Jon Fox, YOSAR & PTPP - thanks for saving my life.

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Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 22, 2012 - 01:03am PT
I always hate admitting when I f*#k up. But I also don't feel right without giving credit where it is due.

Last Friday, I was helping Jon and Pete haul gear to the start of New Dawn. I had driven in from Vegas on damned little sleep, less food, and a lot of excitement about getting to actually learn some tips and tricks, and get some wear on my shiny new gear. So many years of training and waiting, and I was finally gonna get some aid on!

We got a bit of a late start, and Jon and I hauled some bags to the base, taking our time. Felt fine, bit tired and thirsty but overall I had no indication about the hell that was about to break loose. Ok, I knew I was exhausted. But tired is manageable .... Right?

We clipped in to separate lines, and started jugging up the first pitch with the intention of fixing the second. I remember looking up at the lower out, and sliding the jug up...

The next thing I knew, Jon was practically on top of me, screaming into my ear. I had no idea where I was, and I couldn't move. He was saying....that I had a full blown seizure and had flipped nearly upside down.

He finally managed to get me upright, and was trying his best to get me coherent again and try to get me down. He had alerted Pete by radio, and Pete had blasted down to the bridge, called 911, and sent a couple guys with jugs up to assist Jon. I'm sorry that I don't remember the one guys name, he had been at the bridge...he got to the base and was shouting encouragement to me, telling me I was a f*#king monster, woohoo-ing...then jugged up and started helping Jon get me ready to lower me off. His positive attitude and yelling did a lot to save my ass, got my ego moving.

Jon had been trying to get me into my aiders, but I just couldn't do it. I was curled in the fetal position on the rock, and all I could do was shift from side to side when my hips started screaming from the pressure against the rock.

Between the two of them, they had me ready to lower when YOSAR showed up. The first 20 feet, I was just sliding down the rock....nothing was working. I had blood all over my mouth from a cut and my severely bitten tounge. I was scared as hell and still couldn't figure out what the hell was going on.

As they were lowering me past a bolt that a redirect had been in, everything started to click again. I started pawing at my chest harness, trying to reset the draw .... Funny how things stick even in a situation like that.

I managed to finally get onto my feet, and Jon lowered me the rest of the way off, into the arms of YOSAR and a ranger medic. I was so f*#king humiliated, and was vomiting all over the place at that point. So many years of wishing to be here, and feeling like an utter failure, having to put my partner and SAR members at risk....I felt about 2 feet tall.

The medics got me in to the stretcher and started an IV and o2, and were telling me that a helo was going to take me to Modesto. I got pretty upset at that point, slurring "no helo...no helo...." - I don't have medical insurance, and like a lot of us I'm not rich.
They explained to me why it was better to fly out, and I agreed with them. They littered me out to the Meadow, and got me into the bird. I was very sleepy (a common after effect of a seizure) and don't remember a hell of a lot about the litter or helicopter ride. I didn't really start getting back to the real world until we were at the hospital.

Had the full CAT scan/EEG/ bloodwork thing, and it all came back good. It turns out that the pain medication that I take for my arthritis, puts you at a risk of seizure. That combined with little sleep, little food, slight dehydration and a lot of adrenaline and exercise, created the perfect storm. I have never had anything remotely like this happen to me, and I sure as hell don't ever want it to happen again.

I had lost my prescription glasses somewhere in the mix, and was having to wear my scrip Ray Ban Wayfarer shades. ER D#@&%ebag mode, baby. Black eye, bruised face, and a tongue swollen over twice normal size... I got off damned lucky.

I had no way to get back to the Valley, and my fiancée wasn't going to be able to fly in until the next day. I didn't know what to do. Finally, they put me in an ambulance and dropped me off in the C4 parking lot at like 3 AM. I wandered around for a couple hours, sitting by my tent, smoking and still way too stressed to sleep. I can't see sh#t without my glasses, so here I am stumbling around in my ray bans....sigh.

The next morning, I showed up at the Bridge. Gave Jon the biggest hug I could, and thanked him and Pete as I got my gear together. Still feeling lower then whale sh#t at the bottom of the ocean, I headed back to C4.
I ended up having to go over to the cache to get my helmet and harness. Met John, who has been a hero of mine for a long time. What I wouldn't have given for it to be under better circumstances.

Luckily, my glasses had ended up in my helmet somehow, so at least I could see at night again. My fiancée showed up in a rental car, and we spent the night at C4. In the morning, Kate and Sonya were awesome enough to drive up and get the rental and turn it back in, and we started back to Vegas.

