Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Big walk, day 10

It is the tenth day of my walk. Since my last post lots have happened. I have had a bit of a crisis but I´m back on track now in good spirit. After six days of walking I had to go by wheels to a bigger city where I stayed at a hotel for two days, allowing my blisters to heal and also seeing a doctor that cared for pilgrims. By unbelievable luck he also did lymphatic drainage so he knew about Lymphedema! What are the chances... He said that because of the extra pressure on the lymphedemaleg I am more prone to troubles on that foot. I guess that makes sense now, but I don’t think I could have known. Anyway, he patched me up good and gave me a list of things to get at the pharmacy so I could patch myself up properly in the time to come.
I realized that because of the problems lurking I would not be able to walk enough each day to make it to Santiago before I have to be back for a course at home in early November, so I made the decicion of getting a train to a place about a hundred kilometers before Santiago and walk from there. This will give me plenty of time to get there, enabling me to take it as easy as I need to. I started up today with only four or five kilometers, but so be it. Tomorrow I will do more. Just don’t want to risk anything.
Happy times are ahead and the misery is in the past now. Have met wonderful people, this morning I walked with two girls from Angola and Portugal who were in my dorm and last night I had dinner with some wonderful Australians I have run into a couple of times.
The landscape here in Galicia is beautyful, very lush and green and mountainous. A bit cold too. And rainy, I had to get my poncho out this morning, but I didn’t care, it was just good to be moving by footpower again. 
Travelling this way with Lymphedema can be a little challenging. Getting the compression stocking off in a tiny shower cubicle, putting it on in a lower bunk where there is barely room to sit up. I now have my routines so I manage. A few people here and there have asked about the stocking and it has been perfectly OK. The other pilgrims are friendly and caring. A Dutch lady I met even had some knowlegde about Lymphedema.
Walking the Camino one meets many characters. The other day I met a Spanish lady, she must have been 75 or so, walking in an almost 90 degree angle with a roller with armrests, on which all her bagage was hanging. She brought a roll of big posters with religious messages. Many pilgrims travel by bicycle and some even by horse. Some days ago there was a man in my shelter/hostel travelling by horse, bringing with him his bird in a cage :-)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Big walk, day 5

It is the fifth day of my camino. Today sucks, I have the meanest blisters on one of my toes. I have quite a few blisters but this particular one is killing me. I might stay where I am now for a day to let it heal.
Anyway, since I started on Monday I have been walking 19km - 17 - 15,5 - 12 and today 13 kilometers. Not much really, compared to what most others walk, but the first couple of days I wanted to take it easy - and the 19 was more than enough - I more or less dragged myself into the firstcoming albergue (shelter) of the town at 5.30. Yesterday and today the blisters have slowed me down. If it wasn't for them I could have walked more.
Apart from the blisters it's been going OK. When I on the first day took off the compression stocking to shower the skin was clearly irritated some places as there were red patches to see. I guess the stocking had been rubbing against the skin. I put some long stretches of bandaid on it that I still have on and I haven't had more trouble since that day as to skin irritation. The leg seems to have gone up in size a little bit but that's OK. The other night I was the only person in my dormitory so I grabbed the opportunity and wrapped the leg, which I think was good. When I get to the city of León in a couple of days (if I get there...) I think I will treat myself to a hotel for one night. Have some privacy and a bit of luxury. And then I can wrap again.

I have had some great times out on the roads. Enjoying the utter silence and the nature. Just walking. Slowly. Yesterday, in the town of Sahagún I got myself a pair of walking sticks, they are quite good. Stabilizes my body. I have met kind people from many countries already, looking forward to more. The coffee is excellent and the vino tinto (red wine) is plenty.

I found a couple of videos if any of you guys should want to see something about the Camino de Santiago. Check out these links:

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

What triggers Primary Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a mysterious condition, I am sure you all agree with me on that. Especially Primary Lymphedema as it often appears out of nowhere whereas Secondary is usually due to surgery where lymphnodes are removed or perhaps damaged in an accident.

After a suggestion from a reader (thanks, Wendy) I have created a page to put some light on what triggers Primary Lymphedema to break out. Knowing what causes it doesn't really change anything but I feel it could be interesting to know what triggered others Primary Lymphedema.

If you have Primary Lymphedema, what triggered it? Or was yours present from Birth? I hope you will want to visit the page and write a comment if you have Primary.

Thanks :-)