Before the days of MS, Lynn’s body temperature ran hot. It could be the middle of winter and he would be outside in shorts and a T-shirt cooking on the grill. We used to joke that one day he would spontaneously combust into flames because he just radiated heat. That changed shortly after his diagnosis. He gradually became less tolerant of heat. Instead of setting the temperature indoors to a chilly 70, he would be satisfied to allow me to set it at a more comfortable level where it was no longer necessary for me to bundle in a blanket and wear gloves to watch TV. Then he went from being warm to the touch to being cold.
Lynn developed a urinary tract infection that was mistreated for a couple of months resulting in his becoming very ill. His body was not able to fight off the infection and he became weaker and weaker. As his health declined, he became cold. At times it was necessary for me to wrap him in blankets, put fleece lined footwear on him, cover his hands in gloves, and heat up sandbags to lie over his hands and against his body. He was freezing all the time.
Eventually, he had to be admitted to the hospital and while there, he aspirated and developed pneumonia. It wasn’t caught at first, because he had no fever. He was very lethargic; sleeping all the time. His blood pressure was low as was his pulse, and his body temperature simply did not register. For almost two days the staff just attributed the temperature difficulties to equipment. Finally, one of the care partners got a rectal thermometer because she felt something just was not right. Rectally, his body temperature should have been a degree higher than orally; however, his body temperature still did not register. When they finally were able to get a reading, his body temperature was 90o rectally! He was immediately put into the ICU and a heat blanket used for hours to gradually bring his body temperature back to normal.
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