How To Tell If You Have Altitude Sickness

I’ve just returned from a lovely week in the Colorado mountains with my family.  Fact: family vacations are great!  There are long drives to drive, laughs to laugh, songs to sing, drinks to drink, ice cold rivers to swim in,  campfires to light, and marshmallows to catch on fire.  There are squirrels to chase if you’re a dog (or if you just like squirrels – I make no judgements), and wormed-hooks to avoid if you’re a fish.  With so much to do and to think about, it’s worth being reminded that not everything is perfect in paradise.  An evil lurks there in the mountains, just through those winding bumpy roads where pine trees sway.  An evil called Altitude Sickness, which, amazingly, can be the cause of just about anything.  So how can you tell if you’ve contracted it, or if you are suffering from some other malady, like a run-of-the-mill stomach flu?  Fear not, my adventuresome friends!  I have just blazed the trail for you, and am now happy to relay my discoveries.  So without further ado, here is a handy-dandy list for you to keep nearby as you journey toward your next summer vacation.

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How To Tell If You Have Altitude Sickness

You feel carsick long after the car has stopped winding around entire mountains

You feel lightheaded, like you’re going to fall over in a second

You throw up

You experience more headaches than is comfortable

Your stomach feels bloated, and you probably have a lot of gas trying to escape

Nobody wants to be around you because of this escaping gas

You don’t want to be around you because of this escaping gas

You find yourself hating trees, dirt, bugs – anything that moves in the mountains at all

Your feet begin to hurt, rendering all hikes, walks, adventures, and anything of the physical/fun nature agonizing

You can’t play board games anymore because the altitude makes you allergic to them

You have a lot of new allergies, come to think of it – walking outside where there might be mosquitoes, conversing, vegetables, the voice of an annoying sibling, etc

When feeling too warm in the cabin, you may spontaneously combust

When feeling too cold in the cabin, you experience a vision which assures you that you are about to contract pneumonia, or maybe one of those other diseases that people on “The Oregon Trail” computer game always died from, like diphtheria or typhoid fever

You simply can’t use the outhouse and must instead use the restroom in the lodge across camp.  You are so very sorry for the inconvenience to everyone who must escort you.  The guilt may just be another symptom, though

Your brain becomes overrun by day-mares about a bear attacking camp.  You are literally physically incapable of being left alone.  But it isn’t your fault – the altitude has begun to attack your brain.  You may not have much longer to live

Despair is imminent

Other common symptoms may include (but not be limited to) grumpiness, smelliness, and a penchant for lying across entire couches moaning “pooor meeeeeee” for hours on end

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If you or someone you know experiences any combination of these symptoms, please consult a sympathetic relative as quickly as possible.  Everyone else will have long gone by now.

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