I thought that it was about time that I checked in health wise. I have been holding back because of all of the things I have been learning and doing to get ready for my trip. But I received some news today that I wanted to talk about and I have been wanting to fill you in on some of the things I am dealing with and will have to pay attention to on the hike.
Several weeks ago I had to get an MRI for my shoulder. I had been dealing with pain in my shoulder for almost a year. In December, I finally decided to go to a physical therapist. My regular doctor suggested the visit thinking that maybe I had some scar tissue that was irritated. The physical therapist thought that I had an impinged rotator cuff. She gave me great exercises that seemed to be helping me. For a while at least. Then I started loosing movement and pain waking me at night. So I finally broke down and went to an orthopedist; after x-rays and an MRI, it was determined that I have torn cartilage and frozen shoulder. I was given stretches to do daily and a cortisone injection. Today, however, I received a phone call from my doctor. It turns out that they also noticed a problem with my lymph nodes that were found in my MRI. So now I have to see another doctor before I leave on my trip.
On top of all of this, I still have all of the pain that I originally went to the physical therapist, chiropractor, and masseuse on a regular basis a few years ago. I have back pain from arthritis (chronic pain). This used to be taken care of through movement and therapies. I could avoid pain killers if I kept a regular regimen of exercise and treatment. I also have a tightening of tendons, so I have to stretch daily. For my backpacking trip, I am planning on bringing by pain medicine just in case. But, I also plan on doing morning and evening stretches. I think that the hiking will take the place of the exercises that I do now. I won’t be working with bands, but I will be moving a lot and lifting my backpack. I also plan on using pools and hot tubs when available.
Most hostels will have foot basins available to soak our feet. This is good for everyone because the abuse our feet take is tremendous. I will have to be careful to take advantage of this too because I have neromas which is nerve damage and scar tissue building in my feet. Stretching is good for this too.
I have many medical issues to deal with, but nothing will stop me from taking this trip. I have full encouragement from all of my doctors including my cardiologist. Actions just have to be taken to ensure that I don’t cause myself additional issues.
Thanks for reading this. I just needed to express these concerns.