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Health issues - am I crazy!?

Maria K

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)
#1
I had a spinal fusion 9 weeks ago, and I am still not walking very far. I thought by this stage I would be able to walk at least 6 kilometres. When I walk I have pain in my hip and my groin. I have started swimming and walking in the pool, and also see a Physio once a week. And a biokinetist twice a week. My concern is that I have booked and paid for my ticket to Biarritz. I plan to start walking from Navarrenx in France, (where I have arranged to meet my friends from Australia). We met in Orisson 5 years ago, and walked together to Santiago (meeting every couple of days).. And we have arranged to walk again this year. starting on the 3rd September.
I know I can walk with pain killers (I did it last time - I had two synovial cysts that were pushing on my sciatic nerve), and I could always send my pack ahead every day. And perhaps catch a taxi occassionally?
Do you think I am crazy? I know the Camino will always be there, and I still have 12 weeks to go before we start walking.
Anyone else walked with health issues. I will obviously monitor how I do closer to the time!

Thanks!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
Do you think I am crazy?
I do not have experience of walking after the sort of injuries that you mention though I have walked with spinal disc problems. While others here may have had similar experiences to your own I feel very strongly that the only "crazy" action in your circumstances would be in basing your final decisions about walking on well-meaning anecdotal posts here rather than professional medical advice from those who know your individual situation in detail. By all means listen to the experiences of other pilgrims but please act on sound professional guidance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
#3
Hi Maria,
I think the only reasonable advice I can offer is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Unlike your mind, the body will not lie to you. If you are in pain when you walk then something is not as it should be and further or sustained walking will not improve matters. If by September you can walk without pain for say 10 kms, then perhaps that can be your daily target and then taxi or bus to your destination. If I could not walk 10 kms per day easily by September, I would seriously question postponing my Camino. I do hope you recover fully and that you can walk with your friends. Or perhaps you are meant to walk next year and make different friends. No matter what, Buen Camino.
Aidan
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#4
Wishing you quick recovery first of all.
Like others already wrote : please listen to your doctors and therapists. Your body is trying to tell you something and I think it is wise to take it easy now in order not to experience more injuries later that cannot be mend.
A painkiller also is something to be taken occasionally but certainly imho not on a regular basis.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#5
My father-in-law had similar surgery to you (plus came out with a couple of rods to hold his spine together and a year of antibiotics to knock his infection).
He managed to walk a Camino - but it was well over a year post-surgery! At six weeks he was still measuring progress in terms of metres.
The most important thing is to listen to your body (and medical professionals) and NOT rely on painkillers.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#7
I had a knee replacement 16 months ago and we were booked to start on May 3. We had to cancel due to Ian having a health issue. We are now booked to start 14 September. During our longer walks now, I’m challenged and I know now that I would’ve had major issues had we gone earlier. We have at least an extra 4 months to train. My advice, listen to your body. Those tiny muscles in your back need to knit, heal and strengthen. I don’t even think you can sit long after spinal fusion ( I’m not sure at which level your surgery was). Even if you have your bag transported it will still be a major challenge. And the impact of walking will be tremendous, because every step causes a jolt. If you do go, get a spinal support that will keep your back muscles as well as your abdominal muscles supported. Good luck
 

Maria K

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)
#8
Thanks everyone for your responses. I will see how I do closer to the time. Just annoyed as the doctor told me I would be able to do the Camino by September. BUT there is still time. Still have a while to go till September! Buen Camino
 

bmcbride

CVRambler
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
#9
I would just like to bring up the subject of travel insurance. Would insurance cover you since you have an existing condition that required treatment?
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#12
I had a spinal fusion 9 weeks ago, and I am still not walking very far. I thought by this stage I would be able to walk at least 6 kilometres. When I walk I have pain in my hip and my groin. I have started swimming and walking in the pool, and also see a Physio once a week. And a biokinetist twice a week. My concern is that I have booked and paid for my ticket to Biarritz. I plan to start walking from Navarrenx in France, (where I have arranged to meet my friends from Australia). We met in Orisson 5 years ago, and walked together to Santiago (meeting every couple of days).. And we have arranged to walk again this year. starting on the 3rd September.
I know I can walk with pain killers (I did it last time - I had two synovial cysts that were pushing on my sciatic nerve), and I could always send my pack ahead every day. And perhaps catch a taxi occassionally?
Do you think I am crazy? I know the Camino will always be there, and I still have 12 weeks to go before we start walking.
Anyone else walked with health issues. I will obviously monitor how I do closer to the time!

Thanks!
Maria;
I am in a similar situation, having had a horrific hip injury in February -- still healing. I did not break it, but I jammed my SI join and displaced it such that I ended up with: sciatic nerve impingement in the lower spine, and other nerve impingements in the sacral joint exit, blunt force bone bruising in the trochanter major, and muscle-tissue from the damage (A full cartoon-style, up in the air and then slammed down on ice, followed by a necessary walk out of the bush: 4km in snow-shoes). I was flat on my back for 7 weeks, gained 10 pounds, could not sleep for pain... all that jazz. I now have an annoying piriformis syndrome, but am improving to the point that its more annoyance than excruciating pain, numbness, tingling... etc.
And somewhere int eh middle of it all, I bought my next ticket to Spain to walk 400k (I did 800 n 2014). Spouse is doing SJPDP to Santiago, and I am meeting him in Sahagún when he gets there.

I did put medical insurance on it, but right now I have a bid in for a seat upgrade to a biz class lie-flat bed because of all the things that make the injury worse, it's long periods of sitting.

If I have to cancel, I will cancel but there are still 10 weeks to go until I fly. If you have 12 weeks, I think you can continue to heal, play it by ear, know that others with similar types of healing processes are going through similar assessments, and know that gentle exercise may help you to heal, as does the planning for Camino (there is actually significant research on how planning and preparing help the body to heal as we do the things we need to do mentally and physically to effect the "miracles" attributed to pilgrimage).

If it comes to it and the advice of your care providers is to delay your trip, remember that this road was built by the Romans during the expansion of the empire. It has been there over 2000 years and it will not disappear. Your friends will still be your friends, even if you can't meet up in person. And remember that it is *your* Camino. If you can walk 6 or 10 k but not more each day, there is no shame in taking a taxi. If you can walk the distance but not carry the lack, there is no shame in having Jacotrans assist you.

And I hoe that we both will find ourselves walking into Santiago in September.

Whatever you do, may the road rise to meet you.
 

Landon Ricketts

Smile, you are alive. You've got options :-)
Camino(s) past & future
Past - May 2018, Future - May 2019
#13
This is not a serious reply, and agree with previous posts about listening to your body and Drs advice. However if you could attach enough helium balloons to your backpack so that you bounce along as if you were on the moon.....:)
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#15
Thanks everyone for your responses. I will see how I do closer to the time. Just annoyed as the doctor told me I would be able to do the Camino by September. BUT there is still time. Still have a while to go till September! Buen Camino
September is still three months away and with good rehab perhaps it will be doable. You can always walk as much as you can and take a taxi every day and meet your friends. My sister had a fusion in the lumbar region and, because she couldn’t drive, walked everywhere. Good luck and perhaps we’ll meet in September
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#16
Another thought.....even if you can’t walk far enough to warrant attacking the Camino in three months, perhaps you could hire an Air bnb and spend that time in Spain anyway.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2018)
#17
As a physio myself I'd urge you to listen to your physio and your surgeon they will keep you on the right path. It's easy to overdo things in the first few weeks after surgery but about week 10 to 12 you'll notice that you turn a corner and things start to feel very much better. At that point you'll know if you will be able to walk the Camino or not probably. Good luck!
 

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