Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Results of Dehydration - Heat Exhaustion

Well, my friends, after over 25 years of cycling and hardly any ill effects from Heat Exhaustion on my rides I succuumed yesterday!

I did an easy 51 miler averaging 14.5 to 15 MPH most of the time on mostly flat terrain and finished in 3:25 drank four Large Bike Bottles of Gatorade in 85 degree heat with some humidity. I also had a couple of Starbucks Iced Coffees, and one bag of salted peanuts at my first rest stop at 3009 and Old Nacogdoches. Before the ride I was hydrated evidenced by my clear pee before I left the house.

Indicators during the ride that something was awry: Did not need to go during the ride and normally on a three plus hour ride I do. My heart rate coming back into town was up around 164 and 170 BPM when pokin' along at 14 - 15 MPH (I thought it was due to traffic woes in the city).

I get home finish off my last bottle, probably 8 ounces of liquid, put the bike away, take the dogs out front for a tinkle and no problem.

I go inside and crouch down to put the diaper on the 17 year old dog, I get up quickly and start to pass out, attempt to steady myself without success, and face plant in the blue bathroom, knocking a chunk out of the terrazite floor, breaking my two front teeth (Now I can sing Thither Thuthie thiting on a thithle from "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" without having to fake it!), breaking my nose, dislocating two fingers in my left hand, a busted lip, a bump on my chin and a mild abrasion on my left knee. As I came to I realized my teeth were touching the floor and my hand was under me doubled back in the wrong direction. All I could think of was, dammit, it's Gayle's turn to go to the dentist. After a few expletives that I'll refrain from sharing due to the fact that my sister Kayzinha hates this word, I collected myself and called Gaylezinha for rescue. Lars, Gayle's brother brought me an ice compact and he and Gilbert were ready to take me when Gayle arrived.

I spent the next 7.5 hours in and out of the waiting room, triage, exam room, x-ray, cat-scan (meow) and the bathroom at the Awesome Northeast Methodist Hospital in Live Oak, North-East part of town.

Initial thoughts were that it happened because of low blood sugar in response to strennuous exercise on a low carbohydrate diet or because of a drug interaction between Claritin, Dextromethorphan & Guaifenesin (Cough supressant/expectorant) and my Lisinopril to lower my blood pressure. Ehhhhnnnn! Thanks for playin'!

I still felt hydrated in the waiting room because I was cold. When I went to pee (Tupi-Panambee, don't ask) the color was dark! Not good! Remember the pee clear speech?

When exercising vigorously one must be sweating and vacating your bladder (sorry, I got tired of seeing the word pee in this post). Heat exhaustion comes before heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause your heart to stop. I had a coworker suffer heat stroke ONCE. He learned his lesson!

Dehydration got me! Even a teacher can be taught!

Lessons learned: I normally time myself on when to drink on a ride, a good idea, but one must adjust the time to your sweat rate depending on conditions.

Rates can be derived through weight checks before during and after exercise. In-fact in ultra events one gets pulled off the course if you lose too much weight during the bout. My Winter sweat rate is anywhere from 12 - 15 minutes for 3 - 7 swallows. My Summer sweat rate is 10 minutes for 3-7 swallows. My race/redline sweat rate is 5 minutes for three swallows.

Plus, caffeine exacerbates the effects of heat exhaustion due to the fact that it is a diurretic just like alcohol. Even though the liquid is in you, it's on the fast track out and not accessible to your small intestines, remember your bioligy?!

Questions: If it's a diurretic then why didn't I have to pee? Does a diurretic affect sweat rates also?

Blessings: I was blessed to finish my ride before the appointed time Gayle and I had decided upon :-)! I am blessed that it did not happen going down a hill at 33 miles an hour! I am blessed that it didn't happen in traffic! I'm blessed that my fingers were not broken! (We'll see what the soft-tissue damage is on Monday). I am blessed that I had a clear cat-scan (meow)!

So, no riding for a while, bike camp is questionable. Doctor says stay away from the bike for a bit. Doctor Gayle says stay away from the bike for a long while. Time to walk the dogs or is it the other way around?!?


pkehoe62 said...

Bob, you really like to give us scares, don't you! I think it was the cough medicine. But, whatever, take good care of yourself!
PC - Peaches & Cream

Bobster said...

PC you may be right, I just checked stuff on the internet about claritin and dextromethorphan and some of the reports on adverse effects mentioned dehydration. We were thinking interaction, but it sure could be a side effect!

kayzinha said...

Hi, Bobbinho -- Can't believe you went through this (and came out okay to write all about it!) I'm glad you didn't use that word, though.... Love you, kiddo.

Bobster said...

Well, my nose is going to stay broken, one of my teeth died so I had to have a root canal, but right now I have two decent looking temporary caps that in two weeks will be changed out to two permanent custom made caps, and yesterday I made a fist for the very first time. It still takes me about 15 minutes for my fingers to get limber enough during exercises to do anything. I still have two weeks in the hand brace. I want to get on the bike sooner than that.