Fiona is starting to get sick
View from inside our tent to the icefall. Comms tent is in the foreground. Photo: Paul Adler.
Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 17:30 17 April
Weather: Overcast, 5C
Hi It's Paul here. Last night Fiona woke up with a sore throat, which has been the precursor of the upper respiratory infection that has been moving through our team. We immediately started antibiotics, not because it's going to have much effect on the sore throat, but it will hopefully prevent it from becoming a lung infection. This is what happened to me - sore throat, started to get better, but then I developed a lung infection and then the sore throat got worse.
Visited the HRA medical clinic
We went to the HRA medical clinic again today, and they said I am looking much better - my lungs sound clear and my sore throat is nearly gone. It does flair up when I am exposed to cold dry air so I try to wear a mask when ever possible, including while sleeping. In one or two days I should be fine.
Sore throats are a Virus
The doctors believe that the sore throats are viral, so antibiotics won't be any help. Vitamin C, salt water gargle, steam inhalation and a mask are their recommendations. We are following these closely. The doctors here do a great job in what can only be said are less than ideal conditions; their advice and help has certainly been appreciated by Fiona and I.
Lower oxygen means things don't heal quickly
Up here things take so long to heal. I got a small cut on my thumb on the first day we arrived at base camp, and two weeks later it's still basicaly an open wound. At sea level this would have closed over within a day or two.
Hopefully Fiona will get better soon, otherwise if she takes the same time as me (about a week and a half), it will start to be a concern for our climbing schedule. At the moment we are happy to be where we are as we don't want to acclimatise too early. There haven't been many summits in the first half of May in recent history, so we are aiming to be ready for the second half of May.
People going up to Camp 1 and 2
A number of people in our team left for Camp one this morning, and a couple have already been to camps one and two and are back in base camp. They reported that it was very cold, but that the views were simply fantastic. We are keen to go too, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise that we can't. We'll all know in a month or so.
Till next time,
Posted by: Liz on April 17, 2006 11:04 PM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona,
it is a good idea to stay put right now. Take your time to heal completely, or as much as possible before heading further up the mountain. Have my fingers crossed for you and next time you go the HRA medical tent, please give Dr. Luanne Freer a hug from the Hughes family - she will know who we are. Special hugs from Tara Luanne!
Posted by: Marg & Neil Harrington on April 17, 2006 11:25 PM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul
It's such bad luck that you have got sore throats - is this a common thing that happens on these trips? is it because of some of the places you stayed? is it due an infection running around the team or just one of those things. Take care and maybe in a few days you'll be feeling much better and able to start some climbing. Love Mum & Dad xx
Posted by: Liv on April 17, 2006 11:31 PM AEST
Dear Fiona and Paul:
I am happy to hear you not are not forgetting the three Ps. Patience, persistence and perspiration. Just to let you know, your blog is being circulated amongst fellow Spanish hikers here in Mallorca, for inspiration and to practice their English. haha... hugs to both. Liv
Posted by: Brittani on April 17, 2006 11:54 PM AEST
Get better and stay healthy. You have a mountain to climb. And all of us here in cyberspace are just waiting to see pictures of you on top of the world. No doubts, we know you can and will do it. Best wishes and great thoughts be with you.
Posted by: Mary and John on April 18, 2006 12:03 AM AEST
So sorry about your throat Fi-it must be really annoying for you both.We are thinking of you and hope that the enforced rest will help. Looking forward to seeing you soon. lots of love Dad and Mare xx
Posted by: Dee Tozer on April 18, 2006 12:13 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona, reading your comms everyday, most enjoyable. Glad to hear you are over the bug Paul, and I am sure Fiona will be over it in no time.Keep your eye on the end point as hard as that may be when you are both not feeling so good. You are an amazing pair, you will get there,and I can't wait to share your excitement when you do!!!Lots of love Dee
Posted by: Alan Arnette on April 18, 2006 02:37 AM AEST
H Guys, hang in there. You are doing exactly the right thing in taking your time and getting plenty of rest - listen to the Doctor! I know it may be frusturating waiting in BC while others move up but just realx. There is still a ton of time. Remember last year the last summits were on May 31!
Posted by: Vladimir & Svetlana Kufman on April 18, 2006 05:09 AM AEST
Hi,Fiona and Paul. Reading everyday information about your journey is nice.Do not bother about throat it's usually in the high altitude.I am sure you both step on the summit.
