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 Poster: A snowHead
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Ok so here goes i'm a former skier to a pretty high standard i'd say
Can handle the pistes France Austria and Italy have handled at me
Done a fair bit of of piste including nearly falling of the side of the Grande Montet
Here's the kicker in Dec 2016 i suffered double kidney failure
I was told i wasn't going to live and the family i have left were called in
Two months later i pulled through with 4 % kidney use i was 41
So then the recovery started , the physio , the learning to walk again , the exercise
renal diet allsorts
(((If you are reading this be very careful with ibuprofen that is what caused it
Not an overdose but say 3 days a week for like 2 month's , i was geeting terrible headaches
taking tablets for that and it was a double edged sword as it shot the magnesium in my blood sky high
i just wanted to add that )))
So my current situation i have 90% kidney function , i do get tired a bit more than i use to , but i can work on fitness more
My main problem is it has given me vertigo /phobia of heights and open spaces etc etc lifts , panic attacks
Anxiety etc etc
Ihad a problem driving over the Tamar bridge at one point , if the traffic stopped on the bridge
i starting choking almost , even if someone else is driving
How did i overcome that ??? Iforced myself over that dam bridge till it went away

My condition has been treated my meds are like so reduced now compared to what they were
The anxiety is better not cured the panic attacks have gone away
Drinking does not help with these although 1 night a week i'll have a few

So my Question is am i nuts contemplating doing a ski season next year ???
I'm 43 years old , i'm a good laugh but have this vision of everyone partying and i'm like stuck in
I believe i can beat these phobias if i get out there and introduce myself slowly to the height , feel my skiing is on point
It's to late this year to get a week in to test myself , i'm in the sort of go for it mood
I'm think La Plagne where it's not to hectic
Apprciatte your thoughts
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
maceman wrote:
Ihad a problem driving over the Tamar bridge at one point


I think that's common when going to Cornwall Wink Laughing

Sounds like you've been through the mill a bit over the last few years, so difficult to put myself in your shoes. However, I'd say it's not nuts to consider a season but would be worth doing a week or so this year if it's been a few years. I'd also say that La Plagne may not be ideal, given how crowded it can get at times, especially at pinch points like Bellecotte. Would've thought you'd be better somewhere with a bit of a better option to get away and not feel like you're in a high, open space. Somewhere like Morzine or Livigno that has more of a feel of being in a town than being away in a ski resort, although I don't know if Morzine is more of a party resort and Livigno might feel a bit small if you're there for a season (although Bormio is only 'round the corner').

I'd say try and get a week in this year first, still plenty of time left to book a week somewhere.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
“It's to late this year to get a week in to test myself “ ......

