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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

I was treated like a dog!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We were out of town this last week attending a special event. We went to my sister's home in Lebanon and met other family members there for a nice meal and an overnight visit before most of us left the next morning to go to a nearby park where the entertainment was to be held. Our nephew was performing in this outdoor venue and we were preparing for a long, hot, but enjoyable, day.

My sister noticed the weather forcast and had stepped outside for a few minutes and decided that it would be wiser for her to stay home and just watch the video her daughter was recording of the activities. She was not happy with her decision but she was afraid she might become a burden on the rest of us if she went with us. So, with cool bottles of water, hats and folding chairs we left to drive down I-44 a few miles to turn off for the park. Tom, our nephew, was borrowing a bass since he had flown from Virginia and it is awkward to travel with his huge bass. We needed to arrive at the park several hours before his group was scheduled to play to allow him to get acquainted with the feel of the borrowed instrument, so we had plenty time to arrange our chairs in the shade of the many trees and get comfortable.

The shade did not always stay at the same place so before time for Tom's set we moved several more times. We had some gooseberry pie and ice cream, and continued to drink from the water bottles. When Tom's group was getting ready, I started walking around the grounds to get a good angle to take a picture, and spent several minutes getting shots of the grounds. I was back in my seat before they started playing and found that the combination of my exercise, the heat (and possibly my age?) started making me very uncomfortably hot. I went up to the ladies room and spent some time pouring cold water on my face and wrists while still trying to listen to the music. I finally wadded a bunch of paper towels, wet them with the cool water and returned to my seat and kept patting the wet towels on my head and wrists.

At the end of Tom's set my sister's daughter, Ruth, came back to our chairs from the spot where she had been taping the music. When she took a look at me, she dug in her cooler and brought out a frozen water bottle and had me hold it to the back of my neck and then put it under my arms while she poured more cool water on a towel which she draped across my shoulders. You see Ruth is a doctor. She is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. So she told me she was doing for me what she would do for an overheated dog. However, after she saw some improvement she decided she didn't have to cut off any of my hair to cool me as she might have done a dog.

I asked her to take me in to Conway where I could sit in an air conditioned restaurant and drink cool water, but she said that she should take me back to her mother's (my sister's) house where I could relax completely. Lester and Tom needed to stay at the park for a longer time for Tom to meet his friends and fans, so Ruth and I headed back to the cool house. Her pickup's thermometer read 105 degrees when we left the park.

A stop on the way back for a bottle of Gatorade, which Ruth insisted I finish before we reached Lebanon, nearly completed my treatment. I asked her if she would give a dog the Gatorade, but she said fresh water would have been her choice in that case.

I talked with a doctor for humans the next day who told me that if I had drunk about two glasses of water BEFORE going out in the heat, I might have avoided my problem. But since I hadn't and did have a problem, I enjoyed being treated like a dog. As Ruth says, "Well, you're both mammals."

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus