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Thursday, 19 April 2007

Deboche to Pheriche [Day 8]

Not well at all

I wake early having had an excellent sleep, but as a preventative measure still take one Sinex tablet and a blast of Decomit up each nostril. No hint of a headache at all this morning - all my nasal passages are clear. Rather worryingly though, my left eye is watering badly... and I also have an immediate urge to use the loo.

I look out of the front door as the porters are getting ready to load the yaks. Someone has lit a juniper fire on the front step as a blessing to the mountain - its aroma fills the morning air. The sun is beating down again - so bright in the thin atmosphere, it reflects off everything.

I have a quick wash around my private parts with wet wipes to keep some semblance of cleanliness and get dressed in yesterday's grubby, dusty, sweaty clothes. I have now decided to avoid shaving until I return to Namche as very few lodges seem to have proper facilities... often just a cold (and I mean cold) tap. My thoughts flood suddenly back to home and all the creature comforts, particularly my wife and kids. I am missing them.

Testing this morning - Resting O2 90; HR 60; BR 13.  BP 130/83; 106/80; 119/78.  After exercise O2 85; HR 136; BR 13.

The walk up to Orsho via Lower Pangboche (3,874 metres) is delightful, contouring the Imja Khola river. The milky white waters tumble down the massive, rock strewn riverbed. Boulders as big as houses litter the floor, eroded from the high valley dominated by Ama Dablam.

Leaving the Deboche lodge
Fantastic images await
Pangboche
Lost in my own thoughts (photo courtesy of Ralf)
The weary walk of tired trekkers
'Namaste'

It was at this point when my worst fear was eventually realised. I develop one of my 'demon' migraine headaches and am pretty much out of it. Max (one of my fellow trekkers and an intensive care doctor), administers some Otripine drops for me, but this does not alleviate the pain.

Sunrise Guest House - refreshments

The afternoon walk I want to forget for ever. I nearly pack it all in... I stumble along, head throbbing and feeling sick. I am only driven by the requirement to reach the sanctuary of the White Yak at Pheriche (4,270 metres), so I can find a quiet, dark room and lie down.

A world of pain (photo courtesy of Felicity)
Last rest before descent to Pheriche
Pheriche... at long last
Sanctuary

I take a Sinex tablet at 1130hrs with 1,000mg paracetamol, two codeine tablets at 1520hrs, two inhalations of Decomit at 1700hrs, five drops of Otripine 1830hrs, 1,000mg Paracetamol 1845hrs, 400mg Ibuprofen at 1945hrs and finally 3 drops Otripine before going to bed.

I cannot go on like this, taking this amount of medication. I have never, ever in my life consumed so many drugs in such a short period of time.

After seeing me lying almost comatose on my sleeping bag, with a head feeling ready to explode, a concerned Mike goes to get the Pheriche Lab doctor. The young Kiwi doctor comes to see me and prescribes more Ibuprofen. I don't feel like getting up and stay cocooned in my sleeping bag in the freezing cold room. I am feeling really sorry for myself and attempt to sleep.

Medics at Pheriche Lab

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