14 Into The Great Wide Open Workforce

Ah to be an adult. This is a perfect story for Summer!

     After graduation, Porcelain still lived at home, as it was customary to stay at home as long as you wanted in an Italian family, though she did contribute. She babysat quite abit, pet sat and even did some dog walking in the evening hours. It wasn't much, but it was enough. She wasn't quite sure what kind of jobs she could work that wouldn't require her to be in sunlight or harsh lights, so she was a bit skittish of the workforce.

   She had an opportunity to get a '9-5' job at a local Italian restaurant as a hostess/kitchen helper. She loved the idea and accepted immediately. Not long into the job, she discovered a love for customer service, she really connected with the people, and felt passionate about her work. Then came the downsides....

It started out small, little pinprick pains in her eyes.

     She assumed it was tension headaches and drank some herbal tea for it. Porcelain didn't suspect the lights because they weren't as bright as her high school. But by the end of her 2nd week, it became more than tension headaches and she was down for the entire weekend, missing two of her shifts. The kitchen help position turned out to be helping put pizzas in and out of their oven. Nothing different from at home except for a lack of cool air in the restaurant's kitchen. She overheated easily and felt nauseous afterwards, every time she went into the kitchen to help. She would feel itchy when this happened, and had to put a cream on her arms.

     Porcelain went to the doctor, who tried to diagnose her with hypertension. She tried to explain to the doctor that the only reason her blood pressure rose was because she overheated. Otherwise, she had good blood pressure. Nevertheless, the doctor tried to push blood pressure medication onto Porcelain. She told him she was going to get a second opinion before she committed to a pill. The second doctor she went to tried to blame her weight, which she wasn't overweight to begin with. Becoming fed up with doctors, she just stopped going to them.

     Then she heard her local hospital had someone who understood porphyria. She was so excited! She arrived, checked in, filled out her medical history and was seen by who she thought was the most caring doctor in the world. He understood! He knew she didn't need blood pressure medication, but new ways of staying cool in warm weather while working. Having such a first-time wonderful experience with a doctor, Porcelain teared up. She all but cried in the doctor's office because this had never happened before.

     Heat intolerance can cause your body to believe it is beginning to have a heat stroke/heat exhaustion event. You can have symptoms of headache, dizziness, weakness, cramping, nausea, and your heart beating much faster. It can also give you symptoms of blood pressure rising, body’s temperature rising, your body's cooling system stops working, fatigue, hot and dry skin, shortness of breath and decreased urination (if prolonged). If you have heat exhaustion, the symptoms include fever, excessive thirst, nausea, fainting, clammy skin, weakness, muscle aches, heavy sweating, slow heartbeat and dizziness.

Warning signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses: CDC https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

Links for your viewing pleasure:

Incandescent and Fluorescent Issues:

Health Effects of Artificial Light:

The photosensitizing potential of compact fluorescent light bulbs:

Do you have heat intolerance?

Heat Exhaustion vs. Heat Stroke:

Warning signs and symptoms of heat-related symptoms: