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  • Quad Overheating Advice Needed

    I am a year and a half out, and this summer in Arizona has been difficult to deal with. I have several questions for other quads and high paras with overheating issues.

    When I begin to overheat, I feel my heart start to beat faster. It almost becomes sort of a panicky feeling. I'm good about getting indoors or spraying myself down, but after the fast heartbeat subsides, I completely wilt and my body shuts down for the next two to three hours. I mean I can barely sit up in my chair I’m so tired. My day is done after that. And it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

    I told my primary care physician about it and she is going to have me where a halter monitor. This can measure heartbeat over a 24-hour period, so we can see what is going on with my heart when I overheat.
    • Does anyone else experience this reaction? If not, what happens to you?
    • Is there any way to condition yourself to help prevent the overheating?
    • Any other methods besides just keeping cool to help regulate heat?
    Thanks for any guidance.

  • #2
    I think this is a pretty common this for us quads in intense heat. I never go out in really hot weather without a bottle of ice water, both for drinking and for splashing on my face if necessary. It is also a good idea to have one of those "blue ice" things with you. If you put it over a place you can feel, such as your carotid artery (neck) it will help cool your entire body down safely. They actually make a cooling vest where you can insert them, but that always seemed a bit too medical looking for me, but everyone carries blue ice around in the summer. I have a very small cooler (made to hold four cans of soda) that holds both the blue ice and my water, keeping them cool all day, and available whenever I need it.

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    • #3
      I think it maybe that you're also "new". My first couple of years I experienced the same issues. A couple of times I pushed it too far as the heat felt so good compared to an acc house.

      Eileen has good suggestions. As you get to know your body things will become better.
      Get involved in politics as if your life depended on it, because it does. -- Justin Dart

      I shall not tolerate ignorance or hate speech on this site.

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      • #4
        I'm always out in the heat. As long as I'm not in direct sunlight I can control it fairly ok. I carry one of those soft type coolers that'll hold a 6 pack, but carry 3 or 4 bottled waters and a cold spray bottle that Wal-Mart sells. Down on my dock I had to install a fan as mid-high 90's were just unbearable. This fan-type sprayer works great too.

        http://www.preparedness.com/hanwatmisfan.html

        I did try this Misty Mate product..

        http://www.mistymate.com/product-p/mmp24d.htm

        But sent it back a few days later. Being a quad is kinda' tough using this product independantly. You have to grab hold of it, pump it, and then grab the hose, twist the nozzle to spray while holding the hose. It gets very cumbersome in your lap and the spraying may only last 2 mins. at the most.

        I believe Bethany just bought a misting fan from Home Depot. I couldn't find it but I think it's like this...

        http://www.bigfogg.com/winchill-outd...sting-fan.html





        Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

        If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

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        • #5
          Thanks for all the suggestions. Much appreciated.

          So there's many ways to change the external environment but what about the internal environment. In other words, does conditioning yourself in hot weather make you more tolerant? I'm thinking abour maybe getting oiutside and pushing around in the heat or do you think it's something that won't gtet better this way?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by walderness
            does conditioning yourself in hot weather make you more tolerant?
            I haven't found this to be true in hot or cold weather. Believe me, I've tried. When it's around 85 I can sit in direct sunlight all day. Once it climbs higher.. . Staying hydrated helps a lot but if you do IC to cath, you may run into more probs and inconveniences.

            I forgot to add my symptons of overheating. I start shaking on the inside, not outside. I can handle it if I'm in the shade but if I get caught in too much sunlight for an extended amt. of time, my goose is cooked! I have to head inside and lean back under a fan and a few hours later I recover. I don't feel as if my bp has dropped any, but never checked either.

            I was out in 97 heat a few Sundays ago with a index of 101 all day. I stayed in the shade, had my fan on and stayed covered in cool water and made it. I'll admit, it was rough.. I know too that your heat index reaches higher than ours so there is really no simple solution.





            Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches. It's more like a jar of jalapenos--What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

            If you ain't laughing, you ain't living, baby. Carlos Mencia

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by walderness
              Thanks for all the suggestions. Much appreciated.

              So there's many ways to change the external environment but what about the internal environment. In other words, does conditioning yourself in hot weather make you more tolerant? I'm thinking abour maybe getting oiutside and pushing around in the heat or do you think it's something that won't gtet better this way?
              You have to get used to it, are you originally from this area? or moved there. I live in southern nevada (native nevadan) and its hot here too, I'm also a quad, I can be outside for sometime without overheating as long as I'm in the shade and periodically using a spray bottle. I like the heat better than the cold.
              A dolla makes me holla, honey boo boo! - borrowed from Honey boo boo child

              Comment


              • #8
                I always ask my MS and SCI patients why they live in AZ or NV when they are so heat intolerant (poikilothermic). They say because they can spend the summer going from their air-conditioned home to their air-conditioned car to the air-condition workplace, school, mall or gym and depend on EVERYTHING being air-conditioned in those desert areas. They don't plan to be outdoors in the summer at all unless it is to be in the pool.

