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Illness concern

2020 Camino Guides

galemigh

New Member
I've read about what others have done when they've fallen ill along their trek, but none of the solutions seems to fit for me. I experience vertigo once in a while. Lots of nausea and dizzyness goes with it and I cannot ride in a vehicle or walk during the episodes which sometimes last three full days. I'll do all I can to avoid/prevent an attack, but my friends want to know what to do if I have an episode. Are there infirmaries in small towns where I could take refuge until the attack passes? I'd then catch up with friends by bus or taxi. any info or ideas? Thank you.
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Hi Galemigh, i see that you have been a member of this forum for quite a while and this is your first post.
I wonder where you come from and would you be travelling to Spain by plane?
If your condition requires hospitaization and the care that is usually given in hospitals, you would have to go to the larger towns. Or the paramedics will transport you there if you are not able to go by yourself..
Would your insurance cover the expenses, given that this is a pre-existing condition?
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk CF 2020 - once my partner recovers from cardiac surgery
I had an attack of this nausea the other week - I went to my dr to make sure it was nothing serious. He said it was an issue with my inner ear and would settle down in a few days - which it did. Now I know what it is I see no reason to go back to a dr again unless I get it worse and need anti-nausea drugs. On the caminio - just hole up in a hostale or hotel for a few days until it passes
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Maybe this will be helpful for those who have this inner ear condition.



 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Seems to me that this would require better than usual planning and the preparation of s list of refuge spots all along the way. Two hours out from the albergue - can't go back they will be closed and it's another hour until the next stop? Climbing out from Castrojerez or up to O'Cebreiro? In the middle of a long stretch say Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos? Monjardin or Hermanillos/El Burgo Ranero would not be the right sort of place to weather out your storm. Difficult but not impossible "with a little help from your friends".
 

MinaKamina

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Seems to me that this would require better than usual planning and the preparation of s list of refuge spots all along the way. Two hours out from the albergue - can't go back they will be closed and it's another hour until the next stop? Climbing out from Castrojerez or up to O'Cebreiro? In the middle of a long stretch say Carrión de los Condes to Terradillos? Monjardin or Hermanillos/El Burgo Ranero would not be the right sort of place to weather out your storm. Difficult but not impossible "with a little help from your friends".
Quite so. If the OP has an attack in the middle of nowhere, that would be no place to stay for three days. I would advise to install the 'Alert Cops' app and call the emergency services. They will come by car and use a gurney or stretcher, there will be no other option (except perhaps a helicopter). What happens next is up to the medics to decide, but for galemigh it will probably involve a ride in a car.
 

TAF

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019
I can sympathise as I have attacks of vertigo from time to time and it is very debilitating. My doctor has given me a prescription for Prochlorperazine which is an anti sickness/nausea medication. This usually stops an attack very quickly, I now carry this with me all the time. Hope this helps, Buen Camino
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
Maybe this will be helpful for those who have this inner ear condition.



I had my 1st attack of BPPV on the Camino I thought I was dizzy from dehydration forced myself to walk on. The more i walked better I felt after 2 days dizzy was gone. The second time I was home in bed for 3 days afraid to move fearing the “spin” and nausea. I went to my Dr. and found out it was BPPV, did the recommended exercises and next day all better. I hope it doesn't happen again but at least I know what it is and what to do about it.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Of course, talk to your doctor. But your doctor won't be aware of what the situation is like in Spain, which is why you've asked here. One thing that isn't clear is how much care you need during one of these episodes. You say that you can't walk or ride in a vehicle. Does that mean that if an episode hits you between villages you won't be able to walk or take a taxi to the next village? When you arrive wherever you will be staying for the three days, would you require constant availability of immediate medical attention? Can you go to the washroom by yourself? Make it to the kitchen or dining room to eat? Or do you require everything to be done in bed? I know that these are personal questions, but the answers to them will help determine how feasible a Camino is for you. It's one thing to be in a situation where you effectively require something like hospitalization. It's another where you can hole up in a hotel room with a friend to help you through. And it is another where you can get by with just a place to rest for a few days.

If you require constant care in a medical setting, and will have difficulty getting to that setting in a vehicle, that's going to make walking a Camino extremely challenging. If all you need is the ability to cab to a place where you can pause and rest for a few days, that will be much more doable and probably won't require too much planning. If you need to rest for a few days with someone to stay with you and help you out a bit (someone who won't require medical training) then that can probably happen with some planning.
 

Andres Cano

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 9 - May 3 2018 on regular bicycle.
I would describe the conditions described above that are typical of the camino. There are long stretches with no one and nothing around. 1. Talk to your doctor and follow his/her advice.
2. I would get a health insurance travel policy that covers Spain, just in case.
3. Albergues will let you stay for 3 days max. If you can recover in three days you can take a bus to catch up to your pilgrim friends.
4. consider going with a companion that will stay with you if you have a bout of vertigo.
5 consider taking a travoy (search on amazon) if you companion is strong they can wheel you to the next town. they better be strong.
6. Listen to your body. It will tell you if you can go on or not. If you don't listen, you will suffer more consequences and reap the whirlwind.
7. consider starting in Sarria. You still get a compostela (200km) there are few large gaps away from civilization and there is an emergency room in Sarria. There are also major highways near the camino in this section which allow for quicker access for the ambulance if necessary.

"Why Worry? In life there are only two things to worry about:
Whether you are well,
or whether you are sick.

Now if you are well,
You have nothing to worry about.

And if you are sick,
You only have two things to worry about:
Whether you get better,
or whether you die.

If you get better,
You have nothing to worry about.

And if you die,
You only have two things to worry about:
Whether you go to heaven,
or whether you go to hell Now if you go to heaven,
You have nothing to worry about.
And if you go to hell, You’ll be too busy shaking hands with Your friends,
that you won't have time to worry.
So Why Worry?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Burgos-SdC (May-June 2016); CF, SJPDP-SdC (April-June 2018); Norte (June-July 2019)
Andres, I can’t believe this! “Why Worry” was on a wooden sign my parents had hanging in our basement recreation room in about 1959! I’ve had it memorized all these years, since I was a little girl. How funny to see it on this forum! And how appropriate to walking the Camino. 🤗
 

Mycroft

Member
I think Andres has a good summation of the points to consider.
But I remain unclear of the cause of your episodic vertigo, Galemigh. If you have otoliths, then something like the Epley maneuver may be helpful. But as pointed out in this youtube video, for you it might be wiser to have a friend assist you rather than trying to perform it on your own if you are particularly sensitive.
If you do not have BPPV, but have labyrinthitis or Meniere's, other treatments may help.
Has your health professional suggested treatment for your particular condition?
Most certainly get travel insurance that includes health care.
As an aside, I had vertigo last month. It took me awhile to realize that I had become severely dehydrated, with loss of electrolytes as well. Be sure to drink water in adequate amounts!
Blessings on you and your Camino.
 

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