Day 20 arrives along with a more enthusiastic cough, fatigue and general run down feelings, I’m not getting better I’m getting worse.
I pop (in my slow out of breath walk) upstairs for breakfast to say cheerio to Jenn, Cindy and John as they are heading out up the trek towards base camp today to join the rest of the team probably by Tuesday - hopefully I’ll see them there!
Mingma David is due to arrive today as the weather has broken and I decide enough is enough and I need to see proper medical help and get to Kathmandu, as soon as he arrives I’m tasking him with getting me out.
I’m not sure its the way I look or my resolve to go to Kathmandu but when Mingma David finally arrives and we start the ‘you should be ok in a few more days chat’ I quickly leave him in no doubt that line of approach isn’t happening and I want a heli out now.
At 4pm there’s a knock at my door and Mingma is there telling me to pack the little I have as heli is coming at 4.45pm, my energy is gone and Mingma packs my bag for me and we head upstairs to sort out the checkout and get a drink before we tackle getting to the helipad - which of course sits way up high on the mountainside above Namche.
We set up off the cobble streets and steps towards the helipad, Mingma with his bag and mine and me huffing and puffing and coughing behind him, perilously close to the open edge at times, I can’t get the image out of my head from Platoon when Sgt. Elias (played by William Dafoe) gets left behind by the heli with his arms stretched out over his head - this is gonna be me, I’m not gonna make it up this bloody hill and the heli will go without me! Dramatic I know but I’m poorly and not thinking that straight.
We make it to the helipad in the end and the flight swoops in to pick us up, striped of most of its insides I slump into the back and have never been so relived to feel it lift off and fall down into the valley below towards Lukla, its a short flight and we land at Lukla and I’m set on the verge wondering WTF happens now. 20 minutes later another heli comes in (with seats) and were back airborne and finally heading to Kathmandu, straight to the hospital and hopefully some tests to find out what’s going on.
Landing at the hospital causes a but of a stir and traffics stops as the street builds up with people to see the heli land and me be bundled out of it and into a waiting ambulance a two minute journey and then I’m on a hospital trolley and needles are being jabbed into me and an I’ve drip and COVID test up my nose - its the first time I’ve thought about COVID in a while.
I finally get taken to a room upstairs in the hospital and all but pass out with exhaustion finally glad to be in a warm place I can sleep.