4-24-16 through 4-28-16
After our rotation to Camps 1 and 2, we planned to take four full rest days to get back on our feet. I really needed this time off…coming down was tough for me, not only because I felt exhausted but also because my cough increased substantially. First night back at EBC was demoralizing and miserable, coughing up green plugs all night long, getting little real sleep. The thought of trying for the summit seemed preposterous.
Fortunately, we have great expertise in our IMG guides. A multi-pronged attack on the cough has worked wonders! I almost feel back to my old self after several days of intensive treatment, including:
- Rest to reduce the cough trigger of deep breathing;
- Staying in the tent as much as possible to shield my lungs from the withering dry cold wind;
- Always breathing through a buff;
- Minimizing talking and joking, even at meal time (this is tough);
- Lots of hot beverages, including some Throat Coat tea featuring Slippery Elm;
- Breathing in hot vapors (water, with or without liniment);
- Cepacol lozenges to numb the throat;
- Guaifenesin + dextromethorphan every 12 hours;
- Codeine 15mg by mouth every 6 hours if necessary (usually not, just at bedtime);
- Continuing twice-daily Advair Diskus;
- Albuterol MDI several times per day as needed for wheezing.
The pain in my right chest is purely musculoskeletal, I must have strained an intercostal while coughing. It is getting better.
We stayed active, of course, including a hike to a local lookout…
And a trip to the glacier for ice climbing for some of us…
Although we will not need to use O2 on this coming rotation, we started getting familiar with the systems now, well ahead of when we will need them…
We ultimately decided to add a fifth rest day, meaning today 4-28-16, which was welcome news to me. I’m as eager as anyone for the summit, but I’ve been planning on this expedition since the second grade… another day of rest makes sense.
The plan: leave after midnight tonight for Camp 1, then spend the night there. Next day, we will go to Camp 2 and spend the night there. Then, we climb to a new high: Camp 3 circa 24,000 feet, where we spend the night without supplemental oxygen… it will be spicy. Then, down to Camp 2 for a night, and then back to EBC the next day.
Thus, I’ll be offline until at least May 3, 2016. I’ll try to keep in touch daily via the Delorme InReach, feel welcome to track our progress if you like. Happy birthday in advance to my lovely sister Katie, I will miss you on our shared birthday 4-30.
Vibe of the day: Let’s do this.