High as a Lhasa Kite: AND I’m sick. Can’t keep denying that something is wrong. My throat and nose are on fire and I slept, maybe, 1 hour last night. Having a cold at this altitude is excruciatingly painful. My eyes, face and chest feel so constricted and breathing is very difficult. Eating feels too troublesome to bother with. I still have bloody, greenish nasal discharge. I told Basang and Dr. Shen that I would not be able to make the first half of the day (luckily I have already been to the summer palace on my last visit) but I don’t want to miss the Monk Debates after lunch. I may just have to.
I was going to head up to the hotel room after talking to the group when Dr. Shen asked if I had any cold medicine. I didn’t so I said I would stop at the lobby clinic. She took my vitals and said I had a Heart Rate over 130, Oxygen of 74 and Blood Pressure of 148/92. She asked if I had a heart condition. “Not usually” I said! My usual BP is at most 114/80. My temperature was high and my throat was almost swollen shut and very red. She told me it might be tonsillitis which I said was impossible thanks to my tonsillectomy 2 decades ago to which she replied, “then your throat is not good”. She diagnosed me with Acute Mountain Sickness and an Acute Cold.
What happened next was slightly painful, a little odd but ultimately very cool. She said I required an IV treatment with Oxygen IN MY HOTEL ROOM! I received an injection in my hip which took 15 seconds and hurt like hell - ironically, this acupuncture student is a needle pansy - then spent the next 3 hours hooked up to an IV, breathing a huge tank of Oxygen while watching New Girl episodes with Natalie as she recovered from her own altitude poisoning symptoms. She was kind enough to take the first 2 photos. I called Brian and whined to him in my inebriated state. I also wrote my new travel Penpal, Dean. I signed off, “High as a Lhasa Kite” which is the best way I can describe my current mental and physical state. I am definitely under the influences of, um, life at 11,975 feet according to Google. Can’t wait to read these probably incoherent posts later. Final HR is now 84, O2 is 93 and BP is 120/78. As Homer Simpson wrote as he slipped into madness in the Treehouse of Horror Shining parody, “Feelin’ fine”. Thank you Hotel Clinic Angel. I will never forget you.