08-20-2014 Journal Entry–Dangerous Stupidity!   Leave a comment

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Today has suddenly become a day of rest.  It wasn’t planned this way but I’m nothing if not flexible when it comes to loafing.  My better-half is gone to work, the cat is snoring at the bottom of the bed, and I’m watching an old rerun of Unsolved Mysteries while I type.  I had a bit of a scare yesterday so I’m relaxing today and trying to recuperate.  And of course it was a case of sheer stupidity on my part.

I awoke yesterday, had a cup of coffee, and then immediately headed for the treadmill for forty minutes of fun and torture.  That workout is fairly intense and I’m usually soaked and exhausted after I’ve finished.  I then took a short ride to Lowe’s to see my girl and to buy some supplies for what I hoped would be my last project of the summer.  I purchased 25 gallon of driveway sealer and returned home intending to store the cans and to do the job another day.

During the ride home I kept thinking about the project and convinced myself I could get it done today. The weather was in the eighties and the sun was beating down. The perfect day for this type of project I thought.  I swept the driveway, changed my clothes, and got to it.

In my bicycling days I was always told to avoid dehydration, "drink when your not thirsty".  One one occasion I fell from my bike during a 100 mile ride because I hadn’t consumed enough water. I ended up in a clinic being treated after almost passing out. Did I follow that hydration rule today? Of course not! I was in a hurry to get the job completed so I started immediately without drinking anything.

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An hour later I’m still at it, my clothes are soaking wet, and all of a sudden my legs gave out forcing me to sit in the yard for a few minutes to catch my breath. I knew what was happening so I slowly made my way into the house for water.  I drank two bottles of water and sat for a bit to cool off. I should have stopped at that point but the job was only half done and I wanted to finish.  I returned to it after putting on a hat and drinking another bottle of water.

Another half hour goes by and I find myself so weak I can barely stand. I sat down right where I was and couldn’t get up.  It took almost five minutes before I had the strength to move and return to the house.  More water and rest which didn’t help all that much. I knew I only had about ten more minutes of work to finish the job and decided to just do it, regardless of how I was feeling. That was stupid mistake number three.  I finished the job and barely had enough strength to return to the house. I took a cold shower and drank more water but felt no better. 

For the rest of the day and well into the night I wasn’t myself.  I couldn’t focus on any one thing and had lost my appetite completely.  I also slept badly during the night but it seems this morning I’m pretty much back to normal.  I still feel a little shaky but better.

I’m only relating this story as a warning to others not to be as stupid as I’ve been.  I could just as easily have dropped over and ended up in an ambulance rushing me to a hospital. This is from a person who knew better but said the hell with the circumstances, I can handle it.  I couldn’t. It was more than a little scary but I guess it takes absolute terror to get through to me.

Remember to hydrate before your thirsty, while your thirsty, and again after you’re no longer thirsty.  This has been my first and hopefully last health related Public Service Announcement.

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