I have a confession to make. In trying to assure a successful summit of Mount Kinabalu last week, I indulged in taking drugs!
Before you dial the police, allow me to elaborate.
My 1st attempt at conquering Mount Kinabalu in 2008 failed badly due to 2 main reasons:
1. I developed Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) on the first night.
2. On the second night (which would be a second-chance to summit the mountain), it poured dogs and cats, rendering the path to the summit inaccessible. On that night, nobody who was staying in Laban Rata could summit.
So, to summit the mountain, you need basically 2 things:
1. Clear weather, which is beyond human control (except through praying!)
2. And a fit body.
This time round, I had only ONE chance to summit since we were going to stay at Laban Rata for only ONE night. The praying was done (surely God would respond to 40 earnest climbers hoping to summit by hearing their fervent prayers!) and so the only thing that a human could possibly do to ensure success is to make the body fit.
Stamina and fitness were not an issue as I have been climbing, swimming and running regularly. The issue would be my proneness to migraine attacks! And there’s also the suspicious problem of a recurring knee pain (sustained from climbing Gunung Nuang, a nightmare forever etched into my memory).
And hence, the need to do drugs!
In preparation for the climb, I now confess to the following:
1. One week prior to the climb, I started myself on twice daily dose of 500 mg Glucosamine tablets (from Cosway) – interestingly I did not get any intolerable knee pain throughout the Kinabalu adventure. The scientist in me says its too early for the Glucosamine to act but the pagan in me believed some how it helped!
2. One day prior to the summit, I started myself on Dexamethasone tablets 8 mg twice a day and continued until I have descended from the summit to Laban Rata. I don’t know if it helped but I was euphoric (side effects of steroids?!)
3. On the before the long climb from Laban Rata to the summit, I swallowed a tablet of Diamox (Azetozolamide) 250 mg and another one just before the start of the trek. Diamox is known to prevent AMS.
4. I also popped in one tablet of Cerebrex 200 mg daily for 3 days.
5. I confess to taking a number of paracetamol tablets on and off.
6. And finally, at just beyond the Sayat-Sayat check point on the way up, I swallowed 2 capsules of Ponstan (Mefenemic Acid) 250 mg as I was developing a frontal headache (later I discovered the headache was probably due to the fact that my headlamp was tied too tightly around my head!).
Did all these measures work?
Of course it did! After all I reached the peak!!! Heh heh!
Did I suffer the consequences? Aside from a mild gastritis after the climb, I was totally fine.
So, yeah, I confessed I did drugs and it was well worth it!
Tues, 140910 @ 1400