It was the summer I was 18. It had been oppressively warm and humid, the air heavy, the skies growing ever darker with the promise of an approaching thunderstorm. I was weeding the garden and wanted to get as much of it done as I could before the storm arrived.
Before I got done and before the storm arrived, things went wrong. My legs collapsed, my head was spinning, and I became very sick. Somehow I managed to halfway crawl and drag myself into the house where I lay on the cool floor, sure I was going to die, but not really caring.
My parents were alarmed, and sought help. Heat exhaustion, bordering right on heat stroke was the diagnoses. I got cooled off and rehydrated and was able to go my merry way. The only thing being I was much more sensitive to heat after the experience.
Living in Missouri where summers were much warmer, I was pleased that it seemed enough time had passed that I was able to take the heat much better. But then it happened again. This time I had been mowing the yard, but managed to drag myself into the house before collapsing.
LV wasn't at home when it happened and without a cell phone there was no way to contact him. Somehow I managed to call my Mom and she was able to send help to our house. It was a scary helpless feeling, and this time seeing the anxious faces of our three little children staring at me as I lay there I knew I did not want to die.
I survived, but once again I had to be very careful to not get too warm.
Fast forward to this morning. As soon as the dew had dried of the grass I headed outside to mow. As the sun kept climbing in the sky the temperature kept rising. Sharon and Steven would bring drinks out every once in a while, and I kept going. But then I could feel it coming. My legs started feeling wooden, my head started spinning, and I was sure I was going to be violently sick.
I abandoned the mower and stumbled across the yard to the house. Clinging to the handrails I managed to get up the porch stairs and into the house where I did everything I could to cool off as fast as possible. I'm okay, still feeling exhausted, but otherwise okay.
Heat, I've learned, is not something to play with.