Long story short, this is my fault. I knew I wasn't 100% and ignored how exhausted I was. The medication issue wasn't something that I had ever even considered, as it hadnt ever given me any issues.
I can't thank those that helped save my life enough. I will be back in the Valley for facelift - if you see me, please identify yourself and say hi. As a fellow SAR worker, I owe you my deepest thanks and gratitude.
Jon, Pete, Kate, Sonya....and those whose names I just didn't get - I owe you. Big time.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:10am PT
Glad you are Ok, brush it off.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:14am PT
Jon, Pete, Kate, Sonya....and those whose names I just didn't get - I owe you. Big time.

What you owe them is pretty simple. One day, you'll be in a position to help somebody who is in trouble, and you'll discharge your debt by helping.

No big deal. It's not like you did anything a thousand climbers haven't done before you, or that you willfully went ahead when you should have turned back. You tried to fulfill a dream, wound up in a nightmare, and some good folks brought you home. You'll do the same for someone, someday, and the balance of the universe will be restored.
Mousebob

climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:25am PT
Was it tramadol?
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:36am PT
Hey Travis;
Good talking to you today on the phone.
I am so relieved you are ALRIGHT!
I don't want to lose my good climbing partner.

Where would this place be without the...
















































OT MARMOT!!!
photo not found
Missing photo ID#214965

:)
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2012 - 01:49am PT
Thanks all. It was indeed tramadol, Mouse. That sh#t is in the trash and I'm on a normal painkiller now.
I know I will balance it out someday. That's how karma goes.
Look forward to seein ya Riley!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:51am PT
wow, glad you're ok and there was a happy ending.

really scary to go down like that---

can the docs adjust yr meds?
WBraun

climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 01:52am PT
This was nothing.

You even walked over and climbed into the litter.

A little loopy at the point still, but ya managed.

Piece of cake thanks to the guys who took care of ya on the wall and Pete.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Sep 22, 2012 - 02:04am PT
WOW dude!!! Glad you are O.K. You really going to be at the Facelift? Sure hope so. I would be great to meet up! All the best.
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Sep 22, 2012 - 02:21am PT
hey travis, glad you came out ok and john was there to save you. nice to meet you by the bridge. you'll get back on the captain soon enough. steve
A5scott

Trad climber
Chicago
Sep 22, 2012 - 02:36am PT
wow man, i met you at the bridge just before you went up... could have happened to anyone... glad all is well!

scott
Kenygl

Trad climber
Salt Lake City
Sep 22, 2012 - 07:03am PT
Dammmmnnn. Good on you for sharing your bad trip. SAR is the bomb. Get some sleep, eat sumpin, drink some water, reeelaaxx............You were in good stay with the rock gods. Glad you lived to write about it.
perswig

climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 07:28am PT
Gnarly.
Good report.

As a fellow SAR worker...

^^
It would appear you've paid it forward, stockpiled some positive karma. No shame in tapping into that stash once in a while.

Glad you're whole (the aviation thread needs you!), and TFPU.
Dale
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 08:56am PT
Wow! That sounds epic. Great to hear how everyone helped. Never heard of an ambulance taking someone from the hospital to the Valley.
You have excellent karma. Lots of good folks out there.
See you in yellow pines,
Andy
MisterE

Social climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 08:57am PT
Glad you are OK, Travis! Sounds like you had some great people helping you! Skip and I will look for you at FL.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:18am PT
Wow. I'm so happy you are OK. It was a good thing you were jugging and didn't fall. Quite an epic to report.

Good to know about the Tramadol. It has been an incredibly beneficial drug for me personally (arthritis in my feet) but I take it infrequently. It's clearly not for everyone.
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:33am PT
Glad you're alright man.

On the Prow, my 1st wall in yosemite, my partner took a winger and busted his ankle and foot pretty bad. We had to bail from Tapir ledge, and I had to carry all the heavy stuff as well as direct the descent.

My partner was crushed in the full sense of the word. All I could do was offer consolation, and say I wouldn't go on trips like this if I were afraid of what might happen.

When sh#t goes bad it doesn't care where you are or what your dreams may be. Just pick yourself up, and realize you'll be back for more!

