Mt Buller – Our 3 Day June Trip
Being Queenslanders, snow is a real novelty and is the second item on our ‘must do while in Melbourne’ list. The first being a set of lungs.
We scored accommodation through a friend who has a cabin at Mt Buller as long as we went before all the seasonal bookings. We left it as late as we could so there’d be the best chance of snow. Unfortunately, Coen was run down when we planned to go. We decided to go anyway as we didn’t know when we’d get the opportunity again.
We weren’t expecting Coen to be effected as much as he was by the altitude. For the 3 days we were there Coen slept on oxygen for almost 18 hours of each day. He really wanted to go out and enjoy the snow. If he went out he could barely walk or hold a conversation. I’d ask him if he wanted to go back to the cabin or if he wanted something to eat, simple questions but he couldn’t give an answer. He would just say “I don’t know”. There wasn’t enough oxygen for him to think clearly enough to give an answer.
By the last day we had sussed out the toboggan tracks and found one that we could drive the car to the top and bottom of. We drove Coen to the top and carried his toboggan to the drop off. Coen sat on the toboggan and after a couple of minutes got the breath to push off down the hill. He could only go down at walking pace or he would run out of air.
I can’t explain why that would be, that’s just how it was. After a few stops along the way to catch his breath, he got down to the bottom. We expected him to get into the car and need to go back to the cabin and oxygen, instead he said “l want to do that again”. We were stoked. It took him about 5 minutes to walk the 10 metres to the car. We drove back up to the top again where he did it again. Kai was not put out at all by Coen going down the hill so slow. Kai would race his toboggan past Coen, stop before getting to the bottom and race back up past Coen to race past him again. All Coen could say was “I can’t wait until after transplant” every time Kai raced past.
We were about half way down the mountain heading home when Coen started talking and getting chatty. It was then we realized the huge effect the altitude had on Coen.
Coen had a planned admission 2 days later. It took almost 3 weeks to bring him back to his base line.