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Heat Exhaustion Can Creep Up On You!

Jul 26, 2011
The last couple of weeks much of the nations mid section has become entrenched in a heat wave. Drinking fluids, staying out of the sun and using sunscreen is the norm to prevent any serious health issues. Yesterday, my first real experience with heat exhaustion had occurred.

I have experienced the heat many times during my life here on earth. I worked for College Pro Painters when I was 22 and 23 years of age. I vividly remember the hot days and sweltering humidity while working nonstop 9 to 10 hour days. There were times I was very exhausted, but don't recall anything of feeling the effects of heat where I became ill.

The heat and humidity of Florida is the king of hot weather. I moved to there and worked long hours outside in the heat at Disney. It took some time to get used to and did have some bouts with fatigue in the heat. However, I became accustomed to it over time. The temperature was usually around 92-93 degrees from June, July and August with a dew point around 70 degrees making it very uncomfortable outside. The temps did drop in the 80's come September and October but while comfortable for tourists, Floridians would put on long sleeve shirts or even a jacket! I still don't remember becoming ill from the heat during my tenure in Florida. Fast forward 7 years later.

Yesterday, I began painting a house for a side job. During the day I became sunburned on the front and back of my body. I didn't put any sunscreen on because I wasn't out in the sun the whole time. I've should have known better and this was my first downfall. I drank plenty of Gatorade and stood in the shade from time to time. On the way home I still felt okay and thought it would be a regular sunburn just like usual. Later in the evening, my skin was hot from the burn and took my temperature to find out I had a 100 degree fever. My resting pulse was well over 120 with a high heart rate. I had no energy, a slight headache and drinking fluids didn't seem to help. I had suffered my first heat exhaustion episode.

Today I feel better but the thought of going outside is not something Iâm interested in doing for sure. There have been times where I felt fatigue from heat, but this time it was different. I never had a fever from being out in the heat before. My body was simply not used to the conditions and you could probably say I'm a little older now from my younger days in the heat. I just assumed the heat was a worry for the young and old. I was wrong! So my fellow friends, respect the heat especially if youâre not used to it, wear sunscreen and drink fluids. It will go a long way!

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