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:48am PT
Yeah hanging on a rope in the air is probably a pretty safe place to have a seizure, just imagine if you were behind the wheel. I am terrified of medical problems and the fact I'd had a seizure would scare me a lot more than the near accident on the wall. I have a low threshhold for fainting from medical information - if I give blood, I can't look, I might fall right on the floor. Once I was standing in a parking lot talking to a co-worker about our boss who had Hotchkins. He was describing how they had to take biopsies from tissues all over his body. It was lunchtime and I never ate breakfast so it was about 19 hours since I'd last eaten, also about 90 degrees. Whatever the factors, I fainted right in the middle of the story about the biopsies and came back with my face on the pavement and blood all over my face. The ambulance came and all these people came out to see what was going on, including the client we had just visited. Then I undergo a battery of tests, including the epilepsy test where they connect wires all over your head and make you stare into a strobe light, after being sleep deprived a full night. Well, there is nothing wrong with me at all, but I do avoid hospitals and don't want to hear anyone's surgery story.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Glad yer alright,
major props to YoSAR and those who assisted!
Like others have said, being SAR yourself you will pay it forward.
Get back up on the horse,
Tad
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Moundhouse Nev. and land o da SLEDS!
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:12am PT
Seizures are scary shyt! And what a place to have one! Thumbs up for the Rescue and survival!
Prod

Trad climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:26am PT
Glad you are ok.

Prod.
SofCookay

climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:52am PT
Kate and I were happy to help you and are just glad that you are okay. I look forward to seeing you and your fiance' at Facelift!

Sonya
philo

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:59am PT
Wow what a story. So glad you were able to share it.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:01am PT
Typical Valley first trip. I wouldn't sweat it. Lots of guys have way more epic sh#t happen then that, you got off light. Get on back and make it right. Its not the Valley with a Capital V for nothing, and we all get our asses kicked there on a regular basis, me especially.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:07am PT
Vegasclimber... Yowza....

So glad you are ok....
It will be very sweet to see you and Christina @ the facelift...(-;


take care...

salud..
nita

couchmaster

climber
pdx
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:12am PT
That's scary as hell. That could have had a bad outcome if it had been a different location. WOW.

Side note, run your pain medication for arthritis through the internet and see if things like that cause side effects. (ie, may cause violent seizures etc etc). Here's the important part, try to do a few different diets mods and see if the arthritis goes away. For myself, I started getting bad finger joint pain. Both hands and every finger joint in all fingers - but real bad in the thumb. I'm embarrassed to say that it hit my thumb so bad I went in to have it checked thinking it might be cancer....and I NEVER go to the Dr. (14 years in between physicals and went in once to get 8 stitches and once for a colonoscopy since I'm 50 in that timeframe).

I did the usual internet search and even the best place for scientific updates is Mayo Clinic. They literally had nothing. At all. All they had was change the size of your grips (like get the cushioned large grip things) to reduce the pain when you squeeze things. As a climber, it was getting tough as all I could do in the winter was laps on big jugged routes and the finger strength was going away. Unrelated (I thought) and to get in better shape, climber John Frieh recommended that I read the book The Zone Diet. That dudes in crazy amazing impressive condition so I thought: "why not". WOW! Unbelievable results. Short version, stop eating sweets and radically reduce grain intake (in fact, don't eat any processed flour). The arthritis disappeared. Gone. Vamoosed. Split. Took off.

Of course, it's hard to stay true to the thing and give up a lifetime of bad habits, and I've back slid (pint and a half of Haggen Daz last night), but the fingers have been pretty good shape since then and no pain at all in the (formerly) worst spots. My shoulder is currently trashed, but that's a different issue related to a hiking in snow slip and fall.

I'd suggest you look into this and see what it does for you. Maybe nothing, but what do you have to lose? Here's a site you can start with, but that Zone diet book is older now, and you can pick it up for a few cents plus shipping on Amazon used. It might be a life saver for you. Really. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1kqpisgNI

Good luck man!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:32am PT
Scary stuff! Don't beat yourself up - you wouldn't think poorly of one of us in your shoes. Yay for SAR and all the others who helped!
locker

Gym climber
DUH!!!...
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:36am PT


"It was indeed tramadol, Mouse. That sh#t is in the trash and I'm on a normal painkiller now."...

That's probably a WISE choice...

and also very glad you are OK!!!...

Wild story...

AP

Trad climber
Calgary
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:44am PT
I was told once that 1 in a 100 healthy people will suffer a seizure at some point in their lives for no apparent reason.
Perhaps someone can speak up on this.
It makes the idea of soloing very spooky if it is true.
darkmagus

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:55am PT
Ugh, so glad you're safe and alright. That's super scary. Tramadol is gnarly...

