It starts somewhere behind the ears, the heat is temperate at first, almost ignorable. The subject can maintain relatively normal interactions during this phase, which usually lasts one to five minutes. This then, is followed by the heat continuing on, around the neck and upper torso, its intensity increasing with the amount of surface area covered. The heat can be likened to a bad sunburn, radiating from the affected area in waves. At this point the subject becomes irritable and the thought process begins to breakdown somewhat as the subject grows increasingly distracted by the growing intensity of the heat as it continues to spread. If left untreated, it will continue to spread up the body and over the face. This is extremely uncomfortable and usually causes the subjects’ complete breakdown of thought processes. Eventually, the subject will be covered in a uniformly distributed rash with accompanying heat, similar to heat rash or first degree burns. This condition can last up to two hours if not treated, and there is no known cure. The negative impact can also include, but is not limited to: social ostracization, loss of self-esteem, dehydration, rise in body temperature, rise in blood pressure, loss of concentration, and swelling of affected areas.
While a cure remains unknown, several treatments for symptoms do exist with varied results. Subjects should drink ice water in abundance at first signs of the condition and throughout the day. Deep breathing has also been effective in slowing the spread of this condition, if it is detected early on. If the condition worsens, the subject should discontinue any conversation they may be holding and seek isolation immediately. Public speaking or class instruction is not recommended until the condition has cleared. Protective clothing can diminish social awkwardness, such as turtlenecks in the winter months and collared shirts in the warmer months. Frequency of the condition can vary, with as many as 20 times in a 24 hour period being the highest frequency ever recorded. There are no long-term effects caused by this condition, and it is believed that the condition is hereditary but additional tests are being conducted for a conclusive determination.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: So I have this thing that happens to me when I experience any kind of extreme emotion. When I drink a little too much, when I’m excited, when I’m upset or angry, and when I’m nervous, especially when I have to speak in front of a group of people. I slowly turn a lovely crimson color, usually in delightful splotchy shapes that cover my chest, neck and face. I’m not sure if there is a name for this ‘condition’ but it’s quite debilitating at times, especially for a shy gal like yours truly…and on days like today. Today it was my duty to present a topic to a dozen physical therapists who had come to take part in a workshop put together by my boss. It wasn’t very formal, more of a roundtable discussion, but as I began to speak I could feel the telltale signs of ‘the redness’ creep up the back of my neck. I knew it was only a matter of time before my entire face, neck and chest would be covered with splatters of oh-so-attractive blotches. This is especially frustrating because I feel the attention in the room start to veer from what I’m saying to the sometimes dramatic change in my complexion. Sigh… I don’t remember much after the first few minutes, I think I kept talking and no one fainted in horror at my altered appearance so I suppose I’ll chalk the presentation as a success. Thank God for high collared shirts and my blessed subconscious who somehow knew that one would be needed today. If any of you kind readers know of a way to alleviate this maddening redness please don’t be shy… I’m ready to remain one shade. Soooo tired of being a human mood ring.
Love & Squirrels.