It’s early Feb??? Not sure why a long weekend somewhere in March to test the water isn’t been considered?
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Yes - go for it, but try a week first.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Money is the problem this season , i have been of work a long time had to quit my job
As i wasn't strong enough
The pistes being busy snoodles is not the problem i have no doubt i'll be able to
ski to the same standard
But i hear ya with the high open space the top of the Roche de Mio is a bit higher
than the tamar bridge
i have friends in chamonix but that's possibly one of the worst places i could go (other than le tour)
i keep telling myself the slopes have not changed it's you that's changed
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Wow... Don't really know what to say to that, except well done for getting through it and wanting to go on and face and conquer it.
Couple of thoughts from me, for what they're worth.
A whole season could be deemed non-advisable, or maybe taking on too much at once, or maybe a major time and financial commitment if it doesn't fully work out. Maybe you're thinking a bit too keen straight away (though I can maybe see where you're coming from). A little too deep-end a plan for me; but that's just me. I'd want to test the waters first, on several levels, before committing to a whole season (then again, depends exactly what you plan on doing, how long, if you'll come back to the UK during it, etc etc). Are you thinking of working the season (given the money comments) or bumming it? There's additional issues to consider on the former, certainly.
Is it really too late to get a cheap week or more in this season? Glacier areas should be useable till May at least, perhaps longer; source some cheap accommodation and do a diy trip, maybe? Last minute cheap TO deals and flights are always available somewhere if you can free up a few days - might not be an ideal location, but if there's many things to be tested, then the tests can be found. Or there's Scotland (don't know where you live, if it's feasible): pretty challenging at the right time and place. Or book a weekend trip at least; or many? Or try for NZ over summer (too expensive, maybe)? Or just go for a mountain holiday over summer, do some Via Ferraras or high level walking, etc. Those friends in Cham would be helpful here; I reckon that you could find some reasonably friendly terrain to try skiing there too, especially with a car. Again, should be possible to get a few days in this season with a diy arrangement.
Having had some experience of psychological barriers post injury, I'd say what about hiring a coach or private guide to help you? Warren Smith courses, for instance, do weekend and week courses through the year, so in summer as well as now onwards, + private lessons (Vernier and Cervinia) - there must be many others.
Or try a Snowheads bash? I hear there's lots of nice helpful people there.
The other thought is maybe you don't yet know what you need, or where you want to go to get it back, so it's difficult to plan a base for a season without knowing a bit more about his you're coping now. You can just deep end it, or you can take it easy and get back in slowly and not overdo it - I'm not reading you as fully sure yourself, if I'm honest.
So I'd just plan for shorter test trips and hold the full season for at least a year, maybe 2, till you know that you're ready for it on all levels and can make the most of it. Also gives you time to get a bit of money together if you can. But, hey, if you want seriously to go for it, and can afford it (and, bring very practical for a moment, can get the insurance), go for it. The worst that happens is you can't hack it, and either come back early or don't get as much done as you'd hoped. As long, I am assuming, that you are medically fit and cleared to travel.
As for the social aspects - depends what your priorities and budget are. Not everyone will party every night, and not everyone has to drink to enjoy a party, nor stay out late... Or you balance the party time with the rest day recovery time (I for one, for various reasons, couldn't drink and party late and ski - I struggle to get out of bed and overcome the aches and pains just as it is, so dinner, bath and TV (and maybe a bit of social conversation) is about as much as you'd find me doing if I intended to exercise the next day or 2.) And most people are pretty understanding and respectful of personal and health needs and wouldn't hold it against you.
Good luck.
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@maceman, it's not the pistes, it's the crappy lift queues. One can feel quite hemmed in during the busy weeks, for new year last year there were some days we spent 30 minutes in a lift queue.
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snoodles thank you for that yes i get what you mean about Bellcotte
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Grizzler it was just very very unfortunate , my stepdad ( i can't stand lol ) would
say puul your sock's up be a man , but he's not up a mountain
with extreme drop off's , it so frustrating coz that was me at one point
getting of the piste and skiing them !!!!!
I forgot to mention they would have to seriously sedate me to get me on a plane
bigtime , i tried that and it was a disaster ( wanted to literally jump out )
I am being harsh on myself as i know and my dr know's not only am i physically
but i'm mentally in a lot better place , the reduction of my meds has been a major
success according to her
yes i would be working i was a chef for 10 years in a 4 star hotel , but
i'd happily wash dishes , ski rep , etc etc
i have spent two years on £70 a week thanks to the gov having paid national insurance and tax all my life Sad
i am just about getting back to something like it
When i was in hospital bill's were racking up bigtime
i know if i went to Cham i could ski le tour all day everyday it would be a bit boring after a while though
I would 100 % book a private coach and explain my story
Infact i have already spoke to Steve Angus in Val
physically i can do this , i would prepare in the swimming pool and gym
yes i'm fit to travel and would get insurance , i would need pharamcy for kidney meds etc etc
Part of me think's stop blowing it out of proportion on the mental side
would you say if you don't like cliff walks ( steep ones) your doomed ????
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Never been on one but I wonder if a snowheads bash is a good place to start again. There would be company (both social and skiing) if you want it or nobody is going to mind if you just want your own company. Just a thought. Really well done in facing your demons and coming back from hell.
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i'm going to look into this thanks for the kind words it's been a bit rough but i'm getting there
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Have you tried seeing a (suitably qualified) hypnotherapist? Could help re planes, heights, generally overcoming fears when you can visualise things you could once do and want to do again. PM me if you want any advice; I no longer practice as one, but do believe that it has benefits.
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@maceman, that is a huge shock to the mind as well as the body. It does take time to recover both. You are making great progress and admire you for wanting to push on and get back to what you love. Like others I'd advise caution and see if you can squeeze in a few days just to acclimatise again, have you looked at going by train if planes are going to be an ongoing issue? I'd also suggest you aim for a real year-round village when you go not one of the mega mountain top places. Year round medical facilities / pharmacies will be more able to deal with any complications/issues that might pop up and being able to get to a decent hospital might set your mind at rest? Les Carroz in the GM is good from this point of view, as will be others like Morzine, St Gervais, Combloux. My other half has got back to it all after a heart attack in very early 40s and then septic shock, with ICU stay and 3 weeks all in Sallanches hospital just 2 years later, so you can get back but having seen him and how it impacts the mind as well as the body, I'd really say take it in bite size pieces.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@maceman, you've already met the conditions for rule 5, it would be crass of me to suggest we need a rule '5+' Shocked

