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Recent DVT, Camino Frances and reliable way to transport baggage/medication

Brightmore

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Hello everyone,

I am disappointed to report I was recently diagnosed with a DVT in my left leg and it has thrown my planned camino in early June into total disaray.

Whilst I know I have a genetic disposition to clotting, it seems my long hours sitting poorly during my office job is chief culprit. How frustrating.

Anyway, whilst I have spoken to a medic and am now on blood thinners, I am yet to speak to my specialist and will of course follow their advice. However, in advance of that discussion, it would be helpful to hear from others with any experience of a similar situation.

I am currently on two enoxaparin sodium injections per day. Were I to begin my camino in June, in 2.5 months time, it is likely I will be on a smaller dose, perhaps one injection per day. Whilst this will reduce my risk of bleeding, the risk remains and syringes remain cumbersome to transport. As it stands, they would take up most of my bag. I also understand that vigorous activity may dislodge any residue of thrombosis, thereby risking a PE.

If I attempt my camino in June I will be staying entirely in pre-booked private rooms. I know there are luggage conveyance services for those wishing to walk their camino without baggage. So, regarding the injections, do you feel it may be possible send medication ahead, so that I may re-stock every few weeks, saving me from carrying 40 days of syringes.

If so, do any of know of a reliable provider who would be able to transport this medication from SJJP?

In addition to the above, were I to attempt my camino I would follow the advice provided in other threads, a quick clot kit and medical ID bracelet.

I appreciate tablets would be easier to trasport and this is something I will discuss with the specialist next week. However, as unpleasant as injecting myself may, I have no side effects to the injections and have previously reacted to blood thinner in tablet form when briefly prescribed them in 2018, following a spell of superficial thrombophlebitis.

Thanks so much in advance.
 
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I had a DVT a couple of years ago. Because of that I was prescribed a course of self-administered anti-coagulant injections before and after surgery for gallbladder removal some months later. The pre-filled syringes may be bulky but they should also be very light. Personally I would not risk entrusting something so important to a luggage transfer service. Although Spain has a well developed health system it may be difficult to replace specific specialised drugs at short notice. In your position I would carry them with me in my day pack along with your prescription and/or a covering letter from your doctor.
 
I had a DVT a couple of years ago. Because of that I was prescribed a course of self-administered anti-coagulant injections before and after surgery for gallbladder removal some months later. The pre-filled syringes may be bulky but they should also be very light. Personally I would not risk entrusting something so important to a luggage transfer service. Although Spain has a well developed health system it may be difficult to replace specific specialised drugs at short notice. In your position I would carry them with me in my day pack along with your prescription and/or a covering letter from your doctor.
Thank you, that's certainly an option. I would need to invest it a larger bag, something I guess that is well worth the effort. I could delay my camino a year but, owing to an underlying condition, I would hate to waste this relative heath, even with a recent DVT.
 
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Carry a backpack that is large enough to hold all that you need while you walk, plus your injections. You can send anything else ahead in a duffel bag.
 
Hmm, so keep my normal bag with the meds and send ahead anything I need to take out to fit the medication?
If you are staying entirely in pre-booked rooms then you will probably need very little more than a change of clothes, toiletries and a minimal first aid kit. Does your medical condition severely limit your ability to carry a pack? Is it necessary to use luggage transport at all?
 
Join our full-service guided tour of the Basque Country and let us pamper you!
If you are staying entirely in pre-booked rooms then you will probably need very little more than a change of clothes, toiletries and a minimal first aid kit. Does your medical condition severely limit your ability to carry a pack? Is it necessary to use luggage transport at all?
No, it doesn’t. I have blood cancer, so once my treatment starts it is uncertain I will once again be well enough to attempt the Camino Frances. That is the cause of my reluctance to give up on this chance to walk the pilgrimage. Carrying my blood thinners will require me to take a larger, less comfortable pack.
 
Carrying my blood thinners will require me to take a larger, less comfortable pack.
'Larger' need not necessarily mean 'less comfortable'. Personally I find that it is the weight of a pack rather than its volume which is the key issue for comfort. A bigger pack with a well-fitting padded waist belt and broad straps may often be a more comfortable load to carry than a smaller volume pack with more skimpy fittings.
 
'Larger' need not necessarily mean 'less comfortable'. Personally I find that it is the weight of a pack rather than its volume which is the key issue for comfort. A bigger pack with a well-fitting padded waist belt and broad straps may often be a more comfortable load to carry than a smaller volume pack with more skimpy fittings.
Hmm, that’s true. Think I just feel comfortable in the smaller bag to took on the final week of the Camino Portuguese. I’ll look into it. Thank you.
 
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I definitely agree with others that you need to have your medicine on you and not trust it with someone else.

Your situation is different than those of us who have had an idiopathic DVT (of unknown origin, without any underlying medical condition). I personally walked my first Camino from SJPdP to Finisterre with an undiagnosed DVT - my GP didn't believe that someone as active as I am could get a DVT and would not refer me for a Doppler! Luckily symptoms subsided while walking then returned once at home. Only after insisting were my suspicions confirmed by a scan. Obviously I was put on oral blood thinners. I've since had 2 more DVTs (bad luck according to the internist, otherwise healthy!) so I'm now on oral blood thinners for life. Luckily I'm now on a special kind where you do not have to check your INR.

Long story short, oral meds would be a lot easier to carry but this may not be an option for you.

I sure hope that it works out for you! It's been 13 years since my first Camino and DVT and I've been walking every year since.
 
My husband and I carried our laptops with us on the Camino — not something I’d recommend but the only way to make this trip feasible this time. We did exactly as was suggested upthread: put our valuables in our daypacks and sent everything else forward that we didn’t need for the day.

