Hard decisions to make

Unfortunately last night things took a turn for the worse. My stomach pain, which up until then had been bearable, suddenly intensified!

After seeing the doctor yesterday I managed to fall asleep late in the afternoon, only waking up a couple of times to drink some water. I had even managed to sleep through dinner! However about 1 a.m. I woke up with what felt like a hand inside my stomach, twisting and moving my organs around. I lay in my tent for the next hour trying to grin and bear the pain, I even tried to make myself sick to relive the pain but with little success. Eventually the pain seemed to come and go in waves and I found myself drifting off to sleep and hoped I might be able to make it through the night without having to wake anyone up.  Unfortunately not long later I woke up vomiting blood. At that point I decided I needed help. I felt bad about wakeningChris or Zack, but the doctor had said earlier that if the pain got worse I should really go to hospital ASAP. I had hoped to ignore the increase in pain because it was the middle of the night and knew nothing could be done till morning anyway.

Being 3:00am in the morning and freezing Ichoose Zack as his tent was considerably closer to mine than Chris’s. While I was getting out of my sleeping bag and getting dressed to walk over to Zack’s tent, all I could think about was how to avoid being sent back to Kathmandu. In my head though I knew it was the most likely outcome. Thankfully getting up and walking about seemed to relieve the pain and by the time I arrived at Zack’s tent door, the pain had subside to a mild throbbing. After explaining what had happened and as it was now 3:30am and the sun would be up in a couple of hours we both agreed that since the pain had subside I should return to my tent, try and sleep and see the doctor again in the morning.

When daylight came I remet Zack in the mess tent and walked with him to the other team’s camp. I felt like a condemned man, both of us knew what he was going to say. We were just going through the motions in the hope that something had changed. Sadly, after explaining to the doctor that I had now started vomiting blood and that the pain had increased dramatically, we were given the answer we were expecting. ‘Evacuation to the hospital in Kathmandu for a thorough check-up.’ Already knowing that this was the most likely outcome didn’t make hearing it any less difficult. In my mind leaving base camp and my team to travel back to Kathmandu to get checked out would mean my expedition was over. Thankfully, Zack was very positive and tried to remind me that it wasn’t necessarily the endand that if my pain was something that the hospital could resolve quickly and I could get a new permit issued from China to travel back into Tibet, there was a chance I could make it back in time for an attempt at the summit. We therefore decided I would leave for Kathmandu and the hospital today.

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