Saturday, November 8, 2014

Already a Hero

"Although it’s not a technically demanding climb the fitness levels required to climb Everest are still very high.”

-Nick Colton, deputy chief executive of the British Mountaineering Council
in article: No Room at the top as Rubbish and Bodies Litter the route by Adrian Lee

This story is not my usual story. Well, it is, but all of it is true. *with the exception of a story below.

No tall tales or sarcastic Padre one-liners are going to be thrown in!

(Padre telling something wise talking on his birthday when all his grandkids made an appearance.)

When I "became a hero" wasn't a moment I would have thought made me one. But to my son, apparently it was, or else he wouldn't have said what he said.

Which was call me a hero.

Which took me off guard.

Which happened before the, 'Be a Hero' ,idea started to formulate.

(courtesy of Dan Gregory and his actual trip to Aconcagua in 09. This is what  ahero feels.)

And the: "Go-Pro sponsors people like you." conversation I had with Sergio the other day. btw,

Who is a person like me?

Someone with a "story?"

Or someone willing to carry a camera and let it tell the story?

Yes, I want a Go Pro.
It would save money and be so cool to watch what J. does since I can't get out there with him. 
Yes, I guess, I want to be a Hero.

 So how can I be one?

Or keep being one since J. (pretend this is me instead of Dan Gregory. Thanks for letting me take your pictures cause I can't climb to these spots myself. And they are pretty cool. )

bestowed the word upon me. And..'ta-da' !!  I am already a big Hero!
But I have questions....

Do I stop being one?
Do I get better at  being one?
How does this all work?

- I admit, it felt great to hear my son say:

"You're a hero..... come on you can do this."

(photo courtesy of Dan Gregory who appears to be  trying to sit up where the air is thinner....)

in my ear while I defied Gforces, and sat up. Yes, I did just say that.

I Sat up.
 Babies do it every day.

Strong people do it all the time......

How did I do it so hero- ishly?

Good Q.

 Well, I had been laying down and couldn't move my body because of a little thing called +adrenal insufficiency one night. (i.e. "not enough energy/fuel  to handle what the body needs.")

My head felt Titanic heavy. Just hours earlier I had been able to walk  now I couldn't walk! Then move in bed. like a leg or something.

The morning of the "crisis", of not being able to sit up, I forgot to take the needed prednisone. Well, Part of it. Ya have to count them out and they come in 10 mg. 5 and 1 mg. So if you are at 17 and 1/2---- it is annoying. And I take its cousin. A less side effected version of prednisone. 9mg of that one and it comes in 3 mgs. So lots of math here, folks.

Which was what confused me later on. Had I taken it, or the other or done my Algebra from Jr. High finally?  My head hurt and wondering made it worse.

(When your squirt gun turns on you.. random fam. photo)

 My plight went from bad to serious very quickly. I tried to think why my body was unraveling and then I had an idea:

"count them."

Previous adrenal "lapses" had happened and I had only so much time left before it was going to get really bad. Like Cinderella beating it back home before her step mom found out she snagged the Prince. A lot of pressure to get to the pumkin.

And that much harder to recover from even AFTER you take it.

 Like turning the Titanic around after going full speed, it would take some time, probably hit an ice berg, and then I'd be having a moment with Leo DiCaprio. I just had to endure.

(This is the oldest living, story telling Grandpa. All hats off to the master of tall tales! And wise crackery! )

Up to this point, I'd been diligently enduring my taper, other stressors in life, and clumped it all into the same category: prednisone withdrawal. What else can ya do? Damage done now. Gotta deal with what's left of the mess best I can with the tools the medical community has for me.

That term: "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot." comes to mind but the rope seems to start fraying and you are in a movie with Indiana Jones, hanging above some things that you really don't want to fall into. Like snakes. Or Grizzly Bears. Yeh, Bears. Forget the snakes. That would be easy and fast. Grizzlies..... ugh.

Meanwhile, I had a poquito (small) chemistry problem on my hands and I dogged chemistry en lieu of drama in my life, a stolen calculator, and just didn't get the elements until now.....

