It's good to be alive

Bigwheels

Gunny Sergeant
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  • Jun 16, 2007
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    Anacortes WA
    Hello all. Some of you old timers may know me from the ELR threads. I don't post much now days but today I have a story to tell.
    On Wed evening a buddy & I hiked into the Mt Baker wilderness for the high buck. Ive been training for this hunt for months. The hike in was only 3/4 mile & almost 1000' up from the trail head. It was a tough hike but we made it in good time.
    The next morning we left to start hunting. Got a pic of a Nanny goat & her kid but nothing else. It was a bit smokey like everywhere around here but not bad really. After eating lunch I headed back to camp & gradually got winded. I was still winded & breathing hard several hours later & was debating trying to head back but it was getting late so I went to bed early at 9:00 hoping I would recover & hike out in the morning.
    I woke up at 1:00am gasping for breath. I have Verizon to thank for my life. If I'd had any other service I would not been able to call for help.
    I actually had service & called 911. The dispatcher transferred me to Watcom Co & the sheriff started mobilizing search & rescue.
    It was dark & a storm front was coming with limited visibility so the Navy helo was not approved so a team had to hike in to save me.
    I was able to hang on & a 4 person team finally arrived at 8:00. The Dr immediately checked my pulse & said it was 122 sitting down & I was breathing like I was hiking up hill with 80# on my back.
    One of the team volunteered to carry my gear down with my buddy & coordinate the still arriving additional team members.
    Eventually they had enough hands & I was strapped into a litter & the trip down commenced.
    It took 8 people over 4 hours to extract me.
    I have to thank everyone who participated in this effort. I'm virtually certain I would not have made it back on my own power.
    I spent almost 2 days in the hospital undergoing many tests. I'm home now with my dogs but no answers as to what happened. The EMT's told me that the only thing out of whack was my CO2. It was 14 with 100% O2 & my heart rate had fallen to the low 80's by then. I was actually hyperventilating.
    All the tests results were negative for any issues. My lungs are great & my heart is great. My stress test was above normal. There is no explanation for what happened. Its frustrating but I'm glad to be alive.
    The Watcom Co sheriff & Skagit search & rescue did a superb job & I thank them all for saving my life. If not for them I would not be here today.
    I wish I knew who they were so I could thank them in person but I don't so in case anyone knows a search & rescue guy or gal. Please thank them for what they do.
    Thank you.
     

    earthtrekker1775

    The Prodigal Gun
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    Apr 3, 2009
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    Glad you made it out! That is quite an experience. I hope you are able to get an answer for what happened so you can avoid it in the future.
     

    acudaowner

    Old Salt
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    Dec 26, 2018
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    It can be a shocking just how much you as a person can take for granted how fragile life is even your own can be till its almost taken away from you . Glad your still around and thanks for sharing .
     

    Bullfrog08

    Sergeant of the Hide
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    Minuteman
    Dec 6, 2018
    252
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    Here I was.....waiting for a punchline!

    Yep, tomorrow is never certain.
     

    M76

    Sergeant of the Hide
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    Minuteman
    Aug 5, 2019
    159
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    Glad to hear you are safe and sound. Hope they figure out exactly what happened.
     

    Kamerad

    Gunny Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Oct 12, 2019
    788
    1,350
    Glad you’re recovering with a positive prognosis! Hopefully some answers present themselves. I look at Mt Baker from across the Sound most days, it’s impressive. I reckon it’ll look just a little bit different to me now.

    God bless you, and S&R.
     

    Blue Sky Country

    Urban Cowboy
    Belligerents
    Minuteman
  • Hello all. Some of you old timers may know me from the ELR threads. I don't post much now days but today I have a story to tell.
    On Wed evening a buddy & I hiked into the Mt Baker wilderness for the high buck. Ive been training for this hunt for months. The hike in was only 3/4 mile & almost 1000' up from the trail head. It was a tough hike but we made it in good time.
    The next morning we left to start hunting. Got a pic of a Nanny goat & her kid but nothing else. It was a bit smokey like everywhere around here but not bad really. After eating lunch I headed back to camp & gradually got winded. I was still winded & breathing hard several hours later & was debating trying to head back but it was getting late so I went to bed early at 9:00 hoping I would recover & hike out in the morning.
    I woke up at 1:00am gasping for breath. I have Verizon to thank for my life. If I'd had any other service I would not been able to call for help.
    I actually had service & called 911. The dispatcher transferred me to Watcom Co & the sheriff started mobilizing search & rescue.
    It was dark & a storm front was coming with limited visibility so the Navy helo was not approved so a team had to hike in to save me.
    I was able to hang on & a 4 person team finally arrived at 8:00. The Dr immediately checked my pulse & said it was 122 sitting down & I was breathing like I was hiking up hill with 80# on my back.
    One of the team volunteered to carry my gear down with my buddy & coordinate the still arriving additional team members.
    Eventually they had enough hands & I was strapped into a litter & the trip down commenced.
    It took 8 people over 4 hours to extract me.
    I have to thank everyone who participated in this effort. I'm virtually certain I would not have made it back on my own power.
    I spent almost 2 days in the hospital undergoing many tests. I'm home now with my dogs but no answers as to what happened. The EMT's told me that the only thing out of whack was my CO2. It was 14 with 100% O2 & my heart rate had fallen to the low 80's by then. I was actually hyperventilating.
    All the tests results were negative for any issues. My lungs are great & my heart is great. My stress test was above normal. There is no explanation for what happened. Its frustrating but I'm glad to be alive.
    The Watcom Co sheriff & Skagit search & rescue did a superb job & I thank them all for saving my life. If not for them I would not be here today.
    I wish I knew who they were so I could thank them in person but I don't so in case anyone knows a search & rescue guy or gal. Please thank them for what they do.
    Thank you.

