Monday, May 26, 2008

Himalayan SOS

Well I am currently on day three of my 7 day trek. I am in Ghorepani at the moment.
I am not having the best time of it here, I have to say. When I signed myself up for this trek I was worried about my knees, my still healing ankle, my lack of fitness, and the general rigor of a week long trek through the Himalayas. It never entered my mind (as I suppose it should have) that my chest infection that I had fought in India was going to rear its ugly head. To put it strait, I can't breath. Each day has gotten worse. At least none of the other trekkers that are staying in the same guest houses as myself question my illness, I keep all of us up at night with my coughing. Sometimes I am alright, then I have a coughing attack, the wheezing comes, my lungs contract in pain and I fight to breath.
Yesterday morning I thought I would have to turn in, I just couldn't bare the pain but I kept going and the walk was amazing! After the initial hellish climb, we stopped the steady upwards assent and walked more or less around the side of the mountain. Ups and downs of course, but nothing like the first day's 3000+ steps and 2000 meter assent. The forest I walked through was breathtaking. Ethereal in every way. I kept my eyes pealed for gnomes and fairies but they kept themselves hidden. The clouds had rolled in and the damp green forest was alive with birds and soft moss that covered all the trees. It was so magical. It rained in the afternoon but my spirits were high from my surroundings. If I wasn't liable to laps into a coughing fit I would have skipped my way through those windy mossy paths.
Yesterday evening, as the cold air set in, my coughing worsened. Even my darling Lenard was not able to sing me to sleep. Now if Mr. Cohen can't calm me into sleep what am I suppose to do?!! At 2am I awoke again with a coughing fit that lasted about an our, occasionally I got a 10 min break when I just felt like crying but couldn't because I didn't have the air support.
This morning I was awoken at 4am to climb Poon Hill to see the amazing views. For days it has been too cloudy to see anything but at 4am the sky looked promising. I headed out, tired and drained from all the coughing. I got part of the way up and had to stop. I just didn't have it in me to suffer through another 30mins of climbing. My guide and I found a nice place to watch the view. It would have been more spectacular from the top but that was just not possible for me. The view I did have was stunning all the same. I have the pictures to prove it.
I told my guide that I didn't think I could continue, that I just couldn't breath. He said "everyone has this problem". I was so angry that I almost lost my temper. I tried to remind him that I was not just out of breath, I had a chest infection, my lungs were tightening in on me, I was in pain, I didn't just need to catch my breath. I need to be able to breath!!
The idea of turning back is almost as painful as pushing onward. I feel I have failed. My dream of being in the Himalayas is slipping from me. I almost broke my ankle in India, China shut Tibet's borders, I can't breath in Nepal, and on top of all this my parents are selling our cottage. I am not one to feel sorry for myself. I lead a wonderful rich life, I am in an amazing relationship, but right now my spirit feels utterly broken. Tears ran down my face the whole walk down Poon Hill. This was not how it was suppose to be.
I don't know what I am going to do.
Do I press on?
Do I go back?
Which would be more painful?
I have to decide soon. My guide is pressing me for an answer.




Anonymous said...

Read the email from our dad.
Love you

Anonymous said...

Dear Linden,
Of course I meant "your" dad. My urgency left a typo. As one plagued with breathing problems, I understand what you are going through. Please follow his advice.
We still have Lachy and Quoia here (Monday). At sea level, I have been up nights with an unrelenting cough from a cold and being tired, couldn't drive the children back home to their parents last night. Misa is expected shortly. No comparison to what you are going through. When you are able, the trip will be astounding.
love you

Anonymous said...

Ohhh Linden!! I am sorry to hear you are having hard times... get better and keep your spirits up. Do what is best for you whether it is to continue on or turn back (I know it would be hard for you to decide to turn back but remember you can always go back another time).

Love love love


Anonymous said...

Dear Linden,
Please consider your health to be more important than anything else. You have already accomplished a great deal. Failed? I think not.