Thursday, July 17, 2008
This morning we went to pick blueberries. I was hoping to get about 20 pounds, but we only came home with 13.5. Oh, there were plenty of berries, but it was hot. Really hot. And humid.
It wasn't bad at first, but as the time passed we all were feeling it. I wasn't wanting to be the first to wimp out. Bethany saved me from having to wimp out by having a medical emergency. Unfortunately, I missed most of it.
After a little over an hour of blueberrying, Bethany said that she was hot and not feeling well. I gave her the keys and told her to go start the car and sit in the air conditioning. A few minutes later, I decided that I was hot and it didn't matter how many blueberries we had; I was ready to go. So I started gathering the boys and we went and paid for our berries. When we got to the car Bethany was reclined in the seat and still not feeling very well. She was pale and flushed and really clammy. She seemed a little disoriented. I was concerned, but she seemed to be cooling off and was improving as we drove away.
Then I found out what I missed. (I'm hoping she'll describe this later in her own inimitable way.) As she began to walk back to the car she lost her vision, had ringing ears, and actually collapsed on the ground along the side of the drive. She could hear people passing by but no one stopped to check on her. After a minute or two--she's not sure how long--she was able to see and made her way to the car and got it started. She then put water on her forehead, the backs of her knees, and under her arms and let the air blow in them. She doesn't remember any conscious thought about this being good action to take. She just did it.
I am really thankful that she is okay. This heat exhaustion came on her very suddenly and sounds like it was perilously close to heat stroke. If I had had any clue that she was that hot I would have gone with her to the car, but as she explained to me, she wasn't feeling that awful until she got part way to the car.
We may go back next week to get a few more berries. Bethany will be taking it easy for a few days.