    There is an awful lot of wildfire activity going on in the Pacific Northwest right now. And when fires grow large enough, they CAN generate their own weather patterns, along with cyclones or eddies comprised of inflow and outflow bands that can extend for miles beyond the fire. Fires can even create supercell thunderstorms and tornadic wall clouds. Perhaps a nearby fire had created an area of very low oxygen in the region and you were right in that pocket of fetid air. You do not need to be able to see a large fire or it's smoke plumes to feel it's effects on the surrounding area.

    Glad you are okay and your health had not been permanently affected.
     

    Rio2019

    Private
    Hessian
    Minuteman
    Online Training Access
    Jul 10, 2020
    97
    72
    Taos, NM
    Bigwheels, that was quite the scare and I’m really glad to hear there were no lingering medical issues. Just last Summer I was fly fishing north of Taos, New Mexico, up on the Colorado border and had a scare of my own. Very humbling! On the drive back, I had to pull over in the parking lot of the Tres Piedras Ranger Station to rest. Felt like a real “piker”. Live and love the day....everyday.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
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    Dec 21, 2011
    4,645
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    WNY
    Glad you're ok. That's exactly why I spend the extra 40 bucks a month to keep my wife and I on Verizon.
     

    lightman

    Sergeant
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    May 18, 2009
    1,140
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    England, ar
    Thats a scary experience! Glad that you survived it. I hope you get some answers. It would be great if you were ever able to thank those S&R guys in person but sometimes those things don't work out. It says a lot about your person that you are thinking about them.
     
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    Bigwheels

    Gunny Sergeant
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  • Jun 16, 2007
    1,752
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    Anacortes WA
    Thank you all for the kind wishes. It must be getting dusty in here.
    I have to schedule a follow-up & the Dr. Wants me to wear a heart monitor for a while to see if I have an arithmia which may have started it.
    I have been to the ER twice for brief bouts of similar discomfort but I was always sent home after the testing showed nothing.
    I should also give a thank you to the Dr that decided to send me out for more tests from the ER. He took over after a shift change after the 1st Dr was preparing to send me home.
    It is good to be alive!
    Thank you all.
     

    powdahound76

    Old tired dad
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    Sep 7, 2011
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    Dang!!
    Glad you are well and no issues.

    If you can, make it a priority to go meet the S&R guys.

    Its nice to see folks doing well and being healthy. Gives a little look into why people give a lot of themselves to “do what they do”.

    We just had our annual trauma conference. We have survivors of horrific trauma come back to speak.
    Dang near everyone ends up with a watering eye.....
    To hear their stories.
    One man told the surgeon who saved his life that he knew he could never do enough to show her how thankful he was.
    Surgeon cried, thanked him for telling his story.
    In the busy hustle bustle It all becomes a bit of a blur.

    I have been tending to the sick and dying for 22 years. Its nice to see results vs another somber moment and prayer for those who passed on.
     

    powdahound76

    Old tired dad
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    Sep 7, 2011
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    Almost sounds like Atrial fibrillation with Rapid ventricular rate. (Afib with RVR is what the doctor will call it)

    Puts a Seriously Big dent in your cardiac output and you feel like crap. Just about like you describe.
    The monitor should help catch it.
     

    isofahunter

    Get Tough or Die!
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    Jun 11, 2010
    1,135
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    Hill Country of Texas
    Get your vitamin B 12 level checked. My heart would pound like I was running a marathon while sitting at times, at elevation it could get scary. Doc tested B12 and I was rock bottom, took shots for several months and then on pills. It was a game changer for me. It is not something tested for in most regular blood work. YMMV, hope you find the root cause quickly.
     

    PDXGS

    Sergeant
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    May 31, 2009
    851
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    Northwest Oregon
    Agreed on the cardiac monitoring-might want to have a look at your heart rhythms over the course of a few weeks.
    Also, buy a cheap pulse-oximeter off of Amazon- they can detect a drop in 02, long before you feel it.

    I did wilderness SAR for a number of years here in Oregon. It's tough work. Especially the recoveries. I'm glad you're not one of them!
     

    powdahound76

    Old tired dad
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    Sep 7, 2011
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    Denver CO
    @natdscott - I had thought of that having dealt with a ton working in a clinic at 9100’ here in CO.

    Seems weird they would find nothing on lab work even though symptoms had eased, which usually makes a CXR pretty normal.
    A Chest CT might still show some stuff and I am sure they checked him for a PE.

    Hard to tell.
    Bet the monitor shows it though.
     

    Bigwheels

    Gunny Sergeant
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  • Jun 16, 2007
    1,752
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    Anacortes WA
    Elevation was only 5300' asl. Ive recently spent 4 days @ 7000' hiking/ scouting. Just didn't have that much weight on. As far as I know they tested me for everything they could think of. Lots of stuff I never heard of. I'll bet they took 12-15 vials of blood out of me. Some I was told were cultures.
    I have a follow-up tomorrow to get started on the rest.
     

    Bigwheels

    Gunny Sergeant
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  • Jun 16, 2007
    1,752
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    Anacortes WA
    I'm feeling almost normal today. I had a follow-up this morning & I now have a scheduled time for the ultrasound of my neck. None of the 3 Dr's have a clue what started it up there but hopefully the tests will show something. IDK.
    It is frustrating to not know what it was but I've never had much luck with Dr's. My last one seemed to listen to me then "proscribed" me a diet book to read...
    I'll not be going back there. I hope this new one is better. So far I think he might be. Time will tell.
     
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