Cop1 : “Sir, Are you on drugs?”

Me: “huh?”

As the fog cleared from my eyesight, a new fish eyed face appeared in front of me.

It was a cop! He was shaking me awake on the driver side of my truck, while another was opening my door on the passenger side to dig through my floorboards.

“Wake up!” the police officer yelled, while gently shaking me.

He continued… “Are you ok?”

I looked up to see the front of my truck pressed against a metal building.

Panning to my right, the second officer who had been rummaging through my stuff. He looked up and asked “Sir, are you on drugs? What did you take?”

I wasn’t on any drugs! I had spent all day in the sun, planting explosives and blowing up a rock quarry. It was my line of work in 1994… Plus, drugs are bad mmkay! Tired, yes, exhausted, yes, drugged, no way!

“No, I don’t drugs” I replied. Realizing instantly that I was slurring! OMG I sound completely drunk! To add to my instant anxiety, the two cops were both blurry and their heads were still all fish eye warped.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You were in an accident. You’ve crashed into the barn (he waved to the front of the truck while continuing) and thankfully, no one was hurt. Can you tell us what happened.” His hand still on my shoulder, this was definitely the “good cop”.

I replied slowly, trying to think.. “I was working. Then I was driving home, and then you?”

“Who’s the president sir” the drug and booze sniffing cop asked me.

You gotta be kidding me I thought?



Wait, how can I not know this?

“What year is it” he asked instead.

“Oh it’s….”

Again nothing. I was blank.

“Let’s get him into the ambulance,” the good cop said as the ambulance stopped next to the truck.

I remember the paramedics doing some quick checks and the words “heat exhaustion” and “dehydration”.

The ambulance took me to the hospital, giving me IV glucose, apple juice and a ton of other stuff to bring my blood sugar up.

Honestly, I don’t remember how long I was in the hospital. Heck, I don’t even remember driving 3 hours from work to where I was!

I remember pulling over to get a gatorade because I was SO thirsty.

That’s when it happened. Whether it was Vasovagal Syncope, Dehydration, or Cardiovascular Stress, the bottom line is, I passed out from drinking an ice cold Gatorade. That’s a thing.

The accident raised my insurance, damaged my truck, damaged the barn I hit and the worse.. I could have hurt someone completely unintentionally!

All because I was not drinking enough liquid, staying hydrated and taking care of myself. I compromised my own needs for those of my boss who demanded we finish the quarry in the blazing heat with no cover and nowhere near enough water for the crew.

I share this today as we head into summer because while we have all heard the “horror stories”, they mean a lot more when they happen to someone that we know.

That was the day I learned to be better about my own self care, regardless of what was being asked of me by someone else. My boss didn’t mean to cause any issues for me or anyone. But by not listening to my own intuition and not being better at self care, I was hurt and I could have hurt someone else.

So, set your boundaries, take care of yourself first, and remember to stay hydrated this summer in a safe way (sorry guys, while beer contains water, the alcohol still makes it a diuretic and it only contributes to dehydration).

P.S. Until proven otherwise, those cops were SURE that I was on drugs. A scrappy, dirty Mexican boy plowed into a barn in the middle of the day, who can’t tell you who the president is or the year? How could they think anything different? Does that make them wrong for presuming? NO! That’s a healthy deduction for them and they are right to use that past experience to validate until proven wrong. So, no ill will towards those officers and I’m still grateful for their diligence.

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