Fate had it that my new bottle of prednisone was, well, new; untouched!

I counted it and it was all still there. uh-oh. It's rare that this happens to me. But in light of some other fires going off in the body, this was bound to happen.

(Grandma enjoying Susan Branch's book: Autumn. Her Dad was a story teller too. And her stories are great to listen to as well. It's a good idea to record them! )

 I had missed taking Entocort and and its cousin Prednisone,  that morning. 12 miniscule mgs tablets of the most toxic anti- inflammatory in a body that had decided to turn on itself and wage an all out war on itself.  I was hours away from metabolizing and tears were already upon me.

Disclaimer:  I am not a chemist or pharmacist. Do not do try this at home. 

So sitting up was actually harder than ever.

Gravity is very heavy, Readers!
(the oldest of the grandkids showing their strength)
(many hands make light work, lighter)
But being called a hero for defying it because of adrenal crisis?
(*Random prednisone induced ADD moment: I wonder if there is an equation to show the Gforce meted out for the deficiency? If not, why not? , I'm not as smart as some you Readers

so I am throwing that out there. I am using big words on my blog because I can, not because I know what they mean.

But it does make me wonder.....

(*Another random ADHD moment induced by prednisone: span out and think of the universe (s)
okay, bring it back in.

Hubble telescope window on the Universe

(carina nebula)
Where was I?

Oh, blogging about prednisone withdrawal, telling a truthful story or trying to, and thinking of an analogy to how it feels on prednison and trying to get off of it. And something about a Hero in all of it. And a sponsorship from Go Pro to record all the stories that we story tellers tell.

Reader's you'll just have to keep reading to see why he called me one, vote on whether ya think I am or not if ya want.

 Or just sit back and enjoy a story with some random family photos put in the mix to keep it lively.

(lively as these shoes... maybe)
oh, And pray that the Go Pro People Pick Me & J. get

So this is how it went with J. and me being a hero in my story.


Background- to catch up our new Readers and to help refresh you, Reader,  it's always good to have a reminder about something. Like to floss your teeth. Okay.

 1. I had to come off prednisone. What's new? Right? Started Entyvio. that was new. It's also a BIG immuno-suppressant. Needed off ASAP.

2. My Doc tried a quick taper since the new drug Entyvio came out and I am on it. Wulp the taper was too fast and it about killed me. Worst consequence ever. Can't go off that ASAP.

Glad I came to my senses and slowed that down. As a result of the major "trust in my gut gaffe",  I Had to go up even higher as a result of the shock my body absorbed.

3.  Padre said: "I thought you were getting off prednisone and it looks like

 you are going on more."

and this one:

 "It looks like you are moving backwards and not forwards." 

Readers, this medical mystery made it is so I, unmed-schooled, me had to tell Padre why

going "up" on prednisone was "getting off it."

Do you know how hard that is? Without the Harvard  professors' lectures under my belt?

Readers, I never even took debate in HS and here I had to explain one of Newton's Laws  & how it didn't apply to prednisone to Padre. And I didn't know which Law applied to prednisone tapering by titrating(med term for slowly going up) !

All without a Law degree to boot!
*(maybe I should turn some music on to drown the gurgling of asthma/bronchial/nasal congestion mewling every time I take a breath. Man, this is annoying. Hey,  did you remember that phrase Doc used in between his gross coughing? Meaning: I'm Your Hero. Knights would save damsels and they would give them a Huckleberry Wreath.... hero tid bit for ya.)

Without a PowerPoint, dry erase board, heck, without a felt board with felt cutouts to make my point as simple as possible, wasn't available.

*I could have whipped up a felt board one night. Kinda like Will Ferrell on Elves when decorating the Toy Store: all in one night. You can wrap a lot of gifts on prednisone time.

Heck, you can jump back and forth through time travel all over skip between parallels creating things. Out of yarn. Or felt.

Where was I??
Oh, yeh-

Explaining a Prednisone taper with a "Padre- like analogy" for you Readers that have come to my humble 'blog camp-fire.'

