Another 7,000 Foot Bad Trip

Discussion in 'Survival of the Fittest' started by TXKajun, May 20, 2017.

  1. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I thought my last stent was going to take care of my problems at high altitudes, but I discovered last week that it didn't really help. :( My work sends me to different places where I audit processes which means I walk around, ask questions, write observations, etc. Not physically difficult at all. The last 2 times I've been up high, I've had problems. This time, extreme altitude sickness and terrible shortness of breath after walking just 20' or so. After my 3rd and 4th stents, I thought for sure the doc finally got it right and I wouldn't have any more problems.

    I don't know whether to do a weight loss and exercise plan or go back to my cardiologist or find a new cardio doc. It's pretty depressing to have this happen again and again. Maybe it's just time to retire. :(

    UncleMorgan, sec_monkey and AD1 like this.
  2. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Edit: Missed the part about the stents. Lifestyle change my friend is the only way to get this under control.

    Read these success stories. Heart Disease | Mark's Daily Apple

    This one with stents


    Have you ever had a stress test? Find a good Holistic Cardiologist like this guy I go to. He is BIG into Paleo. Would rather treat conditions with diet exercise and suplments than Big Pharma products. Phoenix Natural Cardiologist – Wolfson Integrative Cardiology
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
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  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I doubt that the stents contributed a whole lot to altitude sickness, nor reduce the effects of and by themselves. Based on personal experience at altitude, 6800 feet takes months to acclimate, and even then you run slower. A short term at (what amounts to) 12000 feet was a real problem for me. (Back then, I smoked. For sure that did not help.)

    (Retirement ain't all bad --)
  4. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Agree with G and AD1. In the meantime any chance you can get put on flat lander only duty?
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  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Altitude Sickness can effect anybody, when they are above 5000' ASL... It is a Personal Thing, and changes with age, and health... When I was much younger, I was a High Altitude Climber, and I have seen perfectly healthy 25 year Olds completely "Crap Out" at 5000' and 80 year Old Men do just fine at 14.5K'..... You just do not know till you get up there.... My BIL was the first American to summit Mt. Everest, without O2... and has summited on every major Peak on this Rock.... It is just something you have to deal with, and IT CAN, and sometimes WILL, Kill You....
  6. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Hi @TXKajun , I was an avid climber for most of my life and only stopped when Afghanistan sort of derailed me. What you are hearing from the others is basically correct. Altitude sickness can affect anyone and it can affect them differently at different times for different reasons. I had it so bad once that I couldn't keep water down (coming out of both ends) and walked like a drunk as did the yak also I was holding onto because it had it also (I found out later is was only half yak so more acceptable to attitude). Now, that was at around a bit more than 15,000 feet and as soon as I got a ways down - bingo! It was like someone flipped a switch and I was fine again. At other times, I have been much higher and didn't it get it or I would only get queasy from having obtained altitude too quickly for my body to adjust. Altitude shortness of breath is normal, even when you are in excellent condition - if you are gasping then you obviously are going too fast. I remember once, that I tried eating a candy bar while walking and it was impossible and I was in excellent shape! Yet, the Sherpa carrying some of the gear was smoking...damn show off, but they like to rub it in...grrrr! What climbers usually do is 'climb high and sleep low' to acclimatize but even then one can get it due to many things, like if your body is fighting a cold or overexertion (which is what causes most climbers to get it). The other thing one can do is take oxygen which might be the ticket for you (perhaps a small bottle) and, of course, exercise which helps your body process oxygen better. But, having said that, some people are just more prone to attitude sickness than others. Personally, I really don't think the stent has anything to do with it...if the artery is open and blood is flowing then it is how you are processing the blood so, yes, exercise will help but understand there are many other variables at work here also: how fast you obtained altitude, are you overly tired, dehydration, sick (flu, cold, etc.), how hard are you exerting yourself... Anyway, what you experienced, even at 7000 feet, is normal. My wife starts getting sick even lower than that... Exercise, drink lots of water (even if you aren't thirsty), go slow and let your body make the pace but realize that if you still might feel sick if you immediately jump to 7000 feet especially if you live in the flats at sea level.

    EDIT: One last thing... @BTPost is right, in that it can kill you if you let it. It is not anything to fear but it demands your respect and attention, kind of like using a skill saw. Honestly monitor how you are feeling, drink lots, understand you are out of your normal environment and if you start feeling worse then abort. It one of main rules of climbing, 'never argue with altitude sickness'. The other is 'never argue with the weather' and it is both of these that kill more climbers than any others due to climbers ignoring them or trying to push through them, basically arguing with them...
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  7. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Wow, what great replies......and from folks who have BTDT! Whew! That really takes a load off my mind. Sweetie, our son, and I had a long talk last night and that helped bunches, too. I think flat land duty may be just the ticket, at least for a while. Diet and exercise also to help things along. I've been a subscriber to Mark's Apple for quite a while, but haven't dug into it as deeply as I need to. Thanks for pointing that site out. I like the idea of a holistic cardiologist. I've had several stress tests, the nuclear kind, not the treadmill kind, and after my first stent, they went fine. My cardio doc said last time (about 8 weeks ago) that he did a thorough check during my angioplasty and that all the arteries were clear. Sooooooooooo, looks like it's going to be the diet/exercise route.

