Hypothermia and Paresthesia – A Guest Post by Chrys Fey
There’s a scene in Frozen Crimes where Donovan is threatened with hypothermia, which is a condition when the body becomes dangerously cold. How long can it take for hypothermia to set in? Not long. In minus 50-degree weather, you have as little as five minutes of survival time. You are in greater risk when submerged in icy water.
The first stage of hypothermia involves shivering and reduced circulation to your limbs. The second stage is when your pulse weakens and your breathing slows. Also, during the second stage, you experience lack of coordination, confusion, and sleepiness.
During the advanced, and most dangerous, stage of hypothermia, you have a greatly-weakened respiration and pulse. Or you may not be breathing at all, with no pulse. This is when you can lose consciousness. And, of course, when that happens, and you remain outside in the cold, you can die.
Donovan faces all of this when he comes to after being knocked unconscious and lying face down in the snow. Not only did I have to know about hypothermia, but also paresthesia, the tingling or prickling “pins-and-needles” sensation that occurs in the arms, hands, legs, or feet from restricted blood flow. Luckily, I’ve had plenty of experience with that.
A tingling sensation erupted in his feet as he walked. Soon, the sensation would be too great, paralyzing him from so much as lowering one of his feet to a solid surface. But he couldn’t give in now. He continued to tread through the snow.
In the backyard, the tingling heightened to pricks like hundreds of electrified needles were poking his feet in a rolling, waving motion. And those pricks were crawling past his ankles to his shins. He squinted up at Ryan’s bedroom window.
Crawling on his hands and knees, he worked his way up the massive snowdrift. The pricks beneath his skin reached his kneecaps, claiming the entire bottom-half of his legs. And now it was spreading. Heat washed through his hands like a flood. The first sting of his hands waking up exploded at the tips of his fingers. As a real blast would, the sensation blew outward and spread up his fingers all the way to his elbows. The pins and needles feeling consuming his limbs as his nerves regained their function set his teeth on edge. He tucked his arms close to his chest, trying not to aggravate them and send the maddening numbness into a frenzy, and used his elbows to pull himself higher, dragging his useless legs behind him. But every slight movement activated grenades of tormented nerves. A tap against the side of his leg had sparks firing down to his toes.
Sweating from the exertion and the inner torture attacking his every nerve ending, he slithered his way to the top. At the peak, he braced his tingling hands on the glass. When the window slid up the track without a problem, he said a silent prayer of thanks. Then he latched onto the windowpane. His grasp invited a fresh flow of pricks to rush up to his elbows. Sitting on the outside of the windowsill, he grabbed his right leg and physically maneuvered it through the opening. Holding his leg, he set his foot carefully on the ground, to prevent anyone downstairs from hearing his footsteps and to avoid more pins and needles, but the little vibration from his boot touching the floor had him seething. He repeated the technique with his left leg. Once his feet were down on the inside, he slipped the rest of his body through the opening and sank onto his hands and knees.
When disasters strike around every corner, is it possible to have a happily-ever-after?
BLURB: Beth and Donovan are expecting their first child. Life couldn’t get any better…until a stalker makes his presence known. This person sends disturbing messages and unsettling items, but it isn’t long before his menacing goes too far.
Hoping for a peaceful Christmas, Donovan takes Beth to Michigan. Days into their trip, a winter storm named Nemesis moves in with the goal of burying the state. Snowdrifts surround their house, and the temperature drops below freezing.
Except, the storm isn’t the only nemesis they must face. Everyone’s lives are at stake—especially that of their unborn child. Will they survive, or will they become a frozen crime?
***HUGE DISASTER CRIMES GIVEAWAY***
Prizes: 4 eBooks (Disaster Crimes 1-4: Hurricane Crimes, Seismic Crimes, Tsunami Crimes, Flaming Crimes) + Girl Boss Magnets (4), Inflatable Cup Holder (1), Adventure Fuel To-Go Cups (2), Anchor Fashion Scarf (1), Mermaid Nail Clippers (2), Citrus and Sea Salt Scented Candle (1), Snowflake Handmade Bookmark (1), Insulated Cooler Bag (1)
Number of Winners: One
Giveaway Ends: October 30, 2020 12:00am Eastern Standard Time
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com