June 2, 2009
Good news! Jesse is heading home today. A medical attendant arrived from the states and will be accompanying him home, business class no less. Some of you inquired about the drug that made him sick. He was taking dexamethasone. Dex is a powerful steroid drug that is intended to treat high altitude cerebral edema, which is a swelling of the brain brought on by exposure to high altitude. The symptoms are headache, dizziness, impairment of cognitive functions, inability to walk and slurred speech. The only cure is to move immediately to a lower altitude. If not treated in this fashion, the person lapses into a coma and dies. Dex is administered, by pill or injection, after the symptoms appear and helps stabilize the person for
the descent. The only function of dex is to “buy time” for the descent. It is not intended as a preventative medicine. Jesse was taking dex 3 times per day for the entire trip up the mountain.
I will be going to the hospital this morning with representatives of Asian Trekking to visit Jesse before he leaves.
Attached is a photo taken at the hospital two days ago. As you can see, Jesse looks great.
(This “mountain man” bears no resemblance to the man that left my house to go to Nepal. – Sharon)