Climb on!

-DM
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:24pm PT
You're not kidding Tramadol can be serious stuff! Here's from Wiki and glad you're ok now. According to the article you might experience withdrawal symptoms though from quitting cold turkey. Best to be aware. You've been through enough already!

Seizures have been reported in humans receiving excessive single oral doses (700 mg) or large intravenous doses (300 mg). However, there have been several rare cases of people having grandqmal seizures at doses as low as 100–400 mg orally.

An Australian study found that of 97 confirmed new-onset seizures, eight were associated with tramadol, and that in the authors' First Seizure Clinic, "tramadol is the most frequently suspected cause of provoked seizures"...... Seizures caused by tramadol are most often tonic-clonic seizures, more commonly known in the past as grand mal seizures. Also when taken with SSRIs, there is an increased risk of serotonin toxicity, which can be fatal.

Fewer than 1% of users have a presumed incident seizure claim after their first tramadol prescription. Risk of seizure claim increases two- to six-fold among users adjusted for selected comorbidities and concomitant drugs. Risk of seizure is highest among those aged 25–54 years, those with more than four tramadol prescriptions, and those with a history of alcohol abuse, stroke, or head injury.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:26pm PT
Thank you for an honest story. Glad you are alright. Could have been better, but could have been much worse too if you were leading/driving.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:32pm PT
whoa, yeah, not your fault. Glad to hear of a somewhat happy ending.
Anastasia

climber
InLOVEwithAris.
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:38pm PT
Yikes... That is a common start up for big walls. I always start with limited sleep, lack of food and adrenalin. Who knew it was going to be your Achilles heel? If this comforts you... Bill and I will climb with you in a heartbeat. Though I think you must go with Bill instead of ole' me since I haven't climbed in ages... I'm playing mama right now. In fact, let me just say I trust you with my son and that's a big one. I know that after this incident, you won't put yourself in this situation again. I am so glad that you were able to walk away.

Hugs,
Anastasia
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Travis, I'm glad it turned out as well as it did. Take care of yerself
and get checked out further just to make sure it isn't just a side effect of yer med.
Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
Sep 22, 2012 - 12:41pm PT
Sounds scary, glad you're alright.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2012 - 06:01pm PT
Thanks for all the well wishes, and I'm going to look at that diet. Good stuff!

Anastasia, what you said means the world to me - and I would gladly keep an eye on your kid for you :) - I know how important your family is to you.

I will return to the Captain someday, of that there is no doubt. I want to climb the Nose, and that goal is still unchanged for me. Will be back at it after the doctor-imposed 6 month break.

Decided to take a spur of the moment trip to clear my head..heading for Tijuana right now to get some decent stogies, and then going to see George Takei's play "Allegiance" tonight. Should be a good time.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 22, 2012 - 06:07pm PT
Yer alright Travis!
Appreciated the phone call from San Diego today from you.

I agree with Anastasia, I'd even let you watch my PARROTS!

:)
oli warlow

Trad climber
U.K.
Sep 22, 2012 - 06:13pm PT
Glad you are good Travis! Maybe catch you at facelift.
O
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Sep 22, 2012 - 06:20pm PT
You dodged a bullet my friend. It will be really good to see you at Facelift. Let's climb.
Mal
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 22, 2012 - 08:20pm PT
George Takei?


OOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooo.



Everybody should know how to do a counter balance rappel to evacuate a partner.

Who is your rheumatologist?
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:08pm PT
Holy crap bad luck on the med reaction.

Tired? Thirsty? Not feeling 100% on Your first El-Cap wall...Uhmm that's normal lol.

Doesn't sound to me like you did anything wrong except follow a doctors directions. I guess we have all learned something about Tramadol.

I don't see how you can beat yourself up over something absolutely no one I ever heard of could have anticipated.

To me you clearly made at least one great decision in picking some awesome folks to partner with!

Have a great time in TJ!

Just be careful with the driving for a while... Like don't do it.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:16pm PT
hey there say, vegasclimber...

oh my.... so veryyyyyyyyyy glad you are alive and will be okay!!

as to this quote:

The next thing I knew, Jon was practically on top of me, screaming into my ear. I had no idea where I was, and I couldn't move. He was saying....that I had a full blown seizure and had flipped nearly upside down.


i understand a lot more about seizures than i ever would have, due to my stepgrandbabe, years back, having them... she is since past that, and weaned off medication, etc...
she is a fortunate one, in this battle...

say, i write the jake smith ranch series, so folks will learn more about seizures as to the the ol' 'daily keep-on-pressing-on'...

these folks are hidden heroes, as they face life on the
'front line' of brain vs body, tackling-- 'you NEVER know when or if':

it is a whole different way of life, when seizure step in...


god bless!!! thanks for the share!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
Wow, what a scary story. Good thing you were with such competent partners. Take good care of yourself.