Posted by: MC on April 18, 2006 06:25 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
I am sorry to hear about your sore throat, Fiona. Hopefully the antibiotics will prevent a lung infection. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I mentioned this earlier (and I know everyone seems to have an antidote) but I have prevented many sore throats by gargling with mouthwash maybe 5 or 6 times a day. I will get the beginnings of a sore throat and since mouthwash kills germs, it seems to kill the bacteria or whatever is causing the sore throat. This probably sounds silly; maybe the doctors at the HRA medical clinic would have some insight on this idea. It's worked great for me. I hope you will both be 100% soon!
Posted by: Liane and the QE Students on April 18, 2006 07:33 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona:
Happy Easter to you both! We are so sorry to hear that you are feeling ill and we hope that a few more days of rest at Base Camp will do the trick. We have been thinking about you a lot these days, especially since the characters in our book have all arrived at Base Camp too! They are just starting to venture into the Ice Fall, so your real life adventure and our fictional one are right on target. When you eventually do make your way through the Ice Fall, can you tell us what the LARGEST ladder span is this year? We are curious!! Take care - you are always in our thoughts!
Your Canadian friends, the QE Raiders
Posted by: Kennette Hayter on April 18, 2006 09:52 AM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona,
I have been following you since I got back to the states. It was such an honor and great pleasure to have met the two of you. I want to know your secret for always being so "bubbly" and always "up"! I am with all of you in mind and spirit although I do not believe that I have the tenacity to do what the two of you are doing, I am very proud of you! I did not realize it but i was reading some of your posts prior to meeting you in Nepal, not until I went back and was reading some old posts on everest news that I realized it was the two of you. Take care of one another and hope you chest colds get better, I am still battling with mine and am on antibiotics. Tell everyone hello and that I miss everyone! Take care.
Posted by: Meals and Danny on April 18, 2006 09:54 AM AEST
hi paul and fiona, hope you are both feeling better soon. thinking of you. meals and danny
Posted by: Zoe Cook on April 18, 2006 10:57 AM AEST
Dear Fiona & Paul,
Wow - you take some time off studying and enjoying Easter, and it's amazing what you miss! Belated congratulations to Bridget and Chris on their engagement - I'm so wrapped for you both and will be in touch via email shortly.
Paul and Fiona - I continue to enjoy your postings, and am trying to work out an appropriate code so I can record the reading time on my work timesheets! I'm sorry to hear about your ongoing sore throats and infections, and hope that time and rest see you back in action soon. To add to the other suggestions, I once watched a movie where 'Windex' was considered the cure-all - keep it in mind! ;o) Happy Easter to all on the mountain, and all the best with reaching Camp 1 soon.
PS You mentioned on your site that you wash your clothes in cold water - how do they manage to dry and not freeze?
Posted by: Maddi and DP on April 18, 2006 11:05 AM AEST
Fi - hope your throat is feeling better soon and you are both back to full health.
Maddi and DP x
Posted by: Inna and Tim on April 18, 2006 11:38 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona,
Hope you guys are feeling better soon.
Boston Marathon took place today. While the leaders are professional/Olympic athletes, there are thousands of people from Boston running every year. A friend of ours ran for a charity this time. It's so exciting to watch - it's not the time that counts, it's the personal achievement of running through the finish line.
Wishing you guys to reach the summit successfully! It's not a race...
Love, Tim and Inna :)
Posted by: Jan on April 18, 2006 07:38 PM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul
Sorry to hear you've got the bug - lots of resting, reading and recovering! The mountain will still be there when you're ready to rock! I think of you daily and tell anyone who comes near me of your inspiring adventures in that wild and beautiful place.
Love and best wishes, janXX
Posted by: Jacqueline and Mark on April 18, 2006 09:45 PM AEST
Hi Noif and Paulina, as with everyone else reading your entries we wish you both get well very soon...Good to read about what's going on; rest assured that the normal hum-drum is all you're missing here. My patients love hearing about you both. Love J & M
Posted by: KEN PORTER on April 18, 2006 10:35 PM AEST
HOPE YOU ALL GET WELL SOON,GET THIS OVER THEN ALL WILL BE OK FOR THE TRIP UP THE HILL ALL THE BEST FROM KEN
Posted by: Dame on April 19, 2006 12:15 AM AEST
Sorry to hear about you both not feeling well. Can you use bottled oxygen to sleep to improve your healing/recovery?
Thinking of you both, love Dame