Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Failed

It was a long journey up to Mallaig. Leaving London on the Wednesday night and arriving early Thursday afternoon. Mike arrived later in the afternoon and we wandered off to find something to eat. There was a tangible air of excitement and anticipation as folk gathered on the pier waiting to board the boat that was to take us over to Inverie. Boarding the boat I noticed a little difficulty in my coordination. Nothing much, just a slight hesitation in my movement. It happened again when leaving the boat. Something I mentioned to Mike. Leaving Inverie I felt good and the little incident was forgotten. It was a long, steady plod up to Mam Barrisdale. We stopped for a few breathers on the way up, a nibble and a drink. The showers of light rain forecast turned in to a steady downpour Nothing untoward though. Overall I was comfortable and enjoying the walk. Once over the bealach the rain was heavier and the wind was picking up. Descending down the path I was aware I had slowed slightly and Mike was pulling away from me. Moving to step up the pace a little, I suddenly lurched off to one side and my legs buckled under me There was no warning, I just went down. It was a struggle to get back on to my feet. All movement and coordination   where gone. Maybe I ought explain here a little about Parkinson's It is a neurological condition caused by by some of the  nerve cells in the brain dying and not producing a chemical called dopamine.. It can affect balance and coordination. It was a long hard struggle to get down the hill Movement was excruciatingly slow and there  where several more collapses Mike was obviously extremely worried and shepherded me down the hill Collin, another challenger who had passed us earlier, came back to assist. He had ensured there was a space in the bothy and that was where we ended up. It was initially thought it was a case of low blood sugar, in hindsight that was not the problem Low blood pressure, problems with medications and the Parkinson's itself where all contributing factors
Obviously my challenge was over Mike and Colin where so kind and helpful, getting me in to my sleeping bag,providing hot tea and ringing the police Ministering angels.Next morning I was air lifted out to hospital. That was the end of my trip. There is little else to say, there are many questions running through my mind and at the moment I am darned upset by the whole mess.

O

27 comments:

blogpackinglight said...

Really sorry to hear you had to pull out. Best wishes for your recovery.

John said...

That is NOT a failure!!

Stuff happens, and that's just the way it is.

You had the bottle to do the training, to travel up to Scotland, you were prepared to put up with Mike for a whole two weeks - oh, and you planned to walk across the highlands.

Your body let you down, everything else was a goer. Don't knock yourself.

Best wishes,

John
(who failed to make his planned trip to Scotland today...now THAT'S a failure!)

Up Jack's Rake.....On the second shelf said...

Keep your chin up Dawn, it was a brave effort, something not many in your position would even attempt. Having read your blog for several years, and rode the ups and downs with you, I, for one am very proud of you, and you should be too - John

Dawn said...

Many thanks

welshpaddler said...

Sincerely hope things improve for you to continue in the outdoors.

Dawn said...

True John, stuff happens. Sorry to hear you did not make it to Scotland, you must be gutted!

Dawn said...

Thank you John, it gets so frustrating, especially when you know that part of the problem is the Parkinson's but the medical people in general just hold up their hands and say 'sorry, we have no actual knowledge of your disease'.

Dawn said...

Many thanks WP, as yet I am not hanging up my boots.

chrissiedixie said...

It's always really difficult when things don't go to plan, for whatever reason, but health problems really can be an absolute downer. But, as John said, stuff happens and it's not a failure. Many people would have never had the courage to have a go in the first place, never mind recognise when decisions have to be made to change plans. Keep nagging at those health care professionals and don't let them fob you off - you've got those Outer Hebrides to walk!

Dawn said...

Thank you Chrissie, Harris is on my must do list. Also looking at Jura.

Louise said...

Hello Dawn.
I was looking forward to meeting you somewhere on the Challenge with Mike, but as it happens my health let me down too, having had an asthma attack on Monday night. My asthma never causes me a problem, so all the more reason for me to pay attention to an attack out of the blue and retire, safety first and all that, but so gutting.
Be kind to yourself. Some things we simply have no control over.
Take care.
Louise

Dawn said...

So sorry to hear that Louise. Commiserations. Maybe sometime you may have a chance to join Mike and myself on a wee wander?

Alan R said...

What a bugger eh Dawn. Like John said It happens, so don't you beat yourself up about it.
Your safe and thats all that matters.

Louise said...

Thanks Dawn and you never know, although our four children and my elderly mother do tend to put lots of spanners in plans!

Dawn said...

Many thanks Alan. It is so frustrating though, plus all the hassle and worry caused. Poor Mike was seriously alarmed, not good.

Martin Rye said...

Dawn there are many weekend warriors who profess to be expert backpackers and kit experts, yet never step out the door to try a long walk over a week , let alone two. So you never failed. To attempt and try to cross Scotland is success as you tried, and stepped out in hope. Heal up, take care and go again.

Martin Rye said...

Dawn there are many weekend warriors who profess to be expert backpackers and kit experts, yet never step out the door to try a long walk over a week , let alone two. So you never failed. To attempt and try to cross Scotland is success as you tried, and stepped out in hope. Heal up, take care and go again.

Dawn said...

Many thanks Martin. My body let me down and what was frustrating was trying to find out why. The larger part of the medical world seem to have little understanding of Parkinson's. What I experienced was dismissed by the folk in the hospital. Since then I have managed to get a few answers to a very complex disease. Certainly I have a better understanding of what happened and why.

James Boulter said...

Dawn I was sad to find out what happened to you that day. As many have already pointed out, the fact that you attempted such a walk is far more than many with perfect health would do. Don't kick your self, stuff happens and you will be back in the hills again soon. It was nice to meet you.

Dawn said...

Thank you very much James. Good to have met you. Looking forward to your write up and some fantastic photos.

Alan Sloman said...

"Failed?"
Don't talk daft, girl!
:-)

I think it's pretty heroic of you to set off into one of the wildest bits of Scotland, dragging the Pieman along with you. Ill health can be a right bastard at times - it seems to pick the very worst time to strike. You both did very well to cope with the situation and get yourself sorted.

I hope this doesn't put you off having another bash, Dawn. You're made of the right stuff.

Best wishes
Alan

Dawn said...

Many thanks Alan. Finally I have a few answers as to why things happened as they did. It was very frustrating. However, I am looking at another longish trip soon.

Mike Knipe said...

Hmm.. it was a bit worrying for a while. Next time, Dawn, when you're about to get into a helicopter, take yer bloody hat off! Don't hang up the boots... things to do, places to go, cows to run away from...

Dawn said...

Thank you Mike. The reason I was trying to keep my bunnet on was the fact that the down draft from the helicopter was mussing up my hair!!!

Judith said...

Dawn, I was hoping to meet you somewhere on this year's Challenge. Anyone who plans to spend two weeks within earshot of Pieman's snoring deserves a medal. I was sorry to hear you had to pull out; you must be really disappointed but these things happen and you'll be back. Hoping to see you on one of Mr Knipe's trip sometime....

Dawn said...

Thank you Judith, yes, I am pretty gutted. This is the fourth time I have had problems related to my Parkinson's. Sort of used to Mike's snoring, so much so I kind of worry if he goes quiet at night???

Laura said...

The circumstances are very different but I can empathise with you after having to give up in 2012. I wasn't ill in any way - just not comfortable with how things were going.... However, I'm sure you'll bounce back and have many more excellent trips - maybe even another Challenge in the future...hope to meet up with you sometime.