Help, The Heat Hurts

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by allenh60, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. allenh60

    allenh60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Hello all. Still kind of new to the site. Have'nt had much time to read or post lately due to jobs. Any way, I am having some sort of heat stroke, exhaust problem. What happened is the other day I was doing a job that took about 7 hours by myself. There was no shade and I am in Central Florida. Well, it got to where I could,nt stand up for more than 3 to 4 minutes at a time because of dizziness and stomach feeling too weird and pretty much my whole body just refused to cooperate. So then, I went and bought a sports drink, came home and called it a day thinking I would be good to go the next day. I was wrong. Very first property of the day, haven't been weed eatin for about 20 whole minutes and had to set down. And it just got worse. It was embarrassing as well cause my customers were setting up for a back yard pool party and waiting on me. Every time they saw me I was sitting down looking like an old broken down alcoholic or something and I don't drink or do drugs. I've always been able to push myself to the extreme, but yesterday I could'nt. I had to call my step son and get him to finish the job for me and I went ahead and hired him to do my Saturday jobs as well. I now know the basics to preventing heat stroke, exhaust, after doing some research on it. But today is a new day and I got up and walked to the kitchen and had to squat down to keep from falling. Every part of my body is cramping up like crazy, my question is when will this type of illness go away? And are there any special tricks to keep it from happening again? It is a very scary situation. HELP
  2. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    This type of work is more of an endurance athletic performance than anything else. Good nutrition, plenty of rest, and lots & lots of fluids are key.

    Fluid intake. Even before you're in the field, say you have a day or two off before your week need to be drinking lots of fluids even then. Dehydration can happen very quickly in this dangerous weather. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink when you're in the field. Then it's too late you're playing catch up. Every single time I'm in the truck or walking past the truck I drink. I buy gatorade mix in bulk by the case. I usually take 2 gallons of gatorade and 2 gallons of ice water with me every day. I drink a lot, too. Usually somewhere between 1.5 - 2 gallons of the two.

    I take one or two small bags of either chips or that chex party mix with me. Something salty. I don't wolf them down, either. Just much a little when I'm in the truck between jobs. Helps replace the electrolytes you sweat out. I've heard of folks taking salt tablets, but I've never tried it. Even saw where one guy buys pedilyte (for babies) and drinks that during the day. Probably a great way to do it. The eating chips trick is an old one runners have used.

    Apparel. If you're wearing a regular ball cap, lose it. Holds in way too much body heat. If you're not wearing any hat at all, you need a good one. I like a big wide brim straw hat. The wind blows right through it & feels great, keeps my neck, ears & face shaded all day long. Nice & cool. There's a bunch of websites that sell specialty "personal evaporative" gear including hats, shirts, etc. Use those as search words & you'll see lots. Try for the neck coolers, which are great. You might also want to try a quality long sleeve shirt like the ones fishermen or boaters wear. You probably know, the type that are vented in the upper back. Keeps the sun off of your skin which provides shade & helps against further dehydration.

    Sometimes when I'm in the field I'll grab a water hose and spray down. It's refreshing. Also..........if your schedule lets you, maybe work the a.m. hrs., knock off for an hr. or so in the middle of the day & go back out later in the afternoon when it starts to cool off a little. I don't generally get a chance to do that but man I'll tell you what it feels great when the rare opportunity presents. I've done it once or twice this year when the heat index was up in the 110 - 115 range. much if any coffee do you drink? That will definitely help to dehydrate you.

    Take care of yourself...........
  3. allenh60

    allenh60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Thanks Shawn. I usually have 1 mug of coffee in the morning and usually don't finish that because it gives me a stomach ache after about the 7th sip. Now that I am somewhat damaged, how long does it take to get back to normal? Everytime I stand up and walk somewhere I get a stomach bad feeling that makes me have to squat down.
  4. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    That I'm not sure of. If you get a stomach ache/nausea from 1 cup of coffee it's possible you've got some acid reflux. If that's the case you might want to try some Pepcid. I can tell you that from experience. Gettin' older stinks! Last year I discovered I couldn't eat hot salsa over beans & rice with jalapenos, lol lol. Dr. told me I just had some reflux & take Pepcid. Worked like a champ & now I avoid that stuff.

    You might want to go get checked out though. Don't take my word for it. You might have a small ulcer in the works. That kind of stuff can tap you out if you don't know it's there & not taking care of it.

    If you're dehydrated the Dr. might hook you up to an IV & get some fluids into you.

    Probably not a big deal but your body is telling you something & you need to get it figured out. I hope you're back in the swing soon...........
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Allen, I would highly recommend that you seek medical attention immediately! I had these same symptons July of 03 and "thought it would pass with a little rest". Wound up in the ER with severe heat exhaustion and I have not been the same since. Dont mess around with the heat. I had an elevated cardio enzyme which was because of the heat and I was warned I got very close to being in trouble. Dont mean to scare you but I would get checked out NOW! You probably have just basic heat exhaustion but I would find out for sure. Good luck and be careful!
  6. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Yeah, you know what that's the best thing to do. It is. It's nice to hope for the least worrisome scenario but better to prepare for the worst. I've never been in that bad a situation & it makes sense to be careful.
  7. bp418

    bp418 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I agree, get checked out medically first, make sure everything inside is okay, before going back outside. I'm in southwest Florida (Ft. Myers) and the heat has been brutal. I drink lots of fluid, 1-3 gallons a day and also munch on chips or pretzels. I also take a mid-day break, which may sometimes mean just sitting in my truck with the a.c. on, other times my cutting schedule allows me to run home and take a fast dip in the pool, then I finish cutting in the evening. Take it slow, which in this business is sometimes hard to do, but without health, you can't work.
  8. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    'Cmon Allen your 2 years younger than me!!!suck it up!!!.....................

    Just kidding. If I felt like you described I would be at my doctors quicker than I can mow her yard. Believe it or not you are getting older and are now in the Heart attack risk group.

    Go to your doctor.
  9. Scapegoat

    Scapegoat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    Definitely go to the doctor and quit drinking hot coffee!

    Heat can and will kill you if you're not careful. I'm in FL too and it's brutal out there.

    I've gotten to the point this summer where I work from 7am to 11am and then knock off for 3 hours till 2pm and then work until I finish. Just too hot between 11 and 2. I come home and take a long cold shower and relax in the A/C drinking ice water. Then I'm all recharged for the rest of the day.

    Again, see a doctor A.S.A.P.
  10. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    See a doctor! There may be some bigger issue here.

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