(Cool quote that has to do with the gifts we teach and hand down to our kids & others.)

First off, Padre can sometimes be, well,  long winded. I grew up listening to him.
(Listening to the whole crowd sing Happy Birthday from the tramp)
Came home from college and listened to him. Came home from a mission, same. Went back to college came back for surgery,, you guessed it! I listened.. Oh, and went through a divorce and moved back home again. Still here.
And I still hear his stories but mostly on text messages.

I am pretty sure I haven't inherited his long winded, story telling qualities at all, Readers! I mean, this blog solidifies it!

 When he explains a thing, he simplifies it for those who don't know about what he is talking about by talking about something more complex. He really wants you to have the whole picture. Like one that is an aerial view or just video of all around ya.

For instance, he tried to teach J. something spiritual so he just started at the beginning of the Bible- in Geniuses.

(Readers! Oh, no! I feel myself veering from the truth already. help! the key pads have taken my story telling into their own hands! I can't keep my commitment up above! My sweaty fingers are slipping!!)

Unfortunately, the topic that he had to get around to explaining, and which Jaden had asked about, was several thousands of years later. Attention spans at his J's age are not. And you need naps for his long as needed for a Padre lesson.

Back to the original blog post.....

I am going to use an analogy like Padre would and hope I can get it right by throwing in confusing tid bits and other stories embedded in the story and leave the wisdom of you smart Reader to comprehend.

Okay let's use a mountain.

(courtesy of Dan Gregory. Mountains are just All American, no? I have no idea where he is but he is mountaineering.)

Which one? Everest, of course!  Oh, no! Commercialism is making the climbing standards want to veer from the biggest Mountain and diss on it. Great! I have always thought Everest was a hard climb. Even though the Brit guy said it is basically easy schmeezy, I am going with it!

If you have attempted Everest, it is the equivalent of your sherpa guide trying to get ya off the mountain when a  storm came in.
(Dan, once again. From now on I am just gonna say Dan. Cause it is getting hard to type and paste)

*******Readers, bad news!! I started to type that last sentence and no sooner had I told you that I was not going to write a real story; that a story fell from my finger tips.

Apparently I can't type with out tall tales escaping.... you will have to continue to read at your own risk, and use your judgement about what you will believe is true or false, what ya want to believe, and what is unbelievable.

 Good Luck!
(The Mower)


(Dan Gregory climbing somewhere cool. )

I was going to say you haven't gotten to the top of Everest in my analagy, but that might depress you. So let's say you had a great window of good weather, you got to the top, took your picture and skyped yourself into the delivery room so you could be with your wife for birth of your first child.

(Dan Gregory climbing somewhere.....

 If you are a woman, Reader, let's say you had your child up there on top of Everest, with the help of your OB, who trained with you to do this amazing feat while you were pregnant  just in case you possibly went into labor. Even though you climbed all Kilimanjaro in your first tri.
And it was skyped to everyone back home.

 So with the birth of your first born under your belt,  you, the hired Nepalese Sherpa named, Apoo,  and your OB  get into some bad weather.
 (photo courtesy of Dan Gregory. Mountaineering)
You blinked and all the sudden not only are you a parent, but clouds are all around you and there is major mayhem:
 your newborn is bawling!
(this can cause any new parent to not know what to do regardless of location.)
Luckily, now that you have someone depending on you, you will work harder.
And I am going to say you get thr doctor, from Kathmandu cause he works on climbers hurt from

(photo courtesy of Dan Gregory at a hospital on a mountain. I haven't been to this one.)

accidents on the mountain all the time.  No matter if you are a female or male reader. That makes it fair. We want to include everyone.
(Cause being by yourself is lonely at the top of a mountain. Photo courtesy of Dan Gregory)
Heck, let's make our story really include everyone. Even those who are not parents but parent other people's kids. Which is what teachers, neighborhood stay at home moms, or coaches of little league do; raise kids. And those kids feel just like your own and it doesn't matter if you had kids or not but you teach kindergarten and have a class full of kids every day and it feels so futile to teach them to learn when you can't even get them to stop picking each other's noses.
 (use your oxygen tank to read that paragraph!)
(This appears to look like we are camping. Camped out on the football sidelines.)

 So it's you, a doctor, your first born, the Sherpa, and a class full of kindergartners, depending on you, on top of Everest. Oh, and Padre just sent a text to ya deemed URGENT and upon opening it with your bulky top of the line gloves, you dropped your in perfect condition iphone 4. Through the cracked screen you can read:

"Does anyone know where my Patrick McManus book is?  "

...........................................and it is a group text to all of your six siblings.

(She wouldn't do it! Not yet. But she may have gotten a gene from her Dad who is pretty stealthy..)

Unable to text him with a broken screen, you can't tell Padre you have it safely tucked into your Kelty pack next to the First Aid Kit, and only brought it along so you could read with it to Apoo around the campfire and  was going to return  it ASAP!

Instead of hi tailing it off the top like most would do in a moment of oxygen lacking weakness, he decides that, instead of taking you down right now, he needs you to wait. He is used to this altitude and thinks you could use some character building with what it is like to be in a storm on top of Everest.
(Courtesy of Dan Gregory)

So while he texts his family using the new iphone6 ++ for Sherpas, about how funny McManus is, you realize that your contacts dried out when you took off your goggles so that you could reach into your pocket to get your beeping phone and read Padre's and your family's messages.

(courtesy of Dan Gregory)

The glasses you brought with you with the old prescription in them had gotten a ton of condensation on them from sweating so much in all your gear trying to get up to the top with little to no oxygen.

 Like most who are unable to gauge hypothermia, you took them off  when they fogged up along with a layer of clothing. Which makes cleaning them off  way easier because your coat was scratchy and the silk  does a better job than the wipes from you Eye Dr.!

When you went to wipe the condensation off your glasses from sweating so much you catch Apoo sitting on the tip of a rock like a Billy Goat and reading from the pages of McManus' book. He is also skyping! And as he reads he can't stop giggling. On one funny part about Two Man Tent Fever,

(courtesy of Dan Gregory)

 he throws his head back precariously close to falling off the razor sharp tip he is doing a yoga pose upon, and the book is grabbed in the clutches of Mt. Everest's worst wind storm since yesterday.

You drop your glasses trying to grab at the flying book only to see it disappear into the white void!

(cute kid in car seat. using bambi eyes so you will take him out.)

ME: "Apoo!!!!!! I thought you understood error margin when you\
 blogged about being one of the Death Trap Sherpa's on your blog and your return address was: 'Namche Bazaar'"  AAAHHHH!!!"

 The  repercussions of losing Padre's book are worse than risking your life on top of Everest with a guide that has you second guessing getting the second best sherpa to guide your Mt. Everest hike. Summit. Expedition. Whatever.

Apooo: "That is my Address! P.O. box Address! ALL sherpas have P.O Box address in most popular, expensive city of Sherpa's: Namche Bazaar!"
(Hey! The sign up in the left corner says: Everest! But it isn't. It is Dan Gregory doing a Tough Mudder competition. I have never done one of those either.)

With the sudden loss of faith in the dream you had about being completely safe on the most dangerous Mountain because you brought someone from its hometown with you suddenly fades away into the deep, unknown distance holding hands with Padre's book.

(omg. That is me, Readers! Not the cowboy. The long haired person reading to the Cowboy. Where is my hair? wulp, see ya old body self! There is no coming back from this Everest/stint on Prednisone! )
Suddenly you see you can't see so good! How are you going to get off this mountain without your eye site?? What in the world!?

That Lasik surgery you never got to fix your eye sight a long time ago and is now null and void and can be the only cause of the eye pressure you feel. Even though you never had the surgery.  Atmospheric pressure, or something.


Your lawyer, who is only your lawyer cause he helped you with the legalities of unmarrying someone, what is that word? Oh, yeh, d-i-v-o-r-c-e.

(one last look back and I will stop pouting about! Gotta keep on keepin on I guess.)

