1.18.2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing...

Water Intoxication......it's real.....and deadly. Consider this A Bad Case of Wanderlust Public Service Announcement.....I'm watching the news bright and early this morning and there is a story that really hits home with me. A woman was in a contest called "Hold your wee for a wii," put on by a Sacramento radio show. The point of the contest was to continue drinking water and see who could hold their bladder the longest, winner gets a new Nintendo Wii. This woman ended up drinking two gallons of water before dropping out of the contest. On the air she complained of feeling light headed and having a headache. The DJs joked and laughed about the health risks of drinking too much water and a listener even called in and warned them of the serious dangers involved with the contest. They laughed and said it was not a problem since the contestants had all signed releases prior to the contest. The contestant went home, crying and in pain, and was found dead later that day. The coroner announced cause of death as 'water intoxication.'

I myself suffered water poisoning a year ago. I was at the pub with friends and had volunteered to be designated driver that night. The band was very good and my friends were having fun and I ended up staying there for nearly five hours, drinking water, enjoying the show and waiting for my friends to be ready to go home. I had the waitress bring me probably three pitchers of water over that time and around midnight developed a terrible headache and was stumbling around as if I had been drinking too much beer. I told my friends to come with me now or take a cab home, they opted for the cab and I headed back to my apartment in Fremont by myself. I was in terrible pain when I got home and wrapped myself up in a blanket and tried to sleep. I had heard of water intoxication before and was slightly concerned about what was happening to me. After waiting out the pain for two hours I called poison control and told them what was happening. They instructed me to eat salty foods. I found some leftover beef stroganoff in my fridge that Rachel had left for me and started chowing down. Since I was by myself, the poison control center stayed on the phone with me for a half hour or so until I began to feel better. They explained what was happening to me as I waited. Basically I had diluted the water in my body so much that the concentration of salt (an electrolyte) had dropped to a dangerous level and was causing the cells in my body to swell. The cells in your brain are enclosed by your skull and when they swell and press against your skull, you get a headache and begin to feel light-headed.

So, my heart goes out to the three children who have no mother anymore because of the irresponsible stunt of a crummy radio show. Luckily I had a skilled poison control specialist and some of Rachel's delicious life saving beef stroganoff on hand or I could have faced a similar fate.

1 comment:

Mum said...

Thank you poison control center! And thanks for the public service announcement. I had no idea (and I'm really old).

xoxox so glad you are still here,
Mom