Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting high = getting sick

Have you ever heard of altitude sickness? Maybe I had, maybe not. Probably did but sort of pushed it out of my mind as one of those things I'm immune to :). So this week we're in Breckenridge, Colorado, on a wonderful vacation that came together with some help of family and friends and divine providence. We're really having a great time, but didn't realize just how sick we'd get the first day! Breckenridge town sits at 9600ft, and then we're doing some skiing up higher in the mountains. Apparently that's pretty high, who knew?

Our first day out here, we hopped off the plane and took a bus out to our hotel in Breck. We picked up our skis, grabbed some dinner and hit the hay. Sleep came tough though, as breathing wasn't exactly easy... but that's to be expected, the air's thinner up here! So a night of fitful sleep led to a beautiful winter morning. Snow covered the ground and continued to come down, the air was crisp and fresh, and we took off to the mountain. After about 5 hours of skiing and some lunch, I picked up a massive headache and suddenly felt incredibly nauseous. Took a short nap in the locker room while JJ finished up some lessons. Then we hopped in the gondola to ride back down to town. If you're new to the whole skiing thing like us... this is a gondola:

About 7 minutes into our ride, it all came up, 4 times in a row. The pork tamales from the night before, the apples and cinnamon oatmeal from breakfast, and the tuna fish from lunch. Add in a lot of water and that other stuff, and we had a royal mess in our gondola on the way back down.

All this to say, if you're going somewhere high in altitude and not used to it, take it slowly! They recommend around here to spend a night in Denver before heading up higher. Next time, we'll do that. Drink a lot of water, and if you feel sick, stay home in bed and watch movies, don't go ride in swinging, swaying gondolas and ski down crazy mountains. We're glad we scheduled a few extra days in our trip so we could take a day to rest after hitting a wall on day 2!

According to webmd, the symptoms of Altitude Sickness are "Headache (chief symptom), poor appetite, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, difficulty sleeping". They don't mention crazy big vomiting, but I've always liked to take things to extremes. And I may have eaten a bad relleno at the mexican restaurant the night before (tasted real bitter, something must have been bad in that).

But we're all better now, time to get back to the fun!


Rachel said...

I hope I don't get sick when Eric and I go in Jan!

Michael & Joe Joe said...

Drink lots of water, no caffeine or alcohol, and they say aspirin helps. Supposedly there's also "altitude pills" which help... can't vouch for that though. You'll be fine! We were good after the first day.