I know I did a blog post about it not being fun and games in the desert (read it here) – but there is one major factor I totally forgot to include – the risk of dehydration!
The last week has been one of the craziest experiences in my expat life in Dubai. I had been feeling faint and dizzy randomly over the last few months, however I didn’t think much of it considering it was getting hotter and I assumed I was just over heating slightly and a cold shower would fix me! Boy was I wrong!
The last three weeks I began to feel more and more like I was going to pass out, my vision was blurry and I had strong heart palpitations – again I made a few excuses for this as I recently found out I have low iron and naively put this down to being a side effect of the deficiency.
Naturally, my body finally had enough of my ignorance and as I stumbled into the toilet about to black out, I knew I had to get checked out ASAP!
As I sat in the emergency bed hooked up to two IV drips – one with electrolytes to re-hydrate me and one to stop me from wanting to throw up – I sat anxiously waiting for my blood tests to come back. I can’t explain the feeling of being in a daze and just feeling so weak – I mean the nurse had to hold my arm and assist me in using the toilet 😐 So embarrassing! I started to think something was SEVERELY wrong! I won’t lie I also googled all my symptoms and started wondering which serious illness I had lol! Google diagnosis is the silliest thing you can ever do! My bro will laugh at this because I shared every google diagnosis with him 😂
The days that followed were such a blur, I was in and out of sleep, dosed up and drained. I spoke to the doctor when I started to feel more human and he told me everything pointed towards severe dehydration/heat exhaustion. I mean it sounds so silly – I could not believe all those scary symptoms was down to a simple fact – I had not increased my intake of fluids – so Dr Google you were wrong I am not having a heart attack or suffering some form of Cancer!! The words the doctor said as he signed me off were ‘Remember you live in the desert now – no London weather here! Triple sunshine means triple water!’
An important lesson for me because I thought I was generally good at drinking water during the day, however, it’s easy to forget that anyone living in this part of the world will have to dramatically increase water intake compared to the UK – mainly because you will most definitely lose a lot of fluid through sweat – even walking to your car in the summer can have you drenched in sweat lol!
So to my fellow desert expats around the Middle East (and visitors) – please do pay attention to your fluid intake because dehydration is no joke at all! Oh and I’d strongly recommend getting regular blood tests done to check vitamin levels etc too!
If you do find yourself a little dehydrated here is my homemade electrolyte water to boost your energy and replace lost fluids –