I recently had to go to the emergency room to be treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration. Not fun. What prompted that? Well, I’ve never been one for the heat. I’m always hot! And I’ve read that if you’ve suffered a heat stroke before, your risk level increases.
A few 4th of Julys ago I believe I had a mild heat stroke from exposure at the local celebration. This year, I was working an event out at Chateau St Jean, in a big open space, with not much shade and no wind. It reached about 107 degrees and there was only one water station for the event. Later in the evening when the party goers arrived, there was an additional water source provided, but I had already been out in the heat for about 8 hours at that point.
The symptoms I was feeling, besides the obvious hot and thirsty, were small at first and escalated quickly. I was actually pretty sure at the start of the event I was suffering at the very least from heat exhaustion. Later, I was having signs of fatigue. My mind was a jumble and I was having trouble communicating the simplest of thoughts. While I spent most of the day sticky, I never really broke a sweat. I pushed on.
The next day, I woke up with horrible pain in my kidneys. I realized I hadn’t gone to the bathroom since early the day before. My father took me to the hospital because I didn’t want to worry the girls. I was treated with an I.V. of fluids and released. While there, the Wine Country Marathon was in progress with the race ending on the Sonoma Plaza. Let me tell you, they were dropping like flies! It was over 100 that day too.
So today, looking at the record setting forecast for the Bay Area, I thought it was time to share some information on heat ailments as well as remind you not to leave anyone in a car for any amount of time! Old or young, human or canine, it is not a day to be in what is likely to be a 140-degree (or more!) car. I was sad to see in the news, that in this day and age, a 2-year-old had to be rescued from a car just yesterday. LiveScience.com shared that
“From 1990 to 2016, 793 children died of heat stroke after being left in a hot car.”
Below is a video from NBC News reporting on what it’s like to sit in a hot car.
Even if you aren’t susceptible to heat like I am, you should always be aware of certain things. If you are on medication, check the warnings on the bottle. For example, a lot of antibiotics I have taken said to avoid the sun. If you experience confusion, faintness, staggering, hallucinations, or unusual agitation contact a health professional right away.
If you can’t beat the heat in your home, check your county website for a list of shelters and cooling stations. And don’t just think about your family. Make sure you check in on elderly neighbors and homeless/struggling friends. It doesn’t take much time to suffer from the heat and days of exposure can be deadly.
This is a great chart from the CDC. It explains all the symptoms and what to do next. Find out more from their website. Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give anything other than advice based on experience.
What is your worst experience with the heat? Let me know in the comments below!