Anniversaries and heat stroke

I opened my calendar at work this morning and realized that today is my 5 year anniversary for working at this company.  I started working here as a temporary worker on this date in 2006.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked anywhere as long as I’ve worked here.  That, in itself, is kind of a sad statement.  And this job wasn’t even one that I was trying to get; I applied because I needed a job and they needed someone with my skill set. 

Since then it’s transitioned from one thing to another, from temporary to direct, from walking documents around for signature to creating documents that get signed.  I never intended to work for a large corporation.  I didn’t like the idea of working for a company that wouldn’t know me as a person or that creates a product that costs millions and has a negative effect on the environment.  But I’ve come to really enjoy the people who are in my department – even if the company as a whole doesn’t have a clue who I am, the people who I see everyday know me.  And I’ve come to appreciate the value of our product in the global economy and recognize that there is an effort within the company to offset the environmental concerns.

I guess what I’m meaning to say is:  I’m not really sure how I got here, but I’m glad that I did.

In other news, I learned an important lesson on Friday – while it’s good to know and be able to recognize the signs of heat stroke, it’s even more important to realize that once I’m showing signs of heat stroke, I’m STUPID. 

So Justin and I were outside working on the yard and I found myself thinking this:  “Huh, my heart rate is really elevated for the amount of work that I’m actually doing.  That’s a sign of heat stroke.  I should probably stop soon and go inside.  Just as soon as I finish trimming these bushes.  And picking up that rubbish.  And moving the trash can back to the back yard.” 

What I should have thought was this:  “Huh, my heart rate is really elevated for the amount of work that I’m actually doing.  That’s a sign of heat stroke.  I need to stop what I’m doing RIGHT NOW, go inside for a cool glass of water, and cool down right away.”

I recognized the signs but didn’t realize that my brain function would be severely hampered and made myself sick because of it.  I did go inside not long after I started not feeling well (and moved the trash can to the back yard), but then I had to sit still for about 15 minutes drinking water and waiting for my brain to start functioning again.  And then I was exhausted for the rest of the day. 

Part of it, the time in between showering and cooling off and when I got some food into my system, felt like when my asthma was really bad and I wasn’t getting enough oxygen to my brain.  I couldn’t form full sentences, couldn’t find the right words for things, and just wanted to sleep.

So there’s your lesson for the day.  It’s hot out.  Don’t be stupid.

“Common symptoms and signs of heat stroke include:

  • high body temperature,
  • the absence of sweating, with hot red or flushed dry skin,
  • rapid pulse,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • strange behavior,
  • hallucinations,
  • confusion,
  • agitation,
  • disorientation,
  • seizure, and/or
  • coma.”



  1. I’m glad you’re alright now! That’s scary. I have a friend that experienced heat stroke a month ago. It was a good thing she had her cell phone with her. Someone called, she answered and because she was talking crazy, they sent someone to get her.
    Congrats on your anniversary! It doesn’t seem like it has been that long!

  2. Wow, I should worry more about you, I guess. Glad you are okay, though. I had read all the signs of heat stroke before, but I never took it too seriously, because I assumed a person would know when they were getting too hot. So, your post was a good reminder that your brain might not be working clearly when you get too hot.

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