Liquids, if left to their own devices, will flow toward the least resistance. This being the case, one might think that the moisture in the air at 90%+ humidity would flow into a person’s body, leaving them perfectly hydrated. However, our bodies insist on sweating regardless of the humidity in a hopeless attempt to cool us off. This is exactly what my body was doing when these pictures were taken, about one hour before I was rushed to the doctor, hardly able to stand on my own.
I took my kids inside for lunch, and my heart began to pound violently. I was having trouble taking care of myself, much less my kids. I called my husband, asking him to come home as soon as work was over. Instead he came home immediately and rushed me to the doctor. My left arm started tingling and became numb on the way there. When we got there I was transfered to a wheelchair, and my husband informed the nurse that he thought I might be having a heart attack.
This was Friday, and the culmination of a week of strange and worrisome symptoms, as well as several weeks of exhaustion. What was the culprit? Water, or should I say a lack thereof (as well as a bit of anemia). I was dehydrated, very dehydrated. My Prescription? To stay inside, take it easy, and drink lots of fluids.
I am feeling much better now. I don’t feel any more hydrated, but I do feel less likely to die unexpectedly. I am also much more conscious of the amount of water I am drinking, and the amount I am losing by simply sitting outside in the Florida sun.
It is amazing how our bodies seem to maintain such a delicate balance with almost no effort on our part. Rather, it is through our own effort that we seem to become unbalanced. In my case I was ignoring my body’s thirst cues. A few endurance athletes have even managed to drink too much water. My kids have a video on potty training that tells them to listen to their bodies, so they know what their bodies need. I think that is advice I could learn from as well.