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A stroke and the Camino

Mariy

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2019
I walked the Portuguese route (Tui-SDC) in 2019. I had planned to do the Sarria route but then Covid happened. I was thinking of maybe doing the Camino this year or maybe in 2023 but then in May I had a stroke. Right now I'm doing okay, the stroke affected my balance and weakness in my rightside. I get tired easily and my medication has made me sunlight sensitive.

I walk with a cane for my balance. I go to Physical Therapy every week and go to the gym every day. I was talking to a friend I went to the Camino with and she was encouraging me to get better to hopefully walk the Sarria route in 2023 or 24.

Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories. Thanks!
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories.
I haven't had a stroke, but I love to read inspirational recovery stories. If no one else gives us one about strokes, then it will be your opportunity to create the first (on the forum) and report back to us!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I recall meeting a young woman in Navarra with a right sided weakness from a stroke, with a foot drag, and she was managing the Camino, although very slowly. She was with a group of friends who would go ahead each day to ensure she had somewhere to sleep. I'm not sure it was such a good idea. They were keeping the normal "stages" and I felt the distances were too long. She would arrive very late, usually after dark, and exhausted. I thought she would be better with accommodation booked at short distances apart.

People with all kinds of difficulties do walk the route from Sarria, but sometimes it takes a lot of planning, depending on the degree of help needed. Nothing wrong with using support vehicles if necessary. One of my favourite moments was passing a group of other-abled people being assisted along the path by volunteers.




View attachment Short Camino Helping Less Mobile.mov
 
Time of past OR future Camino
August 2015
I walked Camino Frances with a French Canadian woman who had suffered a serious stricken a couple of years prior. Her recovery included a long stay in a rehab hospital. She would not say her age but I would guess mid to late 60s. I never saw any evidence of a stroke. We weren’t the fastest duo but both made it all the way to Santiago. Met her in Zubiri.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
My spouse had a major stroke back in 2013 (right after I returned from walking that year). Most likely, it will be about 6 months from the date of stroke before you (and your medical team) actually know what you've got, as it takes that long for the brain edema to subside fully. And then, in your case, there's the long period of progressive retraining of the muscles.

So, I have two thoughts for you. First, be patient with yourself (and your team). Recovery trajectories are impossible to predict. Second, I think that having a goal such as walking the Camino from Sarria might prove very helpful in your rehabilitation and recovery. No one says you have to walk those 100 km in 7 days; you can take as long as you like.

Your journey has already begun - Buen Camino!
 

Old Git

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Portuguese
2019 Finisterre/Muxia
I walked the Portuguese route (Tui-SDC) in 2019. I had planned to do the Sarria route but then Covid happened. I was thinking of maybe doing the Camino this year or maybe in 2023 but then in May I had a stroke. Right now I'm doing okay, the stroke affected my balance and weakness in my rightside. I get tired easily and my medication has made me sunlight sensitive.

I walk with a cane for my balance. I go to Physical Therapy every week and go to the gym every day. I was talking to a friend I went to the Camino with and she was encouraging me to get better to hopefully walk the Sarria route in 2023 or 24.

Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories. Thanks!
Hi I can appreciate your concerns and everyone is different. In my case I had a stroke in 2017 and then 2 months later another 2 strokes. Fortunately I got away with loss of vision on the lefthand side, I get tired and in the early stages after the stroke I got anxious, I was then 70 and the strokes were caused by atrial fribulation.
In 2017 I decided to do the Tui Santiago route the first couple of legs on my own and then joined by a Spanish friend. My wife kept an eye on me with one of these tracing apps. Although apprehensive I completed it an got a certificate, not the right word but since the stroke I have a problem remembering things and it really gave my confidence a boost
The following year I did Finisterre, Muxia Santiago. Then covid, now 75 I am looking to go again but more slowly. It helps massively for your mental well being the physical bit is not bad also.
Listen to your body regarding distance per day and discuss it with the Doctor although in my case I just went for it.
Take care you can do it. Buen camino
 

Stroller

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
I had a stroke in early 2016 which left me with weakness in my left side and walked from SJPDP to Santiago in September that year as part of my recovery. Doctor thought I was potty, Physio. thought it was possible "but ------", wife thought I was barking, she's probably right. I was weaving/walking like a drunk about 5mls a day before I left and carried a 5lb pack.

When I started I had a tendency to veer to the left if my concentration slipped,. Got walking poles in Pamplona and by the end of the walk this veering had all but gone. I was very tired at first and walked very short days to start with, took plenty of rest days and bussed when needed. Overall average 25kM a day so towards the end some long days. With sheer bloody mindedness I made it. I still lurch to the left occasionally if I loose concentration but not often.

