Post 6 up and up and hurry down.
We move quickly up the valley the long days and in three days we arrive at Chunkung where we meet our climbing sherpa and preparing for Island peak climbing up to 18,000 ft and coming back to the tea house to sleep. we are now 2 days ahead of schedule and are debating where and how to spend them. We both get a little gut sick, food, going up to fast probably the blame snows most every day and I am excited to transition to the climb and colder weather its no fun if every day is easy.
We start up a beautiful valley we are out of all plant live by now the landscape it harsh but beautiful . The plan is to walk to base camp good weather and not a long day but on the way up I am not feeling right. My stomach is turning and feeling unusually tired. We approach base camp and I go to the bathroom and pass a bunch of blood. To tired to walk down i plan to stay in my tent to recover from whatever was going on. Cat leaves at 1am for the summit push I wake to see him off feeling bad. It is cold and snowing hard. I wake again at 3am bad pain I crawl out of my tent in a hurry to go to the toilet stand up and black out I crawl to a rock and again eject a large amount of blood even fresher. I crawl back to my tent to get into my bag to warm up and fall to sleep. I know now that I will need to get help and get my sat phone and start calling for a rescue. Cat returns at 6am the weather turned him around before he gets to the top. By the time he gets to the tent we are in full rescue mode I am loaded in heli flown to a hospital in Lukla diagnosed with a active bleed. They give me IV floods to hydrate and then fly me to Kathmandu to stop the bleeding.
I get form the top to the bottom in about 12 hours every hour getting harder my blood count dropped from 10.4 to below 7 where I am transfused for the first time. When i arrive in Kathmandu I am met by the surgeon and anesthesiologists and rushed to surgery. This is the same hospital i was in a year ago this week. He has scheduled a endoscopy where they go through my mouth into my stomach looking for the bleeding. They found a bad bleed and clamped it i come out in ICU and given another bag of blood. I continue to pass blood and was told I had a lot of blood loss and will take days to expel. Maybe weeks to recover. I am joking I am full of sherpa blood.
On day 3 the bleeding get bad again, I have been under constant transfusion and my counts are still dropping a decision is made to move me to the biggest hospital in Kathmandu where they have better equipment. I arrive and go to my second surgery in 3 days. I can see that thing are serious Cat and the team is walking down he hopped on a helicopter from namche and comes to help. I am met the next morning by a team of doctors and tell me they are going to have to get aggressive with stopping the bleeding they go in both from inside my stomach and through the artery in my leg this two prong attack finally stops the bleeding. My count has dropped to 5.6 which is in the you could die range. over the next 4 days my blood level starts to rise and I am transfused to 7 and holds. I have a port in my neck and both arms I look like Frankenstein. I have had 3 surgery’s, 8 units of blood no food or water. Things finally start turning around on day 6 I haven’t been given blood in two days and finally start to improve and look to go home.
I settle into a routine Cat and Dil walk a hour one way to the hospital to check on me I get visitors 3 times a day they bring me fresh pomegranate and Mellon juice the first food in days. By this time I have everyone working on whats next both here and home. In order to go home I have to start eating, get weened from oxygen and my blood count has to rise to 8.5 to make the fit to fly standard I am told this could take weeks. I have a flight in two days and start planning to make that flight.
Lessons to grandkids ???? This is a hard one.
Be an good friend in need and you will always be surrounded my good friends when you need them.