First Time with Heat Exhaustion
alexschultz1: So I just got back from the doctor and, well, I had my first experience with heat exhaustion yesterday. At around 4 I was driving around in my truck. First, I finished a yard in a neighborhood and still had two more to cut. The next thing I remember is getting to a client’s house (in a different neighborhood around 10 minutes away) where I had a pile of mulch waiting for me to spread. I sat there in my truck for probably 45 minutes until I said screw it and went home. I propped up on the recliner and turned on the TV. My mom happens to stop by and asks me if I was going to eat the food in the kitchen. “What food?” I said. Apparently I made some leftovers and just left it sitting in the kitchen. My mom then came in the living room and tried to have a conversation with me and I couldn’t answer anything she asked. I just told her I was exhausted. So this morning I get a call from one of my clients asking why I had left a weedeater and didn’t blow the property off. That’s when I got into my truck and headed right to the doctor.
The most terrifying part about yesterday was I had NO CLUE anything was wrong. Anyways, be careful out there guys.
KrayzKajun: Definitely a hot summer this year. Take care of yourself. I’m usually running around at 100 mph all day. Started slowing down a bit and taking it easy. Work still gets done, and I’m feeling a lot better at the end of the day.
32vld: How much water did you drink that day?
Also important to have a good breakfast and lunch to keep your energy up.
wildstarblazer: Water only and no soda or caffeine drinks; eat light; slow and steady pace. Works for me.
JCLawn and more: Just straight water will do it, too. You need a little salt and other stuff, too. Stay away from carbs and sugars on these hot days. I have Performance through Shaklee as a drink mix. Its a life saver, but some juice every couple of hours or tea along with lots of water will do it. Don’t trust the sports drinks, they worsen it from experience.
larryinalabama: The heat can literally kill you, force yourself to drink water. Take a break in the shade if necessary. If you have to skip a house because you’re light-headed, skip it until the next day.
GrassGuerilla: You gotta take care of yourself when it’s hot. I use a lot of little tricks to keep cool. Frozen towels, ice packs in my pocket; wide-brim, vented hat; lots of fluids, watch the sugary stuff. I also take a magnesium and potassium supplement with my regular vitamins. And yeah, I too have had past heat episodes where my brain just wasn’t working right (hell that happens regardless of temp).
Keep in mind these episodes do have a cumulative affect. This business is a long game, save some for tomorrow. While you might be tempted to push through, you’ll be better off to work an extra half-day to make up some of the slack. Burn out in July and August will get ugly.
Charles: I think what makes this year much worse than others is the ground is saturated with water (southeast). The humidity is just about unbearable. I drank a gallon of water today and ran out of it.
Macgyver_GA: I agree with the too much water point. I used to get bad headaches after a day of working evening drinking a gallon of water, found out it was a lack of electrolytes. Now I drink half of a Gatorade before I leave to work, then drink the other half when I get home. No more headaches.
sehitchman: I was close today. I was making mistakes. I blew two yards before I trimmed, then had to go back and blow the second time. I did the backpack Pirouette one time, left the cruise control on when I started it, then did circles trying to get in the harness. It probably looked funny to anyone watching. I also forgot to change cutting height for a fast growing yard and spent way to much time double-cutting. Turned the wrong way and blew a ton of grass in a bed. These mistakes I can attribute to the heat and extending the day even more. Getting overheated is no joke, be safe out there everyone.
twomancrew: This scares me because it is so different than what I experienced two or three years ago. I was trimming around graves on a steep hill at a cemetery, and as I worked under a big oak tree in the shade I felt like the lights were getting dimmer and dimmer in the shade. I leaned against the tree and realized I had total tunnel vision and immediately got nausea real bad. I called my best man who lived right around the corner and woke him up from his third shift sleep. I told him I was sick and I was coming over and if I wasn’t there soon to come and find me. I made it and was fine.
Everyone at the power store said it was a stroke coming on, but I think it wasn’t even close to what you went through. I can see how you became a zombie, I think I was close and the shade made me aware of it? Or snapped me out of it? I never felt a loss of control and you were out of it. That should be a wake up for some who can’t get up in the early morning!
andyslawncare: I’ve been there before. I was in the hospital after long hot days for low potassium two times in the past. I’ve since learned to take care of myself better. When its hot, I drink cold Powerade and I can feel when my body needs me to eat property. I also make sure I eat at least a potato worth of potassium supplying foods each day. For me, eating a banana at the end of the day is very common. You have to put back what you lose in sweat and you should pee two times during your workday.
“In Your Own Words” is contributed from the lawn care and landscape forum at http://www.LawnSite.com, which was named one of 10 Great Media Sites by Media Business magazine, and has been chosen as a winner of the Most Engaged Media Brands for 2010 by min, a firm that tracks the media industry. Visit them, and join in the discussions.