And you don't know of any others; summited hours before you, and then again passed you on the Hillary Step on his way down, said:

" Amanda? Sorry is that you under that prednisone?

How are you! The top is amazzzinggg! Hey, I can get you a Redo Eye surgery set up at no cost, other than a retainer fee, paper costs, even though we are now wireless, and whatever that all adds up to be we will have the judge order the Kathmandu Surgeon to pay me. Believe me, this is waaayyy easier than other cases I have done.

 everything is going to be just fine!! "
 he hollers as he skips down the steps.

Traffic chokes the Hillary Step on May 19, 2012. Some climbers spent as long as two hours at this 40-foot rock wall below the summit, losing body heat. Even so, 234 people reached the top on this day. Four climbers died
 (courtesy of National Geographic of the Hillary Step and a bunch of climbers getting bottlenecked. Actually I didn't ask to use this one. I hope it's okay? What do I say when I do it this way? Lack of courtesy, Amanda Hobbs?)
And, luckily, Apoo was on the expedition that helped a blind man climb Everest. Or at least his blog said he did and it's about the same.

At this point, you are re-assured and a peace has settled around you like you'd just read the ending of a book and found that there was no need to worry about anything because everything was going to be fine once you could text Padre back that you would get him a new book when

Apoo,  searching  on Amazon, says:  "Wha? The McManus book is out of print!"

So, your bank account drained once your lawyer got to the next lodge that has no modern day conveniences save the ATM! You have lost a lot of body heat during the excitement of delivery, and the overcrowding from so many people summiting the same time as you  that it pushed your summit back and into the bad weather, and apparently the off season of climbing because the Sherpas
 have stopped working.

YOUR Nepalese Sherpa, who is charging you by the hour using a taxi cab clicker on a string around his neck, loans you his glasses.

Apoo: "I can do this with my eyes closed!" he nods enthusiastically.

Apoo, while walking backwards and texting, guides you down the Hillary Steps,

then back up them

(photo courtesy of Dan Gregory)

(Padre happy that you found a way to get him a new McManus book by emailing McManus himself.)

because you forgot to pick up the litter your little league's garbage of Gatorade bottles, candy wrappers, and their expensive baseball gloves and bats. Items that the parents will ask if you have. You find extra litter, that isn't yours either,  that you are required to also bring back due to the stricter Nepalese Government law rather than your ethic of leaving a place better than you found it.

Through Apoo's glasses different prescription than yours glasses,  you can only see your glove in front of your face. And, at best, it is blurry due to not having the surgery.

All of your gear, your baby, Dr, and garbage shakily head back down. Like a Circus
entertainer trying to balance on top of a cable the width of a toothpick, while  holding an umbrella above the head and wearing a tu-tu, you tippy toe a few inches from the top.

Oh, okay that is too respectable. You have sat down and are just schooching on your bum cause you are so scare of heights. Even though you can't even see the many colored tents below at base camp because of the blizzard! Somehow gravel has gotten into your underwear even though you are buried in snow.

 Suddenly, Apoo stops you.
(photo courtesy of Dan Gregory)

* readers, i only have strenght to upload one more.  Can you make it with just the story? cause i am done.

He warns: "If you lean too far forward you will fall down! "

Because the fat suit you are wearing has most of the fat deposited on your chest and under your neck,. even if  you wanted to look down; you couldn't.  It would require leaning waaayyyy over- at the waist. And you don't have one with Cushings Syndrome. Sorry. You are a blueberry. But that's okay!
Cause quality of life is what we are striving for!

Luckily, Apoo has caribbeaned you to him somewhere on your torso. Which used to be a waist.The rope is tied in a good, loose granny knot and works like an umbilical cord to which the doctor is somehow able to get Prednisone into your veins.  But nothing else helpful!

prednisnone, yes! But nothing else!

 Apoo takes you around Everet's backside where there is Avalance warnings and
 has you scale to the top where there is no trail to scale.

ME: "Apoo I need that emergency oxygen I loaded onto your pack when you wern't looking at base camp!"

