The stability of your body temperature is proof that you are a warm-blooded mammal. Any major fluctuations in core body temperature indicate that your body is in some kind of distress. Maybe you fell asleep in the snow and are suffering from hypothermia, or a tick with a craving for an O positive snack took a holiday in your skin and you’re now running a fever. The best way to find out if your body temperature is above or below its normal 37 degrees celcius is to take your temperature.
Taking temperature the modern way
The benefits of modern technology mean that temperature taking is a lot simpler (and less dangerous and embarrassing) than in the past. You can simply insert the business end of a digital thermometer into your ear, press a button and the gadget does its thing. When you hear a beep (like when the microwave lets you know that dinner’s ready), remove the thermometer and read the digital display: 37.3 degrees. Not too bad. A cold press on your forehead and an early night should suffice, but check your temperature again in the morning, no more do we need to go to a doctor and claim from our medical aid just to have our temperature read.
Taking temperature the old way
Back in the day, thermometers were made of glass and contained mercury that would rise and fall depending on the temperature of the heat source into which the thermometer was inserted (we’re getting to that… keep reading). Mercury is exceptionally poisonous, so it’s a wonder the medical profession suggested putting glass tubes filled with the stuff into the mouths of babes.
Healthcare professionals soon realised that armpits were a good place to stick thermometers to get accurate readings, and they had to continually remind flustered parents of feverish kids to sterilise the metal tips of these thermometers before and after each application. However, some genius in the medical field figured out that the most accurate place to get a good temperature reading was up the butt. Rectal thermometers were best used on babies (probably because they were none the wiser) to get quick and accurate readings. Do we even need to mention the importance of not mixing up one’s collection of traditional thermometers when one plays doctor-doctor?
So the safest, healthiest and least compromising way to take a temperature is with a digital thermometer… in the ear.
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