Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oink Oink pas de deux: dancing with Miss Piggy, dreaming of the alpine

See links at right/down for backpacking and Asia travel entries

It’s the year of H1N1. Irma, Pat, and I work the fever and cough hall (Photo at left). Yesterday I was thinking, well, ____, every day is a lot of exposure for us; and two of us at some degree of >risk, due to age. But it seems like a reasonable risk, given whatever and all. If I get it bad, I’m guessing I won’t be as cavalier, but in the meantime, here we go again. And don't believe that BS about "First responders are first to get the vaccine" - at least these first responders. Pas de deux.

2009 – Oh what a year this is! (copied from something I wrote)

2009 – When a secluded hallway at Grace UMC is lined with people with H1N1 influenza (photo); when our regular patients with diabetes, hypertension, depression, etc. keep coming; when people who never imagined that they would seek healthcare in the basement of a church started coming; when the nurse practitioner knelt in front of the woman with kidney failure and at least one gangrenous toe, cleaning the wounds, asking,
Does it hurt?
I’m sorry. I have to get it clean.”
God bless you.”

2009 – When Eagle Scout candidates painted and decorated exam rooms and the back work area in ways that only 16 year old boys/young men would; when new volunteers included two pediatricians, a gynecologist, an ENT specialist, and two RNs; when ______ said they would continue to provide lab services at no cost; when several churches renewed their commitment to financial support for Agape; when the NP asked, “Does anyone want to work in the cough and fever hall with me?
The young promotora said, “I’ll go.”
And Pat, the pediatric nurse practitioner said, “I’ll take care of the children.”

Photo at left above is a spacer for young patients with asthma - Nora makes them and they cost pennies vs. >$20 for manufactured. Photo below is Jackie, someone who always elevates us

2009 – When we received this email from a graduating medical student who volunteered at Agape for several years: “I'm very excited about starting a new chapter in my life and wanted to thank you for the opportunity you gave us to work at Agape. To me, it was the constant reminder that beyond all the books and the tests and (other stuff) there were people in need, people we wanted to help.”
2009 – When we looked back and saw that in the 1st three quarters of 2008 we treated 2,382 patients; and in the 1st three quarters of 2009 we treated 3,476 patients; when donations decreased; when commitments to keep serving were renewed.

The Wind Rivers
The Winds reverberate in me. I’m still processing the 2 weeks on the trail. The need to go into the high alpine even greater now than before. What I wrote yesterday: Where I went was not fun - it was harsh and challenging, beautiful beyond my imagination, there were several days of mild altitude sickness, there was some danger, and ultimately it was a true peak experience. That wasn’t my goal. My goals were to be in the alpine and to make it over the col.

One thing that’s helping as I consider where next in the Winds is to realize that all Winds treks start in a forest and that it always takes at least a day to get to the alpine. So, if I have to go through the same forest more than once, well, okay, after the first mile, trees in one place aren’t all that different from trees in another place. Photo above is along the Highline Trail. After I got home, I was in touch with the person who took it. Photo below was taken at Island Lake, looking back to the place I was, far away in the misty peaks.

All that to say, I may head back up the Pole Creek Trail (camp 1) to Seneca Lake Trail past Island Lake (2) to somewhere on the Indian Pass Trail (3) across the Continental Divide to Knife Point Glacier (4) and see where I might go; also up Freemont Peak (13,745),* a 3rd and 4th class scramble (5), back down, up Titcomb Basin (6) and over Knapsack Col to Mammoth Glacier (7) and then past Peak Lake to Glacier Trail NW and maybe camp at Dale Lake (8) and around to Highline south to Summit Lake (8) to Elbow Lake (9) to Big Water Slide (9) to Lost Lake and on to Seneca Lake Trail (10) and then one more night on the trail, maybe Eklund Lake or Miller Park (11) and out.

*From peakware.com: “Sitting in the center of the vast and remote Wind River Range, Fremont Peak represents a fine climbing challenge in arguably the most beautiful alpine environment in the United States.” What more could I ask?

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