Apoo: "Is that the extra stuff of yours I left back at Green Boots?"

The thought of your needed air supply by a human skeletal trail marker, makes you want to join in the crying of your baby. Who is now screaming like a kid in a car seat in downtown SLC 5 pm rush hour summer constrution traffic.
(courtesy of Dan Gregory)

The torrential wind swirling about doesn't muffle the cries because Apple made something so forward thinking, that it let you hear your baby talk in the womb. Translating everything into your native baby cry. But now you can't turn it off because the App is directly sewn into your ear drum and
because your baby is freshly from heaven, miraculously it can breath without oxygen and won't stop crying. Unless you find a DVD player that can play Baby Einstein in sub 20 degree weather, you are stuck.


NOW YOU can start your descent!

Apoo: "After those three steps, let's set up camp."

Me:"But I just got the back pack back on and its still day light!"

He shakes his head like a wise overly paid taxi driver in Kathmandu.

(photo courtesy of Dan Gregory. Emmons Glacier. Hate traversing those.)

ME: "Here? Next to the remains of hobby climbers vs. the remains of those who were not trying to just get a selfie next to the mountain?"

He is already snoring before you finish your sentence.

So your doctor helps you take your pack off and says it isn't a problem cause he already charged you for it anyway. Once you are cozied up in your mummy bag a text message dings.

It's your attorney! Your once perfect, now cracked iphone, which only had a couple months left before the next contract upgrade that Verizon would take back and put toward a new phone using their EDGE deal, make it hard to see.

(The "edge" deal might be just as bad as this Glacier Edge Dan is on.... Mt. Adams in back.)

Your lawyer sent a pic of him drinking hot cocoa in a trekkar's lodge! (Using his new iphone 6 os and is talking with a bunch of sherpas. The ones who are celebrating
 'Everest Expedition End of Season.' 
Which is like the women do here when the men finally quit hunting. Or do they? Anyway, there is a celebration. And all join in because it is fun.

ME: "Hey! Hire those sherpas for me, will you ?
climbers. Courtesy of Dan Gregory)
We are stuck up here in a storm! On prednisone, with a new baby, and a Little League Team that all have to use the only bathroom in camp!"

Lawyer: "Hey, they said they would but only if they got a retaining fee first and if you'd sign over your first born. Oh, and btw you have to get these divorce papers signed. I will just send it by Sherpa Fax. "

ME: "But I'm not married!"

Lawyer: "Rules are rules! The surgeon wants a divorce. Sooo.." and his voice is drowned by a public appearance of the President and they are toasting.

So you let him go and try to get your arm back into the sleeping bag but the Dr. pulled the drawcord too tight around your face. How he got it so air tight with your arm hanging out, is only something they train doctors in med school.

No sooner have  you shook off insomnia ice cycles formed on your eye lashes, and the baby down for a nap,  Apoo  is shaking the tent and singing.

(courtesy of Dan Gregory. Him with tents. And friends.)

Something about rising and shouting. And Cougars. The Dr. hands you your morning dose of prednisone which would have come in handy in the night when you couldn't sleep due to charlie horses in your legs, and trying to run around in your mummy bag in the small tent.

Did I mention that you were in peak performence form before the expedition but as you climbed they gave you a fat suit to simulate what it is like to have "extra weight" on your body in "awkward places", unevenly distributed ?

With the uneven body suit zipper stuck, you have to try and shove your sleeping bag back into its sack which you can't see in the darkness cause you dropped your flashlight and it rolled out of the tent and down the ice sheeth that you had hung your tent to.
(Courtesy of Dan Gregory. Him and some other climbers on the side of a mountian in a tent)

****Can I just pause right here, Reader, and tell you something of interest? So I get a lot of magazines in the mail. The kind that make ya almost buy an embroidered sweatshirt that only Grandma's wear. There are some really cute ones however.

 If only they came in Mumu's.....
Anyway, there is a Non-Profit magazine that has some beautiful knitted work and decorations that resemble the ones that I have made. In the night. On prednisone. I don't know if this is something I could go into for a profession (ornament maker) or if I am going to have to compete with these ladies because their work is waayyy better than mine.

