This topic found itself on my treatment table recently, and it's something near & dear to my heart.
Some people know that almost 6 years ago to the day, I had heat stroke. 4th of July week, in Texas. I spent my early childhood in the Mojave Desert in California, then spent the remainder of my childhood growing up in the Central Valley of California, where it is EXTREMELY hot in the summers,105+ many days. So, I am very accustomed to living in extreme heat. July 2011 was not my first summer in extreme heat, nor my first in Texas, and it wasn't the hottest summer in Texas. It just happened to be the day that the stars were aligned that Heat Stroke hit me. And when it did, it hit me like a freight train...
Now, 6 years later, people will notice that if I get even slightly overheated, I don't get "slightly flushed", I get fire engine red. I literally look like I am melting. I will feel that pulsing headache start, but it starts almost in the back of my throat to where I feel like if I swallow I may upchuck, then it goes to my ears, before my brain feels like it's going to explode. I feel like my brain has been fried and the word "confusion" doesn't even describe it, it's more like a concussion. And those who watch me go through these melt downs will attest - I am HIGHLY, HIGHLY IRRITATED. These are the symptoms that I have BEFORE I have Heat Stroke, these are MY Heat Exhaustion symptoms, (everyone is different) and I know I have to take care of myself VERY quickly once they onset so that it doesn't go into Heat Stroke.... And it all happens within minutes. I have to take it very seriously, and when I go running for a cool place to sit and hide for a few minutes and get some fluids into me, it annoys people, because most don't understand how serious the situation is. But Heat Stroke is literally a life or death matter, and after talking with an awesome patient who described going through something extremely similar, but didn't know or understand what had happened to her, it got me to decide to share what happened to me and the symptoms so that YOU know what to look out for, and how serious and deadly it can be.
Honestly, it sucks. People that didn't know me BEFORE Heat Stroke probably think I'm just a big baby. And I'm SO NOT a big baby about being outside, it's one of my favorite places to be. But I now know what Heat Stroke does, I also know that you don't just just bounce back the next day from Heat Stroke OR Heat Exhaustion... sometimes it takes over a week. And once you have Heat Stroke or severe Heat Exhaustion, you will ALWAYS be extremely susceptible to it again, and you will always have to be extraordinarily careful, so like everything else, it's better to avoid all together. It's summer everyone, STAY HYDRATED! If you start to feel like your overheating, PLEASE head in to a cool spot, get some cool water in you, DRINK PEDIALYTE or GATORAID. And if you have ANY of the Heat Stroke Symptoms, (or if you're with someone who does - because alot of times, the Heat Stroke Victim will be so "out of it" they won't realize they are having Heat Stroke. ) THEN GET TO THE HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY!!