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  1. #1
    JanetOH
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    Altitude Sickness

    Has anyone experienced this? We just spent a week skiing in CO (base approx. 7800 ft.-summit 11,000ft.) and I think my son experienced altitude sickness. He was fatigued, loss of appetite, feverish (although I had no thermometer to know for sure), headache. I think he got dehydrated when we first arrived and he progressively got worse over the course of the week. We came home yesterday and as soon as we got to Denver (approx 5000 ft) he felt better and definitely when we arrived home to VA, he was way better. Started eating again, not tired and not feverish.

    If you have experienced this before, what did you to lessen the symptoms while at the high altitude? This is the 3rd year we have gone and this is the first year this has happened to anyone of us. I don't want him (or anyone in the family) to experience this again on a future trip. By the way, every year, we visit Lake Tahoe for approx. 5 weeks which is approx. 6200 ft. lake level and this never happened there and he has been going to Lake Tahoe every year since he was an infant (so 10 years).

    He was a trooper, but by the last day, I made him rest and not go snowboarding and he really was not too happy with me. The only thing that seemed to make him feel better was ibuprofen.

    Janet
    Janet
    Aaron & Andrew 11/16/00


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  3. #2
    LandJ
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    I'VE HAD IT!!!! It was HORRIBLE!!! I woke up at home in Florida (where my home was below sea level) with the very, very beginning of a cold. No biggie. I hopped a plane later that morning, flew to Denver and went straight up to Breckenridge. I was 25 yo and very fit and healthy. I felt like a total dork when I couldn't walk up the first flight of stairs without being out of breath, but I passed it off to it being midnight and a really long day. My flu-like symptoms, including nosebleeds and vomiting, got progressively worse day by day. By the third full day there (I was there at a conference for 7 days) I'd had enough. I hopped the resort van to a walk in clinic where they found my 02 level to be 89% (normal is usually 98-99%). I was given a script for diamox, a glaucoma med but a much lower dose than glaucoma patients. I took that, drank a ton of water and stayed away from caffeine for the next 4 days and felt progressively better.

    But I tell ya...I was so sick and felt so bad that I will NEVER go back again. EVER. I'm a Floridian wimp! That was 18 years ago. The walk in clinic people told me my symptoms were likely worsened by the fact that I probably had a slight cold and that I should've spent the first night in Denver to aclimate myself. That whole conference was just bizarre. It was a national conference so had people from all over. Many people suffered from nosebleeds...one poor woman who was presenting even had to excuse herself b/c her nose started bleeding in the middle of her presentation.
    Last edited by LandJ; 03-06-2011 at 04:18 PM.
    8 years old


  4. #3
    JanetOH
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    Hmmm...good to know. I hate to waste a day in Denver because we usually fly into Eagle (not drive up the mountain). I wonder if staying hydrated from the beginning would have helped??? I almost took him to urgent care, but I didn't since he seemed better when I have him the Motrin, which I did find on-line that said it would help the symptoms on a temporary basis.

    It is really hard to get a 10yo boy to drink a ton...he just doesn't understand that it probably would have made him feel better, but he was in ski school all day without me, so I didn't have control over his fluid intake.

    Thanks for telling me about your experience.
    Janet
    Janet
    Aaron & Andrew 11/16/00


  5. #4
    Michellei
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    I live in CO...give him lots of water and rolaids.

    Not sure what it is about the rolaids. But, we have helped with conferences held in Keystone, CO (a ski resort) and have put rolaids in gift baskets for speakers from out of state. They work well.
    Michellei
    Caffeine junkie married to a PB junkie...15+ years
    DD #1 8yrs. DD #2 6yrs
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  6. #5
    Brina
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    staying hydrated from the beginning is definitely key. We generally fly into Eagle or Pitkin. We try to arrive as early as possible in the day so that we can maximize our acclimation time without losing a day of skiing. We will often get a flight out of Chicago before 9am so that we land my 10 or so and have almost a full 24 hours before we start skiing. While we are there we push fluids like crazy, encouraging the kids to have smoothies for breakfast in addition to water at every ski break. Also, consistent bedtimes - on vacation it is tempting to let kids stay up later than they do at home, but the altitude makes sleeping difficult for some, so encourage as much rest as possible.
    Well aren't you just the most adorable black hole of need.


    Brina


  7. #6
    Michellei
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    Oh, and give him a lot of carbohydrates. Fruits, etc.
    Michellei
    Caffeine junkie married to a PB junkie...15+ years
    DD #1 8yrs. DD #2 6yrs
    DD #3 2yrs



  8. #7
    JanetOH
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    Thanks for the tip on the rolaids. I will definitely stock up on those next time. I also will push the fluids as much as possible. I don't think he will want to feel like that again.

    It is hard to arrive too early since I am coming from the east coast, even with the time difference, it is hard because of connections, etc.

    Thanks everyone!
    Janet
    Janet
    Aaron & Andrew 11/16/00


  9. #8
    lisa in venice
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    Lots and lots of water. As much as he will drink and stay away from heavy foods. When I am at altitude it is often several days before I can eat meat or dairy (and I am a serious carnivore and steaks are soooooo good in that part of the world). If it helps, it does get better every time you do it. Dh's parents have a cabin that is at 9000 ft and the first time I went there it just about killed me but now we go every other summer and it is fine. It also helps to spend a couple of days at a lower altitude before you go someplace really high. We usually hit Cheyenne (6000 ft above sea level) for a couple of days and then go up to the cabin. I am really "lucky" (read tons of sarcasm into that) that my dh thinks a fun family activity is hiking above tree line. If this girl born and raised in coastal cities can get used to that, anyone can.
    Lisa
    Mom to Nathan (23) Anna Rachel (20) Sam (13) and Miranda (9)

    Furbabies:
    Nola the Ridgeback/ Pit Bull mix and all cuddle bug

    Roxy Hart the Chihuahua/Yorkie watch dog

    Nemesis the long haired tabby who IS the boss of all of us

    Nox Juju Black shelter kitty who adopted us all


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