Thin Air!

As climbers ascend to higher altitudes the air becomes thinner. The effect of this is decreased oxygen in the blood, which can cause altitude sickness.  More effort is required for each movement and it’s common to experience nausea, dizziness, fatigue and breathlessness.


Over the past few days I have experienced all these – plus pain!!

Last week on Valentines Day I had major surgery to remove all traces of cancer. They call it ‘debulking’ and it included a full hysterectomy. The purpose of this is to remove any traces of cancer found in my abdomen. The good news is that for a surgery scheduled for 3-4 hours, it only took two! When my surgeon opened me up he found that those three rounds of chemotherapy drugs had done their job! In my words the good army had overcome the invading enemy, DESTROYING them! So less for him to ‘debulk’!

The new battle I have faced over the past few days is one of pain and exhaustion. There were signs from the beginning that post-op pain was going to be a challenge; the anaesthetists gave me an epidural and said I would be fitted to a pump with which I could administer my own pain relief. Alongside this they would give me IV morphine when needed.


Pain shouts loudly

Drowning out other voices

It consumes every part

Demanding attention




Pain feels angry

Demanding its place

Muscles tense under it’s touch

Breathing is laboured




At the touch of a button

It subsides

Me controlling it


A battle of wills

A medieval contest

Jousting back and forth


Who will win?

Who will triumph?

Pain demands the prize

Arrogant in its desire

To prevail


Another voice penetrates the darkness


Peace in distress

Calm in the storm

Sweetness for the soul


Pain has to submit to its power

It has no choice

Faith triumphs

Hope wins

Love conquers all


The only way climbers can adjust to the high altitudes is for them to ascend slowly, rest and keep well hydrated. That is what I’ve been doing for this past week – resting, sleeping, and drinking plWWzXwjpzS2W3k5d8yvoWlAenty of fluids. I’m adjusting to thinner air!

10 thoughts on “Thin Air!

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