Phyl
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 22, 2012 - 09:17pm PT
Holy crap VC, glad you will be fine with time.

Tramadol huh, I gave that up after a week, something didn't feel right. I've been doing fine now for 8 months on acetamin/cod, even doubled or tripled up when needed.

I've got 150 or so tramadols sitting in my dresser drawer collecting dust now.

You know damn well you'd give 200% for anyone in need in a moments notice. Aren't you glad there are others like you?
Some Random Guy

Trad climber
San Franpsycho (a.k.a. a token of my extreme)
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:13pm PT
well u didn't pull no guglielmucci that's fore sure.

dooooooood....ur still alive and functioning normally - futures so bright u gotta wear shades!
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:16pm PT
Just in case any of you don't know it;
Travis is on the SAR here in Vegas.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:40pm PT

Travis--so glad there was a good outcome and that you're okay.
Take it easy on yourself--not something you had any control over.
Get better and get back out there soon!!!!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Sep 22, 2012 - 10:44pm PT
Hell of a story. Glad you came out okay.
Mousebob

climber
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
Well I'm glad you are ok.

Tramadol is widely known in the medical community as one medication that lowers seizure threshold. In an individual without a history of epilepsy, this is often not a problem.

However, combine exhaustion and dehydration (and thus most likely a minor electrolyte balance - which can induce seizures) and you have created the "perfect storm" that your docs described.

In the end, glad you are ok. Tthe situation could have been much worse!
jcory86

Big Wall climber
Grass Valley, CA
Sep 22, 2012 - 11:55pm PT
Hey Travis, whooohooooo! My name is Justin. Oliver, a British soloist and I were the ones who ran up to the base of el cap. I jugged up to you and was working with Jon to get you lowered. Between communicating between you and YOSAR, Jon jugged up to the anchor to lower you. I short hauled you off the bolt and onto the line Jon was goin to lower you on. You had both your jumars attached and that was the biggest bitch to take off. Everything else was easy. You were a trooper man! Almost at the bottom you got it together pretty well and were able to make it over to the YOSAR rangers but were still very out of it. I let Pete use my phone to call your girl? She texted the next day saying you were ok! Pete, Jon, Oliver, Chris and hooted and headlamp flashed the chopper as you left the valley! You are one tough SOB and should keep following your dreams. We're all a team when we are dealing with the capitan. I know you would do the same! Take care, hope to see you back on the capitan soon!
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Sep 23, 2012 - 12:07am PT
gnarly.

glad you're recovering well
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 23, 2012 - 12:56am PT
Mousebob and jcory,


great 3rd and 4rth posts (respectively).
Hope ya got a good seat at the campfire.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2012 - 03:39am PT
Justin,

Thanks man. Really appreciate you helping me out. If you are still in the Valley, I'd like to meet up on Tuesday or Wednesday and get you a beer or 10. Shoot me a message!
Guangzhou

Trad climber
Asia, Indonesia, East Java
Sep 23, 2012 - 06:05am PT
I was told once that 1 in a 100 healthy people will suffer a seizure at some point in their lives for no apparent reason.
Perhaps someone can speak up on this.
It makes the idea of soloing very spooky if it is true.

AP. I heard the same thing, right after I had my first seizure actually. I was in between classes prepping lesson for my next class when I suddenly woke up with a bleeding nose and a few teacher hovering over me.

Had my second while teaching some basic team building activities to my staff in the climbing gym. Collapsed mid-sentence I'm told. Lucky for me, I landed on the bouldering mat we were using for the activities.

Seemed to have one every three month while the medication was being adjusted. Seems alright now. Even with medication, I avoid belaying and when I do I use a gri-gri. I mostly top-rope when I climb, but sometime I can't avoid the sharp end either. I never rap without a belay and a partner who can get me down if needed.

Glad everything turned out alright for VegasClimber, things could have gone a lot worse, that's for sure. Hope it's a once in a lifetime experience for you (seizure not El-Cap) and that you don't need medication in the long run.