Where was I?

(hey! I am using trekking poles to walk and it is way better than a cane. Dan Gregory took this pic)

Ah, the prednisone taper. Seems to take forever, doesn't it? You just have to go down one mg. then camp for three weeks, pack up camp and move three steps down Everest, set up camp for three weeks and repeat until you are at base camp!

whew! I thought that writing about it would be harder than it was.

(*puttin pics in was bad. just bein honest)

Summarizing helps.

But I titled this: 'I am a Hero Already.'

---That was before Apoo was whipped up into a story.
I am a hero because J. dubbed me one the other day when I was trying to do something extremely difficult which I told you about.
(Courtesy of Dan Gregory on the Summit of Mt. Steel. I about cry thinking of what it is like to climb a mountain- mental or real, and get to the summit.)

If you want to know power out of your control- either hike Everest, or forget taking a med that has had your body stop producing cortisol. And you will quickly find that what you thougth was you doing a day hike just after getting out of the hospital and you were healed, guess again.

It was a steroid. yup. And it masked everything. So that when you tried Table Rock  again two weeks later, it was waayyy harder. And you couldn't understand why.

Oh, the hero part.

(Thanks for letting me loan your creativity at a time when I can't be, Dan. Dan Gregory, Readers. Give him a round of applause and a shout out on fb if ya can. His talent goes beyond the dental realm and mountaineering. He's an artist, photographer, log thrower in a plaid kilt. etc. etc.)

Bout forgot! I was trying to sit up like I said. With no prednisone to help me. . J. saw me and ran to the bedside,  stuck his hand out and I grabbed it.

In a fiercness that surprised me, he drew close to my ear, as if keeping someone from listening and whispered:
"You're a hero. You can do this, push!"
So I did.

My muscles trembled, twitched and tears welled up and suddenly I was transported to a similar scene when I was actually doing the same motion; sitting up and doing a sit up crunch.

But it was more dire of a situation. A little one's heartbeat was under great duress, and due to the complications, the doctors was uneasy.

"One more push, Amanda. Then we will have to do an emergency C-section."

I knew it was important. I was worried about this little guy. I drew from all my resources. it was a singular moment. One only I could do at this time even though there were many around me to help! Time was of the essence! I knew how long it would be if he didn't  have oxygen!
I knew his heart rate had slowed. The tries of the doctors to help him struggle with that first breathe.

I was completely focused. Suddenly My mom's voice was in my left ear:

"Amanda you can do this!"

And I did.

 It wasn't planned. Her being there. Kid, yes. A parent in the room, no. Not that I didn't want her in there I just thought, I, was going to be in the ZONE, actually I,  don't KNOW what I thought all I know is I am so glad she tag teamed and joined me in the last bit cause her voice and then hearing it over a baby's cry:

"Oh, Amanda. He's beautiful, he's beautiful." with tears in her eyes and her hands up to her face was a great day.

So, yeh. That is the story of J.
 One of them.
he likes that one because I show him a picture of him in the womb- relaxing with his arm back like he was watching the fireworks display on a blanket down by the river.

Well, he kept that stance on his way out and caused the whole heartbeat going down mess but I kicked in gear some abwork from Coach Guilford's strength training days of HS (actually I hadn't done abs like that in years but muscle has memory I'm told) and with the help of a prayer,
I became a Hero.

I have a lot of sit ups to do before getting off prednisone....... not looking forward to them.

Drop in if ya want to hear a story. Or there is one you want me to tell, just write me and I'll share it.

*Oh, an interesting Everest exspense for those who are

gastro-intestinally challenged or have their whole little league team:

"it costs each climber $5 to defecate on the mountain, using a bio-degradable bag that is shipped to a specially constructed septic tank in a neighbouring valley."

Taken from an article in The Observer, entitled: Sherpas Fear for Life after Killer Avalanche.

It could cost you a lot of money if you seriously think it is a good idea for you to go.
(Aconcagua. Courtesy of Dan Gregory)

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