I brushed my teeth with my third toothbrush of the trip this morning. For awhile, I couldn’t remember why I needed a second but it just came to me, my bags were initially delayed when I got to Kathmandu.
I was brushing with my third toothbrush in he Norvic International Hospital this morning. I was tempted to type hotel because my room is as quiet as comfy as a hotel room. A hotel room that comes with benefits like respiratory therapy, vital sign monitoring, and medications to help me get better.
They are discharging me today. I got some sleep last night, first time in weeks as the treatment cut the coughing jags in half. I’ll be on meds for a few days and I got cleared to return to 5000 metres. This is terrific news as I have friends trekking to meet me at Mt Everest base camp and maybe, just maybe I can trek there with them.
So that seems like a win when I could perceive all losses. I can’t think ahead to 7000 or 8000 or almost 9000 metres. It’s way to early to think of that. First, I’m grateful that my teammates and I are safe (that they made it through the Khumbu Icefall and me over it). I’m also grateful that this is my first hospitalization in 15 years and that I have little interaction with health care ( ie I’m pretty darn healthy). I’m grateful that this experience is novel not familiar.
Second, though this may ultimately mark the third attempt rather than summit of Everest, one never knows. Already, I see signs of improvement. I’m moving more. I’m more alert. I had my first shower in two weeks (Did I mention that it was divine and offered both hotel and Everest Base Camp ( i.e. Bucket options)? I’m wanting to get out. I’m grateful for a one night stay/ experience rather than a two week or two year one ( and I know so many friends who’ve endured/survived/ overcome much much tougher health crisis than I ever will.
Finally, the sudden removal from the situation has given the gift of reflection that is difficult to manage from within it. The circular patterns of thinking have been broken, giving both levity and perspective. Odometer moments abound. Like the moment above where I set a new sleeping altitude record for myself. 7200 metres. How many other humans slept at that that altitude that night? 30? 50? Likely 100 max in the whole world and that’s pretty cool.
Or this step? When was the last time you took a step like this one? Tethered or not?
I’ve always said, of my first two attempts, and likely my third (but it’s too early to be a realist), that if I wasn’t willing to risk disappointment, then I would be leaving too many life enriching experiences on the table. Too many odometer moments unclicked or unnoticed.
Instead, having “expeditionious interuptus” has given me even more fight and will to persevere if I hadn’t. Funny how when they are going to take something away you love, that you hold on with all of your might.
I’m being discharged at noon. Ill be doing everything I can think of to get strong and healthy and I’ll keep sharing this mountainous path and all of its odometer moments with you.
Please keep me, the people of northern Alberta, and all those who suffer in your mind today. We can all use your care and compassion. Thanks.