I got word late yesterday afternoon that I'd be doing a start of care in Detroit. Knowing what I do after 2 years of home visits, I started tanking up on fluids well before appointment time. In the 3 hours I was in that patient's 90 plus degree home, I didn't have to pee once--fluid loss in the form of sweat was doing my body's job of fluid elimination. Though I'd showered at 3 PM, I came home, showered again at 7 and began replenishing my body with fluids. Still, it was a good 2 hours before I needed to use the facilities. That's remarkable for my admittedly weak bladder.
The emergency rooms are hopping with heat related incidents and two people have died. One, a homeless woman who, for whatever reason, was inside a car, and the other, an elderly man who died in his home in Grosse Pointe. It was well over 100 degrees in the elderly man's home when he and his wife were found. He'd elected not to put central air in his home, though from the looks of his neighborhood, it wasn't because he couldn't afford such a luxury. Still, the main problem was likely because he became dehydrated. We should take a lesson from these people.
Remember my hot friends...thirst is a LATE sign of dehydration. Better to assess your hydration needs by the color and amount of your urinary output. Pale yellow is what you're aiming for and any more of a color show is a good indication to keep filling your tank. No output? You are way behind and likely need medical assistance. Severe dehydration can cause kidney failure. It's a good idea to alternate your choice of fluids between water and diluted electrolyte solutions, though I prefer to eat my salt in the form of salted snacks like pretzels, crackers or nuts. Electrolyte solutions and I don't get along. No caffeine (ya right!) and no alkyhawl. I can comply with no alcohol, though a cold one sounds tasty in the late afternoons, but the caffeine? If I didn't start my day with a cup of joe, well it wouldn't be a good start at all. I'll have to drink extra water to make up.
I hope you're staying cool. Me? I'm hoping for inpatient starts of care for tonight. In the meantime, just in case of a repeat of last night, I'm going to start tanking up early. In addition, I'm praying hard for rain.