Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Foot injury- Update

I've been off trail for a week and a half, and in physical therapy for a week.  I'm finally seeing some improvements in my foot. Yay! (For a while I was thinking they were just going to have to cut the darn foot off and give me a replacement- haha!) The pain while I walk is significantly reduced.  I am optimistic about getting back to the trail in the not-to-distant future once it stops hurting completely.
Last application of cortisone (applied with iontophoresis).
While it sucks to be off the trail, I cannot imagine a more ideal situation than the one I have found myself in.  I've been warmly welcomed into the home of my hiking partner's friend/ roommate Steph and it has truly been a joy to stay here.  We've cooked incredibly delicious meals together, had conversations about every topic imaginable, and toured grocery stores in the area. We saw Fault in our Stars (about two kids with terminal cancer)- a total tear jerker of a movie. What a nice change to be in a theater with everyone collectively sobbing.  I've cried a lot over the past month (about this darn foot), and there was something carthartic about not having to cry alone.

Steph has been doing resupply for both Arizona and another PCT hiker as well.  So there is hiker food everywhere.  Steph offered that I could prepare resupply boxes and food for myself for the rest of the PCT from here while my foot heals. Before I started the PCT, I prepared enough food for myself to get me the first 1200 miles of the PCT, so this will be ideal.  I have the advantage of knowing what I like to eat on the trail.
Dehydrated shrimp and sushi rice, plus other Asian-inspired meals.
I've been stocking up on the foods I've been craving  and I can find some new foods that I'm not already tired of.
I crave vegetables.
 Yesterday, Steph borrowed two dehydrators from one of her friends. How cool is that!?!? Trail food prep just got kicked up an extra notch.  Both dehydrators have been running non-stop on the back porch.
Cranberry-Orange fruit leather and mandrin oranges.
Another thing that's been great is that my physical therapist said I could exercise on a recumbent bike. Trying to stay off my foot to let it heal was really tough after being used to exercising for 10-14 hours every day.  Going to the gym has been such a relief- especially to get my heart rate up and feel my muscles burn.
It's not the Sierra, but at least it's getting my heart rate up.
I've also been really happy to connect with a few other friends who are or have been off trail due to injury or illness. Talking to them makes me feel much less crazy because they understand what I'm going through. It's really tough mentally being off the trail, and it helps me stay sane to talk to them.
Bella always cheers me up.
Though of course I miss the trail terribly, it's been fun to enter into this world- I drive someone else's car, wear someone else's clothes, have been adopted by someone else's dog.  It feels like I'm playing a game or like I've stepped into a movie.  Quite an experience!


  1. I've been worried you weren't going to be able to get back on! I'm glad to hear it sounds like you'll be back soon. One of my AT friends hiking the PCT who was a few hundred miles behind you has a stress fracture and is apparently heading out with a boot on! Sounds like a rough year for hikers.

    1. WOW hiking with a boot! I've been hearing more and more stories about injuries and illnesses. Guess it's just a part of long distance hiking that I didn't know much about.

  2. Glad to hear you are on the improve . It is really wonderful how some people just give . All part of the journey . Journeys don't necessarily involve forward physical movement so your journey does still continues in a temporary different form . There must be a pressure though about losing the others as they get ahead of you . Keep healing .

    1. That is just so true, Steve! It is part of the journey and I have been learning so much, though not the lessons I'd anticipated. Actually, it's been a valuable part of the experience, however painful it seemed at the time. Really appreciate your wisdom and good wishes. Thanks!

  3. So glad to see things working out for you during the recovery time. I had back surgery at the beginning of June and am hoping I can hike again by July. Keep up the good work and the rest while you can. Looks like some great food for the trail. Are you still going stove-less?

    1. Though time to be resting but hope you are making the best of your recovery time as well. Yes, I'm still going stoveless and really enjoying it. I didn't miss having a stove even in the Sierra. There was really only one time I got really cold during that snowstorm out of Kennedy Meadows and I did accept hot water to drink from some weekenders who also shared their campfire with us. Otherwise, I still like how easy it is to just add cold water to my meals while I hike so I can stop to eat without having to wait for the water to boil and the food to rehydrate like people with stoves do.