Cheers
Eman
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Sep 23, 2012 - 07:44am PT
Travis, best wishes.

I used to take Tramdol (Tradol, brand name here in Ireland) once in a while, took my last one a couple of days ago. I think I will give it a miss from now on after your story. Cheers
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Oct 3, 2012 - 03:51pm PT
The thread where PTPP gets thanked for helping SAVE SOMEONE'S LIFE only gets a few responses.

He drops a bag and everyone wants to jump him on multiple threads.
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Oct 3, 2012 - 04:52pm PT
Tramadol, if memory serves, is a CV mixed opioid agonist/antagonist. This means that if you are on chronic pain management with any CII or CIII pure opioid agonist, you will be thrown into instant withdrawal syndrome. This may or may not prove fatal, but you will most certainly feel your death.

Chronic Pain Management has over the last two decades or so become a very specialized, and effective, arena of medical practice. A thorough web search will turn up quite a bit of information...in fact, ultimately, more than you might care to know.

One good resource may be found at: med.umich.edu/pain/apainmgt. “Approximate Opioid Equianalgesic Doses (adult)". If you are in serious and intractable pain, these days it takes a bit more than a good bedside manner with your local general practitioner – to be your own advocate means you'd better do your homework.

Lest someone Rx's you Tramadol – or worse. Seem to remember a Vioxx recall; I think Celexa is also undergoing an FDA revisit.

That said, an obscure bit of knowledge, which I've held as recourse against WD's, comes from an old Vet Admin detox; anyone on this class of meds should make it a point to lay in a supply of: 50mgs Doxipin (an old antidepressant); 100mgs Neurontin (anti-convulsant) QID 4x. (until these meds make you feel worse then just going it cold duck) This will provide a modicum of bearable level of relief from the grand mal syndrome symptoms.

I had an interesting Wall experience in Zion with Retchnell, once upon a time. But it was by no means as harrowing as your unfortunate synapse collapse.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2012 - 05:35pm PT
To be very honest, I am really disappointed with Pete's apparent decision right now. But until I speak to him face to face about it, I don't have anything else to say about it.

And as far as tramadol withdrawl goes, I haven't had any. As a general rule, I normally don't have it with any drug. The Tramadol that I had got destroyed when my pack got tossed and a bunch of stuff in it burst. It's been a few weeks now and I am doing just fine. Changed to a light dose of hydrocodone a week or so ago that is more acetametaphine (sp) then anything else, and haven't been having any issues with that whether I take it or not.

I appreciate the post though, thanks for taking the time to write it up.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:12pm PT
hey there say, vegasclimber.... glad to hear you are doing fine now...

*got the card off... watch the mail, about for wed, or so, next week, :)


god bless...
keep on 'keeping on' the ol' trail, :)
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:31pm PT
Quote Here
dose of hydrocodone a week or so ago that is more acetametaphine (sp

Yikes! - Vikes(vicodan)...acetaminophen will damage your liver dude.
8 grams is spelled out as a toxic OD on that stuff...which means if your on, say, 5/500mgs ("Boy Scouts"), all you need to ingest in a day is maybe 10 to poison yourself. Contraindicated for chronic use, too.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2012 - 06:37pm PT
Thanks Neebee :) I appreciate that, a lot.

Kab, I don't have a lot of options at this point. Quality of life goes downhill a lot when you can't walk in the mornings. I don't have insurance and can't afford to go to specialists and all that. As it is, the bill for this little incident is at $47,000 and still climbing.

Taking 1 or 2 of those a day is a hell of a lot less of an impact on my liver then chewing 8 or 10 Advil. And they aren't taken every day, at that. Kind of which is the lesser evil, I guess.
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:50pm PT
Vegas-

Been walking the walk for 15 years now. .10b can be pretty sporty when you can't feel what you're standing on, n'est pas?

Self employment means self insurance, too. But we go on. The Web helped me quite a bit.
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Oct 3, 2012 - 06:57pm PT
Real glad that I came upon this thread, since I've been on Tremadol for 8 years.
I'm heading to the Valley in a few days.

I've never abused this drug, and I was aware of the dangerous side effects, but in the long run, it is a quality of life issue.

I am bone on bone in my lower back with severe arthritis, and tremadol is perhaps the best option rather than all the others with Tylenol etc.

Perhaps I better watch my soloing in the future, since I want to see my grandchildren grow up.

