It’s handy to have a friend who’s an EMT, someone who will know what to do in times of crisis… say, if you pass a car accident or the man at the next table is in cardiac arrest or, OR especially if you’re dumb and you stay in the sun too long in 98 degree weather.
So you walk back from the beach, feeling faint and hot and really nauseated and having trouble breathing and oof, dizzy, dizzy, dizzy. You make it as far as the yard, where your car is parked, but then you lay flat out on the ground and try to catch your breath. You hit the lock button on your car keys, hoping the beeping will make her come outside, to no avail. Fumbling for your cell, you send an SOS: “Outside… can’t move.. bring ice..”
Two minutes later…
“What the fuck?” and laughter. “I thought you were kidding. What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know,” you respond. “I feel really sick and I can’t move.”
Looking closer, EMT friend says, “Shit. You’re brightass red. You need to come inside.”
Mumbling, you follow her in.
Whereupon you are placed on the bed in the bedroom with the air conditioner turned on “Arctic Blast.” Ice packs are applied to your neck and under your arms and a bag of crushed ice is put on your head.
“Heatstroke. What the fuck were you thinking?”
“Dunno. I went in the water! I was only out there for a couple of hours. I feel hot.”
“Well yeah,” she laughs. “Shit. Your body temperature was too high. We have to lower it.”
“What would have happened if it just kept rising?” you stupidly inquire.
“You die you dork. Why do you think people die in locked cars in hot weather?”
Word to the wise: if it’s 98 degrees outside, just don’t stay in the sun too long. You might get heatstroke, even if you’re in the water.
And it’s really not much fun at all.
Oh, and have a friend who’s an EMT who lives near the beach.
That’s key too.