Since I'm always on the lookout for fresh grandiose ideas to spice up my senior citizen life, I'm putting out an alert that if someone is looking for a Poster Child, or in my case a Poster Geezer, to be a spokesperson for the danger of mixing a hot bath and marijuana, I'm available!
(Especially if the gig comes with a generous expense allowance, which I can use to pay for our water heater electricity and visits to my favorite cannabis emporium.)
Until last night I was blissfully unaware of what can happen when someone, like me, mixes these seemingly innocuous pleasures in what can be a dangerous combination:
An especially hot bath, which I sat in for longer than usual, while puffing away on my PAX3 vaporizer filled with its typical bathtub dose of indica marijuana, reclining a bit more deeply in the tub than is typical for me.
Re-creation of what befell me last night, minus the hot water and my naked body
(use your imagination to fill in those details, if you dare)
I often feel a bit lightheaded after taking a hot bath. That was the case last night.
But I had no trouble climbing out of the tub, toweling off, getting dressed, and heading into the kitchen to prepare the evening dog treat for Mooka, the family canine, and a bowl of applesauce for me.
The problem came when I felt somewhat dizzy and decided to lean over a kitchen counter until that passed.
My next recollection was Laurel, my wife, shaking me and saying, "Brian, you fainted."
I had no problem believing her, since I was lying on the kitchen floor. My glasses were askew, with one earpiece bent quite a bit from my fall.
"You've got a black eye," Laurel said.
I got up, walked over to the living room couch, and sat there for a while with an ice pack on my eye -- which I later switched to a bag of frozen peas.
Today the swelling around my eye has gone down a lot, though the area under my eye is still black, probably from my glasses being pushed against my face after I fainted. Otherwise, I have no aches or pains.
Which makes me think that my falling down after fainting must have been quite graceful. Sadly, no record of it exists, not even in my wife's memory, since she heard me fall but didn't see it.
Having grown up watching Lassie the Collie do amazing feats, like alerting the family when Timmy fell in a well, I wondered why Mooka the Husky mix wasn't licking my face when I woke up.
Sadly, Laurel said that Mooka ran downstairs after I fainted, apparently scared by all the commotion. Lesson: don't count on your dog to rescue you from a hot bath/marijuana fainting spell. Unless you have a reincarnation of Lassie.
Some Googling revealed that fainting is fairly common after being in hot water -- shower, bath, hot tub.
Some of the stories were quite horrendous. I guess it all depends on where you are when you faint, sharp corners, deep water, and hard surfaces putting you at greater risk.
The NurseMummy web site informed me that:
As a general rule, hot showers and hot baths can cause dizziness due to a drop in blood pressure caused by the hot water dilating your blood vessels. The hot water increases your blood supply to your legs, arms, feet and hands, and reduces the amount of blood your heart has to pump; less pressure on your vessels and circulatory system.
And the Mayo Clinic informed me that Hotter Hot Tub Water Poses Increased Fainting Risk.
Hotter water in hot tubs poses increased health risks from fainting, Mayo Clinic researchers report. Mayo Clinic heart researchers had six subjects soak in 104 degree water (the current recommended temperature for hot tubs) and 106.7 degree water for 21 minutes to see if hotter water caused any ill effects.
They concluded that the higher temperatures posed little health risk from heart or circulation problems. But they found that when the subjects stood up to exit the tub, systolic blood pressure dropped dramatically, nearly twice as much in the hotter water compared to the 104 degree temperature. The result is less blood flow to the brain, which can cause fainting, which in turn might lead to injury by falling or by drowning. The authors point out that in an earlier study 36 hot tub deaths, 25 were found to be caused by drowning.
So the hotter than usual bathtub water, combined with the fact that in older people marijuana temporarily lowers blood pressure, likely caused me to faint.
But I'm about to head off for another bath, just not so hot. At least I'm now aware of what can happen by mixing overly hot water with a relaxing bowl of cannabis.
Which reminds me of something a friend recently told me. He said that one day he was holding a frisbee and suddenly realized that he'd forgotten how to throw it. That worried him until he realized that he'd taken LSD.