Sunday, 24 June 2012


Well under normal circumstances this week I would be posting about a wonderful climb up Mount Kinabalu, accompanied by some awesome pictures of the sunrise from the top and Cor and I together on the massive via ferrata.

These are not normal circumstances.

While on Mabul I was getting some intermittent sinus pain, which I thought were simply a case of a reverse block caused by diving.  After leaving Mabul, I came down with a week's worth of intense sinus pain.  Cor's father got me into see an Ear Nose and Throat specialist who he knew when we arrived in KK on Saturday.  As suspected, I have sinusitis.  See the black spots above and below my right eye on the scan below?  These areas would normally show black spots indicating empty sinuses.  As you can see from the scan, the ones on the right of my head are partially full of fluid, the ones on the left are chockers, hence the killer pain.  Normally the ENT guy would drain it and job done.

They scanned for a brain too, but nothing showed up on these tests.

Enough medication to kill a horse
The bad news is that the nose I broke in our car accident 2 years ago means that for now while it is infected it is impossible to drain.  If you have a closer look at the scan you can see my giant shnoz is as twisty as the corkscrew corner at Laguna Seca, and on my left the sinus is as tight as a nun's..... well you get the idea.  The ENT specialist advised us not to climb Mount Kinabalu, as the pressure change would be extraordinarily painful.  He also advised against diving until it clears up.  And here comes the kicker.  This is particularly scary as we have our trips to Costa Rica and Micronesia booked for later in the year (and in the case of Costa Rica, paid for), and if antibiotics don't clear it up, and it can't be drained....... let's just say it doesn't bear thinking about as it involves surgery and a long convalescence completely and utterly unpunctuated by diving.

Not many people know that the car accident Cor and I had in 2010 was the impetus behind us leaving London and embarking on this journey in search of the good life.  I plan to tell the story of the crash in a later blog post, but to have the legacy of that same car crash threaten our trip of a lifetime has made the last couple of days very tough for us both.

So at the moment we are back in Lahad Datu for another week, I am hopeful the antibiotics work, that it will clear up completely or make it possible for the sinuses to be drained, and everything will be peachy.  But for now, this is as close as I will get to Low's Peak on Mount Kinabalu......

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