Monday, July 4, 2011
Nothing can prepare you for the heat of Dallas, Texas summers, especially when you sit on a field with no shade for over an hour. Chris' quadriplegia has taken away his ability to regulate his body temperature. He cannot sweat below his shoulders and he cannot shiver. So he functions kind of like a coldblooded animal. Although we've been in Dallas almost 2 years this is our first full summer living here in the daily 105+ degrees. It's something, let me tell you!
Being the Assistant Coach for Caleb's T ball team raised the stakes for Chris. It meant every practice and every game he needed to be out on the field for over an hour twice per week. After the first few practices and games the thought occurred to me that I should probably know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke so that if Chris experienced these I'd know to go to the ER. After one afternoon game we came home and I put ice packs all over Chris, we cranked the AC, and after 30 minutes I took his temperature and it was 101 degrees! His normal temperature is 96.8 (no, that's not a typo it reall is 96.8 rather than 98.6). We figured we needed a better plan to survive the last 1/2 of the season!
Our plan involved many ice packs, water, and spray bottles. Before getting out of the car we put a large ice packs behind Chris' back, under his shirt on his abdomen, and under his knees. He's always used a spray bottle of water in the summer, so we continued that and he drank and drank and drank water. And.....it really did help! Of course he was hot and exhausted and needed to lay down in the AC after each practice and game but he didn't feel AS bad as before and I don't think his temperature ever got to 101 again. So, another lesson learned in living with and surviving quadriplegia! See, we can do the fun things in life, we just have to plan a little more!
Alethia was a trooper this T ball season as well. It's kinda tough to go to every game and sit to watch your brother play when it's this hot outside. So she usually had her own water park party as a spectator......it kept her happy, so we were happy too!!!