Posts Tagged With: Camino Injury

A time to walk and a time to heal

Yesterday I took a taxi to the Universidad de Leon Hospital and limped into the ER to have a medical professional look at my foot. It was a fascinating window into the Spanish medical system. They don’t take your blood pressure or weigh you or make you fill out any forms. They have a “concierge” guy at the door of the ER who directs you where to go, and a very no nonsense triage guy. It’s so much quieter than an American ER, no TV or paging, and the lighting was subdued, not hospital bright.

I can’t believe I did it all in Spanish! Because no one at the hospital spoke English. The female doctor spoke a little. Had an X-ray done, and also tried to pay. I’m supposed to give the documentation to Kaiser.

Her diagnosis was Plantar Fasciatis. She said I should not try to continue the Camino.

The treatment is RICE: rest, ice, elevation, compression and anti-inflammatory drugs.

My Camino friends from Chicago arrived at the hotel in the afternoon, and we sat in their room and I heard about their days of walking and how tired they were. As we talked, I realized that, for me, walking the Camino was over. I could follow along by bus, but that wasn’t really a pilgrimage. I found so much joy in the walking, and talking on the path, and watching for the yellow arrows, and coming into tiny villages—the whole experience.

It made me sad to come to grips with my situation, even though I knew I wasn’t alone. Many people in our “class of Orisson” were going home with injuries.

So I went upstairs and prayed about what to do, and cried. I had to have a destination for the morning. Astorga or Santiago by bus? Madrid and then SFO? Hang out somewhere for 3 weeks? I talked to Hale on Skype. Coming home seemed like the right decision. I called Delta on Skype and was able to change my ticket.

I met Gina and Caroline in the bar and we talked like Camino friends talk, honestly and with love. They are gifts of the Camino; I’ve learned so much from both of them.

We met in the morning for the awesome Parador hotel breakfast buffet. I decided to give Gina my Camelbak and my copy of the Brierley guidebook for the rest of the journey. The Camino has made me more generous. It feels good to know she has them as she moves into Galicia. We posed at the statue outside the Parador, and then it was time for my taxi to the train station.

I’m in Madrid now. I will keep posting my reflections on my experience of the Camino as I move forward, as well as more photos.

I know that it will continue to teach me and inform my ministry.

Today in Madrid I looked up at the cathedral and saw a statue on the roof of St. James with his staff and shell. Later, I had tapas at an outdoor cafe and noticed that we were on Calle Santiago. He is looking out for me, I think.

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Categories: Camino, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ankle update

Back on Tuesday on the 12.2 k to San Juan de Ortega, I did something to my right ankle. It slowly began to hurt as I hiked, and now it’s painful to put weight on it. Ibuprofen and compression bandage sock have been applied; ice is hard to come by. I hobbled around Burgos, and it was feeling better with the compression sock. But it’s nowhere near healed enough to walk 20 k on it.

There was one bus yesterday from Burgos to Fromista, one of the larger towns out in the Meseta. It left at 5:30, so I had all day in Burgos on my own after Monika left. I visited a church nearby–San Lorenzo–and there was Mass, so I stayed. Many well-dressed 70 year old women. Then I had a nice lunch on San Lorenzo street, that winds off the Calle Mayor.

Picked up the pack at the hotel and hobbled over to the bus station. I was definitely the only American there. I had to figure out the ticketing, and then the bus arrived and off we went, out of Burgos into the countryside.

Fromista is about three stages along in the guidebook, and has a landmark Romanesque church, so it seemed like a good choice. Turns out that there aren’t many busses on this part of the Camino.

I got to Fromista and as I was crossing to the church, the French woman from Orisson waved to me! We greeted each other, and then our language skills failed us. But it was great to see her.

The church is very simple, totally different than the usual gold gothic/baroque. 1066! It is the first church I’ve seen that I’d like to celebrate the Eucharist in.

When I came out, someone was jumping up and down across the street. It was Gina from Chicago! She and Kai were sitting outside, and we had dinner together.

The ankle is really disappointing me. I have to recalibrate and not get upset. I will taxi to the next town and perhaps bus to Leon.

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Categories: Camino, June 2013 | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Hostel or Hostile?

I realized that I’ve walked six days in a row, for a total of 126 kilometers! Yesterday, I walked 4 kilometers over my ideal of 20 a day, and my ankle started to hurt. I limped into San Juan de Ortega, an isolated Monastery. We were late getting there, and the “deluxe” accommodations were full. So we stayed in the very rustic Alburgue in the Monastery for 5E. I had wine and a late dinner with my English friends at the only bar in the hamlet and got back to the bunk room just in time for 10:00 lights out. At 2:30 I woke up to a symphony of snoring from all corners of the room. It was a measure of my relaxation these days that I found it funny (for an hour) and then it subsided, and I slept a bit. Then it revved up again between 4:00 and 6:00. The 8 French pilgrims (all my age) sharing the room with Monika and me, got up at 6:30 and the day began. I’m very happy to have taxied into Burgos after 5 kilometers, and to be staying at a hotel.

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Categories: Camino de Santiago, June 2013 | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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