Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rising to the occasion, really high rising


Rockies ACEO


When one who lives pretty much a tad above sea level visits a mountain area, they are usually awed by the magnificent views and vistas, unless, of course they are suffering from altitude sickness, medically known as hypoxia. 

I love mountains.  I have visited the ones in Virginia often especially to view the fall foliage.  The Blue Ridge’s elevations, however, are under 7,000 ft. at their highest.  The Rockies on the other hand can reach elevations of 14,000 ft.  If you are a number person you know that is twice the elevation of Eastern Mountains.

A few years back I visited one of my friends who lived in Estes Park, Colorado.  Almost as soon as I got there I felt sick.  We are talking, headache, nausea, etc.  I didn’t upchuck, but was darn near close.  The trip progressed and I semi-acclimated.  My sister and daughter were fine, no problems…go figure.

Fast forward several years and I visited again this time with my husband and son. Since they had never seen the Rockies, we decided to go right up to the highest elevation the first day.  Big mistake!  One of the first things they tell you about Altitude sickness is to take each 1,000 ft. slow.  Driving up the trail ridge road, I started to get a headache.  By the time we reached the summit…I was in a prone position not even able to walk to the bathroom that I desperately needed to use.  Husband and son were just fine!!  Why is it I always manage to travel with those who don’t get it, and I am not only talking about the sickness.

I forced myself to rise.  I staggered over to the edge of the mountain and snapped a few photos.  I got a few wonderful photos-- of my shoes.  Fortunately I did manage to capture some mountain scenes as well.  Was I experiencing this awful feeling because I wasn’t in tiptop shape I wondered?  With a little research I discovered that, nope, being in shape hasn’t a thing to do with it.  It’s all about the oxygen, and water.  I guess I was sorry I didn’t drink the 3 bottles of water offered to me by my friend who is a bit more knowledgeable about Mountain sickness.

Some people describe the symptoms of Hypoxia as similar to a hangover.  Not being a drinker and never having experienced such phenomena (yes, I was a goody-goody) all I can say is if that is what if feels like to have a hangover it is a wonder anyone ever drinks a drop!

I guess, having had this experience, I can say without hesitation that scaling Mt. Everest, for me, will forever be out of the question.

17 comments:

Liz Revit said...

Ahhh....the joys of mountain sickness! I love your painting.

Magic Love Crow said...

Great aceo Crystal! I have had mountain sickness once and it wasn't fun! Take Care!

craftattack said...

I have never had mountain sickness yet, but I haven't been on many mountains. Just a few in the alps and in Israel. Here I live in the Rhine valley, which is flat and green and anything over 300 feet is huge! Hugs, Vlerie

Carol Blackburn said...

Hi Crystal, where I live in western Maine my ears pop just on my drive to work as I go up and down the foothills here (that's the way the roads go much like a roller coaster). It fun though because I get to "zoom zoom" like a Mazda commercial as speed limits are 50ish in most places. I love it! The one thing we did notice was that our hands swelled up when we moved here and we had to have our wedding rings resized. My theory is at elevation the pressure on our bodies is lighter and it allows for more fluid retention. We used to live at sea level and on most days our rings would fall off. Good enough theory, huh! Enjoy your day.

Marlene said...

Never experienced Altitude sickness. I did get a little dizzy at 10,000 ft but not bad. I love your painting it is beautiful.

EVA said...

I've been there. Mountain sickness in the Rockies. Ugh.

The next time I went up a mountain (Mauna Kea), I took the advice and drank tons of water. It made all the difference in the world! (Except I had to visit the washroom of each observatory we were going to!) The astronomers told me that even if you don't normally get sick, sometimes you will - and they do - totally unpredictable but the water REALLY helps.

Lovely painting!

Carrie'sCreations said...

I've never experienced altitude sickness, sounds fun:) You should have stuck your shoe in this one he he:)

maddyrose said...

Maybe because I grew up in an area at higher altitude I don't get altitude sickness but I do notice when I've been back for a visit I get out of breath and feel tired with very little activity. Climbing a flight of stairs requires many breaks along the way.

Heather said...

LOVe this post! I am still drinking plenty of water....xo - hugs

Lee said...

Lovely little painting, Crystal! I never travel without my water bottle maybe that's why I have never experienced altitude sickness...

Studio at the Farm said...

Love your painting of the Rockies, and I am so sorry you suffered so much with hypoxia. Thank you for your kind compliment about "Miss Carmella".

Daniella said...

First, your ACEO is beautiful!!!

Second, I've never had altitude sickness, so I can't say. I do, however, live in an area of high altitude. We have a highway, and it has a sign xthousand feet high. Never made a difference to me. We have TONS of mountains here. I am in the most northern part of NJ. NY, NJ, PA all meet at one point. I can actually stand in 3 states! It is up on a mountain, and there is a monument. Our claim to fame. lol!

I know Denver, and Colorado aare REALLY high! Congratulations to you for doing that, and taking an AWESOME picture!!

Mt. Everest can wait!!! I'm not going either!!

You are awesome!!!
xxDaniella

Craftymoose Crafts said...

As one who suffers from motion sickness, I have no doubt that mountain sickness would affect me also. I'll just enjoy your beautiful ACEO for now!

Leovi said...

Excellent work with excellent performance. Imagine if for me are spectacular mountains in La Mancha, where I live is like a sea of land, all flat to the horizon.

LadyCat said...

I love your painting of the Rockies...so beautiful.
I have never been in the really high altitudes, but it sounds rough. The water does sound like good advice : )

Margaret said...

I LOVE the tiny Blue Ridge Mountains. Just my size! :)

Jehanne said...

oh this is a lovely painting. I really like how you choose to use broken trees. It really does capture the reality of it.
Sorry you got sick - a bummer.

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