I went to the massage therapist today to, well, get a massage. If only I could figure out how to get my butt to not be quite so tight, these massage sessions would have a lot less of me giggling to relieve the pain and more, I dunno, relaxing. Though to be honest, I’m not there for relaxing. I’m there for mobility.

Kim (the RMT) and I had a funny moment or 12 where she tried to get me to relax and I tried to get her to stop poking me in the hip with a hot rusty poker. She “says” she was using her fingers. I think she was lying like a cheap suit. It sure felt like she was trying to kill me. There were some moments where if I didn’t giggle, I’d openly cry. Enough said.

This leads me to the issue of injuries. I’m very lucky to not have any injuries right now (touch wood). Given the sheer amount of working out that’s happening, this is a small miracle. But since I’m totally healthy (if a little stiff and creaky), I can shift my focus to preventing and addressing injuries on the trail.

A couple of years ago, I took a weekend long course in advanced wilderness first aid. This course is not a joke. They actually teach you how to deal with disembowelment in the woods (note: stuff the bowels back in as much as possible, and tape a covering over the exposed bowel). I paid close attention to the self-care components because, well, I have been known to travel alone. Also, I happen to be the only person I know who’s really good with blood. So it helps to know how to handle it.

So I had a sit down with myself and reviewed the advice on the bulletin boards about what kind of first aid stuff to bring with me. Unlike a real backpacking trip, I’m going to be in a real town every couple of days, so i can actually buy stuff on the road. Unfortunately, I don’t speak spanish, so I’m going to be guessing a lot and pointing, I think.

Some people bring lots of stuff in their first aid kit – gauze, tape, tensor bandages, the whole kit and kaboodle. You know what I have in mine?

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  1. two bandaids
  2. 12 blister bandaids
  3. 16 pieces of moleskin
  4. 6 sterile wipes (to clean the safety pin)
  5. two safety pins (for piercing blisters)
  6. antibiotic ointment (for the pierced blisters)
  7. anti-itch cream for bug bites and random rashes
  8. 32 extra strength advil

That’s it. Are you getting a feeling for what I’m concerned about? Yeah. Blisters. Screw everything else. Okay. The bug bites and muscle pain are going to suck, but nothing can derail your walking quite like a blister. Enough said.

I’m going to trust the Camino. This is what I’m carrying. I don’t need scissors or tensors or gauze pads. I need blister care are pain medication. That’s it, that’s all. With any luck, I’m coming home with 12 blister bandaids, 16 pieces of moleskin, and two safety pins that never had to pierce a single blister. But just in case, I’m totally ready. And if there’s a disembowelment, I’m gonna use a cell phone. Enough said.

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