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High altitude medicine

I just got home from a demanding photo shoot that lasted four days in northern Sweden. It was amazing and I can´t wait to tell you more about it but when you are doing something like that you are really tired after so today I had a rest day and did the image selection and sent over to the client. The rest of the day I spent studying high altitude medicine for my upcoming expedition.

Doctor Olivia Kiwanuka just released her new book on the subject. She also founded Adventure Medicine that I did my Wilderness First Aid course with. I can really recommend this company for anyone living in Sweden wanting to learn more about these things!

For someone who is interested in high altitude expeditions, knowing about high altitude medicine is a must. And to have a book written by a doctor that are specialised in this area is amazing. It explains in detail how the body work on high altitude. It´s so much more information then you can read in an article on internet or in a blog. It´s a whole education. Did you know your VO2 max is only around 20% on the summit of Everest compared to at sea level. On Broad Peak it will be around 25% on the summit.

This was a really well invested day, reading this book! Now I just need to figure out how to get the medicine I need for my expedition. It´s not easy. I have talked to several doctors about giving me Diamox and Dexamethasone and no one will. Actually they have been laughing to my face when I have asked for it. It makes me sad because it´s something that could save my life in case I get into trouble on the mountain. And I don´t want to leave without having that security. Of course I hope I will never need to use any medicine at all. By doing a good risk analysis, be prepared and do a proper acklimatization I hope to avoid that. But that might not be enough on these altitudes. That´s the thing. And I can´t understand why the doctors won´t help me. I hope I can find a way. If you know how I would gratefully take any advice or tip.

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