If I was in the same position again I would walk but would start with poles and start from Roncevalles or Pamplona. I don't know what your mental health is now but mine was not great, a loss of confidence in my body when I had been fit up to the stroke, but it improved tremendously and quite quickly as the walk progressed. So if you can walk and feel you can give it a try go. On the Frances you can always bail out if it's too much as there are taxis and busses to major cities fairly easily accessible.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I met one woman last year who had a brain tumor removed a couple of years prior. Her left arm and leg had withered slightly and she limped and occasionally had balance issues. She passed me after Logrono and made it to Santiago a few days before I did.
If you want to walk Camino, walk it! Take it at your pace. Ship your pack ahead if you want or need to.

Buen Camino!
 

gilly856

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
I walked the Portuguese route (Tui-SDC) in 2019. I had planned to do the Sarria route but then Covid happened. I was thinking of maybe doing the Camino this year or maybe in 2023 but then in May I had a stroke. Right now I'm doing okay, the stroke affected my balance and weakness in my rightside. I get tired easily and my medication has made me sunlight sensitive.

I walk with a cane for my balance. I go to Physical Therapy every week and go to the gym every day. I was talking to a friend I went to the Camino with and she was encouraging me to get better to hopefully walk the Sarria route in 2023 or 24.

Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories. Thanks!
I had a cardiac arrest in April .. just booked to walk from Porto in early November .
Keep working and believing, anything is possible if you want it .
Good luck on the road
 
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Mariy

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Camino 2019
Thank you for sharing your recovery stories.

I'm in my early 50's and my doctors and therapist have given a 90-100% recovery but I have to work really hard for it. I have issues with balance and my knees buckle, I'm working on that right now with the therapist.

I have a trip planned for October, there will be alot of walking (sightseeing) but nothing like the Camino.
 

mick53

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy, Arles, Northe, Primativo, Portugese. VDP, VF, Way of St Francis, 88 Temples, Lycian Way
I walked the Portuguese route (Tui-SDC) in 2019. I had planned to do the Sarria route but then Covid happened. I was thinking of maybe doing the Camino this year or maybe in 2023 but then in May I had a stroke. Right now I'm doing okay, the stroke affected my balance and weakness in my rightside. I get tired easily and my medication has made me sunlight sensitive.

I walk with a cane for my balance. I go to Physical Therapy every week and go to the gym every day. I was talking to a friend I went to the Camino with and she was encouraging me to get better to hopefully walk the Sarria route in 2023 or 24.

Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories. Thanks!
Hi
I had a moderate stroke in 2019, main impacts being balance and a slight weakness in left side. Got great therapy especially balance related exercise. Luckily I didn't get tired.
Since then I have done over 2500km of long distance thru Hikes in remote area of Australia carrying food, tents etc. Much more difficult and remote than the many Caminos I have done. Hoping to get back to Caminos In Europe in 2023. So my advice is work on your fitness and balance, take 2 sticks as many Camino walkers do, and get back to doing what you love as soon as possible. Also on the Caminos you are never too far from medical help and if you get tired enjoy a rest day!
 

GDR

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela2
I walked the Portuguese route (Tui-SDC) in 2019. I had planned to do the Sarria route but then Covid happened. I was thinking of maybe doing the Camino this year or maybe in 2023 but then in May I had a stroke. Right now I'm doing okay, the stroke affected my balance and weakness in my rightside. I get tired easily and my medication has made me sunlight sensitive.

I walk with a cane for my balance. I go to Physical Therapy every week and go to the gym every day. I was talking to a friend I went to the Camino with and she was encouraging me to get better to hopefully walk the Sarria route in 2023 or 24.

Anyone here had a stroke and recovered to walk the Camino? I would appreciate your recovery stories. Thanks!
Hi. My wife and I have recently finished the Camino Frances. During the walk we travelled by bus between Burgos and Leon to avoid the Meseta. The staff at the Pilgrim office in Santiago calculated our distance walked as 770 km and presented our Compostella accordingly.
18 months prior to our walk I suffered a stroke and had a pacemaker fitted 6 months prior to our departure from Sydney.
For 12 months after my stroke we trained by doing various walks; some exhausting and others just to make sure that our increasing fitness was maintained. I also had home physiotherapy sessions on a weekly basis for 6 months.
I discussed my plans with my cardiologist and he didnt hesitate to give me an“Approval to travel letter”
Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that you dicuss you plans with your cardiologist and be guided by him/her before yu make any firm committments.
btw i am 82 years and my wife is 79 and we are considering another Camino walk next year
 

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