The hypnotherapy route might help and may be available to you within the NHS as you do seen a bit debilitated by the situation. As for resorts, how will you cope with chairlifts and gondolas? Might a resort with either a train (Switzerland) or a funicular be a good choice? Perhaps Valandry would be an option too as it is a delightful green and soft blues resort to build confidence in and with easy access to the tougher runs in Les Arcs.
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@maceman, well done for coming out of that with such a positive attitude.

I can no longer take ibuprofen for the same reasons, although luckily for me, my kidney function wasn't nearly so battered when diagnosed and is now back to "normal".

I'm sure you will find work in a resort fairly easily, but maybe pick a first season with runs that are not next to big drop offs, maybe something like Les Gets where you can ski the bowl area all day without feeling its steep? And probably avoid the pistes during half term or any of the busy periods, just catch up on other things during that time? Once your confidence is back you could venture out across the PDS?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@maceman, interesting, and slightly terrifying, story. Glad you're on the mend though.

I'm a little concerned about the link to ibuprofen. I sometimes take quite a lot of it, and am aware of the link to stomach ulcers but not kidney failure. I am not a pharmacist, so is this a high risk or a rare occurrence?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scarlet when it happened there were voices in local shop in my village saying " probably drink "
that's what you get with village life
I don't think 5 pints once or twice a week would do that
so Sack had kidney infection i had kidney failure
When i found out i was going to live i e i went for a pee for the first time in ages
Dr Parry the legend came to see me in the ward
He wanted to get to the bottom of this
First thing he asked " have you been using ibuprofen ???
yes !!!!!!!!!!!
It is more common to cause heart attacks , when i say common it's still rare but it happens
If i had my way it would be banned
When i was in hospital i had headaches so bad i wanted to literally chop my head off
They put me on paracetmol no probs with that
I did'nt write that in my original [post to wporry anyone but just to warn you
Obviously i have a strong opnion on it , stay away
and thank you
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@maceman, see if you can scrape together enough for the EOSB. There you will have plenty of people to be sympathetic and sensitive to your needs or to rip the wee wee mercilessly until you get over the "fear" depending on what route you think might be more effective.
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gunna reply to everyone thank you for the support !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Congratulations on getting so nearly back to normal. I would also suggest you make an easy start. Doing a season is a big commitment for anyone and generally involves an awful lot of hard work as well as the fun of skiing and apres. There is also the issue of insurance and what it would cost for you to go abroad for such a long trip, while at the moment you could get medical care under an EHIC if necessary if Brexit goes ahead the question of reciprocal care is very much at large. From the "phobia" perspective I doubt that it makes much difference whether you go for a week, a month or a winter as you will need/wish to/probably will get over that. I personally think it is the lifestyle issues which are likely to be more challenging but my goodness I admire you for even contemplating it and wish you well whatever you decide.
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Scarlet wrote:
@maceman, interesting, and slightly terrifying, story. Glad you're on the mend though.

I'm a little concerned about the link to ibuprofen. I sometimes take quite a lot of it, and am aware of the link to stomach ulcers but not kidney failure. I am not a pharmacist, so is this a high risk or a rare occurrence?
in my case it lead to Chronic Kidney Disease and my kidney function went down to 34 GFR, which is moderate to severe, but they put me on a different diet, including drinking LOTS of water, and I cut out the ibuprofen (which I'd been taking for knee pain for a couple of years whilst running and training for half marathons), and I'm now up above 60 which is only a mild loss of function, but I've got to keep getting it measured every 3 months.

