Wrapping up Indonesia
So as I’m sitting here trying to come up with the words to express how disappointing the last trip to
While I was in Indonesia, I started a list of “things that went wrong” and started to get depressed, but I’m glad I did, because now I can type it out and laugh at everything because I had absolutely no control over all of these things and it’s only something that could have happened in a movie.
After booking the original trip of trekking to Base Camp (BC), it was cancelled because the villages we were going to trek through wanted more money and wouldn’t let anyone through. A week later, I was told we couldn’t trek in and had to go via helicopter, requiring more money (fuel for those things isn’t cheap), and a change in flights from
So when I arrived in
It’s expensive in
So I took off from Bali to Makassar, but in Makassar, I was told that all flights were booked to
So after the fuel was “found” and after we could use the Kamov, they decide that the Kamov needed some sort of “anti-freezing” instrument placed on the blades because of the altitude. Great. Another part. Well that part was ordered, got there quickly (quick enough) but they didn’t have the tools to put it on either. Wonderful.
So back to the Kamov… fuel is there, crew is ready, we’re ready, part is finally on… we still can’t take the other heli, so we head up in the Kamov. After about an hour of flying up to base camp, we see it, but can’t land because the clouds are too thick and it’s too dangerous to land. We discussed us jumping out and the crew tossing us our climbing gear, but they weren’t too keen on that idea. So it’s back to Nabire.
Weather the next day wasn’t great, so we didn’t go anywhere and enjoyed the 103 temps with 100% humidity. I think one of my ears is a little lower because it melted a little and slid down my head.
The next day we attempted the base camp again. No dice. Back to Nabire again. We figured we’d try again tomorrow, but guess what… no fuel. We’re out. By this time the “inspector” for the smaller heli showed up and looked at the “part” they put on only to say, “great. Looks wonderful. Now take it off and put it back on in front of me so I know you did it right.” Sigh. Another 2 days of playing around in the jungle heat waiting on something that might not happen. In the mean time, we wanted to meet with the pilot because we heard he was going to be back on the island. We were told he was, we went to meet with him (but he was actually the co-pilot – pilot was in
The next day I took off from Biak back to Jakarta, changed my flight out of Jakarta to a few days later (when I thought I’d actually get back to Jakarta), and spent nearly 10 hours in the airport trying to fly standby to get to Seoul to Chicago. Midnight comes rolling around, I sleep in the airport for a while, finally find a hotel, take a taxi there, check in, sleep for an hour or so, and get ready to head back to the airport again and fly home. That worked, and 2 days later I landed in
Looking back at it, it’s one frustrating trip to say the least and I didn’t even cover everything that went wrong because this novella has gone on long enough. I did, however, get the opportunity to meet some incredible people and they have become some good friends...
Monday, March 2, 2009
"A Friendly Reminder that Life is Short" --Joe Schneider, CancerClimber President
My eye sight became very blurry, I could read it, but it was definitely a struggle. Ok, no big deal.I closed my eyes thinking maybe I got some dust in them or something. Opened them to no avail. This was getting pretty scary. My vision got worse and I could no longer read anything. I quickly called my wife Meg to get a second opinion. I didn't want to think I was blowing it out of proportion, but rapid vision loss cannot be good. She took a cab from her work over as I could clearly not drive. By the time Meg got to my office, my vision had returned, but I had a developed a headache. Again, in the back of my mind I am thinking that I am A-OK and this is nothing serious. Of course in the front of my mind are all the stories I have heard about brain cancer and the symptoms. This is not to say I was overreacting and automatically assumed I had cancer, but as a now 15 year cancer survivor, it will always be a part of my thought process when certain symptoms come up.
Meg drove us home to drop off Kaily, then off to the ER. As I entered the ER, I got a little nauseous and almost threw up.another symptom. I was admitted fairly quickly due to my history. The nurse came in and took some blood then they took me in a wheel chair (protocol) to the CT machine. They did a full CT scan of my head to check for any abnormalities. After a quick 5 minutes, I was done..guess I don't have a very big brain(grin). They said I would have to wait 30 minutes for the results. 25 minutes later the doctor came in and told me I was Ok. There were no tumors or abnormalities in my brain. It turns out I had a migraine that was preceded by an aura. An aura occurs in less than 15% of migraines and can cause double vision, tunnel vision and even hallucinations. Migraines do not have to be severe headaches as I just learned. Needless to say, I was very relieved to have had a migraine!
How would I have reacted had they seen a tumor or I had been told I had cancer again? Not sure, but I do know that if I was ever diagnosed again, I would fight until there was no more fight left in my body. Life is short, I just received a friendly reminder to make the most of our time here!