Please learn from my mistake, even though I realize this rarely happens.
I don’t know why I did it. It’s been a long process to return to normal. I never appreciated normalcy as much as I do now. Many years ago, while seeking treatment for a certain health condition, an Ayurvedic doctor told me to never consume hot liquids on a hot day. He said that this was the worst thing a person could do to their health. I listened, up until last week. Then I forgot.
When a person is hungry and there is very little food around, eating for the sake of health no longer matters. Eating to be healthy is a luxury that most people in the world can not afford. I made my self hot soup only because there was no other food to eat in my house. I had to be at work within the hour, so I had no time to go out for food. I had to eat what was left in my pantry and since there was only one can of minestrone soup and I was starving, I ate it without thinking.
I had not been outside yet that day so I was not aware of how hot it was. I suppose I should have been since normally I check the weather on my iPhone. But that day I did not. Had I known that the day was going to be so hot I probably would have eaten the soup cold. This is a common human problem- only realizing what the correct thing to do is after doing the wrong thing. I am human.
I brought the soup to a boil in one of my pots. I then added a few tablespoons of cayenne pepper to make it spicier. I prefer all of my food spicy. Non-spicy food bores me. It lacks soul. I also added some garlic salt along with a few raw cloves of garlic. I then took out a tablespoon and began eating the soup right out of the pot. I don’t enjoy doing dishes and avoid using dishes whenever possible. My wife often gets frustrated that I eat my meals right out of the pot they were cooked in. Since I am the one who does the dishes in our house, how could she understand?
I always eat as if someone is about to take my food away. In retrospect I now realize I should not have eaten the hot soup so quickly but I needed to be at work. I burned my mouth and my gut and probably began the process of some sort of abdominal or esophageal ulceration. When a person is hungry and in a hurry all health considerations go out the door. I finished the minestrone soup quickly, put the empty pot and tablespoon in the sink, picked up my things and left the house. From the start of eating the soup to the time I left my house, no more than five minutes elapsed. It really is not a good idea to do anything in a hurry.
The moment I got into my car I noticed an unusual amount of perspiration on my forehead, chest and underarms. I thought nothing of it. It was just an effect of eating hot soup and would pass quickly enough. I turned the air conditioner on HIGH and drove to work. During my seven minute commute, the perspiration turned into a full blown sweating attack. But I still assumed it would pass.
While at work the sweating did not cease. It became relentless. I had to take off my button down shirt and use it to soak up the sweat coming out of my pores. I hated doing this since the shirt was new, expensive and I had just received it as a birthday gift. Sweat was dripping from my forehead onto my desk and crotch area. My entire black t-shirt was soaked. What the hell is going on? was all I could think. My tan pants were also absorbing a large amount of sweat from my leg and crotch pours. After an hour at work I was completely drenched in my body’s sweat. My sweat filled the room with the rancid smell of digested garlic. It looked as if I had jumped into a pool with my clothes on. This is when I began freaking out. I use the word freaking literally. I panicked.
I left work without asking or letting anyone know. I just ran out the front door and went directly to my car. As I ran I could hear the soaked cotton sound of my pants rubbing together at the thighs. When I got into my car I looked at my face in the rearview mirror. I was drenched. My hair and forehead were dripping with sweat. I considered going to the emergency room but decided to drive home and figure things out instead. Other than feelings of panic I felt fine. I was just sweating profusely and it would not stop. I had my car’s air conditioner on HIGH as I drove home, all the vents pointed directly at my chest and face. It is strange that I was thinking this because I have often heard people say things like this but suddenly I was the one thinking, Why me? Why do things like this always happen to me? I wanted to cry.
Once I made it home I took off all of my clothes and turned my home’s air conditioner on HIGH. I considered texting my wife and letting her know what was happening but I did not want to worry her. In the nude I walked all around my house waiting for the cold to kick in and trying to calm myself down. I got bath towels out and carried them around with me in order to absorb the massive amounts of sweat. I opened up the freezer and stood in front of it. I even stuck my head in the freezer with the freezer door closed against my back. None of this seemed to help. I continued to sweat.
I took a cold bath, rubbed ice cubes all over my body, ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I laid down on the kitchen floor and covered as much of my naked body as possible with packages of frozen vegetables that we had kept stacked for years in the freezer in case the apocalypse struck. As the packages of frozen vegetables thawed and the air conditioner roared away- I continued to sweat all over the linoleum. I had no idea what was going on.
Should I go to the hospital? Should I let my wife know? What if I sweat so much I just melt away? All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind. I thought up various ways that I could try to stop the sweating. Climb into the freezer and shut myself in. Build a tent over the air conditioner vent and stay in there with packages of frozen vegetables duct taped to my body. Fill the bathtub with ice and soak in it (we did not have enough ice for this, I would have had to go to the liquor store down the street and was in no condition to be seen in public). As I was searching my mind for solutions to stop the profuse sweating it was then that I remembered the Ayurvedic physician telling me to never consume hot liquids on a hot day. I then remembered the hot minestrone soup. “Shit,” I said out loud.
When my wife returned home later that day and saw packages of frozen vegetables duct taped all over my naked body, she began laughing hysterically. I often did these kind of pranks to lessen the stress and banality of normal life. When I was finally able to calm her down, convince her this was for real and tell her about the severity of my situation, her laughter turned into deep concern. The sweating lasted for several days and my wife helped me out in whatever ways she could. I do not know what I would have done without a loving wife to help me. She kept me hydrated, she made me delicious cold gazpacho soups, she bought me powdered electrolytes which she rubbed into my body and kept fresh bags of ice piled on top of me as I rested in bed. Most importantly she continually calmed me down by telling me that everything was going to be alright. This helped my mental state so much because when the sweating would not stop for days, I really believed I was going to melt away.
The sweating ran its course and I have thankfully lived to tell this tale. It was a terrible experience that I am sure will traumatize me for the rest of my time on earth. Sweating that profusely for so many days was something that I would not even wish upon the most terrible human being. It was the single most awful experience of my entire life, even though I did enjoy the attention and care that I received from my wife. For months to come I will have to take mega doses of supplements and drink a lot of coconut water to return my bodies potassium and magnesium levels to a normal state, but this is fine. I am just happy that I did not melt away.
Most lessons are learned after the mistakes have been made. I realize that very rarely do us humans learn anything without experiencing the consequences first, not matter how much someone tries to teach or warn us. This is a fundamental human flaw and we just have to accept that some things don’t change. As far as consuming hot soup on a hot day is concerned, I will never do that again. I realize I can’t stop you from consuming hot soup on a hot day, but for what it is worth, I wanted to try.