I wasn't using ibuprofen every day, just whilst running, and perhaps the day after the long runs, so I was running 2 or 3 times a week. I was really shocked when the doctor told me I can never take ibuprofen again.
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Weird thing about Kidney Disease is that its not obvious that you have it, usually until its almost too late, as in maceman's case. I was lucky in that I was treated for something else and the doctor decided to test my GFR
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@maceman, Well done for even thinking about it! One thing I would say about La Plagne is that choosing carefully you can avoid any obvious height ( like not taking the FuniPlagne!)
Having had insurance issues over my health - thankfully not on your scale- I would imagine insurance and healthcare would be major queries.
These days the nearest A+E to La Plagne is Bourg st Maurice, that is one very expensive ambulance ride and if its from La Plagne resort it will be a private ambulance. Anything that requires a specialist, its off to Grenoble, and with the possible demise of the EHiC system who knows what those costs will be!
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@Sack the Juggler, but presumably, had your problem not been caught earlier, you could have ended up in a similar situation? Horrible to think about. I don't use it every day, but in larger doses for shorter periods. I don't know if the long term effect is similar. I have an allergy to another painkiller I used to use, so without ibuprofen I'm a bit screwed Confused
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chesie hi there unless something major goes wrong and it hasn't in two years a hospital is not in my
plans just access to meds i spent all last evening looking at resorts
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And yes Chesie ski train would be my choice ,
Asi used to love it
i would give myself a headstart if i over come my fear of flying now
But i don't want to get of to a bad start
It is taking the easy option though
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
hypnotherapis Grizzler do these really work??? Are they expensive
i have a friend who's big on teaching NLP
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Sack the juggler yes mine was not disease it was acute failure when i came out it was 25 % use back up to 50% now 90% which is
normal for my age
Just had my recent test results back
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
juggler speak to your dr about another type of pain killer not related to ibuprofen
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@maceman, If you're a bit tight for cash, I wouldn't waste it on NLP!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
FFIRMN thank you i'm really strong minded about things have coped with a lot of
tradegy over the last 5 years
But i gotta say anxiety and panic attack's are toiugh to break
i think about thing's that would never enter someone eleses head
And never entered mine before this chaos
The mind is real powerful i guess to powerful in my case
As for insurance as far as the dr's are concerened i can treat it
like it never even happened !!!!!!!!
As it was acute , i had to fill out a job application and the Dr said
that there is know reason to even mention it
( not trying to cheat the system )
From about 4 month's after coming out of hospital it's like it never ever happened
even though i guess i do tire a little easier
My tests are now spread out to every 6 month's
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Scarlet i don't think he'd charge me iv'e made him enough money
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@masque i can't see chairlifts being a problem at all , im not so good in enclosed spaces
so bubbles and gondalas would be my concern having an instructor there to re assure me
will be great , this to me is all about exposure

this is crazy but when i had a problem driving over that bridge i used to let all the traffic clear to the other side nearly
causing a log jam behing me ,
people beeping etc etc then i'd floor it across ( i got a ticket the second time for speeding )
I was working on the other side of the bridge and catching the ferry was unreliable and making me late
on occasion i thought right i have gotta sort this out !!!!!!!!!!!
Enough is Enough
After crossing it about 20 times i cured myself
when traffic stopped i was now winding down the window and taking pictures !!!!!!!!!!!
I trult believe i think the same thing about gondalas once ive been up several times
i'm exposing myself to my fear and there fore will beat it

Iknow i'd be fine at tigne going on the train to the glacier just when i get out
if there is steep drop off's that would be where i frooze excuse the pun
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(Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, so treat this with due caution.)
@Scarlet, kidney damage due to ibuprofen is rare in healthy people but the risk can be significantly increased if you have impaired kidney function or other risk factors such as diabetes or heart failure. The risk is not limited to ibuprofen, it is applicable across the non-steroidal anti inflammatory class (including aspirin).

