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Expedition Everest Dispatch # 8

April 26 - Well it looks like my 'cold' is more serious. I had an absolutely horrid night last night. I may have slept 4 hours. Most of the night I sat up coughing interposed with brief moments of sleep. I went over to the Italian team this morning and saw 2 of their doctors. It turns out that I have the beginning stages of pleuritis. I am antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and codeine for my cough at night. If I do not get better I will be coming home.

Thursday the BBC team is going up ABC, if I am unable to go up with them the expedition is over. I will be too far behind to make any summit attempt reasonable. I am having my kit bag sent down from ABC since I am not too optimistic.

Last night was so bad I really considered abandoning the expedition immediately. But I waited to see what the doctors had to say. It is really too bad, my Pulse Ox is around 85% consistently which means I am acclimatizing well.

Another curve ball that has been thrown my direction ins a sudden change in reading vision with altitude. My eye doctor said that it might be an issue as a result of LASIX but I had not changes at 14,000 ft but sitting at 17,000 ft. it has definitely taken it's toll. He also indicated that it is usually transient and should return in a couple of weeks return to lower altitudes. The downside is I can't sit down and read a book.

Additionally, the Brunton Solar AA battery charger seems not to be working so I have little power left for playing the CD's I brought.

All of the team has been to the North Col and most have spent at least one night there. Some of our guys are sleeping at 7500 meters tonight so I really feel behind schedule.

April 27 - I am much worse off today than yesterday. Coughing is extremely painful and causing me to wince with pain. Don't make me laugh because it is not funny. The Italian teams doctors confirmed my fears, the grating sound in my chest is pronounced and I have full blown pleuritis. Essentially, short of some miracle I am on my way out. The last line of the Doctors assessment reads, "evacuation".

For 6 hours I have attempted to contact out team leader Dave Pritt of Adventure Peaks but we have no radio communication with ABC. Not Good. I resorted to a SAT phone to call London to get the process underway. (I will be posting all the details when I get back to the States, I was non too happy with the communication failure)

April 28 - I managed to get out of Base Camp in a CTMA (Chinese - Tibetan Mountaineering Association) jeep for a ride to the border. The jeep had no suspension only adding to my discomfort. Fortunately one of my traveling companions was Dr. Kim Chishti from one of the international expeditions. He was able to get us "upgraded" to the Zhang Mu Hotel at the border

April 29 - The Tibet - Nepal border opens at 10:00 am Beijing time and as soon as you cross into Nepal you roll your watch back 2:15. A car was waiting for me sent by our agent from Kathmandu but I refused to ride in it . To small, too old so Dr. Kim and I commandeered a nice SUV with a great driver. The agent was not happy when I got to Kathmandu but this is no superhighway. It was strait away to the CEWIC Clinic to be checked out and then off to "Super X- Ray" for a chest x-ray. Two plates cost 600r's or about $8.75 USD I almost laughed at the price thinking it was going to be at least $100 USD. The diagnosis was confirmed, pleuritis.

April 30 - What a rough night. Crap food at the hotel, dogs barking, mosquitoes in the room and no air circulation. Fortunately our agent arranged to transfer me to the Yak & Yeti Hotel. I went to Mike's Breakfast for the first taste of real food in days. The Y&Y accommodations are great, a real shower, a swimming pool and their World Famous Bar.

I managed to get out and pick up some things in Kathmandu.

May 1 - Fax's, phone calls and emails going back and forth to the insurance company and expedition headquarters in London for our agent in Kathmandu. Kathmandu was hit by a torrential rainstorm which temporally flooded some of the streets around the city and knocked out some electrical and satellite TV service. When the skies cleared, the air was clean and I spent the afternoon relaxing in by the pool at the Y&Y.

May 2 - I got up this morning feeling OK, until I started to cough. I was really restless last night thinking that if I could get better I could go back up. Well the pain in my ribs put that thought to an end soon.

Looks like I am "stuck" in Kathmandu till Tuesday, no space available on Gulf Air to London. I guess I will still have to rough it at the Yak & Yeti.

Please note: The hosting company for ExpeditionEverest.Com , http://www.whizhost.com has had a hardware failure, taking down the domain and email.

For Expedition Everest.Com - Kevin Donovan - Kathmandu, Nepal
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