    Again many thanks!

    UncleMorgan, Ganado, Ura-Ki and 3 others like this.
  8. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    Call Dr Wolfson and ask if he can recommend someone in your area.. He can "see you" via phone if he has your test data.
  9. Capt. Tyree

    Capt. Tyree Hawkeye

    A side factor to mitigate one's susceptibility to the effects of high altitude is to eat smaller meals, or just healthy nutrition protein type snacks when expecting to experience physical exertion. Minimize that "full belly" feeling by eating less until after the outdoor physical exertion, and then eat only as much as you are comfortable with. No need putting demands on your blood supply to do large digestive duties when you are about to embark on some strenuous activity in thin air under a hot sun.

    Also, as mentioned in other posts, stay ahead of your hydration. Those of us who reside on the semi-tropical US Gulf Coast don't realize we are sweating when we hike and hunt at high altitudes because it's already evaporating before it builds up. Once you get behind on your water intake and start to feel the negative effects of dehydration, it takes temporary cessation of the physical activity while you gradually drink the water your body needs. You can't rush it to catch up. An excellent snack during those early onset moments are oranges. They have energy, fluids, and fiber in one round package!
  10. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Capt. Tyree, you nailed it about the size of meals! I couldn't believe that when I ate what would normally be a small meal for me that I felt absolutely stuffed!! Unfortunately, I would eat what I thought was a small amount and 15 minutes later felt like I had eaten a 6 course feast. I took care to drink more water than usual, but no snack. :(

    More great comments. You folks are great!

  11. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I live at aprox 9400 AGL and it took the wife several weeks to get used to it, Me, I was born to it! Much of my adult life has been spent at high alt, ether flying or climbing, or jumping. Many good posts in dealing with it, and know that it can change as you age! One of my old Flight Surgeons would test us for all sorts of things before an OP, and those that were showing signs of coming down with something almost always had problems. The advice of eating oranges is spot on, and a good protein load will help as well. Avoid Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, and any other liquids other then water or natural juice as your body needs less work to do it's job, and the big one is sugar, nothing like a sugar load to push your body through ups and downs and "burn your O2" your brain will thank you!
    I would look at modifying your diet, especially if you know a high up job is coming, and I would recommend low work load food items for your system to process, and I would also look to add in fruit drinks with electrolyte supplements ( like Gatoraid, but with out the sugar) as these will really help you keep your water by slowly replenishing your fluids and they also keep you from peeing as much, which also helps you stay hydrated longer, just drink lots of water so that when you do need to flush, you have enough.
    Good luck, and keep at it!
  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    If any of your suggestions don't include "midgets dancing to carnival music" it's just not good enough!
    Feeling light headed, like you're tipsy drunk?
    Make it a party, wooo!

    (disclaimer, the FDA and Brokor do not recommend dancing with midgets and strippers at high altitudes unless you've only got one day left to live.)
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  13. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    You are SO not right in the head B..

    PS: LOVE the fine print.
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  14. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Brokor, if I'd tried dancing with those lovelies, they'd have been performing CPR and mouth-to-mouth to me in 1 minute. Wait, wait! I'm NOT saying that like it's a bad thing. :p LOL

  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    That picture reminds me of a couple of very lovely ladies I met down in Tombstone at the bird cage doing tours!!!
  16. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Without the white face paint though-been there;)
  17. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

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  18. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Just to pop in with a skinny 2-cent's worth.

    Invest in one of those portable O2 cylinders that people with severe COPD or lung cancer wind up using. Then pack it along on all those trips to Uphillville.

    Think of it as emergency therapy if you get hit hard by altitude sickness unexpectedly it may simply take too long to get down to a tolerable altitude.

    Mr. Brain starts shutting down after about 180 seconds without oxygen. After 90 seconds, you probably wouldn't be walking at all.

    Worse yet, Mr. Brain has a tendency to suck up all the available O2, so in a pinch, the muscles can make do or do without.

    The heart is not very good at all when it comes to doing without.

    Altitude sickness + heart attack = no more happy days in that body. You'll have to get a new one.

    Just like an asthma attack, altitude sickness is something you don't want to underestimate.
  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    About a 10 lb weight penalty, but worth it when the option is termination. Those portable bottles are good for very roughly 2-1/2 hours of use. You'll be wanting to lose a few thousand feet of elevation rather soon if you have to open the valve.
    sec_monkey and Ura-Ki like this.
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