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Um, energy issues

Discussion in 'Medical Problems' started by ClaireB, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    Hi all,
    This June is going to be my first Camino and I'm a little nervous. I've seen posts about mobility issues and posts about Diabetes but nothing really like what I have. I get rather low blood pressure that has been similar to having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for several years now. I know I might sound a little crazy to be attempting this but if anyone has any similar stories I would really appreciate the reassurance!
    I love hiking and have done it in the past when I wasn't feeling the best and survived. I really need to do this but am (understandably I believe) a little nervous!
    Thanks
    Claire
     
  2. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Hi Claire ~
    My wife is a physician (internist/anesthesiologist) and recommends that you consult with your physician prior to committing to this. She's worried that you may not be in shape for the walk (she's done the Camino from Villafranca del Bierzo) and that your physician can help you think through the physical challenge. The "average" Camino day is 18-25 kms and you'll sometimes be in remote territory.
    Peace ~
    Sandy
     
  3. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    Thanks Sandy,
    I have spoken to them - I'm being pretty realistic about it and will take it as it comes. I can always take a day off or catch the bus for a section if I absolutely have to and I have relatives in France if I desperately need help!! I think I'll be fine and I need to give it a go at least, I'm not expecting it to be easy but I was hoping there would have been someone in a similar situation at some stage who could give me some pointers or something!
     
  4. thea

    thea New Member

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    Hi Claire
    I have ms (chronic fatigue and balance issues among other symptoms) - I walked the last 100 kms of the camino (from Sarria) around this time last year.

    Must confess the first week I only walked about 5-8 km a day, but my distances increased every day and by the last day I walked around 17 km. All of it was done very slowly and with a zillion stops and rests along the way.

    I was very nervous before I left - given just getting the groceries was exhausting but like you figured I could rest and/or catch a bus/taxi if things got to ridiculous. That never proved necessary (although the day after arrival in SdC I did spend in bed :)

    I blogged a little about it here

    Buen Camino
     
  5. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    Thanks Thea
    Your post was very reassuring and I enjoyed reading your blog.
    I think what you've been able to do is amazing. I am able to get by doing grocery shopping now but a few years ago was a different story and I lived for 6 years with the CFS diagnosis before I got the more specific blood pressure one recently. I couldn't have even thought about doing it a few years ago and I didn't have the motor function complications you have with ms. I still have the occasional day where I can't do much - I've ended up on the floor 3 times today which doesn't normally happen but I'm trying new medication and at the same time came down with a respiratory infection.
    I have fancy expandable hiking poles to get me through helped by my stubbornness and determination and backup plan of days off and buses!! I'll think of you when I'm walking and take each day as it comes - I have to remember I'm doing it just for me :)
    Thanks again
     
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  6. thea

    thea New Member

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    ahh so hear you Claire.
    I often think there needs to be another word than 'fatigue' which doesn't really capture the true sense of the annhilatation involved, but sounds like you certainly have the right equipment to hand: yay stubborness and determination :p

    One other thing I would mention is re awareness of the temperature. I went in April/May as heat affects me badly. By late May in Santiago it was very hot in the afternoon/evenings and I was conscious of keeping hydrated (having said that, I tended to overindulge in the fab coffee which probably cancelled those affects but hey we all need a vice, plus I like to think of it as tokenism at countering fatigue). We tended to wrap up walking early, shortly after lunch if we could, which left plenty of recovery time plus meant being out of the heat in the hottest part of the day.

    The beauty of the camino is it is not a competition and there is no wrong way, hey.
    Do post after or while you are on it if you can - it's always wonderful hearing others' wonderful experiences of the Camino!
     
  7. Larry

    Larry New Member

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    Hi Claire
    Glad to hear you're walking the walk. I can't imagine that low blood pressure would be a serious problem. You'll be walking 8+ hours a day and, besides, you're never very far from some village or other and there are lots of people on the Camino. Of course consult your physician and get in shape. Good luck and I wouldn't worried about being a little nervous, I think everyone is when they walk the trail. Do start short 1 mile walks and then build up to several 10 mile days in a row.
    Larry
     
  8. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    You're so right Thea,
    the word 'fatigue' doesn't really begin to describe it and there are so many different types that affect you on different levels. When I say low blood pressure I mean the kind that, on a bad day, makes me pass out when I stand up - not just a little low! And the fatigue is usually an effect of not getting enough oxygen pumped through my body to where it's needed - my brain and muscles!