There is evidence suggesting it may be dose and duration dependent, but this isn't conclusive. If you are routinely taking ibuprofen, i.e. not just for a couple of days, a few times a year, or using higher than normal doses (400mg 3-4 times a day is the normal dose) for anything beyond a few days then it would be sensible to talk to your GP about this. But equally if you use it from time to time to deal with pain, but spend much less time using it than not, don't overreact. If you're not sure whether your use is appropriate, again talk to your doctor who has a far better understanding of your specific circumstances than any internet expert.
No drug is free from side effects (and if anyone claims differently, be very very sceptical). Unfortunately, as @maceman and @Sack the Juggler have experienced, sometimes side effects can be very serious and hard to predict. It doesn't mean that the drug is not good or that other people shouldn't take it irrespective of their individual circumstances.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Folks the one thing i do have on my side is the last time i went
out i met friends in Cham who where doing a season
they asked me what i was like at skiing ?
I said i'm ok , after half a day getting back into it
i met up with them and they said i was a really strong skier ( not trying to be big headed)
The actual skiing i have know worry's about
I just know what those road runs are like from the top ( big drop off's)
IT is litterallty just heights i gotta work on
the fitter i get that should help the mind as well
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mgrolf i'll say this much coming from a person who was fit as a fiddle
before it happened
Dr parry the kidney expert at the hospital first question
have you been taking ibuprofen??
He'd come across cases before i'm not saying don't take it
i just stress to friends etc to be careful
As i said i'm not trying to scare anyone just use it with caution and someone said they were taking it regular
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maceman wrote:
hypnotherapis Grizzler do these really work??? Are they expensive
i have a friend who's big on teaching NLP


NLP I don't know about. Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy I trained in so, yes, I firmly believe that it works. I'm talking recognised clinical hypnosis here, which is a very old form of therapy, not Derran Brown stage stuff (which does however demonstrate that the trick side of it also works on the very susceptible side of people).

The Anxiety UK charity, for instance, seems to like it: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help/clinical-hypnotherapy/

Make sure they are registered with an appropriate accredited body. See https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/check-practitioners/practitioner/hypnotherapist.
Also look via 'UK Council for Psychotherapy' as some operate via that.

Not for 100% of people, but there are good results reported for anxiety, fears and phobias, confidence, coping strategies and similar things. For most people at the least it's a very relaxing experience, like nearly falling asleep but not quite. You can also learn self hypnosis (mental relaxation and positive outcome/situation visualisation for want of a better description) fairly easily too, and a good therapist will teach you the basics fairly soon, I would hope; sometimes this is as helpful as any 'deeper' work or suggestions which a therapist might do.
Cost would usually be in line with other private therapies, so maybe £40-60 per hour, some give discounts for benefits claimants, low waged, students etc. You would need several sessions, plan for at least 6 if it helps: but any are better than nothing if it can help.
If there are no contraindications then I would think that it could well be of benefit to you in one way or another.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@mgrolf, I'm roughly within the "normal" parameters you state, but occasionally head towards higher dosage, and overall it's more than a few times a year. I'm sufficiently wary that I went almost entirely without it when I broke my leg, but that was a manageable level of pain. The problem with discussing it with my doctor, is that I have never met them, they speak another language, and only currently hold notes relating to my fracture Confused In fact, I think all medication discussions over the past few years (in the UK) have been along the lines of "do you have anything better?", "No."

When you experience all the side effects listed on the drug, you can consider that maybe it's not for you (!), but when they are invisible, it's much harder to maintain awareness, and that is more concerning.
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Grizzler i am 500% percent going to look into that so thank you
i think it's important to remind myself that i have'nt lost the plot
There are many people that suffer with this
I read some people have a fear of falling some loosing control
Some they just can't get it some loose it after a bad fall
i have none of those just heights and enclosed spaces at heights i would
diagnose myself
I guess looking back at my childhood i wouldnt go up a lighthouse at a young age
in Majorca i wouldn't do the really tall water slide
So i guess it's kids weird that i could stand on top of the Grande Montet and ski of the back of it off piste
It has to be something to do with you feel confident with those two
planks attatched to your ski boots
I'm looking at the resort of Les Gets at the moment which look's cool
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maceman wrote:

As i said i'm not trying to scare anyone just use it with caution and someone said they were taking it regular


It's always good to encourage people you think about the drugs they take. Too many people assume that there's no risk, when in reality there is always a risk-benefit balance. I imagine your nephrologist looked at your history and symptoms, and had NSAID toxicity as one of his differential diagnoses - it is rare but well known. I'm glad you're one of the lucky ones who recover, as opposed to needing dialysis or transplant.
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