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Bucking the System

#1
Ok, I have now been home 6 full days. After falling on May 5, head first down a spiral staircase in Paris, just leaving the Hostel for the train station, I had to miss that morning train. After laying on a couch in the hostel common area for nearly an hour, waiting for a taxi / ambulance, I decided to walk to the train station (Gare Montparnasse), to see if I could convert my morning tickets to afternoon tickets, before going to the hospital.

The very nice gentleman managing people in line for tickets noticed the predicament of what I thought were two broken fingers, asked if I would like to see a Bombier (EMS, EMT, Ambulance Medic)? I asked if that was possible as I did not receive this injury in the Station. He said, "Of course, you are hurt and need attention." I was taken to the First Aid Office, sat down, temp and blood pressure taken, full personal information provided, and the Bombier said, "We must take you to the Hospital." I asked the cost of taking me there. "There is no cost. Do not worry."

The Hostel attendant had been on the phone and I was advised as I left for the Station that I should go to Hospitaux Cochin. The Bombiers advised they were taking me to the same hospital. I advised that they were expecting me. This worked out well as I was taken in the Back Way rather than having to come in the front and be triaged with everyone in the Waiting Room.

During my stay, I was able to have a conversation with a young woman who told me that she had stomach cancer, previously cured, but was in that day for an MRI and suffering with stomach pains. We had a very heartfelt talk that touched on many facets of llfe, both hers and mine. I pray that she is well now.

Beyond this, xrays were taken, I was given gas anesthetic that did bnot put me under but came close. Then the doctor came in, reset my right index and middle fingers and sent me off for a second set of xrays. Once done, I was presented with copies of all xrays, bandaged up to stabilize the fingers and the badly sprained wrist and released.

I asked, "Where do I make payment?" "The doctor said, "There is no cost," at which I lunged toward the Staff and provided profuse Mercis and hugs all round. Due to the sterile environment, I did not allow myself to kiss both cheeks.

So, I did not know if this was a standard result or did the Hostel take care of the bill? It would be confirmed later that if you are taken to hospital by the Bombiers, there is not cost. Apparently, this is also the case in Spain, but this has not been verified.

Fast forward to May 13, when my body hit my personal wall and my left IT Band blew out, yet again, It was between Puenta de la Reina and Maneru, on Mother's Day. The good news is that I completed 100 km this time, double the first attempt. But God and the Camino have advised that this biological unt has a limit of 100 km.

Now comes the fun and controversial part. Two days later, I entered the airport at Santiago de Compostela, with my pack and walking poles. Due to my leg issues, I requested assistance and took my poles and pack with me. TSA wanted to take the poles. I asked, "What am I to use to be able to walk when I get to my destination?" They relented and my pack and poles remained with me throughout then next three days getting home through Dublin, Reykjavik and Toronto.

Will I return? Maybe. I a looking at the Irish Camino coupled with the Camino Ingles. Maybe next year.
 

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David Tallan

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Oporto (2018 - planned)
#2
"But God and the Camino have advised that this biological unit has a limit of 100 km."

A couple of thoughts:
1) As it turns out, your limit aligns well with the requirements for a compostela. And there are a number of Caminos that you can walk 100 km to Santiago on (Ingles being one of them).
2) There is no requirement that the Camino be completed in one uninterrupted walk. Many people do it sections. If you still have your credencial, you can start again in Puenta la Reina next time and walk the next 100 km (say to Naverrete, Ventosa, or Najera).

Clearly you have willpower and perseverance. If you really want to complete a Camino, I am sure you have it in you to do so.
 

kirkie

Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#3
You ask:: Will I return? I say: probably! I was really sorry about the fact you had to cut it all short, Michelle. Maybe your new ideas are going to work for you. I wish you all the best. Buen camino.
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#7
My goodness, Michelle, you have been through one adventurous wringer. I am proud of your perseverance and your upbeat attitude. Blessings be with you as the near future begins to unfold around you. :)
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#9
Now THAT is the right attitude for a pilgrim. Thank you for demonstrating this for us Michelle. When the journey presents obstacles, adapt and overcome. You did everything perfectly, yet it was regrettably not possible to press on.

It happens to all or many of us at some time. I have had two "Camino interruptus" outings out of the six I have done. All these early terminations were due to foot or joint problems (never blisters I might add). But both stopped me at or within the final 100 Km before Santiago.

David, above, has the right approach, IMHO. Save your credencial. Return when next you are able. Fly into Madrid instead of Paris. Take a train north, then a bus to arrive at Puente la Reina. Continue from there.

You can do it. We all believe you WILL do it. This experience has provided you with a lot of insight into the Camino, how it works, and the people you will encounter. The next time, you will be better prepared.

If it takes two or more outings to complete the full route, who cares? Each pilgrim walks their own Camino. They accomplish it in the best way they can. No one has the standing or the right to tell you what is right, wrong, good, bad, appropriate or inappropriate. You simply do what your heart tells you to do, and persevere as far as your body will allow or tolerate.

You go girl!

Now, start planning...see you out there...sometime...somewhere...

