Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's "Up"?

     We are sometimes asked how we are adjusting to the altitude here.  For the most part, we're taking it slowly.  We limit our hikes in the mountains to about an hour or 90 minutes.  And we learned very early on that we need to be very faithful about staying hydrated.  Everyone says that's a huge factor in avoiding altitude issues.  Esperanza was very good at reminding us, whenever we went out, to be sure we were taking water bottles with us.  I learned very graphically what happens when one doesn't heed this advice.
     About the 3rd week we were here, while still living with Esperanza, the 3 of us were in the grocery store.  I was leading the way toward the produce deptartment when I realized that I wasn't really in control of the direction I was walking--I sort of unintentionally veered off to the left.  Esperanza was right behind me and thought I was just moving over for her to catch up with me.  I leaned briefly against the cooler I had wandered over toward, thought the "light-headedness" had passed, and moved on again. 
     As I did, I began to tell Esperanza and Bob what I was feeling.  Just then, I felt the sensation again.  I was afraid I'd faint, fall, and get hurt, so I just sat down in the middle of the floral displays (a lovely spot, don't you think?)  Of course, as they were bending over me, I attracted a bit of attention--including from the manager who offered to get me any help I needed.  When I explained and said I was sure I would be okay, he left.  Right after that, we all walked out to the car where I proceeded to drink ALL the water in our water bottle.  Bob and Esperanza went back in and finished our shopping.  I was fine and never had another episode--but have become very conscientious about drinking water ever since!

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