Monday, July 9, 2012

A Most Memorable 4th

Independence Day.
What images come to mind?
A must.
Most definitely. 
A ride in an ambulance to the nearest hospital after a 9,000-inch race?
Only if you’re me.
Alas, my July 4 celebrations were somewhat soured last Wednesday when I took ill after my participation in the Whiney Hiney race in Token Creek. The short race was over with in a mere 75 seconds, with yours truly placing fourth (yes there were more than four people! I beat the perky brunette with seconds to spare at the end...). For you people who remain blissfully unaware of the Hiney Run, it is a 9,036 inch run - ass first - up the hill by Paddle Inn in Token Creek. While the first 4,500 or so inches aren’t that bad, the second half is quite tough, and the last quarter is brutal. 
I must have been ill-prepared this year for my battle with Mother Nature and Mithros the Sun God because within 5 minutes of finishing, I started to feel quite ill. Within a half hour, I was experiencing stomach cramps, felt a little nauseaus, was sweating profusely and was battling to stay conscious. 

Some good Samaritans at the nearby bar stayed by me and wound up calling the Blooming Grove Ambulance Service. As my semi-conscious state laid eyes on Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney and two of his deputies, all I could think of was “God, I feel awful,” followed by “I hope someone else is around to take photos today.”
As I was moved onto a stretcher and loaded into the back of the ambulance, I started shaking uncontrolably as by this time the sweat and lack of hydration had forced goosebumps along my arms and I was struck by chills. 
The irony of covering someone stricken with heat exhaustion with two heating blankets did not escape me as the ambulance pulled away and headed to nearby St. Mary’s. Nor did the fact that just the day before, my article about heat-related illnesses and ways to beat the heat was published in The Star. 
The news just came coming when I was informed by the cute EMT that he was unable to insert an IV into my arm - apparently I was dehydrated to the point that my veins had collapsed. 
When I arrived at the hospital, I was finally treated to a wondrous IV drip that served to rehydrate me to the point I could walk and function pain-free (always a good thing). At one point I must have slept because when I finally woke up around 1:15 in the afternoon, I was treated to a walk around the hospital - IV bag in tow - and while I was still a little chilly without my three heat blankets - I was deemed well enough to go home. After a lovely Union Cab ride back to the grounds - I drove home and spent the rest of the day chugging water and Gatorade and relaxing in Skies of Arcadia bliss.
It did take a few days for me to fully recover, but Thursday was particularly hard. I was still dehydrated to the point my hips and feet hurt when I moved and I was quite pale after walking the dog to the end of the block and back - but after consuming I don’t know how many gallons of water and electrolyte-charged Gatorade, I was finally back to feeling recharged yesterday....just in time to work probably 30 hours between today and tomorrow! Oh joy!
The true travesty though? I will forever wonder if any of the Wiser Hineys donned pillows of giant fake buttocks for their ass-backward race....sigh...

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