Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is Hell humid? Or is it a dry heat?

Heat wave We did pretty good with getting an earlier start today. Ken got out around 11 AM to mow, and I headed out at 11:30 to plant. I got everything planted and watered except the asters, which I think I'll put in the whiskey barrels that Ken is planning on moving to a new spot. I'll see how everything does and if the new plants survive, but I think I'm probably about done with planting that flower bed. It's a nice mix of mostly whites and blues, with a little hot pink thrown in here and there, and three coreopsis for some yellow oomph. That spot gets plenty of sun, so I try to get very hardy, drought-resistant plants. And darn it, I thought I'd gotten two balloonflower plants, but one was a bellflower, which didn't survive out there last time I planted one. [drat] I planted it close by one of the daisy plants, so maybe they will shelter it a little bit from the intense sun.

After I planted, I went back to water the garden. Things are coming along, and I should be getting zucchini and tomatoes soon, and I picked a banana pepper today! (I planted late, remember.) Unfortunately, the mosquitoes attacked en masse, and I had to spray myself down real quick. They still got me in several spots, including my ear, under my eye, and in the armpit. Little bastards! I watered quickly and didn't linger.

That was a good thing, because I was also getting overheated by this point. The thermometer is reading 88° at the moment, so it was probably 85° out there at the time, which isn't all that bad. But good grief, is it ever humid! I can always tell when I need to stop, because my face gets really hot and I can tell that it's red. Sure enough, when I came in, I was very flushed. I drank some water, splashed my face with cool water, and sat under the ceiling fan for a few minutes. That helped, and then I took a cool shower, which helped even more--although my face was still really hot. I'm finally starting to cool down now. I don't know what my deal is, and it’s not like I was doing really strenuous work, but I seem to have a hard time regulating my body temperature. In the winter, I'm overly sensitive to the cold, and in the summer, I get easily overheated. Someone told me once that it's because I have very little body fat, but I can assure you, I have enough. Maybe I'm part reptile. [doing my lizard impersonation]

It got me to thinking about the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and from, here is some information.

Heat exhaustion symptoms

  • Often pale with cool, moist skin
  • Sweating profusely
  • Muscle cramps or pains
  • Feels faint or dizzy
  • May complain of headache, weakness, thirst, and nausea
  • Core (rectal) temperature elevated-usually more than 100°F-and the pulse rate increased

Heat stroke symptoms

  • Unconscious or has a markedly abnormal mental status (dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, or coma)
  • Flushed, hot, and dry skin (although it may be moist initially from previous sweating or from attempts to cool the person with water)
  • May have slightly elevated blood pressure at first that falls later
  • May be hyperventilating
  • Rectal (core) temperature of 105°F or more

For heat exhaustion, a person should go to the hospital if any of the following are present:

  • Loss of consciousness, confusion, or delirium
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Inability to drink fluids
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Temperature more than 104°F
  • Temperature that is rising despite attempts to cool the person
  • Any person with other serious ongoing medical problems

Suspected heat stroke is a true, life-threatening medical emergency. Call for an ambulance and request information as to what to do until the ambulance arrives. A person with suspected heat stroke should always go to the hospital (or call for an ambulance) at once.

To treat mild cases of heat exhaustion:

  • Rest in a cool, shaded area
  • Give cool fluids such as water or sports drinks (that will replace the salt that has been lost). Salty snacks are appropriate as tolerated
  • Loosen or remove clothing
  • Apply cool water to skin
  • Do not use an alcohol rub
  • Do not give any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine

Heat stroke (do not attempt to treat a case of heat stroke at home, but you can help while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.)

  • Call 911 immediately
  • Move the person to a cooler environment, or place him or her in a cool bath of water (as long as he or she is conscious and can be attended continuously)
  • Alternatively, moisten the skin with lukewarm water and use a fan to blow cool air across the skin
  • Give cool beverages by mouth only if the person has a normal mental state and can tolerate it

This has been a public service announcement from Nutwood Junction. Everyone take it easy and stay safe! And always, ALWAYS, stay cool!


  1. It was good to read the symptoms for both and what to do... thank you. It was very hot today.

    I believe that hell would be humid! jmho...

    be well...

  2. I always drink a lot of water, I am not fair-skinned, and I've had what you've described happen to me as well. My Dad used to put a few ice cubes in his baseball cap, drink some water and go back out...uhm, not me. Some really don't realize how bad it is getting for them. I've seen people brought into the ER with their electrolytes so off they were confused and had short term memory loss.

    Mosquito bite to the armpit. ACK. Had that, not badly though, and only one,feel sorry for you..itch itch itch.

    How about drinking yet more water & taking a nap?

  3. It is very hot here too. I usually handle the heat well but this year I am just terrible. I have the signs of heat exhaustion daily, but I don't really think that is what is happening.

    Oooh, bit under the armpit - that is nasty! Take it easy and try to stay cool.

  4. We have an old saying in New Orleans:
    "It's not the heat. it's the stupidity!"

  5. It has been hot here too - low to mid 90's last few days. I see upcoming mid to upper 80's with lots of rain chances. So this is better than the past week. Can't complain as our summer has been relatively cool in comparison to many of the summers in the last few years.

    Gotta love not having any 100 degree days. Thanks for sharing the "over heating" information. I was out two different days recently in which I became a bit dehydrated and so hot that I became nauseated. Happened quickly - I'd only been out there about 45 minutes both times but it was in direct sun.

  6. i thought las vegas had a dry heat myself.


  7. This is the funniest headline for a blog entry that I've read. I haven't decided whether I think that hell is dry or humid,but I think that I prefer humid.

  8. We've actually cooled off from a few weeks of 90+ and near-100s; it was in the mid- to high-80s today and the humidity was okay.
    Of course, after six years in Miami, humidity should never bother me again!

  9. Hi Beth,
    Sounds like it was sweltering and humid. Yuck. Hang in there.

  10. I had heat exhaustion a long time ago and ever since am more susceptible to it. The day I went to the Firefly Festival I got heat exhaustion. It was in the 90s with about 150% humidity. Hell is definitely humid.

    Love the title of this post, too!

  11. I can't believe you guys were out in that. I didn't leave my house. I absolutely hate the humidity. It makes me feel like I'm suffocating. And don't get me started on the mosquitos. I swear they're bigger this year!

  12. hmm, have you looked into having your thyroid checked? I almost got heatstroke on vacation 4 yrs ago so i know what you are saying about overheating. I am glad you are ok and know when too much is too much and to go cool off. Sounds like you had a great garden day though!

  13. I can't bear hot sticky humid weather conditions, just make me slow sluggish and I can't sleep thanks for the info.


  14. Beth I would love to pass an award along that I got from Bhavesh Chhatbar. All you need to do is pass it along to 10 people and acknowledge the one who gives it to you and link back to my blog which as you know is Confession I do not know how to do,links but I know you do. I am picking you because your blog is one of the best, You say it like it is.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?