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Twenty-seven in the shade


Summer is just a few days away. In this part of the world summer “officially” starts on the first day of December. I’m already looking forward to late autumn.

A characteristic commonly shared amongst autistics is hyposensitivities and hypersensitivities when compared to non-autistic folk. Depending on the senses involved being hypo or hyper can be an blessing or a curse. For example I’m mostly oblivious to low and moderate levels of pain. It’s not until it reaches the level one experiences of momentary pain when slamming a car door on a finger, or the ongoing pain when the body unsuccessfully attempts to eject kidney stones, or when attempting to move muscles affected by polio that I experience “real” pain. Breaking my arm or gashing my foot exposing the bones resulted in curiosity about the outcome more than any conscious sense of pain. In fact I experience more pain from the noise of a typical shopping mall or from lighting effects commonly found in modern forms of entertainment.

I do not like warm weather. I have a narrow band of “comfortable”. Below 18℃ (64℉) I start to feel the chill, while anything above 24℃ (75℉) feels unpleasantly warm. As I age, the level of discomfort I experience increases when the temperature goes outside my comfort zone.

As temperature drops, it’s a simple matter of adding an extra layer of clothing to maintain a level of comfort although I have to be careful to avoid spontaneous “attacks” of Raynaud’s syndrome in my fingers and/or toes, which can be very painful as the symptoms wane. Coping with heat is a different matter.

Take today for example. Our indoor/outdoor temperature gauge, shows the outside temperature as being 27.2℃ (81℉) in the shade and inside as being 26.4℃ (79.5℉). I find myself extremely restless, pacing about aimlessly, unable to concentrate much on anything apart from wishing it was cooler. If I had my way, I’d close the windows and doors and switch on the heat pump, and allow it to maintain its default setting of 22℃ (72℉) as it does during the colder months of the year.

Unfortunately The Wife has other ideas. She relishes such temperatures. My suggestion that we turn on the heat pump resulted in a very emphatic “No!” What happened to so called neurotypical empathy? So in order to maintain domestic harmony I find myself wandering aimlessly about our home, keeping out of her line of sight as she finds my pacing “annoying”.


The Wife acknowledged my efforts not to annoy her in my discomfort and provided the perfect meal for a day such as today – somen (cold Japanese noodles).

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

8 thoughts on “Twenty-seven in the shade

  1. 27 deg C is quite hot even for me. I, however, prefer hot weather to cold. One can sit in a shade or dress lightly but there is just a certain amount of clothes one can add and remain comfortable

  2. There is something amusing about you writing about the approaching summer, when where I am we had our first snowfall yesterday.

    But I have to say that I’m impressed that you’re a polio survivor. When I was in the early years of school there were some kids who had been through polio and you could see that they had taken a severe beating. One of them died the year after she arrived in our class. I escaped because the vaccine arrived on the scene just in time. That it was a terrible disease is something that needs to be remembered.

    • I was one of the lucky ones. I’d previously received the inactivated poliovirus injection, so I wasn’t as severely affected as might have been otherwise. It attacked the muscles in my groin area and left leg. I found being bedridden for several months rather challenging as a 7 year old, and I was sometimes teased for the unusual gait that resulted from the infection. Apart from that it had little effect on my life until my fifties when some weakness in my upper leg intermittently appeared along with fatigue. This has been put down to post polio syndrome but so far it hasn’t caused too much of a problem.

      I had friends at school who didn’t fare so well. A girl who permanently lost all use of her right arm apart from being able to move it at the shoulder. The arm was kept in a metal and fabric brace with the elbow fixed at a ninety degree angle to stop it flopping all over the place. A classmate had a leg brace that assisted the knee to lock and unlock as he walked. Around the same time another boy stopped coming to school and never returned. The rumour was that he died of polio, but I never found out if that was true.

      It was an epidemic, that was seldom spoken about in front of children, but nevertheless we were keenly aware of. Some of the children in my class were surprised when I returned to school, assuming that my prolonged absence was because I had died of polio.

      • Well, I’m glad you had the vaccine. You might not be here now. Your description of your classmates matches remarkably well with what I saw. The girl who died was in braces. So we had this disease that not only killled many people, but crippled many. Yet there was no lockdown – although I don’t remember how it was transmitted. And yes, they only started to talk about it here when they got the vaccine.

        • The polio virus enters the body via the digestive system. It’s not airborne. Here swimming pools were closed during the two epidemics in the 1950s. Often schools closed for deep cleaning that could take a week or two. What I didn’t realise until recently was that it was Considered a shameful disease as the public perception was that it only occurred in households with very poor standards of hygiene. What I also didn’t realise is that for the majority of those infected with polio, the symptoms were no worse than the flu. Only 10% developed any muscular paralysis and for most it was not permanent. Prior to the vaccination being available here, families were required to isolate at home for two weeks.

          It seems the shame associated with the disease resulted in it being little talked about. We’re possibly the last generation to appreciate its devastation.

  3. We battle over the temperature in the summer. It never occurred to me that neurodiversity might come to play in preferences. I’m happy leaving the house open all summer up to about 90 degrees, whereas my son starts complaining at 81. That meal looks awesome.

    • I’d melt at 90 degrees!

      The Wife certainly knows how to win me over – seasonally appropriate meals that delight both the eye and the taste buds 😊

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