It’s The Final Countdown….

….well nearly anyway. 17 days to go is way too scary. After the post I put up on Tuesday re various people’s sad experiences on the mountain I was contacted by someone from, who I knew had been doing Kili last month. I wanted to know how they got on. The answer was as follows, repeated verbatim:

” Worst week of my life lol….

I ended up with tummy bug, altitude sickness and got turned back at Stella Point even though I could see the peak, soon after I blacked out from lack of energy and carried off the mountain. Am now home and very ill with some tummy upset maybe a bug? who knows but i lost a stone in weight almost while I was gone.

I’d never do it again! Enjoyed the surroundings though! …”

So that was a sobering wake up call if ever there was one! It makes me realise all the more that this mountain has to be treated with respect. And that things like tummy bugs are quite common things to get, as well as the rest of the risks re AMS etc. I read of someone else recently who had been ill still a month after getting back. All of this doesn’t put me off still (nothing at all will, I don’t care what it might be), but it certainly tells me to be as cautious and diligent as I can.

So yesterday I went for my final set of vaccinations, which was for Yellow Fever. I suppose I should know what Yellow Fever is, or how you catch it, but currently I have to confess my ignorance. I just know that I had to get the jab, and that it cost me £50 for the privilege, so that was that really! OK – just googled it, so here we go – sounds nasty:

So having had my Yellow Fever jab, I went in for my malaria prescription. The Doctor (you need your GP for this bit) said there were three types of tablets available. One you needed to take for four weeks beforehand, and so that ruled that one out. The other apparently is fairly inexpensive, but she told me almost always causes sickness and diarrhoea if you aren’t used to it, so I declined that one. The remaining one is called Malarone, which she said is the best one anyway.

You take Malarone apparently as one tablet a day for two days before you go, and then all the way to 7 days after you return. She said that they were ‘costly’, and so I asked her ‘how costly’, and she said that because they were only on private prescription (here’s where the NHS doesn’t help you then) then they would be about £200. You could have knocked me down with a feather. £200 for nineteen tablets!! Jesus wept! I was also advised to buy hydrocortisone (for help against bites) and tea tree oil (similar), and so as I tend to suffer from mosquito bites normally (let alone the dangerous ones) then I’ll take all the precautions I can thanks, even if they do involve remorgaging my house for. What am I talking about, I don’t own a house:).

Anyway, when I got into the pharmacy there was a pleasant surprise when I found out that the GP had miscalculated. The tablets were only £59 after all. But by the time I had paid for that, my jab, the ointments and some paracetamol, blister pads and the like  left there about £135 poorer. Come and get me you mossies! (not really, please?).

So after my expensive day out and my usual long day at work, I went and hit the gym, or it hit me. There was a body pump class going on in Studio 1, so I sort of slunk around in case anyone recognised me and asked to come and join them. I am actually feeling the benefit of now going every day to the gym, I have been upping my weight levels bit by bit – I am now doing 36 reps of 90kg (200lbs) on the leg press for example, which hurts a bit, although I think it is supposed to. I’m going for 220lbs tonight. Still hate the treadmill, but it serves a purpose after all.

It is however almost too late to do much now to influence what happens when I go away, or is it? Time will maybe tell…….

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