Jump to page: 1 2
I came to for a moment and Reuben and Kelsey were each massaging one of my legs. I looked at them both and said, “I’m in real trouble.” Once my legs had stopped torturing me, Reuben left to call his sister, a nurse and friend of mine. She recommended moving me to the shade and finding water. There was shade sixty feet or so up the trail but there was no water anywhere nearby. I hobbled my way to the trees ahead, then as the spasms hit again, I blacked out once more.
I would come to and then fade out again. I remember Kelsey telling me that they had called Search and Rescue and that they were sending people to come help me. Another time she told me that I was saying and doing all sorts of strange things, and that I had been demanding that she and Reuben leave me there and save themselves. Apparently I was insisting that a woman was coming to get me and that I’d be okay. Another time I insisted she bring me a spear so that I could protect them from whatever was coming over the mountain. Another time, I apparently got up and started wandering into the woods in search of “them.” None of us knew who “they” were.
I don’t remember any of it.
Somewhere in the middle of it all, I insisted on a group photo. Search and Rescue was still a ways away, and you know me… unconscious or not I’ve gotta have it documented. My friends obliged, with nothing but time to kill and none of us realizing just how serious the situation was. In this photo, I was completely out of it. It’s probably the most haunting photo I’ve ever had taken of myself because I don’t remember taking it at all.
Eventually I came to my senses again and this time I more or less stayed there. Search and Rescue said they were only a mile away (as you’ll recall from the last post, it was a doozy of a mile). The three of us equally shared the last quarter bottle of water. It was emptier than the last time I saw it because they’d been giving me sips while I was in and out of it.
I stayed parked where I was. My body felt heavy and dry and hot. My lips were beginning to crack and peel. I started to experience an intermittent pounding headache. Things kept going in and out of haziness.
What’s crazy is, even at that point, I still didn’t know just how dangerous a situation I was in. I didn’t know that I was showing early signs of heat stroke (an often deadly condition). I didn’t know that my body’s electrolytes were probably completely out of whack, something that can stop your heart. I didn’t know that I was in a true medical emergency.
What I did know was that at least one or two Search and Rescue volunteers were on their way up the mountain and would be there soon. I assumed they’d be packing a whole bunch of electrolyte filled drinks and that after replenishing my liquids, I’d be okay to walk off the mountain.
This is where lack of education can kill you, I guess.
And thankfully the people that showed up were a lot more educated than I was, or I’d probably be dead right now.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Have you ever been told of things you were doing that you can’t remember? Are you thoroughly familiar with heat related illnesses? Would you know what signs to watch for? Would you have done anything differently, or would you have been in the same boat as me?
- 1 2