On Saturday, December 14, 2019, at The Woodshed Orlando, I believe I experienced heat exhaustion. As I’ve seen incident reports before of nerve damage in rope scenes or setting one’s partner a little bit on fire during a fire cupping, I feel that an incident report is helpful in this case because both the woman I was accompanying and I saw signs that I was unwell that I ought to have listened to, but did not. I hope that this will help me, those around me, and other people, especially those that wear binders, to avoid what I experienced.
There were several factors that led to the incident:
- I dressed formally, wearing a binder, a t-shirt, then a button-up shirt, in addition to two pairs of socks.
- I put on my binder at 4:30 pm and these medical issues started at around 11:30 pm, so I wore my binder for 7+ hours. For context, manufacturers recommend wearing a binder for 6 to 8 hours.
- I did not eat much at Dine & Dungeon because I was worried about getting food on my white shirt.
- At the Holiday Party, I was accompanying a mutual friend that I hadn’t met before, so I was determined to stay by her side as much as possible.
- During the peak of the Holiday Party, the purple dungeon was packed and the temperature rose.
Before my health took a turn for the worst, there were some warning signs that I ignored:
- When driving from Dine & Dungeon to The Woodshed, I began to experience cramping in my left rib area that continued intermittently throughout the night until I took my binder off. I ignored this because I had not brought a sports bra to change into, and I remember explicitly thinking that I would feel less attractive without my binder.
- I became to feel general “weirdness” during the gift exchange, but I figured that I was nervous and ignored it.
- While massaging my friend’s feet, I became too hot and left to sit in the coffee room. I did so for about ten minutes and then returned to my friend because I promised to stay by her side as much as possible.
The incident itself is difficult to remember because I was feeling very loopy and lightheaded. I know that I asked for someone to get Master Cecil. When he arrived, he immediately assessed the situation, determined that I was too hot, and gave me a t-shirt to change into.
Someone reached out to my husband and Miss Vanessa. Someone else informed the woman I was accompanying. Miss Vanessa ubered to The Woodshed and drove me and our mutual friend home in my car.
As soon as I changed into a single t-shirt, I started feeling much better. I was also encouraged to eat snacks in case low sugar was among the causes. A cold pack was provided to me, and that also helped lower my temperature generally. By the time I was driven home, my faculties had returned to me and I felt close to normal, although totally exhausted. I slept for the next 36 hours, waking up only to use the bathroom and eat meals.
In the future, I will do the following:
- Listen to the warning signs that my body provides.
- Plan to wear my binder for a maximum of six hours.
- Bring a change of clothes to events where I wear a suit and or binder.
- Communicate with those that I attend events with that overheating is a possibility and I will need to take breaks, especially when there are many people in the dungeon.
- Carry small snacks with me that I don’t mind eating while I’m wearing a suit, such as crackers.
Thank you to everyone that helped me on Saturday, especially Master Cecil. Several others that helped were strangers or mild acquaintances, which is very kind.
Please be safe and listen to your body, everyone!