At a family gathering yesterday a few different people seemed to have things to say about our upcoming trip to Nepal.
One aunt was chatting away about a story she'd read in a weekend paper supplement about a guy who had spent a few months trekking around in the mountains of Nepal and who then had to spend 6 weeks in hospital recovering after he got home.
That was OK, we're not planning to be as high for as long or to push it like that fellow.
Then my uncle decided to chime in.
"I have to tell you that a woman I used to work with went and did this trek with a Canadian girl and the Canadian girl never made it back.
She died of Mountain Sickness.
They got her back to the Kathmandu hospital whilst she was still alive but she didn't pull through."
'I didn't need to hear that' I thought.
"Of course, she'd been having breathing difficulties for a while. Sounding all bubbly and wheezy.
But she kept saying 'it was only a little bit further' and refused to turn back.
And she was drinking alcohol the whole time.
And this was 20 years ago."
Thanks, unhelpful uncle.
So not only did she get Mountain Sickness (which I will forever hear in a 'Tales of Interest!' from Futurama voice) because she went against specific medical advice after experiencing symptoms of difficulty, she was drinking and not getting adequate rest or hydration etc.
And as it was 20 years ago they probably knew less about altitude sickness and if she was even part of a guided tour they probably weren't as rigorous about safety and First Aid Training and their guides (assuming they had any) won't have been trained in monitoring and treating the symptoms of altitude sickness and definitely won't have been carrying an inflatable decompression chamber.
So thanks for amping up the idea that I might die of 'Mountain Sickness!' for no reason :-/