24 Apr Sandy vs Everest…
3 years ago today I was in Nepal which is an incredibly beautiful country with breathtaking scenery.
But… at exactly this time I was in a Medivac helicopter being evacuated to a hospital in Kathmandu because I was dying.
You see, I was climbing Everest with my daughter… for some crazy reason after watching the movie Everest (where heaps of people died) I felt compelled to have my own trekking adventure.
Danielle was as excited as I was about it so we started making plans.
We spent months training and felt reasonably prepared, although leading up to the trek we also spent a lot of the time yelling at each other about not being fit enough and stressing about whether we would make it.
I even hired an altitude tent to sleep in every night leading up to the trek ‘cos I’d suffered altitude sickness before and didn’t want to go through that again!
It really was the most amazing experience ever. Kathmandu is sensory overload. Colours and sounds and smells assault you from every angle. It was so much fun and leading up to the trek was SO exciting. We couldn’t wait to get started.
The trek was everything I could have imagined… stunning mountains, scary plane ride just to get to the start of trek, yaks, Sherpas, steps, steps and more steps, stunning mountains, super long scary swaying bridges, snow, quaint little tea huts, hot soup, cold hands, freezing nights, dirty toilets, smiling faces, and did I mention the stunning mountains?
It was quite simply one of the most amazing experiences I’d ever had.
However, pretty much from the first day I was also wracked with nausea, headaches and lethargy, which as the days went on, progressed to me having more and more trouble breathing, popping sounds in my lungs with each breathe, and I would cough so hard, I felt like a lung was going to fly out my mouth. It wasn’t fun.
But I loved the trek so much I really didn’t want to stop… that was until I literally couldn’t go any further.
2 days before the end of the trek I broke down, I couldn’t take another step, I couldn’t breathe, I was scared to lay down at night because I’d heard of people dying in their sleep (a woman the day before drowned as her lungs filled with fluid as she slept).
At the time I actually thought I just had a chest infection, but I knew I couldn’t go on.
So they called in the Medivac team. It turns out some people just can’t cope with altitude, and I’m one of them – I’m so lucky I left when I did – I had fluid on my lungs and on my brain and was suffering severe dehydration and altitude sickness. Usually when it gets to that stage you have around 24 hours left. I was helicoptered off the mountain straight to a hospital in Kathmandu.
The time in hospital was a bit of a blur, x-rays, needles, oxygen, drips – but as you probably guessed, I lived to tell the tale…
And let me tell you, when I was discharged and got back to my Kathmandu hotel and having a cup of hot chocolate was a moment of pure bliss!
Coming back to Australia my body was still under so much stress and it started shutting down. In the following weeks I got a chest infection, a bladder infection, an ear infection, a tooth infection and my hair started falling out.
I felt like shit. Not just physically, but mentally too.
On the outside everything looked fine, but on the inside, I was a mess.
I couldn’t focus, my mind was like mush, I couldn’t remember things.
The first cold night we had (and it doesn’t even get that cold here on the Sunshine Coast) I lay in bed in a beanie and scarf and gloves, crying my eyes out. I think the cold triggered more stress.
I only ever drink water, but I couldn’t bring myself to drink any because again, it stressed me (we had to drink gallons of it on the mountain, but by the end I couldn’t even keep that down).
I had my toiletry bag sitting next to the bath for a couple of months after the trek, and when I finally opened it to unpack, again, I broke down sobbing.
So I went to the Doctor and he said I had PTSD and referred me to a specialist for help.
But I never went… because the girl before me at the Doctors was going through some REAL trauma (from what I could gather her parents had been killed) and I felt me and my stupid mountain climbing incident wasn’t worthy of wasting a professionals time (dumb I know, but that’s how I felt at the time)
With lots of personal mindset work and meditation I eventually recovered. But… I have made the decision this beach baby is staying closer to sea level from now on. 😊
Why am I telling you all this, as it has nothing to do with manifesting or Law of Attraction
I guess I just wanted to share that although it was the WORST time of my life, it was also one of the BEST times of my life.
And you can bet that 3 years ago, if you had told me the entire world would be in lock-down because of a crazy virus I would have thought you were watching too many ‘end of the world’ movies.
But here we are, and 3 years on I am just happy and extremely grateful I made it off Everest alive, and happy to be home in my little piece of paradise, totally grateful and loving being isolated while still being connected by this amazing thing called the internet…
and hope you and your family are safe and well too
BTW – if you listen to the audio at the top of the page, at the very end, you can hear me just minutes before I was helicoptered off the mountain.