Thursday, June 8, 2017

BryonySeries Throwback Thursday: Do You Know When Gatorade and Zinc Oxide Are Not Enough?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Do You Know When Gatorade and Zinc Oxide Are Not Enough?

When the heat index is 107!!!

Yes, deranged power walker that I am, I wound up with heat exhaustion Friday, and it's my own stupid fault.

With the soaring temperatures and humidity, I've really tried getting my walk out of the way first thing in the morning, but we all know how THAT can go.

Some days, the early mornings are just so busy that walks gets delayed until mid to late morning. Since I'm allergic to the sun and dehydrate very easily (as I sweat very little), I'm generally very cautious about pushing it in the sun.

Until this year.

The wonderful white goopy mixture of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide I plaster all over my skin before leaving the house has meant absolutely NO hiving, burning, welting, blistering etc., for the first time in several decades. Plus, I've found that crossing back to the house for Gatorade (Fierce Grape, what else?) I've not been plagued with tortuous foot cramps this year, either.

In fact, I've done so well, I've forgotten to be cautious. And therein lies my foolishness.

On Friday, I missed the morning walk due to end of the week deadlines and needing to accompany a cardiologist appointment with one of my sons. By mid-afternoon, with the most pressing deadlines out of the way, I decided to reward myself with a walk. It was already three o'clock; weren't the hours between ten a.m. and two p.m. considered the most dangerous?

Armed with the delusion that it was now safe for race-walking, I made sure I had a large bottle of Gatorade chilling in the refrigerator, gooped myself up, drank down a couple of glasses of water, grabbed head phones and bounded out the door.

By the time I'd rounded the first block, I was feeling the intense heat and briefly--and only briefly--wondered if I ought to turn back (I hear the choruses of "YES!!!" all the way here).

Instead, I rounded back to the house after twenty minutes, sprayed myself with water, guzzled some of the Gatorade and a big glass of water, and dashed back out the door.

I repeated this twice more (as the water quickly evaporated) and at the end of the hour (I usually walk ninety minutes), my surroundings suddenly became surreal. At first I decided I simply needed more fluids, but when home seemed very far away and hard to find, I decided to call it quits. As I stepped into the air conditioned house, my cell phone rang.

It was a friend who had been tried really hard to remove an ink stain from one of Timothy's chef coats. He, along with the rest of the Joliet Junior College's culinary competition team, are competing for the national title this week in Las Vegas. If the stain could have been removed, Timothy could have taken three chef coats with him. Unfortunately, that was not to be.

As my friend talked, and as I tried to babble out something sounding halfway coherent in response, I doused myself with water from the kitchen sprayer, polished off the rest of the Gatorade, and then began madly gulping water. I was dizzy, shaky, tingly, and just could not cool down. I said some hurried goodbyes (I think) and started drenching cloths and laying them over me. Rebekah suggested a cool shower, but I was afraid I might actually pass out in there.

It took two hours for the redness to leave my skin. I was somewhat rational by the time Fr. Joseph arrived for a Typica service (as Timothy was flying out Sunday morning, this Communion service acceptably replaced Sunday's Divine Liturgy).

By bedtime (no Friday Fiction for me, as I had two stories to cover the next day), the shakiness and tingling had diminished. I mostly felt spaced out, dizzy, and tired, and those feelings were still present the next morning.

By the time I left to cover the first event--a powwow--I had drunk over a gallon of water and was starting to improve. En route, I drank a quart of Gatorade. At the event, I drank two water bottles.

Then, because the newspaper wanted the story by five o'clock, I cancelled my attendance at the second event and arranged to obtain the information electronically and via phone.

Sunday morning, I was almost back to normal. It was cooler, so I took my customary walk. That fatigued me enough for a nap. After the nap, the ol' Denise had returned. I spent the rest of the day working.

This morning, I was out the door at eight o'clock, later than I wanted but still acceptable for my purposes. Hopefully, I have learned my lesson.



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