In this post, i am going to talk about something very important which i think many should be aware of in this current heatwave… and that is: Heat stroke.
I have had/suffered heat stroke several times before in my life so you would think that by now i would realise the symptoms before it goes too far. Though when it comes to the sun… i seem to have no limit and can be out in the sun all day everyday and not really thinking about the consequences. I was like this, even as a child.
Back when i was between 8-10 years old i suffered my first heatstroke and it was a rather serious heatstroke. I had fallen asleep on one of the floating mattresses in the pool when we were on holiday in Spain. It was the middle of the day and the sun was shining hard and i hadn’t drunk enough water so ended up becoming dehydrated and got heatstroke. The rest of the day (and next 24 hours) is pretty much a blur where i just felt nauseous and sick, and the rest of the holiday i had to stay in the shade.
That wasn’t the only time i have suffered heatstroke/heat exhaustion, but that was one of the most serious times.
However, just this summer i have suffered from it twice…. the first time was in May when the heat first struck. I never mentioned it on here (i think i wrote i didn’t feel good/was living on Resorb and water to get me through the work day.) but with work, school, not drinking enough water, drinking too much caffeine, stress i ended up getting heat exhausation. But i never really reflected on it…. mostly just that i was dehydrated, felt nauseous and extremely ill as well as my skin was very warm. However i still managed to go to work the next day even if i had spent the previous night both freezing cold and overheating.
Yesterday however i suffered from heatstroke (or heat exhaustion) again…. and if i am honest, i am writing this post because i need to learn the signs and symptoms so that i don’t end up in a dangerous situation where my body can’t cool down it’s temperature. (Note: I have not spoken to a doctor either of these times.. so it’s just a self diagnosis, but i am pretty sure it is an accurate self diagnosis.)
p.s i would recommend that if you think you – or someone you know – is suffering from heat exhausation or heat stroke, call the doctor. Don’t be like me and try to just cool down at home. Ring someone/a doctor, just incase. It is serious!!!!
Let’s start off with… what is heatstroke?
According to MayoClinic:
“Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. The condition is most common in the summer months.”
And what is heat exhaustion? According to WebMD:
So… since Sunday i have basically spent several hours each day out in the sun where it has been between 27-30 degrees. And i have not spent any time in the shade. And Tuesday-Thursday i had an evening workshift which meant i could spend some time in the sun before work. I.e Several hours in the sun where i didn’t drink enough water, then during work where it is extremely warm and little oxygen and i barely drink any water at all because i forget and can’t go to the bathroom when i want/need to, as well as drinking caffeine and not consuming so much salt.
Then on Friday i had a freeday from work and it was going to be around 32 degrees. Perfect i thought, i can be out in the sunshine. Not thinking about the consequences.
I had begun to feel sick, nauseous and warm on Thursday. I felt this weird tired, heavy and breathless feeling. It was hard to breathe and my muscles felt heavy and i just felt a little out of it.
And i didn’t feel much better on Friday, but i still went out into the sun. And there i lay for a few hours drinking barely any water, drinking caffeine instead of water, sun shining right down on me.
After a while i began to feel extremely nauseous, i could barely breathe and it was just short shallow breaths. My skin felt tight and i felt like i was burning up but also cold… a sort of cold and clammy feeling on my skin. And despite feeling warm and being in the sun i was not sweating at all.
The 5 minute walk home was awful. My muscles couldn’t carry me. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was racing. The first thing i did when i got home was just lie on my bed and try to breathe which i did for c.a 30 minutes before i got up and poured myself some water and a salt/fluid replacement tablet. Just that little effort made me feel dizzy and according to my phones health app i had a pulse of around 120 just resting. (Which is the same pulse i had when i had to go to the emergency room due to pancreatitis).
My whole body hurt. My eyes hurt – as if i had burnt my eyes. I couldn’t really see. The skin on my face felt tight and hot. And i felt very nauseous…. after a while i tried to eat something but it just came back up again, my stomach not being able to handle anything apart from small sips of water.
Eventually i realised i had to cool myself and my body down and i did this by wetting towels and putting on my head and putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and putting on my wrist, ankles and face. After c.a 20 minutes i was already feeling better.
I felt colder/normal temperature. I could breathe normally. My pulse slowed down. I could see better/didn’t feel so orientated. I lay there for about an hour with the cold towels and ice cubes slowly melting. Feeling more like myself again.
And eventually i could drink some more water and stomach some watermelon.
Why am i writing this? Because it is such an important topic to bring awareness to. I see people out running midday in this heat and that can be extremely dangerous. Not to mention elderly, children and pets all have an increased risk of suffering from heatstroke. And people with different illnesses – including cystic fibrosis or other lung illnesses have an increased risk of suffering from heatstroke. It can be fatal, and if i am honest…. i am just lucky i haven’t suffered anything fatal yet.
I should have called the doctor yesterday. Not being able to breathe, pulse racing and feeling like you are about to faint is not a good sign, and if i hadn’t been able to decrease my bodies temperature it could have caused serious problems.
From now on i need to learn to drink more water, but also i need to salt more because of my CF (which means that when i sweat, i sweat more salt than regular people.) But also less caffeine and not spending several hours in the sun and then going direct to work.
I need to learn to put limits on my sun exposure. Yes, i can spend several hours in the direct sun and will gladly be in the sun during the hottest hours… but for my own health it can be good to limit that exposure. Not just for the heat, but also for my skin, minimize risk of skin cancer and heat exposure/heatstroke.
Make sure you are drinking enough water, mix between being in the sun and shade and also check on your pets, children and elderly so that they aren’t getting overheated! Also be smart and don’t be out running/overexherting yourself in this heatwave… instead either workout inside in cool areas or stick to working out when it is cooler in the morning or evening and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you feel tired, nauseous, not so well… rest!
For the next few days i am not going to be out in the sun… before work, instead i will just focus on doing at home work/computer work and give my body a break from the sun rays. Also have a party i am supposed to go to this evening after work, not so sure if i will go or not after yesterdays experience. I am pretty sure drinking alcohol 24 hours after heat stroke is not a good idea.
**To those wondering… the recipe and IG photo were scheduled. And i began to feel better/able to use my phone again around 7/8pm.**