    I can see how temperature could be an issue but we're just coming out of summer here so it shouldn't be too hard to adjust quickly (we've had some scorchers this summer). That being said I plan to take full advantage of shady cafe's, completely agree that coffee is a wonderful thing!

    I'm posting at the moment and intend to post while I'm on the trail where I can (ps thanks for your comment on my blog!) - I have a lot of people at home keen to know how I go and it's certainly a convenient way of keeping everyone updated at once!

    Thank you both for your encouragement and advice!
    Claire
     
  9. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    I've realised I might be overreaching myself and, just because I want to be well enough to do it doesn't mean that my body will cooperate! That and it seems the distance is a little further between Leon and Santiago dC than I originally thought (by 40+km which is a big difference for someone with questionable health!)... I've cut down to doing the last 100km with a view to going on to Finisterre if I can.
    He he, I have a tendency to get carried away and overexcited! One day I hope to do more but it's still a huge accomplishment for me :)
    Thanks again everyone for all your words of advice and support
    Claire
     
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  10. YogaWalk

    YogaWalk Member

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    ClaireB, are you still receiving messages? How was your Camino? Did you go? Did you spend all nights in albergues or some in hotels? Did you go on to Finisterre? I have dealt with Chronic Fatigue for the past few years, but have been on the mend for about a year. Feeling strong now. Really curious how it all went for you as I plan to leave in less than 3 months.
     
  11. Larry

    Larry New Member

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    Dear Yogawalk

    I wish you buen Camino. I'm a farm raised American and I am used to a big breakfast. And, if you don't know already, breakfast is not a big meal, I gather, in Spain. I found no place open at an early hour to get something other than coffee and a roll. Even the English lady I walked with for most of the Road was looking for something more sustaining; this is an high-output endeavor, after all. My advice is to, if you're starting from SJPP, is to get some HTP milk (high temperature pasteurization) milk and some granola, perhaps some fruit, to start the day with. I have great hopes that your chronic fatigue syndrome will find it's demise on the Trail. Good Luck. Larry
     
  12. ClaireB

    ClaireB New Member

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    Hi! Yeah I still get messages every now and then!
    If you want the long version check out my blog Walking For Wisdom
    But basically I did a mixture of albergues and hotels. I found that some nights I just HAD to have my own room, it was about 50/50 I think or maybe more 60/40 in favour of hotels! As someone who is really affected by sleep I had to make sure I got enough or I couldn't get going the next day. I also had a rest day in Melide partly due to some infected blisters and partly from fatigue. And yeah gotta agree with larry on the breakfast - I can't survive on a piece of toast and jam with tea every morning!
    How far are you walking? I highly recommend some of the places I stayed at and wouldn't recommend others at all but it depends on what your goals are. I walked between 10-22km while I was going and made sure I always had some snacks with me and some electrolyte powder or similar. I caught the bus to finisterre, I realised I had nothing more to prove by the time I got to Santiago and my feet probably couldn't have taken any more! Found when I got home I'd had a broken bone in my foot from a month before leaving for Spain, no wonder it was so sore and not just from the blisters!
    I guess the best advice I can give is listen to your body and don't overdo it, I recovered from CFS a couple of years ago but started shift work and my body couldn't cope and relapsed with the added bonus of the really low blood pressure and wonders of tachycardia (autonomic dysfunction) so yeah, don't overdo it but I guess you probably know that!!
    Buen Camino YogaWalk, it'll be the best time of your life no matter how you do it or how far you get! I still plan to go back one day for the full walk from SJPP and still talk with people I met on my short journey. It's your way, there is no right way of doing it only what's right for you and don't feel bad if you need a night in a hotel or two, there's only so many nights of snoring, coughing, talking, rustling and lights going on and off that one person should put up with!!
     
  13. YogaWalk

    YogaWalk Member

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    Thank you ClaireB. Congratulations! ...though it's a little belated. I will check out your blog. I plan to make the walk from SJPdP to SdC. Slow and steady will win the race. Glad to hear from you. Feel free to pass along anything not in the blog via PM. :) Jennie
     
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