Beyond 40 Degrees

With the weather in Manila getting crazier and hotter, I thought, I should have adjusted myself very well by now. Having lived in the Middle East for 2 years where the weather shoots out beyond 40 degrees Celsius and a very humid climate, I never thought Philippines can come this close.

Summer is for beach and tan lines, yet too much sun isn’t always the best for us, right?

As of the moment, there are quite a number of cases of heat stroke not only in human but on animals as well. Poor pets, I hope they are given equal attention too.

I thought of sharing a vital information on my close encounter with heat stroke in summer of 2008 to give insights in making necessary precautions whenever one is out under the sun.

It was one Friday morning, me and my roommate went to St. Mary’s Catholic Church to hear a mass. Contrary to Sunday, Friday is a rest day in a Muslim country like Dubai. We came in early and waited outside the church for a Tagalog mass to start. I felt normal. I even ate breakfast, but I haven’t anticipated that my blood pressure will drop low.

Outside the church, hundreds of Filipinos wait for the next mass. There is an ongoing mass in Arabic, thus, we have to bear the Summer heat outside. We just busied ourselves with funny talks instead.

After a while, I remember telling my friend, Racqs on how I have difficulty in breathing. I thought it was because of the humid weather and that she may have felt it too. I shifted to rapid shallow breathing. After that, I’ve gone thirsty and wanted water so badly. Then I felt dizzy, I clung on her arms for support when my eyesight returned blurry images.  I stayed a few minutes bowed down, holding tightly on her, I can’t even talk anymore. I haven’t felt this weak before, more so fainting. I’ve concentrated hard not to faint. In her effort to revive me, she gave me an ointment to inhale. I felt a panic in her voice when I wouldn’t respond in her call anymore, she called the church volunteers to assist me to the clinic.

They helped me cross the ground, and brought me to the office. Good thing, the air conditioning in the room is so strong, I instantly gained my sanity back. They gave me water and continuously fanned me. The next few days were tough, I felt weak and ever since, I feel very cautious whenever under the weather. Mind you, its an awful experience. If Racqs wasn’t quick enough to call the volunteers’ attention, I might end up in the hospital. Considering my energy that morning, I was surprised I’m weakened in an instant.

So how does it feel like in a weather beyond 40 degrees Celsius?

Imagine being in a sauna, and that stranger sitting next to you keeps throwing water to the coal to make it even hotter. Yes, take the coal close to you wherever you go, that’s how it feels like. It’s hard to breath too under the humid climate. Even the water from the faucet can give you 3rd degree burn in the morning.

We were out one evening to Madinat Jumeirah and spent until 2 in the morning. We thought the weather will be nicer this time. Aha, we were soaking wet, sweating under the summer moon.

How to Prevent Heat Stroke:

  • Seek help while you are still mentally sensible. Like I told my friend that I have difficulty in breathing before I felt weak enough to talk more.
  • Bring water and hydrate constantly.
  • Seek shaded and well ventilated area.
  • Avoid sleeping outside in a humid and hot weather. This can cause stroke and can be fatal.
  • People with high blood pressure are more prone to heat stroke and mild stroke.

That’s about it, but my best advice is stay out of the Sun as much as you can and go to the Doctor and seek help if you feel something unusual with your body. You might just be under the weather but who knows, it maybe a cause of something bigger soon.

I love Dubai for its beauty minus the summer month. I hope the Philippines will not experience the same extreme heat again and the drought brought  about by El Nino. I still love summer but I love winter more.