I noticed there was mention of the "Zone" diet earlier.
I am sure that I was the 1st climber in the country following this diet, since I was introduced by the man himself-Dr. Barry Sears, long before he wrote his 1st book-Enter the Zone.

I can't recommend this nutrition plan enough.
It won't take away arthritis but it sure as hell is the nutrition plan to be on for everyone on the planet!!

I hurt like hell-all the time, but at 66, doing the Grand Teton, via the Upper Exum, car to car, sans rope, fresh from Boston in 9-10 hours, isn't bad. I wonder what I could do if I wasn't in constant pain.

The Olympic swim coach Richard Quick, who sadly to say, died of a brain tumor, a few years ago, touted the Zone diet for years, and for good reason. I had dinner with him on a few occasions, and he said that he even had his grandmother on the plan. Google Richard Quick- he was a great guy.

Guess what-it's the "ZONE" diet, that has made all the difference. I can't recommend it enough! ( I have an identical diabetic,twin brother with a 60 inch waist who will not follow any nutrition plan).
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2012 - 07:09pm PT
Hey Steve, hope you have a great trip.

As I said, it wasn't just the medication - blood sugar imbalance, electrolyte imbalance, exhaustion, all were factors that came into play that day. Just bad luck is all.

Stay rested as you can, hydrated and all that good stuff - it's been really hot on the wall lately.

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 3, 2012 - 07:11pm PT
hey there say, wow... i sure love how the taco here, leads to so many folks helping each other, back, with shared advice from experiences...

good job, folks, ...

say, steveA--wow,i will sure be keeping you in my prayers, too...
yep--you GOT to see them grandkids grow up, :)


medicines--another scary stuff... but life-savers, too, as you have all three mentioned, :)


well--thanks for the hey there, here, just now, vegasclimber,...
i am off to chores now... :))
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Oct 4, 2012 - 02:42am PT
Glad you are OK, sounds like you really dodged a bullet wizzing past you the size of a haulbag.





























the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Oct 4, 2012 - 03:38am PT
Gnarly. Trama-dol sounds like an appropriate name for a drug that induces trama!

I got very dehydrated once on a wall and was coughing up blood. I can only imagine what you went through... scary.

Talk to someone or do some research about the medical bill, IIRC medical bills are somewhat easy to reduce.
crasic

climber
Oct 4, 2012 - 06:06am PT
Taking 1 or 2 of those a day is a hell of a lot less of an impact on my liver then chewing 8 or 10 Advil

Wrong.

You can take massive amounts of advil for a relatively long time without any real adverse effects. Acute overdose is bad, but the worst thing that chronic dosing will do is an increased rate of stomach ulcers and other stomach issues.

Chronic use of acetominophen, even in reasonable doses, can lead to toxicity, its not safe for long term consumption no matter the dosage. Liver failure is no fun.
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Oct 4, 2012 - 08:59am PT
From what I understand, and being a medical journalist, I don't understand much, but the drug of choice for youth/teen suicide (at least in Europe) is paracetomol/acetaminophen. NSAIDs like aspirin and ibruprofen may mess up your stomach, but paracetomol/acetaminophen messes the liver up big time. Still I take it once or so a day (500mg) for my arthritis (C6/C7 vertebrae, disc has deteriorated, bone on bone). I have stopped the Tramadol.

You can live without a stomach, but you need your liver.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 4, 2012 - 02:38pm PT
Liver! It's so well-named!

Liver! Veejis climber, this is really fvcking silly in light of things we talked about. It was nice being in with you and C at the the the Meat Meat Meat fest fest fest.

Thanks for sharing this incident. We all should think more seriously about outdoors and medications and interactions thereof.

:) today, it could be your last.

Did you tell me you weren't clipped to a chest harness? I thought that's what you told me, but I don't wear them and maybe could use one.
... and pulled on Mighty mouse's pink string!
... and pulled on Mighty mouse's pink string!
Credit: Guck
I do know imbalances are dangerous when meds are decidedly useful, like in the case of warfarin users who can't take NSAIDs. Like the Tramadol that is prescribed for pain insteads. And the pain that won't go away and you got the good stuff opiate derivative and it works better so you ditch the warfarin and take that good stuff and the pain goes away but the danger of a clot looms larger. Which is where I am now. The pain's gone, time to return to the lair of the rat poisoner.

God luck, good luck, and keep unstuck, Travis.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 6, 2012 - 03:49pm PT
My gosh - when I saw Travis standing on the bridge the very next day, I couldn't believe my eyes. You had to pick my jaw up off the asphalt, I was so amazed to see him there, and knott all that much the worse for wear.

