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home : lifestyle : lifestyle today   April 30, 2016

4/21/2014 1:34:00 PM
Keeping it cool!

Nancy Dinelli-Prill

Talking about letters, late last year, I wrote a column about the night sweats I was having from my diabetic medicine. It was around Christmas because I talked about dancing to the Nutcracker music as I yanked off, in the middle of the night, nightgown after nightgown in order to stay dry.
From that column, we thought the mail would just pour in because of how common night sweats are, either from stress, an illness, or because of your age (as in ladies getting to that age).
Believe it or not, I didn’t get one letter.
At any rate, I was getting more and more upset over my situation to find a solution and it was beginning to get to my mind. I questioned all sorts of medical personnel including an endocrinologist.
No one could give me any hope, except a pill and there was no way I was going to add more pills.
Then at Christmas, Kevin’s wife, Tracy gave me a “Chillow” that is the size of a pillow, but not as thick and on the front in big print it claims, “no more night sweats.” It came with instructions on how to fill it with water, lay it down flat, put your head on it and it will cool the back of your neck. It sort of worked and it put me on to many more “things” which are on the market and can be cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave.
This column is getting too long because I still haven’t told you what I discovered from the program, Jeopardy, which “The Farmer” watches every day.
He was watching his program and I was sitting nearby looking through one of my seed catalogs, when I think I heard something about “what controls body heat.’
I’m not sure that was the exact question, but I do know that my head jerked up and because it was the program’s final question, which would determine who the winner of that day’s game would be, I listened.
Alex Trebeck, the moderator of the show said low and clear that “Hypothalamus” was the answer.
“Quick,” I said to “The Farmer,” “write that down, I need to look that word up.”
I grabbed the paper from his hand and ran off to google the word, ‘hypothalamus.”
Here is one of the sites I found and have been using.
Go to, and if you don’t have a computer, go to your local library and they will show you the site: “ Hypothalamus.aspx.”
On that site, Dr. Ananya Mandal writes, “the hypothalamus is a small but important part of the brain. It contains several small nuclei with a variety of functions. It plays an important role in the nervous system as well as in the endocrine system. It is linked to another small and vital gland called the pituitary gland.”
Mandal gives a detailed location, but my explanation from what I have learned is, that it is in the back of your neck. I also learned that located in the “hypothalamus” is a link between the body and the brain which controls your body temperature. I have learned that if I keep the “hypothalamus” cold or cool at night, I have no night sweats.
Therefore, I sleep with an ice pack at the back of my neck and it is wonderful and believe it or not, it is very relaxing from the stresses of this crazy world.
Thanks to Kevin’s wife Tracy for being the first one to show me the way and also the site I named above. By the way there are many products that can be used by heating them or freezing them to get pain relief. Buy one for whoever needs to relax, such as a farmer after looking at the conditions of his fields.
I cannot even take a nap without an iced “hypothalamus.” Cool it! Ciao!

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