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

GraemeHall

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
#10
Ok, I have now been home 6 full days. After falling on May 5, head first down a spiral staircase in Paris, just leaving the Hostel for the train station, I had to miss that morning train. After laying on a couch in the hostel common area for nearly an hour, waiting for a taxi / ambulance, I decided to walk to the train station (Gare Montparnasse), to see if I could convert my morning tickets to afternoon tickets, before going to the hospital.

The very nice gentleman managing people in line for tickets noticed the predicament of what I thought were two broken fingers, asked if I would like to see a Bombier (EMS, EMT, Ambulance Medic)? I asked if that was possible as I did not receive this injury in the Station. He said, "Of course, you are hurt and need attention." I was taken to the First Aid Office, sat down, temp and blood pressure taken, full personal information provided, and the Bombier said, "We must take you to the Hospital." I asked the cost of taking me there. "There is no cost. Do not worry."

The Hostel attendant had been on the phone and I was advised as I left for the Station that I should go to Hospitaux Cochin. The Bombiers advised they were taking me to the same hospital. I advised that they were expecting me. This worked out well as I was taken in the Back Way rather than having to come in the front and be triaged with everyone in the Waiting Room.

During my stay, I was able to have a conversation with a young woman who told me that she had stomach cancer, previously cured, but was in that day for an MRI and suffering with stomach pains. We had a very heartfelt talk that touched on many facets of llfe, both hers and mine. I pray that she is well now.

Beyond this, xrays were taken, I was given gas anesthetic that did bnot put me under but came close. Then the doctor came in, reset my right index and middle fingers and sent me off for a second set of xrays. Once done, I was presented with copies of all xrays, bandaged up to stabilize the fingers and the badly sprained wrist and released.

I asked, "Where do I make payment?" "The doctor said, "There is no cost," at which I lunged toward the Staff and provided profuse Mercis and hugs all round. Due to the sterile environment, I did not allow myself to kiss both cheeks.

So, I did not know if this was a standard result or did the Hostel take care of the bill? It would be confirmed later that if you are taken to hospital by the Bombiers, there is not cost. Apparently, this is also the case in Spain, but this has not been verified.

Fast forward to May 13, when my body hit my personal wall and my left IT Band blew out, yet again, It was between Puenta de la Reina and Maneru, on Mother's Day. The good news is that I completed 100 km this time, double the first attempt. But God and the Camino have advised that this biological unt has a limit of 100 km.

Now comes the fun and controversial part. Two days later, I entered the airport at Santiago de Compostela, with my pack and walking poles. Due to my leg issues, I requested assistance and took my poles and pack with me. TSA wanted to take the poles. I asked, "What am I to use to be able to walk when I get to my destination?" They relented and my pack and poles remained with me throughout then next three days getting home through Dublin, Reykjavik and Toronto.

Will I return? Maybe. I a looking at the Irish Camino coupled with the Camino Ingles. Maybe next year.
Excellent progress there Michelle. Not to put a dampener, but I once had a similar experience of no-cost treatment in the emergency ward of a Paris hospital. Some weeks later, when their system realised that I am not a European citizen, I did receive a bill. The good news is that my travel insurance agreed to cover it. Buen Camino for your returns.
 

AndreaCT

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#11
Hi Michelle, I LOVE your perseverance and attitude! We had a lovely Irish gentleman come and talk to our Canadian group about the Irish Camino. It's definitely on my list of walks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2017 October)
#12
Ok, I have now been home 6 full days. After falling on May 5, head first down a spiral staircase in Paris, just leaving the Hostel for the train station, I had to miss that morning train. After laying on a couch in the hostel common area for nearly an hour, waiting for a taxi / ambulance, I decided to walk to the train station (Gare Montparnasse), to see if I could convert my morning tickets to afternoon tickets, before going to the hospital.

The very nice gentleman managing people in line for tickets noticed the predicament of what I thought were two broken fingers, asked if I would like to see a Bombier (EMS, EMT, Ambulance Medic)? I asked if that was possible as I did not receive this injury in the Station. He said, "Of course, you are hurt and need attention." I was taken to the First Aid Office, sat down, temp and blood pressure taken, full personal information provided, and the Bombier said, "We must take you to the Hospital." I asked the cost of taking me there. "There is no cost. Do not worry."

The Hostel attendant had been on the phone and I was advised as I left for the Station that I should go to Hospitaux Cochin. The Bombiers advised they were taking me to the same hospital. I advised that they were expecting me. This worked out well as I was taken in the Back Way rather than having to come in the front and be triaged with everyone in the Waiting Room.

During my stay, I was able to have a conversation with a young woman who told me that she had stomach cancer, previously cured, but was in that day for an MRI and suffering with stomach pains. We had a very heartfelt talk that touched on many facets of llfe, both hers and mine. I pray that she is well now.

Beyond this, xrays were taken, I was given gas anesthetic that did bnot put me under but came close. Then the doctor came in, reset my right index and middle fingers and sent me off for a second set of xrays. Once done, I was presented with copies of all xrays, bandaged up to stabilize the fingers and the badly sprained wrist and released.

