Over the years, I’ve used The Boat Galley newsletter to share what we’ve been up to and what we’ve learned while doing it. Here’s one feature from a few years back sharing what an emergency room visit taught us about the importance of drinking—everyday!
Dave ended up in the ER Wednesday afternoon with extreme exhaustion, lightheadedness, shakiness, tingling in his finger/arms, feet/legs and mouth, difficulty swallowing, and more. He had a hard time finding words when speaking, couldn’t walk or even stand without assistance. The final diagnosis was severe dehydration; IV and oral fluids were given.
How had it happened? Cooler weather so we weren’t thirsty. A day exploring Key West, with plenty of coffee and iced tea (caffeine is a mild diuretic), then a beer with dinner and sipping rum after. Not a single non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drink all day. An antibiotic that said to take with plenty of liquids. Age (Dave’s 80; people over 65 are more susceptible). And mildly diabetic.
All in all, a perfect storm. And a warning for all of us to be sure to drink plenty of water, even in winter.
We were lucky there was an ER nearby; in a remote anchorage or on passage we would have been on our own. Scary as I hadn’t recognized the symptoms. At all.
Dave’s okay. But you better believe that we’re both more aware of what we’re drinking!
P.S. Be sure to have plenty of rehydration powder, drops or ingredients to make your own rehydration solution on hand. The drops are sugar-free and diabetic-friendly! You can buy the Hy-Lyte Electrolyte Concentrate we keep on board at Amazon.