Throughout my life I’ve had many heat strokes. Here are two different times where I had a heat stroke that I remember the most.
On the playground in elementary school.
I live in California and when I was in elementary school Governor Gray Davis was in office. I remember that very well since I was in school when the rolling blackouts occurred. This was a hard time because it was very hot, and since the power was being turned off, this meant no air conditioning for the classrooms. It was miserable, and being self-conscious, I was never one to wear shorts but instead wore pants even in hot weather. This proved to be a bad idea on one particular day.
It was a very hot day and my school still had all the students go out on the playground for lunch when temperatures hit the triple digits. Since the air conditioner was constantly being turned off it might sound like we’d eventually get used to being around this hot weather but I never did. One day after playing on the blacktop with some friends during recess I suddenly became very dizzy. Next thing I remember was falling on my knees and not being able to breathe. After this I only remember sitting in the nurse’s office holding ice around my neck and forehead. My parents were called and I was told I suffered a heat stroke. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt before but I remember not being able to breathe which was the scariest part of the whole incident.
First day on the job.
The next major incident involving a heat stroke was on my first day at a new job. I was hired to build and stock shelves at a newly built store. Since the store was still being built on the inside the air conditioning wasn’t turned on yet. My first day was in June, which if you don’t know June can be a very hot month for California. During the first meeting for all the new employees I started to feel faint. It was very hot inside the building and I couldn’t handle it. I eventually fainted right there in front of everyone. At first people were worried because they thought I fainted because I had an eating disorder. I knew I had trouble in the past with the heat so I just told them my prior incidents and then they understood. I was given water and was told to rest but I was very embarrassed that I had fainted in front of everyone.
I had complications for awhile after this incident. I would occasionally feel dizzy and tired from time to time. I also ended up finding a very large bruise on my back side, where I ended up landing on myself when I fainted. This was the biggest bruise that I had ever received and it made it very difficult for my to sit. I am lucky I didn’t land on my head when I fainted or I probably would have received a concussion.
Being prepared for another possible heat stroke.
Since I’ve had a couple of heat strokes now, and am prone to fainting in hot weather, I am a bit more careful. Most importantly I drink water a lot now and try to stay hydrated. I also try to avoid the heat at all costs. If I want to go shopping I usually only go in the morning when it’s still cool. I avoid going out during the heat of the day at all costs. Heat strokes aren’t fun and I could have had a much worse outcome from all my incidents which is why I need to be more diligent about my situation. I am worried on how I will handle the heat when I’m older since I’m only in my mid twenties now. Staying dehydrated and being in air conditioned rooms is a step in the right direction to avoid future heat strokes.