Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On the Road: Respect the Heat

On my trips to California I travel through the Mojave Desert and that is my favorite section of the trip. I try to travel through the desert early in the day because I do not want my poor Civic to have to work harder than it already has to do. Also the Mojave section of the trip west comes at the end of a cross country journey and I am unwilling to push the car more than is necessary.

Although driving through the desert is rough on the car, the experience can also have adverse effects the person driving the car. I try to be prepared for the heat. I dress in layers for the Mojave because I depart in the morning from Flagstaff which sometimes has snow on the ground. Even though I carry a lot of water in the car, I always stop to get some large cold bottles before I enter the desert. Since I get so dehydrated, I consume all the water by the time I get to Barstow.

As prepared as I am for this section of my journey, I do not exhibit such caution in regular life situations and I need to be better about that. I really try to keep hydrated, but sometimes I get caught up in projects and forget to have a drink. To solve this, I have taken to having bottles of diet green tea in the trunk of my car at all times. I prefer to drink cold tea, but if the bottle gets warm in the trunk, I can handle drinking warm tea better than I can handle drinking warm water. I also try to carry an energy bar with me. Sometimes I get involved in errands and forget to eat lunch. The bar is in my purse in case I need a small snack.

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)

A couple months ago I was mowing the lawn and decided not to use the riding mower. I wanted to get some exercise and the breeze was nice. Near the end of the hour that I spent mowing I started to get sick and I could not imagine what was happening. My neighbor thought it might be heat exhaustion. When I researched the topic on the internet, I found my symptoms matched those for heat exhaustion. I forgot about that condition. I was prepared for the Mojave, but not for my own back yard!! The physical effects of dehydration and heat exhaustion are not limited to desert areas. These conditions can affect anyone at anytime if the person is not careful.

As I have mentioned many times, I also suffer from migraines related to glancing at the glare on the chrome of cars. That is the only time I ever get a headache. After I wrote my last entry about migraines, I received a message from a woman who told me the name of that type of headache is an ocular migraine. No doctor had ever given me that term in all these years! She told me where she found the information, so I will include a link to Healthline for those who are interested.

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