Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Altitude Story

We are seeing more 'hits' on our altitude posts, so thought we'd share another story.
Adjusting to Cuenca's altitude of 8300 ft can be difficult.

Most folks have no serious problems.  For most, you can feel slow the first few days, maybe a headache, maybe problems sleeping, maybe digestive problems, maybe stuffed up ears.  Walking and climbing stairs can really knock the breath right out of you.  A few days of rest and you're feeling just fine.  It took us awhile to adjust.  Most adjust in a couple weeks, but it took us longer. 

We recently met a gentleman who came to visit Cuenca from sea level.  He really felt pretty crappy.  He went to the doctor with breathing problems, dizziness and chest pains.  The doc checked him out and suggested he slow down, eat a special diet, take some pills, give it more time.   But, this gentleman decided to leave Cuenca instead.  He'd been here for about a month and thought it best to go home where he will probably feel better.  We don't think he'll be moving to Cuenca any time soon.  We were sorry to see him go.

We know some folks poo-poo the whole altitude thing.  Maybe they are adjusting just fine.  But, coming from altitude (or doing fine on previous high altitude visits) doesn't guarantee that you will be fine here.  The best advice we can give is to try out Cuenca for awhile and see if you are fine or not.  Give it a few beats and rest.  If you still aren't fine, then you can decide if a lower altitude is better for you. 

Be sure to seek a doctor's advice.  Doctors here know all about high altitude adjustment, they deal with it all the time.  Sometimes a change in diet, meds and lots of rest will perk you right up.  This doc suggested more carbs and more water, Pedialyte, Mate de Coca tea, as well as some conventional meds...but see a doc to be sure it's the right program for you.

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