I asked, "Where do I make payment?" "The doctor said, "There is no cost," at which I lunged toward the Staff and provided profuse Mercis and hugs all round. Due to the sterile environment, I did not allow myself to kiss both cheeks.

So, I did not know if this was a standard result or did the Hostel take care of the bill? It would be confirmed later that if you are taken to hospital by the Bombiers, there is not cost. Apparently, this is also the case in Spain, but this has not been verified.

Fast forward to May 13, when my body hit my personal wall and my left IT Band blew out, yet again, It was between Puenta de la Reina and Maneru, on Mother's Day. The good news is that I completed 100 km this time, double the first attempt. But God and the Camino have advised that this biological unt has a limit of 100 km.

Now comes the fun and controversial part. Two days later, I entered the airport at Santiago de Compostela, with my pack and walking poles. Due to my leg issues, I requested assistance and took my poles and pack with me. TSA wanted to take the poles. I asked, "What am I to use to be able to walk when I get to my destination?" They relented and my pack and poles remained with me throughout then next three days getting home through Dublin, Reykjavik and Toronto.

Will I return? Maybe. I a looking at the Irish Camino coupled with the Camino Ingles. Maybe next year.

What can I say?? Just that I am grateful things worked out so well, and also glad you have let us know about your adventure. Wow. Wishing you rapid and complete recovery and a good time on the Irish and Ingles! Here's another hug.
Jane
 

Bodi

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Sarria to SdC Sept. 2018
#14
Michelle, what an experience you had! I am very sorry to hear about you injuries, but what wonderful medical attention you received from the Bombiers and hospital staff. I wish you a full and speedy recovery and hope that you will make it back to the Camino next year. I am also doing the Camino in stages: SJPDP to Najera in 2017, only covering 10km most days. I am planning to return in Sept. 2018 with my back fully recovered and walk some more at my turtle pace. No one says you have to do it all in one go, so do what you can and never judge yourself harshly. Buen Camino as your recovery continues!
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#16
Oh Michelle, my very best wishes for a good recovery and a very buen future camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata
#17
Ok, I have now been home 6 full days. After falling on May 5, head first down a spiral staircase in Paris, just leaving the Hostel for the train station, I had to miss that morning train. After laying on a couch in the hostel common area for nearly an hour, waiting for a taxi / ambulance, I decided to walk to the train station (Gare Montparnasse), to see if I could convert my morning tickets to afternoon tickets, before going to the hospital.

The very nice gentleman managing people in line for tickets noticed the predicament of what I thought were two broken fingers, asked if I would like to see a Bombier (EMS, EMT, Ambulance Medic)? I asked if that was possible as I did not receive this injury in the Station. He said, "Of course, you are hurt and need attention." I was taken to the First Aid Office, sat down, temp and blood pressure taken, full personal information provided, and the Bombier said, "We must take you to the Hospital." I asked the cost of taking me there. "There is no cost. Do not worry."

The Hostel attendant had been on the phone and I was advised as I left for the Station that I should go to Hospitaux Cochin. The Bombiers advised they were taking me to the same hospital. I advised that they were expecting me. This worked out well as I was taken in the Back Way rather than having to come in the front and be triaged with everyone in the Waiting Room.

During my stay, I was able to have a conversation with a young woman who told me that she had stomach cancer, previously cured, but was in that day for an MRI and suffering with stomach pains. We had a very heartfelt talk that touched on many facets of llfe, both hers and mine. I pray that she is well now.

Beyond this, xrays were taken, I was given gas anesthetic that did bnot put me under but came close. Then the doctor came in, reset my right index and middle fingers and sent me off for a second set of xrays. Once done, I was presented with copies of all xrays, bandaged up to stabilize the fingers and the badly sprained wrist and released.

I asked, "Where do I make payment?" "The doctor said, "There is no cost," at which I lunged toward the Staff and provided profuse Mercis and hugs all round. Due to the sterile environment, I did not allow myself to kiss both cheeks.

So, I did not know if this was a standard result or did the Hostel take care of the bill? It would be confirmed later that if you are taken to hospital by the Bombiers, there is not cost. Apparently, this is also the case in Spain, but this has not been verified.

Fast forward to May 13, when my body hit my personal wall and my left IT Band blew out, yet again, It was between Puenta de la Reina and Maneru, on Mother's Day. The good news is that I completed 100 km this time, double the first attempt. But God and the Camino have advised that this biological unt has a limit of 100 km.

Now comes the fun and controversial part. Two days later, I entered the airport at Santiago de Compostela, with my pack and walking poles. Due to my leg issues, I requested assistance and took my poles and pack with me. TSA wanted to take the poles. I asked, "What am I to use to be able to walk when I get to my destination?" They relented and my pack and poles remained with me throughout then next three days getting home through Dublin, Reykjavik and Toronto.

Will I return? Maybe. I a looking at the Irish Camino coupled with the Camino Ingles. Maybe next year.
t
I started researching the Dingle Way (County Kerry) for late Sep, early Oct this year. This will be the fifth year that I've go on Camino, and I'm excited to make Ireland part of the experience.
 


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