Getting Medical Results & Final Decision

April 16 – 18 – Getting the results and making the final decision
I had a terrible night again and it was not easy to get up in the morning. There was too much pain and the Ibuprofen had no effect. Later that morning, at 9:00am local time, I went back to the CIWEC Clinic to get my X-rays done. Today was April 16, and it was three days after my accident. Once again, this was extremely painful, especially when I had to turn the back in a certain position for the X-ray. It was hard for me to believe that this pain is only muscular, there must be something more. After the X-ray was developed, I had an appointment with the doctor and he confirmed my thoughs: Fractions on two ribs!!! I did not know what to say, but for me it explained the pain, so there is always a positive way to look at things… He gave me some other pills, one to relax the muscle and another one to kill the pain. Also, I had to stay for a few hours in the hospital using a hot bag on my back. This felt good and seemed to help in terms of pain relief. Finally, the doctor told me to come back at 5:00pm to have a final discussion.

I went back to the hotel, asked for a hot water bag and used it that afternoon as much as I could. At 5:00pm I went back to the clinic and this time the doctor informed me regarding the final findings of the X-ray and what it means:

“Fracture of right 8th and 9th ribs on posterior aspects.” While discussing the X-ray with him in detail, it became clear to me that these two ribs are actually broken and one was even slightly displaced. Up to now, I was thinking that they were only strained. It was now clear, that this was not the case. In terms of recovery, he informed me that the real healing process will only start in about two weeks (Calcium build up) and that the full recovery will take about six weeks or longer. And, I should not do any hiking or trekking for 2-3 months… What a difference to my first X-ray results in Tibet, where the doctor told me that the pain will go away in a few days and that I can go on with my Everest expedition… The pain did lead me to make the right decision… I can only be thankful for this, because evacuation from the Everest North Side is much more complicated. There are no helicopters, and injured climbers are usually moved over 800km/500miles by jeep back to Kathmandu.

That evening I left the clinic in a positive mood, because now I clearly knew what to do in terms of my 2012 Everest journey. The 2012 Everest summit “dream” was over, but there so many new opportunities, projects and tasks which will come up in the next weeks and months, many things I never had time to do. And, the 2013 Everest season is not too far away…

The CIWEC Clinic - An important address to know while traveling in Nepal.
The CIWEC Clinic in Kathmandu – An important address to know while traveling in Nepal.

The next day, on April 17, in the morning I felt much better. The good news was also that I did not experience so much pain during the night. I seemed that the medication was working and I was able to move around with less pain. However, later that morning I realized that I had some blisters on my back, at the same place where I had used the hot water bag. I went back to the clinic and it turned out be some burns from the hot water bag. Unbelievable, since I did not think that these bags were that hot. Maybe it was the time, because I did use them for a few hours since it felt so good und it took the pain away. Well, we learn every day something new, and this journey really was teaching me about a new world. So far, I never personally had an accident on any of my expeditions, so it was good to experience this side as well. It will teach me to be more careful even on the way up to the “big” mountains… Accidents often occur where we least expect them. At least, it did really not expect to fall down some stairs on my way up to Mount Everest…

The next morning, on April 18, I did my last check at the clinic and it looked that here is nothing in the way from a medical point of view for my recovery. All seems to be up to me now: I should avoid abrupt movements, lift no weights an take no long walks. I called the airline and scheduled my return flight a few days from today. Traveling so far with two broken ribs is not exactly the best medicine, so waiting and relaxing a few days in here should help me to travel safely home.

This is the last update of my 2012 Mount Everest blog and, once again, I would like to thank all the people who supported and prayed for me while I was moving towards the mountain: My family and friends, the Lama who gave me the blessings, and especially the two Sherpas, Ang Pasang Sherpa and Pasang Karma Sherpa for their support and for all the preparation work. A special thank you goes to Fur Geljen Sherpa, Managing Director of World Records Expeditions for setting up the expedition, but specially for helping me finding a good hospital and making sure that I can cure as much as is required before my trip home. Geljen, really did more for me than I would have expected and it just shows once again how much we can trust the wonderful Sherpa people.

Last, but not least, I really would like to thank Bart, my climbing mate, for the way he cared for me right after the accident. He really went out of his way to make sure that feel better, even when the circumstances for him where not that easy in Tibet. I wish him from the bottom of my heart that he will be able to summit Everest this year. He is strong and with Ang Pasang Sherpa has a experienced climbing Sherpa with him. I wish him best of luck and a safe return home!!!

Also, at that point I would like to thank the three sponsors, Coach Source, Syserco and SKO for their support. Even when I did not make it very far this year, I am sure that there will be other opportunities, and, Chomolungma will always be there…

A few more words to this short journey: We, especially in the West, like to think that we can cope with our surroundings at any time. Most of us try hard to avoid the unexpected, to exert control over our surroundings, to expect things to go a certain way. We extend this concept of control to most aspects of our life. Well, while traveling on this journey, once again, I realized that even the best preparation cannot guarantee success. Also, accidents my strike when they are least expected, like on some simple stairs… Could it have been avoided? Of Course… In this sense, this journey was for me, besides many other wonderful things, a great learning experience. I learned that we have to be already careful while traveling towards our ‘Greater Goals’. Its all part of the journey. Life is good and I am very thankful for that!!!

I really enjoyed to be back in Nepal and Tibet and I am looking forward to meet Chomolungma again when the time has come…

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Ernest Hemingway


Vegetables and flowers - Sold near the temples of the great goods.
Vegetables and flowers – Sold near the temples of the great goods.

Kathmandu - So many different faces and smells...<br />
Kathmandu – So many different faces and smells…

May the eyes watch over us and protect us from future falls...
May the eyes watch over us and protect us from future falls…

May we feel the incredible strength of the bamboo in all what we do...
May we feel the incredible strength of the bamboo in all what we do…

May all your dreams come true... THANK YOU!!!<br />
Enjoy your Journey and may all your dreams come true… THANK YOU!!!

“There is no way to Happiness – Happiness is the way.”

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