                You can wear a cooling vest (can be heavy depending on the type you get), spray, use iced cold towels, wear a wet T-shirt, etc. but your body is not going to deal with the heat better simply because it is exposed more. The reaction you are describing is bordering on heat stroke. It can be much worse. Is this physician a physiatrist? If this is a PCP who is an internist, etc. they may not even know that you are now poikilothermic and need to do some research and reading on this. It is not a heart condition. It is the loss of ability to vasodilate and sweat below the level of injury due to environmental heat. By the way, in the winter you are also more at risk for hypothermia due to your inability to shiver or vasocontrict below the level of your injury.

                I know of at least two of my clients with tetraplegia who have died due to heat stroke, and another who sustained serious brain damage. Take this very seriously.

                (KLD)
                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
                  I always ask my MS and SCI patients why they live in AZ or NV when they are so heat intolerant (poikilothermic).
                  I know...I was living in SF but hills v. heat trade-off. Plus my parents are here. I've had heat stroke as AB...way diff...this feels as though I'm having an MS pseudoexacerbation! But I know symptoms of HS will change after injury...It has to be heat stroke at its cause (I even hallucinate sometimes).

                  I just wish heat stroke was preventable by some other easy medical intervention because I hate ordering my life around this disability. If only a pill could raise my blood pressure, vasodilate, and make me sweat...wont hold my breath...
                  Last edited by walderness; 08-28-2008, 01:54 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I'm absolutely fine in the cold...

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                    • #11
                      in terms of heat tolerence i feel that it can be built. i handcycle alot, wen i first started i had to be sprayed alot, the more i cycled i felt i could go further w/o being sprayed so much. u could push ur w/c out in e sun abit to build some tolerence to e heat but always have a spray bottle wif u.
                      i never had anxiety attacks b4 accident, but now every time i get a little excited my heart starts beating really fast n it makes me feel really uncomfortable. my back starts to ache n i need to lie down to relax. it really sucks, so i know how u feel.
                      I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by aaronykc
                        i never had anxiety attacks b4 accident, but now every time i get a little excited my heart starts beating really fast n it makes me feel really uncomfortable. my back starts to ache n i need to lie down to relax. it really sucks, so i know how u feel.
                        yes!

                        i have panic attacks and they feel oddly similar to overheating events. In fact, I have mixed them up. I really wonder why that is. Perhaps there's some underlying cause connecting the 2...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
                          I always ask my MS and SCI patients why they live in AZ or NV when they are so heat intolerant (poikilothermic). They say because they can spend the summer going from their air-conditioned home to their air-conditioned car to the air-condition workplace, school, mall or gym and depend on EVERYTHING being air-conditioned in those desert areas. They don't plan to be outdoors in the summer at all unless it is to be in the pool.

                          You can wear a cooling vest (can be heavy depending on the type you get), spray, use iced cold towels, wear a wet T-shirt, etc. but your body is not going to deal with the heat better simply because it is exposed more. The reaction you are describing is bordering on heat stroke. It can be much worse. Is this physician a physiatrist? If this is a PCP who is an internist, etc. they may not even know that you are now poikilothermic and need to do some research and reading on this. It is not a heart condition. It is the loss of ability to vasodilate and sweat below the level of injury due to environmental heat. By the way, in the winter you are also more at risk for hypothermia due to your inability to shiver or vasocontrict below the level of your injury.

                          I know of at least two of my clients with tetraplegia who have died due to heat stroke, and another who sustained serious brain damage. Take this very seriously.

                          (KLD)
                          Thanks for explaining it to me KLD. I've always wanted to know what was happening to me when I got to hot & too cold. Now I can explain to my pca it's not in my head and describe why.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To the SCI Nurse...

                            Why does this happen because it happens to me, too.

                            "i never had anxiety attacks b4 accident, but now every time i get a little excited my heart starts beating really fast n it makes me feel really uncomfortable. my back starts to ache n i need to lie down to relax. it really sucks, so i know how u feel."--from above

                            (its vnot formatted but i'm a quad)

                            and also, why does anxiety and fatigue after anxiety so closely mimic overheating?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              from what i know, for high level injuries, we lose e ablity to regulate our body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.
                              I feel the best way to overcome these problems is to be really active n do lots of exercise. when i was training for a marathon i found i never had these problems, but after that i started to slack i found my body to be less tolerent.
                              I've got 99 problems but the wheelchair ain't 1

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