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First night near 12000'


I went to bed last night around 22:15, our first night at 11982', essentially 12000'! I woke up very confused today at 00:15. I heard someone in the hallway moving, which wasn't unusual as the shared toilets were down the hall. The retching sounds, however, followed by the splash was unusual. I lay there for a bit before realizing that if I were the one puking in the hall, I would want help. Unsure if anyone else had heard, but I had, and helping was the right thing to do, I unzipped my bag.

"It's okay, it's okay. Go back to sleep."

When in distress, sometimes people are embarrassed. When at altitude, people may not be thinking clearly. Add in the time of the night, and I wanted to confirm.

"I'd like to help. Will you let me help you?"

While speaking, the location of the spill became more obvious, and it was right in the dorm doorway. I would realize only while helping clean up the vomit that the mess missed my bag by about 12". Close!

Being new to the place, we didn't know where things were. We did our best, using the paper towels from the bathroom, and cleaned up the floor. Our third roommate was also confused by the activity, and woke up. She really needed to use the toilets, so I did my best to direct her to the least affected area. She ended up cleaning up some of the vomit with her socks, nonetheless, but went back to sleep nearly immediately afterward. One of the lighter sleepers in the boys room also woke up, used the toilet, and gathered more supplies.

Once the floor was clean, the ill teammate moved to the toilets to be. Her stomach was still uncomfortable, and the toilets seemed the safest place. She insisted it was just her stomach.

I don't know altitude sickness symptoms well enough to let the teammate deal on her own and go to sleep, so I went to wake Juliana, tell her the situation, and take over. Which she did, and I wandered back to sleep. And by "sleep," I mean lie in bed awake until 2:45, completely unable to sleep, ruminating on this week's conversations and checking internet things as best I could.

I woke at 5:15 when the place started waking up. I guess I'm awake now. That was about 3 hours of solid sleep last night. Today is going to be interesting.

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