Thursday, 11 December 2008

Thoughts on hypothermia

I left my job at 6 last night, and as I made my way to the hospital carpark to pick up my car I was aware of what a clear, icy night it was, the roads slippery and everything glistening - it must have been several degrees below zero. Got into my car, turned the key... and there wasn't even a cough from the engine. Totally dead.
The AA took two hours to get to me, insisting that in the meantime I stay in my car, and after 30 minutes of huddling miserably trying to keep warm, I realised that 1. my blood sugar was going down, (which makes me feel weak); 2. so was the battery on my mobile, which I was forced to keep switched on for when the AA man needed to know which carpark I was in; 3. It dawned on me that I could catch cold >>> and the op would have to be postponed; 4. I couldn't feel my feet or ankles and I was getting quite drowsy. Self-pity is quite a feature when you're physically very uncomfortable! You do feel so alone in situations like this, don't you? My partner was out carol-singing so I couldn't even phone him for sympathy, and anyway I couldn't waste the quarter battery I had left. I did however use it to ring the AA 3 more times (I admit, with increasing hysteria) to ask when the patrolman would arrive.
At 8 p.m. the guy appeared, and soon got me on my way, even kindly scraping all the windows for me so I could focus the heating on my non-existent feet. He seemed surprised by the amount of ice that had accumulated on the inside. Half an hour later I was home, having soup, a hot bath and an early night.
Today with no obvious ill effects, and feeling warm and comfortable, I can appreciate that I was seeing the black side of everything - and how little it takes to turn our world upside down. And I also wondered if there are other ways to lose calories apart from exercise... literally through being very cold for a sustained period. Not recommended I'm sure - but would it help lose a few ounces, I wonder? OK OK, I'll go and get a life, shall I?
Nighty night.


Zena said...

Awwwwww Caroline, you poor little frosticle. 2 hours is a very long time and I know I would have lost the will to live after 15 mins. You stuck it out (not that you had any choice) and I bet that bath was looking mighty fine by the time you got home. We should all take precautions, like making sure our phones are fully charged and have a blanket or 2 in the car.
All's well that ends well!!

Very pleased you are ok!


Lonicera said...

...And not even a bar of chocolate in the car for consolation.... (sob)

Yes I'm fine thanks (the mobile battery started out OK, just a tiny bit below full charge - but with the cold every time I looked at it the charge was going down - that was so scary!)

Melanie said...

Wow, I thought I was hard done by waiting for roadside assistance on a dark but balmy night- modern cars make us feel so safe and I recall when I lived in Canberra always ensuring I had a warm coat etc in the boot. Hope you're still okay for your date.

Lonicera said...

Apologies Melanie, have just seen your comment - yes, all has been OK. I have a very small car and only drive short distances, which is the reason I don't keep contingency supplies in the boot...

One of the advantages of losing weight will be that a mountain of clothes stored in the loft will start to fit me again, among which are plenty of warm coats....

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