Friday, July 13, 2012

Heat Exhaustion really me????

Well every now and again when the mercury dips past 100 F some one some where will get heat stroke or in my case heat exhaustion which if not caught can leave you feeling like crap. So I decided to blog about my experience and share what I learnt in the hope or preventing this in another athlete.
Dawn breaks at 5.25am
It was already heating up to be a warm day when I decided to swim early in the am, it was shaping up to be a wonderful day. After my swim I had a good breakfast and went to get my double Triall3sport case out of the garage ....I spent the next two hours soaked in my own sweat as I labored to get the bike box out and clean up the mess I made! (did not drink too much fluid either)
Had my plan for avoiding cramps etc and keep my body functioning.
It was 1pm in the afternoon when I decided a ride in the canyons was in order, despite it being rather warm I thought I would have this wrapped up in no time and had frozen two bottles of water for extra back up and two normal bottles of Heed and Perpetuem on the bike, as the ride usually takes me around 3 hours ish....

I set off all smiles, I slip slap slopped Ocean Potion 50 so would not burn, and was excited to cycle into the canyons. At the base of the Canyon I had already gone through one bottle of fluid I thought mmm better refill at the Parks services as the next stop would not be until East Fork 8 miles done and 12 to go.

I began the climb it was ridiculously hot and I thought strange how I was not seeing any other cyclists or joggers but what a beautiful day, the small little down hills offered little relief from the heat just hot muggy air, I changed out all my bottles for the fresh ones in my back pocket which sadly were no longer frozen and tepid would describe the contents.
Holy Moly it was a 110 in the shade at 2.30pm!!
I stopped 20 miles into my ride to get new water bottles filled from a tap in some bushes near East Fork, a ranger recognized me and could not believe I was cycling in the in sane heat! I explained I was keeping well hydrated and had plenty of electrolytes etc...
At this point I should have turned around and descended down Azusa Canyon but my inner reasoning told me what!!! only a 5 mile climb and then I can descend 9 miles and be home in another 5 after that so I chose the uphill......

I started climbing it was hot, the heat from the road was reflecting off my glasses, I felt like I was putting in a really hard effort of cycling but when I looked at my Polar heart rate it was around 140, I knew the heat was affecting my better judgement. I planned to stop every mile and slow down I did not have a head ache and felt quite happy despite feeling tired....

All smiles at the top of the climb, it was seriously hot and could not wait to ride down the Mountain  road to home.

It was a beautiful day I had a total of 7 bottles of fluid in 4 hours I felt good....
  When I finally returned home I took a protein drink and then my BIG mistake of the day was to liquidize a whole water melon making 4 bottles of water melon juice, it tasted divine and I thought was great way to re hydrate, we went out later that evening and I began to get a blistering headache, I thought I needed fresh air so I ran home at 11pm. The weather was decidedly cooler and enjoyed my jog home. I was asleep by 1am.

Hammer was my Doctor the next morning!
I woke at 7.30am, had breakfast but had a horrible headache and felt a little nauseated, I thought I just need to sleep a little and rest and should be fine, but as the morning progressed so did my headache and I was going to the bathroom a lot too. I called my husband as did not feel good, I put an ice pack on my head to cool down I was pretty concerned as felt dizzy when standing and just felt blah!
not happy as I tried to get rid of a pulsating headache!
As late afternoon came around I had to call a friend who is a nurse as I was feeling AWFUL he asked me a few questions....
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would I rate my headache (I said a 7 with Advil... without a 9)
Did I feel sick.....yes
Was I dizzy another yes

I needed medication for Nausea and Pain  
Saline Fluid
Apparently I was displaying all the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses! The best option for the quickest return to health would be an intravenous a liter of Saline fluid!
my little dog Hammer was really concerned but he sensed I was not well and have me lots of doggy cuddles

The bottom line was I should never have done a 45 mile strenuous bike ride in triple digit heat as my body could not keep cool enough, I also should not have eaten the water melon which is a diuretic and helped me become really dehydrated the next day.
IV s although only a liter of saline fluid is the equivalent I was told to 2.5 gallons of fluid I would have to consume to get the same benefit! The difference is the IV is going straight into the vein hence the Vascular space is getting immediate hydration and cooling, and my cells are becoming pumped with hydration.I cannot lie as much as I HATE needles I fell in love with the IV and the medication as my relief was immediate.

Below are a few questions to ask your self and if you say YES to any one of them I would highly advise you to call a doctor

Do you continue to have blurred vision, a headache, or vomiting after 1 hour of first aid measures and drinking fluids
Do you have a fast heart rate (over 120 beats per minute) or fast breathing (hyperventilation) after 1 hour of first aid measures and drinking fluids?
 Do you still feel very tired, lightheaded, dizzy, or weak after 1 hour of first aid measures and drinking fluids?
Do you continue to sweat profusely or have pale, cool, and moist skin after 1 hour of first aid measures and drinking fluids?
Do you have abdominal cramps, severe heat cramps, or muscle aches after 1 hour of first aid measures and drinking fluids?
Do you continue to feel weak, thirsty, and have mild heat cramps after using home treatment measures?          
Do you continue to feel faint after exercising in a hot environment despite using home treatment measures?
Do you continue to feel nauseated and lightheaded after using home treatment measures?

I did not have any heat cramps, I just had a wicked headache, felt extremely nauseated and very tired. Despite drinking and taking in a healthy diet it was just too hot for my body to be cycling the body could not cool fast enough, added to which just 4 days prior to the heat exhaustion I was suffering from being to cold while scuba diving to 100 feet ....

At the end of the day we must listen to our bodies they give pain and send signals for a reason. We all have different levels of tolerance I met mine on that ride and it cost me two days of slow recovery.

Plenty of time to ride when the weather is more favorable!

Here is a recap of my 4 hour journey...

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