Bang Bang

Head pounding, stomach churning, hot flashes, chills, and tossing and turning in bed made for an uncomfortable night at 11,200’. Still feeling the effects of the cold/flu I contracted in Kathmandu, my mind raced through all the possibilities. What if I’m too sick to continue? How will I ever make it to 20,000’? Is this trip going to end because I’m sick? Although the big push from Namche from Phakding was doable, I was certainly getting tossed around in the backseat of the struggle bus. Head down, nose running, I knew I just had to make to Namche for a toilet and a bed. Overnight, my condition deteriorated rapidly. I didn’t want to get out of my cocoon of a sleeping bag, let alone try to get some garlic soup and ginger tea down the hatch. Chanit was relentless and ultimately won the battle of getting my ass in the dining hall. I got down a few sips of soup and tea, and was rewarded with a paracetamol, a med used for fever and headache.  I retreated to my cocoon and passed out for a 2 hour nap. Already I was rounding the corner and felt the first twinge of hope that I might be okay! 

In times of illness, it can be challenging to drop the ego and ask for help from others; dad helped get me water, Chanit provided words of encouragement, and a meaningful phone call from home was all the strength I needed to pull through. A quick phone call with Alexa, who had her own experience of getting covid at high altitude on Aconcagua, provide some words of wisdom that I a, forever grateful for; “Even when you are sick, you are still stronger than most. You are going to be okay!” These simple words stuck with me throughout the rest of the day and I repeated the mantra “I am strong!” on our climb to 12,700’. 

My dad started to feel the altitude as well. His bang bang (what Nepali people call headache) was steadily increasing, while appetite and his positive attitude was decreasing. As we rallied down to the Ama Dablam Teahouse for the evening, he struggled to eat much of anything and just wanted to rest. After eating some rice and drinking some water, a 12+ hour slumber paid dividends and he woke up his usually chipper self! We are excited to both be feeling near 100% and we’re ready for another push to 13,000’ today!

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