Thursday, August 14, 2008

First CO scare

I got my first Carbon Monoxide scare last night.

It had been a hot day, and the van was pretty stuffy, even though I'd had the fan on and had vented the whole thing out pretty well. I was tired too. And I started heating up some food to eat, using my little Coleman propane stove. I had the vent open, but no intake really, and the fan wasn't on.

All of a sudden, I got really really dizzy. Felt like I was going to pass out, immediately, and a tiny bit nauseous too. It reminded me of when I used to drink, and drink a lot, but I wasn't very nauseous, so I knew this was something different. Head spins. Very bizarre. I was maybe seconds away from passing out when all of a sudden I looked at the stove and panicked; if I'd left it on, it might have fallen over and started a fire. That adrenaline rush gave me enough energy to immediately reach over and turn it off.

It was AFTER I'd turned it off, that the dizziness subsided a bit. Could the stove have been making me so dizzy that I almost passed out? Then I suddenly remembered about CO, and that it causes dizziness, and that propane combustion uses up oxygen as well as producing CO. I jumped up to turn the fan on, and then cracked a window and the door to the cab.

Scary! I was able to finish making dinner without incident.

Never again will I run that stove without the fan on!

No comments: