Thursday, August 6, 2009

Into Thin Air

On our latest hike to the Mount Timpanogos Cave

Some might consider us decently intelligent people. (At least we'd like to think there are a few out there of that opinion.) Of course, the story I'm about to tell will cure any and all who suffer from such misguided thinking.

We have been absolutely thrilled to have McKay footloose and tube free the past few weeks. So giddy in fact that we've celebrated our freedom by taking our buddy into the great outdoors on a regular basis. I recently shared the pictures and recap of our trip to Bryce Canyon and giggled at how silly McKay was to fall asleep as we summitted a canyon in our ATV, and took a snooze while we traversed the beauty of Bryce's amphitheater. "He's such a good boy, an easy traveler," I thought. What an idiot.

Last Friday we visited with McKay's cardiologist for the official heart cath after party and check up. All was well. McKay's saturations hung between 76-80. Fine for now according to our doc. In fact, his heart is so solid today, you can barely hear any murmur. And to be honest, the doc said, if another physician wasn't aware of McKay's condition they would probably hear nothing wrong with his heart. Unbelievable really.

"But he will still need oxygen if you choose to travel. Airplanes are pressurized to simulate air at about 9,000 feet and I just don't know how McKay would respond to air that thin," she said.

"Uh, I do," I thought as I quickly did the math.

Home: 4,330 feet= Happy McKay

Cottonwood ATV Trail Summit: 11,000 feet=Sleepy McKay

Bryce Canyon: 8,000-9,000 feet=Sleepy McKay

Mount Timpanogos 11,749 feet=Sleepy McKay

Notice the pattern? And no, unfortunately I don't think the hat has anything to do with it.

Whether or not these were honest-to-goodness naps or thin-air induced drowsiness, we'll probably never know. But needless to say I was sick at the thought that we may have put him in danger. Sitting in the exam room, exchanging sheepish glances with Matt, we finally confessed.

"Well..." said the doc in a completely diplomatic way. "It's probably best not spend an extended period of time at those elevations without oxygen support."

Point taken. Lesson learned. Guilt permanent.

We hope you enjoyed the trip boys. The next hike will be a little closer to sea level and level-headed thinking.

***POST SCRIPT: After reading this post Matt thought it important I note that McKay was pink and arousable throughout our experiences and his periods of sleep were not unusually long. He was not at any time passed out or unconscious. We were at least smart enough to check that. :).***


Christina said...

Well, chalk that up to a learning experience. To bad our psychic powers aren't better! I think a California trip sound fun :)

Hugs & Prayers,

Jenny said...

Who would have thought? I still find you to be VERY intelligent people! What a fun post, not at the expense of poor little McKay but a great read, nonetheless:).

Kyle and Alli said...

Oh how scary. I hate the elevation rules.... it has made it so we cannot take Grant to our family cabin in West Yellowstone this year....hopefully soon! Just think of this as a way for Matt to build some more muscle....packing a baby and an oxygen tank on your next hike! Don't beat yourself up....those smiles should let you know he is doing great!

Patti said...

Oops. No harm, no foul???

Ryan and Hilary said...

Guilt. I think it should be a swear word. You are very intelligent and a wonderful mom. I bet the boys won't mind a trip to disneyland or the beach one bit.
We are planning on attending the big celebration. We will be in the midst of moving so we hope nothing comes up to make us unable to be there. Sounds like tons of fun!!

Cannon Family said...

I know of some great hikes in Hawaii...I still think you are super smart ;)

Sabrina said...

don't feel guilty, seriously. hey, maybe it was good 'training' for him? kinda like atheletes who live in your neck of the words...

and holy c-! is he walking? seems like he went from sittin' pretty to advanced acrobatics in like a month!

and btw, he is seriously gorgeous.


Sabrina said...

this is why i don't leave comments at night...mommy brain is fried!

should read: your neck of the woods.

oye, good night!

Sarah said...

Oh, I think you guys are doing an amazing job with all of this! Seriously who would have thought? By the way, Jason refers to your backpack as the "Cadillac of backpacks."

Cason Clan said...

Ok, I had to comment. I am staying up late watching my daughters respirations and blog hopping. I am Ellie's mom. Another heart mom. (coarch and severe cardiomyopathy) Thanks for making me laugh out loud! The sad thing is, we experienced the same thing every time we went exploring to higher elevations. She is on oxygen right now, but we hope to be off soon. I have all girls! Oh, the drama. Keep up the great stories. It helps me get through the night.