Monday, June 20, 2005

Heat exhaustion: not just for athletes and the elderly..... 

Went to my sister's bridal shower yesterday afternoon. It was held outdoors under a covered patio. The temperature was 95 degrees, but I figured I'd be fine as long as I stayed out of the sun.

There were perhaps 20 of us there, including someone with rheumatoid arthritis and a lady with cancer on oxygen. They seemed fine. We had a great time looking at photos, playing a few games and of course the opening of the gifts.

The original timeframe for the shower was three hours, but it turned into four. I had been careful to eat lightly and stay hydrated, but when I got up to go, I was a bit wobbly. I figured I was just tired and drove home without any problem.

Spent a couple of hours at home having dinner and resting a bit before going to my dad's house to wish him a happy Father's Day. I had Dan drive because I was too fatigued by then. My father lives out in the country, about 45 minutes away.

When we got there, my dad told us he was horse-sitting and wanted to know if we wanted to visit the horses. I love horses, so I slowly made my way out to the fenced area, a bit of a hike for me. But after I'd hung around for awhile, I was able to get back to the house only a little out of breath.

We visited perhaps an hour, and then I started getting really spacey and decided I'd better get home. It was probably 9:30 when we got back, and I was hurting like crazy from sitting in lawn chairs all day. I suspected I may have overdone it a bit, but nothing really worse than usual.

When I woke up today, I nearly passed out when I got out of bed, trying to get to the bathroom before I threw up. My stomach was really out of sorts on both ends, if you know what I mean. And I was sooo weak and dizzy.

I started getting muscle cramps about 1pm and that mental fuzziness that accompanies hypoglycemia, so I had to get out of bed no matter what. I had Dan help me down the stairs. Had to get some easy to digest nutrition fast.

I was too weak to get off the couch until just a few hours ago. That was when I decided to do a little research to figure out why I'd gotten so sick. I found out to my surprise that people with chronic illness and those who take multiple meds are more prone to heat-related complications than healthy people.

If I got mild heat exhaustion just by being outdoors on a warm day, I thought it would be a good idea to post this article so we can all be a little more careful this summer. Here's the link:


So I guess the moral of the story is stay as cool as you can.

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