Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Andrew!

So here we are....10th May 2006 - 1 year until Andrew reaches the grand old age of 50 - and the whole reason why he had this crazy idea of climbing some huge mountain and dragging along his long suffering wife and a few mates.

I was sceptical at first. With my poor circulation and a newly mended knee I wasn't sure if I should attempt such a mammoth climb, but I guess there's only one way to find out if I'm up to it....

Much as I love mountains I was harbouring doubts that I'd be able to cope with the altitude. Now I am looking forward to gazing out from the top of Kili across the bewitching African plains below and thinking: 'I've done it, I've conquered the mountain'.

So how can I prepare for the altutude and help prevent the sickness? And how will I know if I've got it? Headache, shortness of breath, malaise, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, dizziness.....hopefully I'll spot all those symptoms easily enough!

Apparently, those most at risk are smokers and anyone with an existing heart problem. OK on both of those. I'm a believer in homeopathic medicines and two remedies are suggested: Aconite 6c which can be used to treat the symptoms and Arsenicu Album 6c which can be taken if there's a delay in receiving medical treatment.
Ginkgo Biloba is also thought to help as it boosts the amount of oxygen and other nutrients reaching the brain. I should be taking Ginkgo regularly, anyway, as I suffer from Reynauds disease - where the flow of blood to the extremities is restricted resulting in white, bloodless fingers ("chip fingers" my friend at school called them) and blue lips! I demonstrated very well last week, on our team hike up Snowdon, what happens when Reynauds strikes - I lost all circulation in at least 6 of my fingers through holding onto my walking poles a little too tightly. Not a good start. It took at least 10 minutes to get them back into working order in Wales (the fingers...not the walking poles) - goodness knows how long it will take in freezing conditions 5,895m up Kili. Just as well I've got nine months to sort out my altitude problem...
As far as fitness goes, I'm feeling quietly confident that I'll be ready. Last week proved that even by sitting on my backside all week I can manage a quick sprint (ok, so maybe not that quick...) up a small mountain, so it can't be that difficult.
Can it?
Anyway, Andrew, happy 49th birthday and good luck with your training. You wouldn't want to be beaten by your (younger) wife now, would you?


Blogger Andrew said...

Thanks, Mrs M - congratulations on your first Kili50 post - and NO, I wouldn't!

6:40 AM  

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