Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The moment TIME STOOD STILL...

Everyone reads my blogs as it makes them laugh if but for just a moment. But today is different....continue on....

It was Sunday morning. Robin and I completed our run almost 24 hours ago (8 miles). What occured next that morning was something I was not prepared for.

Robin gets out of bed and is complaining that her stomach hurts - an ailment that seemingly was with her for the next several minutes. She sat down and slowly put her head into her hand - I could see the color quickly escaping her face. Her hand is turning red as she messages her temples. She says, "I feel like I am going to pass out. Can you get me a wet towel".

I run to the sink and grab a towel and soak it with cold water knowing that this will help somewhat. No sooner than I turned around, Robin spoke again. "I am about to, about to....pass...oooo.....". I barely catch her before she hits the floor. She is BURNING UP....head, neck, shoulders, everywhere.

Running over to the sink, I get another towel and soak it with extremely cold water. When I get back to her, I hold her head up and look into her eyes. She was catatonic...no response, eyes wide open and dilated - and dripping in sweat.

I place the towel over her head and behind her neck trying to cool her off and at the same time, slapped her face to snap her out of it. That is when I decided to check her pulse...it was almost non-existent. I mere 3 beats in the ten seconds I counted. This was the most scared I have ever been in my life...I really thought I was loosing me beloved wife. I didn't know what was happening. This was not simply the signs of "fainting" or "passing out".

A few seconds later she started to shake and I just held her close and whispered in her ear that I was here for her. I could tell that she was very disoriented as she began to wake up (roughly 1 minute she was out). Her eyes started to blink and I assured her that she was ok. I helped her to the floor and ran downstairs to get some ice...her temperature needed to come down.

I force fed her alot of water, continued to cool her off, and she slowly started to recover and was then fine enough to get into the bed and relax. She continued to drink water.

The first thing I thought was that her iron level was low....a typical trigger for passing out. But according the doctor, my wife had a "heat stroke". She did not suffer from "heat exhaustion", she was well beyond that. Her core temperature was so high, her body began to shut down, until she lost all her strength.

She is fine now and she will have to monitor it from now on as she has now become more succeptable to future heat strokes as a result of this one.

Heat strokes can come at any time...Robin's was almost 24 hours after she completed her run. She is in top shape and knowledgeable in the field of running and treatment...and "it" got her.

I send this message to EVERYONE READING....DO NOT RUN ALONE in the heat, pay attention to warning signs (upset stomach, cold sweat, etc.). Drink plenty of fluids as much as 2 days before a long run (per doctor's advice)....and whenever you get a chance, hug you wife or husband.

Life is WAY TOO SHORT to be a hero and pretend you are immune. Nobody is and nobody every will be.

Additional reading related to heat strokes:

http://www.health.am/diseases/more/heat_stroke_hyperthermia/

45 comments:

David said...

Holy crap, that's awful! I'm glad she's recovering, and more glad you were there when she had the problem. What a weird onset, so long afterwards. It may be more common than I'm aware, though, which is scary.

Thanks for posting the details, the warning, and please let me know if I can help in any way. I have a phone again, but no numbers in it. Feel free to call any time.

J~mom said...

Thank you for sharing that story!! So important and so scary!! I am so glad she is ok!!!

Wes said...

Good stuff, Scott, and way to go on handling it with such skill! We are all grateful you successfully navigated this very scary episode...

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

Thank God you were there when it happened and had the knowledge on how to treat her. Heat stroke is a VERY scary thing and it cannot hurt to remind everyone often. Take care of that wonderful wife!

Mendy said...

I'm sooo very happy you were there with her and knew how to take care of it. Wow, what a hard few moments you had to have. It shows how much you Love her, Scott! Take good care of her as I know you will. I'll see you guys when I get back.

Bob Gentile said...

wow Scott that is scary & so long after the run...

I do run in the heat a lot obviously and getting more & more anal about taking plenty of water afterwards and also electrolytes after too...

one night about three weeks ago I woke up about 3 in the morning soaked & felt very weird, light headed...I stayed up and loaded up on fluids and food for a few hours, I think I might have had a mild case of HS, it was about 12 hours after my long run.

Glad u were there and she is feeling better.

scott keeps running said...

very scary. but very happy she's okay. thanks for the link also.

See Zanne Run said...

thank you so much for sharing this story & the link. i know that i have had symptoms of heat exhaustion this summer ... it is so scary to think what can happen if we don't know the signs. i am so glad to hear she is ok ... she was so lucky that you were close by! hope she is recovering well.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh my. This is so scary. You must have been terrified. I'm so glad you were there for here. Take care of that girl. I wonder how many will have this today after Chicago? My heart is still aching for all those people running their hearts out in that heat.

teacherwoman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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