• Jan

    The Importance of Staying Hydrated


    Mexico is a great place to visit and to live, in my opinion, which is why I keep coming back. Still, when living here, it’s wise to observe a few precautions. One of these is keeping plenty of water on hand and staying hydrated. If not, the results could be disastrous (it’s happened to me several times).

    The last time (about 3 years ago), I’d lost a fair bit of water over several days and to compound matters, went on a two hour walk on the beach in the hottest part of the afternoon without taking any water with me. That was the beginning of my foolishness. It got worse when I drank Jamaica later on (a transparent red and sweet drink, made from the Hisbiscus flower). It’s really refreshing, but I’ve also been told it’s a diuretic.

    That night, I started to suffer severe rolling cramps in my stomach. I laid there for a long time, then it dawned on me that I might be dehydrated. I went to get up. Big mistake. Everything went black and I tried to crouch down. Too late. I passed out completely and fell hard on the tile floor.

    When I woke up, I don’t know when, I was paralyzed. None of my muscles would work and I couldn’t move. Worse was being aware of a huge pain in my foot, which I realized I injured in the fall. After a time, I don’t know how long, I could move again and got up, but I realized I’d really hurt my foot. I nearly broke it in the fall and I was hobbling for weeks.

    By now, I’d realized what had happened and started drinking a lot of water, but getting better took quite awhile. Next day I could hardly move and called my landlord for help. He referred me to a nurse, who, to my great fortune, lived across the street.

    When she came over, she confirmed the dehydration and brought over some chicken soup. She also recommended drinking a lot of electrolyte formulas, which you can buy in the corner store. I drank those for a week, along with plenty of water and recovered, but I was extremely lucky. I could have easily wound up in the hospital. It was only sheer luck that it didn’t happen.

    Note: The last time this happened, many years earlier, I wound up in hospital and they put about 3 liters of fluid into me. One other thing I learned about this condition, it weakens the valves in your blood vessels that hold the blood in the upper part of your body when you’re standing. If those valves are weakened by dehydration, they lose that ability, so when you stand up, all the blood rushes to your lower extremities and you’ll pass out.

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