Thursday, June 01, 2006

Friday fiasco

I left work at 3:00 on Fri (the company released us early for the holiday) and I came home to find the load of mulch I’d ordered weeks ago had been delivered on my driveway. I’d remembered it was coming – just in time for us to be away for the holiday weekend!

Knowing I had a few hours until we’d be meeting the Newlyweds for dinner, I decided to don my yard work clothes and get started. I borrowed my neighbor’s wheel barrel and got my shovel, thatch rake and gloves. (No splinters in these hands!) I laid out the newspapers (to deter weeds) and used the wheel barrel to move a load from the pile onto the newspapers, and then spread it with the thatch rake. It was working well.

Then I began to hear the rumbling of thunder. It had been overcast all day, so I really wasn’t expecting rain, but now it appeared we were in for a storm. Sure enough, just after carefully placing my next section of newspapers, a gust of wind blew them around as the rain began to fall. I stepped up onto the front porch, hoping this would be a quick shower, but soon the thunder, lightning, and torrential rain dispelled my optimism.

So I went inside, had a glass of water and went online to read some blogs. About 30 minutes later the storm ended, the sun shined brightly, the way it does after a freakish summer storm, and I headed back outside.

I repeated my process of laying the newspaper, filling the wheel barrel with mulch, dumping it on the papers, and spreading it with the thatch rake. After about 20 minutes of this my back was really feeling it. Since I don’t exercise regularly (read: at all) any kind of physical activity like this usually results in sore muscles for me, so I wasn’t surprised. I took a break for a few minutes, and then returned to the task at hand. After another 20 minutes or so, my back was really hurting and I started to feel light-headed. I decided I’d done enough, and went inside for a cool shower.

As I climbed the steps I felt so light-headed and nauseous I thought I might pass out or throw up. I told myself I’d just gotten overheated and that the cool shower would fix that. I stripped off my sweaty yard work clothes and stepped into the water. At this point I was so short of breathe I thought I was going to black out, and didn’t want to bash my head on the tub, so I lay down in the tub and let the cool water wash over me.

After a few minutes I didn’t feel hot or overheated anymore, but I still felt light-headed and nauseous. I got up to wash myself, but could barely rinse the soap off before needing to lie down in the tub again. After a few more minutes, I turned off the water and just lied in the tub for several more minutes.

Although in the next room packing, Joe was completely unaware of anything I was going through. I called out to him and asked for help getting out of the tub. He placed towels on the floor and I lied there for a few minutes, during which time he asked me a bunch of questions. We decided this was likely because I didn’t eat lunch (and I never eat breakfast) so my blood sugar level must have plummeted as a result of the unusual physical exertion combined with the lack of nutrition. Not very smart of me. I’ll remember this. Joe brought me a ‘power bar’ to eat, and then I moved myself from the bathroom floor to the bedroom.

After lying on the bed for a few more minutes, I was able to get up and move around (slowly) without feeling like I was going to pass out or throw up. I had more water to drink, and then put some clothes in the suitcase and watched TV until the Newlyweds arrived. We went to dinner and I felt a lot better, then the four of us headed to the beach. I felt good enough to drive.

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