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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

That Time The KoB Almost Died on Vacation... well... not really.

The day after hiking up Hope Pass, The KoB and I were both a little hungover (thank you high gravity beer and high altitude) and my calves were totally and utterly fucked. I dunno if I spent all nine miles of the Hope Pass hike walking on my tiptoes or what, but I couldn't walk without soreness for about 4 days. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Anyway, since we didn't feel our best, we figured we'd just hop in the car and explore a bit. So... that we did....

First Stop: Independence Pass

 That's the road to Independence Pass. 
It was extremely curvy and switchbacky. 

 Helluva view though.

Next up: Was the Ghost Town of Independence.
 I loved seeing the remnants of these little towns.
It was amazing to think about what life must have been
like back then. Particularly in the harsh winters.
 Another view of Independence Pass on the way back down.
By the time we got back to Leadville, we were feeling better and went out for an early dinner. After dinner we went to bed and kinda/sorta expected to tackle some 14ers the next day. Until, The KoB stopped being able to breathe easily and started wheezing like a 67 year old smoker with emphysema. And then the coughing began. It was a rough night. I've watched enough of Beyond the Limit episodes to be able to diagnose him with the early stages of High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) (despite the fact that I haven't taken a science class since my junior year of high school, I am well versed in all the mediciney things in the world. Trust me).
Sadly, I couldn't find one gif from that incredible tv show.
So, instead here's a gif of Alfonso Ribeiro doing the
Carlton on top of Everest.
The next morning, after I got probably 5 hours of sleep, to the KoB 30 minutes or so, I read the list of symptoms to the KoB for HAPE and he had like all of them. And the only cure is to get to lower altitude.
Sadly, we didn't have one of these altitude chambers for him to lie in.
Too bad for him we still had 1 night left in Leadville!

After we got home and he checked the interwebs doing research on it, he got pissed at me because I didn't tell him that one of the outcomes for untreated HAPE is... well... death. But, I mean... you could die from anything. I feel like the stock answer on WebMD is always yup... it's fatal. Plus, we were at 10,000 ft. Not 20,000. He was going to be unable to breath easily for the next 3 days, but I felt certain that he wasn't going to die from it. AND LOOK... HE DIDN'T. Anyway, next time, I know to lead with the worst possible scenario when reading off of WebMD for him. HAPPY VACATION, guys.

More postcard like pictures and more stories of The KoBs worsening airways to come.

1 comment:

Carina said...

Haha, glad he survived despite the risk that he did not voluntarily undertake. If we ever meet in person, I'll have to tell you about my husband's medical issue at the Hermitage. Way too long to write. Like seeing Leadville, I'd love to go there some day. Can't imagine living in one of those little towns back in the day... Wonder what a day in the life would have been like.