At six in the morning, I scrambled a few of my belongings together and was whisked away into a helicopter. It was a whirlwind moment with hardly enough time to say goodbye. Most of the members at camp didn’t even know I had left. Within minutes, I was at eye level with the summit of Ama Dablam in a helicopter as I flew to Lukla.
I used my Global Rescue membership to charter the helicopter without the expense and surprisingly, one of their staff was in the helicopter. He checked my vitals and accompanied me all the way back to Kathmandu in the second helicopter and then made sure I was okay at the hospital as they did checks. It was a pretty impressive service, albeit one that I never wanted to test out.
Once in Kathmandu, I was basically on my own. I did an MRI, CBTC, OPG, and X-ray. These tests were requested by the doctor, ENT specialist, and dentist. After all of these tests, it turns out I had sinusitis and two infections in my gum. The infections stemmed from my motorcycle crash a decade ago. The long story cut short is that I had two root canals. However, they couldn’t finish them due to the infection so they were left open to be completed upon return. A painful experience when they can’t use an anesthetic due to the infection.
I only had three full days in Kathmandu and walked more kilometers than when trekking or climbing as I made the medical rounds. It wasn’t relaxing at all and I left feeling battered. The plan was to fly back to Lukla and try and ‘hitchhike’ back to Makalu Base Camp with someone who was going there (with Seven Summit Treks) already and had space.
I almost had a flight the second day but it didn’t quite pan out. I ended up waiting for five long nights in Lukla. It’s an interesting little town but I was bored, to say the least, and wanted to get back to my mission. In the end, it was probably good for me to spend a few extra nights down at 3000m rather than rush back up to 5,800m.
My head is still feeling blurry and the infections still have some pain. It will be interesting to see how I go when I get back up there. I’m not afraid to fail so I may aswell try!