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  • Category: Home & Family

    Surviving the Scorch: Took Sick Leave for Heat Stroke - Advice, Experiences, and Support

    I was away from SocialVillage for 3 days. This scorching heat took a toll on my health.

    Dear Villagers!
    Let me take this opportunity to ask for your apologies. I was away from the website for 3 days. This whole week I had gone to my parent's place. It is 26 kilometers away from my home. Thus what I was driving 10 kilometres to and from the clinic became 36 kilometres to go and then come back. A total of 72 kilometres was quite a lot and thus last Friday, 12th of May, after I reached my parent's home, I decided to take the bus instead of driving all of these 72 kilometres. Also, the traffic is horrendous on the whole stretch. The stretch is from South of Pune city to central Pune - Swargate. From there I needed to travel eastwards.

    Also if I drove my car to the clinic and back, I needed ₹ 430 worth of fuel for the whole journey. Instead, I would complete the whole thing for 90 Rupees if I took public transport.

    From Monday I did well, woke up early, did some SV work and then left home at 7:45 am. My uncle dropped me at the bus stop which was about 10 minutes by car from home. Then Bus number 1 took about 70 minutes to reach the interchange. From there I took another bus which dropped me to my clinic in another 30 minutes.

    While this was okay, returning took more than 2.5 hours. I left at 6:30 pm and reached home by 9:30 pm.

    Tuesday was even worse. Going itself took 2.5 hours. While returning, I took a different bus. This bus was going through Kondhawa. I had not gone through this route for more than 12 years. But what I experienced was very bad. The roads were the same size that were a decade back. They were jam-packed with roadside parking and street vendors. And the road bumps were worst. The bus was like a roller coaster and I hit my shoulder to the sidebar too many times. 💀

    By Wednesday I started to feel the brunt. The problem is that if I take my car, then my knees start aching and paining like anything. My car is automatic, but still, it hurts when working with the brakes and accelerator. I wonder whether self-driving cars will be a boon for Indian roads!🤔

    Thursday was great. The road traffic had dropped down a lot and I reached the clinic in about 75 minutes while going. Returning was a bit different. So we have Hadapsar interchange and Shewalwadi interchange. I was going to the Hadapsar interchange because I had to go to HDFC Cash Deposit Machine. But then I changed my plan a bit. The good part was I got a seat on the bus. But I reached home by 10 pm.

    Surviving the Scorch: Taking Sick Leave for Heat Stroke - Advice, Experiences, and Support

    By Friday evening, despite all the savings I could do, I decided to again take to relieve my battered body. The ride was smooth, my knees did not give up. But I suppose the heat took a toll on me. At the clinic, I do have to stand the whole day, attend to 30 - 40 patients and their 60 to 80 relatives, and their questions! 🥴 I started to feel exhaustion and the Scorching heat of 42 to 44 °C temperature was playing mind games with me.

    Ultimately today morning, I started with the clinic and my legs started to pain. My vision was going blurred. I was still checking on my patients, and my mind was still functioning well. But my physical body was not supportive. I informed my staff. They immediately brought some sweets, biscuits and tea. It helped me push my body to provide health treatment. But all of this was for the time being.
    Once the patient rush was over, I asked my head nurse to check my blood pressure. It was very low. It was 80/50 mm Hg. I checked my sugar levels, they were up to 139 mg/dL. But that was due to all the sweets I had in an attempt to energize my body. I had also taken ORS water.

    I was also not able to get up from the examination bed because my head would spin and I had to immediately lie down. But with support, I got up and asked my nurse to start a saline infusion for me. I went to the daycare IPD section and they put up an IV bottle as per my instructions. It took about 75 minutes for it to complete. I got some sleep, although some patients had their queries routed to me through my nursing attendant.

    After the infusion, I got my BP checked again. It had come up to 110/80 mm Hg. This was good, I also felt better. But owing all the travel, heat, rush hours, and road bumps causing a roller coaster in the bus, took a toll on me. I thus could not give much time to the SocialVillage website. But I am taking a rest today and tomorrow. I will continue to write a few forum posts and work on the Articles section in the back end.

    Could you all please share your advice, experience and support for my health? I tried to boost my energy levels but it did not help. Would there be any other better ideas? On a typical day, I do have to look after 40 to 50 people a day in this month. It shoots up to 100 to 120 people a day by June - July.
  • #26924

    Consuming more water is always advisable. Tender coconut water is suggested for this summer. That will give additional energy to the body. You are a medical doctor and you know better than many others. But one should not get exposed to the hot Sun. Plan in such a way that you will not get exposed to heat too much. It is better to minimise the journey so that you will have some free time and can have some rest. Having sufficient rest and consuming more liquids is good this summer.
    My elder son when he was in college once had a problem with Sunstroke. I took him to a doctor and the doctor advised him to consume more water and also to have once or twice a day coconut water. He also advised him to take some buttermilk with salt. He recovered well from this in a span of 7 days. With that experience only I suggest you take more liquids.

  • #26930
    Dr Rao has given the most obvious and sensible suggestion, for staying hydrated. Whenever we step out, we should carry a bottle of water and this applies not only to just the summer season but throughout the year. If I am going to be out somewhere beyond 20-30 minutes, I always carry a bottle of water and make it a point to pause in between and drink some. For a longer time, whether I have to board a local bus or train or even walk, I always carry a mix of dry fruits in a small 'dabbi' (container), such as walnuts, pistachios, raisins, etc and munch on them at some point. I may also carry a fruit that can be eaten quickly, such as a banana (instant energy!) or a diced apple if I am aware that I have to travel back and forth for a while. Nourishment with hydration is the key to avoiding getting fatigued.

    Equally important is to cover one's head. Men have this general 'macho' attitude that carrying an umbrella is too ladylike 🙄, which I find ridiculous. There is also this thought about an umbrella being a nuisance to carry. Mind you, a cap covers the head but is not sufficient when the temperature is soaring over 36 degrees. You really do need to carry an umbrella ☂️ as well. I know this from experience as I get a headache if I walk around in the sun, so use both. An umbrella is not a nuisance at all, but a really huge benefit to keeping away sunstroke. You can carry a small one inside a cloth bag that can be hung over your shoulder, and hold the bag in front when on a crowded bus or train.

    Basic precautions will keep the visits to the 👩🏽‍⚕️ at bay!

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