Hypothermia

Hypothermia

I did not study physics in school. No. Life experience taught me these fancy physics word i only heard from my physics bothers and sisters. I grew up in Tharaka Nithi county. I grew up in the Leeward side of the beautiful Mt. Kenya. Now, let us remove the Nithi in the Tharaka, that is my real home. For a long time i was embarrassed about my home area, certainly not because i was not proud of it, (how can I be embarrassed and be proud at the same time?) of course I was proud. My reason for embarrassment was of how that place was stereotyped.

We did not receive much rainfall as the windward sideThis led to food insecurity and therefore had to do what was needed to be done, walk long distances to ask for food from our blessed neighbors on the windward side. These neighbors in return made fun of us. In high school they would laugh at us and mimic how we would speak to them. These neighbours called us primitive. To my dear windward side neighbors, we are no longer primitive, in fact, we are doing very well for ourselves. Nowadays we have piped water and plenty of food. We are proud of being from Tharaka.

Tharaka has temperatures ranging between 28 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius. I am sure the drunkards reading this will not see the Celsius because of the many degrees clubs there are lately in my beautiful city of Nairobi. When i went back to Tharaka for Christmas, I referred to home as mombasa ndogo and my friends would laugh about it. It was my Mombasa ndogo with rocky banks (read beaches please) of Mara river for cooling our bodies. This is the heat i grew up enjoying all year long therefore the coldest i ever came across was 18 degrees in my boarding school. Now to hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a body core temperature below 35.0 °C (95.0 °F). Symptoms depend on the temperature. In mild hypothermia there is shivering and mental confusion while in a moderate one the shivering stops and confusion increases. In severe hypothermia there may be paradoxical undressing, in which a person removes his or her clothing, as well as an increased risk of the heart stopping. Did wikipedia follow me while doing their research on this definition?

Hypothermia is what I suffered when I landed in Copenhagen. Shivering and mental confusion is what i experienced my dear reader. My fashionable blue stripped jacket did not serve the purpose it was bought for. After flying for over ten hours with interesting experience. This is what awaited me?

Finally at about 11 o’clock we landed at Copenhagen airport. All was well in those corridors. The ones attached to plane you remember? It was all well until we boarded a metro. This reminds me of some friends from Czech Republic my family hosted once who one day decided to visit Meru. These mzungus asked me if they could get a metro to Meru. I answered in positive. On the travelling day I took them to the tearoom and showed them our metro matatus. They tried explaining the metros to me but i could not get it.

Well my dear friends in case you read this, I can relate to the joke. Those metros got me moving right, left and center. Someone tell the miraa drivers that they got no speed. These things vanish. I had a mental confusion. It did not take us long until we were in the city. We left that rocket speed moving thing. This is when the shivering and mental confusion happened for real. How did we use to put it in our compositions?, shivering like a twig about to fall during fall? Who came up with these sayings anyway?

It was a good weather as I was told. it was 10 degrees Celsius. 10 DEGREES CELSIUS from 30 Degrees. How do you not suffer from shivering and mental confusioneven paradoxical undressing as a consequence of this shock? Tell me my dear Kenyans. I was dressed in a chiffon top from Toi market and my expensive striped jacket not forgetting my cute navy blue doll shoes. Wrong dress code for 10 degrees!  I felt my blood cool down from 30 degrees to 0 degrees. Hypothermia there. Almost making me drop my kiondo.

How does the primal survivor survive below this when I could not even feel my hands. It was a different kind of cold which went through my bones. It was the Scandinavian cold. A It got me on brain freeze. However,the air was so fresh. This kind of hypothermia involved mental undressing from the dusty air of my beautiful Tharaka home to my new home. My heart stopped for a while probably since I had all the symptoms of this hypothermia disease. Little did I know that I was going to rejoice at those ten degrees months after.

Let us go through my winter experience in my next post! NEGATIVE DEGREES! Things got real. Consequently I learnt the hard way. In the meantime hypothermia is a killer disease for the villager in the west!

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