As I’ve had time to really process everything, at least for the most part, I should probably say a few words about the trip before I start posting my pictures, videos and testimonials and definitely before any media comes out now that we’ve been back for a week.
Despite best efforts, four out of five of us summited. I did not. On day 5, summit night, I made it about halfway to the summit before I couldn’t breathe at all; not altitude sickness but really couldn’t breathe, probably a combination of severe asthma, altitude and thin oxygen. You know that feeling when you get the wind knocked out of you and you’re gasping for breath? The higher I went to closer to that I got and my pulsox (taken once I was down at camp by another who failed to summit because my guide, although knowing the signs and symptoms could not get his puslox to work with my long nails) was bouncing around between 28 and 36. Normally it should be 100 at around sea level but at that altitude it’s usually around 60 because of the thin air (approximately 50% oxygen at that altitude). How I was still conscious and just passing out at that point is beyond me. So it got the point, me crying (and not breathing) in between waves of consciousness and arguing that I could go on, my guide told me that if I tried to continue I’d could quite possibly die because going on, there was very little if anything they could do should things go further south and that they needed to get me back to camp (and potentially down one more camp) and a lower altitude ASAP. Of all the things I have going on medically (knees, ankles, heels, MS, titanium spine, etc) it would be my lungs to crap out on me. Or as my dad said in his one line response, “you suck at breathing.” STUPID F’N ASTHMA!
But we all made it back down safely in the end, and lavished in beer, Kinyagi with Fanta, a shower and a bed. We all hurt immensely and could barely walk once we finally stopped moving. Pictures and stories and videos to come of course, along with many many more stories.
Don’t forget there’s still time to donate. I may not have made it to the top but I can still make it to the top of that goal. MY STUBBORN ASS ALMOST DIED FOR THIS PEOPLE! Please continue to share far and wide! And I’m thinking about trying again! Let’s go out with a bang (the you need a cigarette afterwards kind)!