Sunny and Not 75
I wanted to get a blog post out today about the coming weekend and the terrible affects that the heat could have on you. It is supposed to be super hot and in the triple digits. I know Country Thunder is this weekend and I know a lot of you will be out and having fun but please remember to drink more water than anything else you consume. Dehydration is a scary thing and I have learned from that from experience.
A couple of years ago, I use to be a travel softball player. My team had made it to nationals and we were traveling to Kansas City, Kansas for the weekend for our tournament. The weather was not in our favor and it ended up being just as hot as it will be this weekend if not worse.
I was the starting pitcher for my team and had already played 2 back to back games and was about to enter my third. At this point in the tournament we were not allowed to lose another game or we would be in the losers bracket and would have to play a lot more games to get back up to the winners bracket. The weather was so humid and hot that we did not want that option. So coach threw me in again for a third game and he asked if I could do it, knowing that I do not do well in heat. My body hates the heat and in fact, I get really bad migraines from it.
The game began and I had been drinking a lot of gatorade and clearly I was not drinking enough of it. As I learned, I need to drink more than just gatorade because only water can really hydrate you well enough for severe heat. I was a couple of innings into pitching when I threw the ball to the backstop and fell on the mound. My coaches ran to the mound because this was not normal of me to miss my spots when pitching. I felt light headed and almost forgot where I was.
I remember my coaches carrying me back into the dugout and placing me on the benches. Everyone was undressing me since our softball attire was quite heavy anyhow. My long socks came off as well as my cleats and my shirt and pants were unbuttoned down to my sports bra and sliding shorts. I was given a lot of water bottles but wasn’t able to take any of it. The next thing I knew the ambulance was on the way.
I could remember the umpire coming and asking my coaches if I was okay and if I would re-enter the game. He had remembered me from a different game and liked my team and myself quite well. Sadly, my coaches said I would not and I was taken out of the game because I was in severe condition. I was battling dehydration and was quickly fading out.
The paramedics came to the field with their bed and picked me up and placed me on it while asking what felt like millions of questions. I could hear them but my eyes were not open and I did not make many responses. As they started to wheel me off the field I could hear my team chanting, “She’s a rocket, she’s tough! She’s a rocket, she’s tough!” and they were clapping as I entered the ambulance. The other team was lined up on the first base line and watched me leave the field. We were on a huge hill and at the top was the field where we could see the views around us. Getting up and down that hill was hard but imagine getting pushed up and down the hill on a bed trying not to fall off.
My team proceeded to finish the game without me which was okay because I was positive that Haylea one of our other starting pitchers could finish the game strong for me. My team did just that and advanced to the next game.
Meanwhile, I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and all I remember is the hot paramedic asking me what my birthday was. I accidentally told him January 1st, 2010. I only said that because this tournament was played in July of 2010 and I gathered pieces of what I remembered about dates. My birthday is in January however I told him the actual year it was currently. It was a confusing time and he just asked my mom, who was also with me in that ambulance.
When I arrived at the hospital it took 6 fluid bags until I woke up from my “nap” of heat exhaustion and I remembered seeing a girl with crazy pink and purple hair. I was petrified of this nurse because at the time having crazy colors in your hair was not the new fad. She came in to change my fluid bag to give me another one to keep the fluids in me because I had no yet gone to the bathroom. Which in the nurses eyes, was not a good sign. I was very weak and could not stand up alone.
I am one of those patients who do not like to be touched and do not like doctors looking at me. It’s a weird pet peeve I have because I have never had a good experience with a doctor. However, I let my mom walk me and my fluid bags down to the bathroom to try. The doctors would not release me until I had gone at least a couple of times and had enough fluid back into my body. I had reached heat exhaustion and was told that if my coaches did not call an ambulance when they did, that I might not be here today.
In the end, my teammates ended up losing their second game without me and headed to the hospital. They were not allowed into the room so they were in the waiting room while they waited for me to come out. I did not know they were all out there or how long they had been there. My mom told me I was able to leave the hospital now and go back to the hotel where I thought I would find my team and let them know that I would be okay.
I walked out into the waiting room and saw ten rockets sitting around and three coaches who I felt like were second dad’s to me. I had spent the last few years playing with them and for them to all come and show their support meant the world to me. Riley, who was my catcher ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug. She was my best friend for years and also my catcher. She was so glad that I was okay and had something for me. The umpire gave Riley the game ball to give to me when I woke up and everyone on my team had signed it. To this day, I still have that dirty old ball with all my teammates signatures on it.
We headed out of the hospital and most of the girls were going back to the team RV which was going back to the hotel. My mom decided as long as I kept drinking water and those girls monitored me while doing it that I could go with them. We stopped at 7-11 where my teammates got me a huge slushy since it was still hot and humid outside. We got back to the hotel and ordered Chinese food for dinner and celebrated doing so well in the tournament even though we did not finish in the final three.
Still to this day, I have a fear of being dehydrated and make sure to drink plenty of fluids especially in the hot summer time. This weekend I would like to remind everyone again to not pull a Sara mistake by not drinking enough water. Please stay hydrated and even if you plan on drinking something else, at least take in a lot of water. I could not stress enough the feeling of what heat exhaustion felt like because it was such a terrible feeling.
While out this weekend, have lots of fun! Enjoy Country Thunder to those of you who are attending and for those of you who are not attending, keep your pets inside as well! Do not go outside for long periods of time, use the air conditioning, and keep your pets and loved ones hydrated.