I have been thinking since I quit my experience job at that marvellous private company and finally came to tentatively putting the issue to rest.
After talking to an older dear friend who is currently at the 3rd year of agronomic engineering and manages some of his family countryside properties, he told me I probably got dehydrated and felt bad because of that!
Had I understood why I felt so bad during harvest, I could have arranged for better preparation for the following day.
That is unfortunate I did not have the experience or a clear mind nor someone who could had given me tips on the issue that night while I was trying to think hard what had happened and whether it was better to quit (which is what happened!)..
What really happened to my body
- One of the older technicians asked me whether I were anxious at lunch time. I reckon anxiety was mainly for: new experience, smoking even less, all other workers were, for one reason or another, different than me and I could not relate more than strictly necessary.
- At some point, I was sure there was not enough water for
everybody to drink freely, so I took the care to
drink less often. Some time after, my supervisor talking to another
drinking too much water dehydrates the body because one pees more. That is not true at all, however it is close enough to truth to be funny. Water is a strong diuretic because one pees the more one drinks it, however one will only (perhaps) get more dehydrated than not in case of salt imbalance (too much salt being excreted) because of water excess, but I am not sure overall that would be worse than drinking too little water in the same period of time..
- Insolation/Heat Stroke
- I did use less than adequate sun screen was not using shades over my eyes, but I was heavily protected by a sun protection hat, gloves, long-sleeved shirt, jeans, and boots.. Heat was intense. I am sure I got a mild to moderate case of heat stroke at some point because I was confused for the rest of the day and part of the following day..
- Noise/Vibration Distraught
- I was not using the ear protection because I had forgotten it back at the hotel and I did not borrow it from someone on the field because I did not think it would be too bad for just one day. Guess I was wrong about that!
- Still a smoker, although smoking less than before
- Sedentary lifestyle, 4 years smoking heavily at the computer will require more than a few weeks of irregular walking to improve
What should I have done?
- Take a large 5-litre water bottle with me to that trip and to countryside fields so I could drink water freely
- Used the ear protection against noise
- Used the protection shades over normal glasses (which was at the hotel that day)
- Used more sun screen
- Worked slower and told my supervisor I could only work so fast
- A couple of tips from a friend who lives in countryside and know it from old farm workers: freeze a PET bottle filled with water and carry that frozen PET the next day close to your body. You can also apply the PET with ice on your neck and face at rest times. At about midday, enough water must have melt and you can drink that cold water, then. Also, use a large straw hat and sun screen instead of that Chapéu árabe, which prevents air flow around the neck and head. Thanks, Bozelli!
I actually did reckon my sedentary lifestyle and smoking habits would take their toll on my heart if I worked too hard, even though now I reckon I was just confused and overtought it all..
One point which I am proud of is that I did not drink beer or any kind of alcohol during the work trip, whereas other workers all drank at night during the 3 days we spent together..