In the same way as the Perfect Storm descended on Travis, we had a full-on synergistic effect working in the opposite direction to help him out. Was it only by good fortune that I happened to turn my radio on for the only time that day at just the right moment? Or was Someone Else looking out for us? I choose to believe the latter.

Hope you're feeling better, buddy - please keep us all apprised on your progress, and hopefully we'll see you next spring for another kick at the Captain.

Cheers and no beers,
Pete
KabalaArch

Trad climber
Starlite, California
Oct 7, 2012 - 12:22pm PT
Quoting myself here: .10b can be pretty sporty when severe sciatica is combined with other peripheral neuropathies, such as partial paralysis like "drop foot." My meds work wonders, at least most of the time; hiking .10b while jacked up on PK's can be kinda fun, too. Recreational use? I suppose.

No one really knows how this class of meds actually works. Interestingly, morphine was first extracted from the poppy around the Civil War, while endorphins were not identified until the mid-70's. The Runner's High (which I miss very badly!) is produced by endogenous endorphins, the same which allow you to make it out of the mtns and into an ER with surprisingly little pain from a major trauma. Exogenous endorphines produce an identical sensation, although the downside is that a chronic administration results in a greatly reduced production of endogenous endorphins by your body.

The only real difference between CII and CIII PK's is that the former contains no acetaminophen, or other APAP additives. Hydrocodone is about 80% equialangesic to morphine sulphate. Both stimulate the mu receptor sites, and, in my case, the signal to my poor legs somehow telegraphs through, allowing me to continue such activities as walking...and a reasonable level of climbing. Among the side effects of these meds is an increased sense of self confidence. It's been very important for me to keep this in mind while engaged in rockclimbing and other sport, lest I aggravate the pre-existing spinal condition, or otherwise reinjure myself, and not be aware of it because the injury site pain has been masked by the dope.

And sometimes the damage from a reinflamation does not manifest itself for weeks, even months. It was to take me nearly a year to make the connection between a particularly bad and lengthy spell, and the squeeze chimney high on Moses. So, to this end I maintain a journal to help make the correlations which track certain activities to be avoided.

Needless to add that squeeze chimneys are right up at the top of that list!

I join with the tacobenders in hoping you a speedy recovery.

And, yes, negotiating with health care providers can be an effective tool. Prior to a major orthopedic surgery to reassemble my humerous, I informed my Dr. straight up that I was a self-pay patient - and he cut his fee in half. I then was to acquire health insurance, only to discover that a second procedure needed for the arm cost quite as much as the first, between the premiums; the annual deductable; and the fact that physicians and hospitals typical jack up their fees to offset the insurance accounting nightmare. Adding insult to injury is the fact that most insurers will only pay according to their own internal benefits schedules. And this can lead to a much larger copay than you might have been led to expect.

One tactic I've found of practical use in the past with hospitals, the most difficult of the lot with whom to negotiate, is to let their bill slide until they threaten to send it to a collections agency (whose fees may run 30%-50% of the base cost. And then, "if I FedEx you my payment today, will you accept $X?"

For post-op care of the non-union which developed in my humerous fracture, I was prescribed a electronic "Bone Growth Stimulator, a $5,000 contraption which seemed effective at promoting tachicardia, but little else. Blue Cross denied my claim, to which I responded with a brief letter from my attrn'y, alleging bad faith. Since the last thing a large corporation needs are hefty legal fees from their own legal dept, a $2,000 check was soon forthcoming. I then phoned the product's mf'r, and asked them if they'd be willing to settle for this amount. They were delighted too! I'm betting that they probably end up getting stiffed about half the time (which is probably why their product costs twice its actual value?) - I got the impression that they'd written me off months earlier.

During good economic times, I was one of the unhappy demographic who earned too much to qualify for financial assistance of any kind (while struggling to make ends meet in the meantime). Times have changed; my family and I now qualify for MediCal. And my monthly $300 - $500 cost of medications and Dr. visits is presently $0. I don't know what programs exist in NV, but it wouldn't hurt to check it out. Once, the local hospital zeroed out a $5,000 balance, with their own "Charity" program. All I had to do was to apply for MediCal, be DQ'd due to my assets, and provide the hospital with their letter to that effect. Undoubtably, the hospital's business department has access to a vast network a grant providers to tap into in such exingencies - that's what they're paid to do.

Hope this helps_
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