We didn’t know that we’d be doing that, so we sent backpacks forward. If I had it to do over again, I’d use duffel bags for the stuff to send ahead because that would have made the daily unpacking / packing easier.

We used Caminofacil and didn’t have any issues at all except once when I forgot to update the schedule after we dropped a rest day. We just made do for a night and then the pack met us the following day at our new destination. We handled the whole issue via WhatsApp.

The good news for you is that you’ll be consuming your medical supplies so your pack will get lighter every day (Our laptops stayed stubbornly heavy).
 
I definitely agree with others that you need to have your medicine on you and not trust it with someone else.

Your situation is different than those of us who have had an idiopathic DVT (of unknown origin, without any underlying medical condition). I personally walked my first Camino from SJPdP to Finisterre with an undiagnosed DVT - my GP didn't believe that someone as active as I am could get a DVT and would not refer me for a Doppler! Luckily symptoms subsided while walking then returned once at home. Only after insisting were my suspicions confirmed by a scan. Obviously I was put on oral blood thinners. I've since had 2 more DVTs (bad luck according to the internist, otherwise healthy!) so I'm now on oral blood thinners for life. Luckily I'm now on a special kind where you do not have to check your INR.

Long story short, oral meds would be a lot easier to carry but this may not be an option for you.

I sure hope that it works out for you! It's been 13 years since my first Camino and DVT and I've been walking every year since.
Inspirational - thank you ☺️
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
My husband and I carried our laptops with us on the Camino — not something I’d recommend but the only way to make this trip feasible this time. We did exactly as was suggested upthread: put our valuables in our daypacks and sent everything else forward that we didn’t need for the day.

We didn’t know that we’d be doing that, so we sent backpacks forward. If I had it to do over again, I’d use duffel bags for the stuff to send ahead because that would have made the daily unpacking / packing easier.

We used Caminofacil and didn’t have any issues at all except once when I forgot to update the schedule after we dropped a rest day. We just made do for a night and then the pack met us the following day at our new destination. We handled the whole issue via WhatsApp.

The good news for you is that you’ll be consuming your medical supplies so your pack will get lighter every day (Our laptops stayed stubbornly heavy).
This mega helpful. Thank you.
 
I definitely agree with others that you need to have your medicine on you and not trust it with someone else.

Your situation is different than those of us who have had an idiopathic DVT (of unknown origin, without any underlying medical condition). I personally walked my first Camino from SJPdP to Finisterre with an undiagnosed DVT - my GP didn't believe that someone as active as I am could get a DVT and would not refer me for a Doppler! Luckily symptoms subsided while walking then returned once at home. Only after insisting were my suspicions confirmed by a scan. Obviously I was put on oral blood thinners. I've since had 2 more DVTs (bad luck according to the internist, otherwise healthy!) so I'm now on oral blood thinners for life. Luckily I'm now on a special kind where you do not have to check your INR.

Long story short, oral meds would be a lot easier to carry but this may not be an option for you.

I sure hope that it works out for you! It's been 13 years since my first Camino and DVT and I've been walking every year since.
Where you ever concerned about the risk of bleeding whilst in relatively remote areas or the clot becoming dislodged the walking and reaching the chest?
 
Hello everyone,

I am disappointed to report I was recently diagnosed with a DVT in my left leg and it has thrown my planned camino in early June into total disaray.

Whilst I know I have a genetic disposition to clotting, it seems my long hours sitting poorly during my office job is chief culprit. How frustrating.

Anyway, whilst I have spoken to a medic and am now on blood thinners, I am yet to speak to my specialist and will of course follow their advice. However, in advance of that discussion, it would be helpful to hear from others with any experience of a similar situation.

I am currently on two enoxaparin sodium injections per day. Were I to begin my camino in June, in 2.5 months time, it is likely I will be on a smaller dose, perhaps one injection per day. Whilst this will reduce my risk of bleeding, the risk remains and syringes remain cumbersome to transport. As it stands, they would take up most of my bag. I also understand that vigorous activity may dislodge any residue of thrombosis, thereby risking a PE.

If I attempt my camino in June I will be staying entirely in pre-booked private rooms. I know there are luggage conveyance services for those wishing to walk their camino without baggage. So, regarding the injections, do you feel it may be possible send medication ahead, so that I may re-stock every few weeks, saving me from carrying 40 days of syringes.

If so, do any of know of a reliable provider who would be able to transport this medication from SJJP?

In addition to the above, were I to attempt my camino I would follow the advice provided in other threads, a quick clot kit and medical ID bracelet.

I appreciate tablets would be easier to trasport and this is something I will discuss with the specialist next week. However, as unpleasant as injecting myself may, I have no side effects to the injections and have previously reacted to blood thinner in tablet form when briefly prescribed them in 2018, following a spell of superficial thrombophlebitis.

Thanks so much in advance.
I too am on blood thinners for a genetic predisposition to forming DVTs. I’ve hiked two Caminos with a blood thinner ( pills … Apixabam or Eliquis). It all depends on what your physician says, but I was always started out on injections after a DVT episode, then was switched over to pills. As far as whether you can walk after a recent DVT, again, see what your physician recommends. A post DVT Doppler ultrasound will be able to check clot resolution and blood flow. How extensive is your DVT and how limited are you now? I rely on walking and plenty of hydration with water to prevent further clotting, so it all depends on how your recovery goes, but definitely stay active and keep moving! Listen to your doctor, keep your body moving ( no matter how slowly) and hang in there. You will get through this, and the Camino will be waiting for you as soon as your body is ready for it!
 
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I too am on blood thinners for a genetic predisposition to forming DVTs. I’ve hiked two Caminos with a blood thinner ( pills … Apixabam or Eliquis). It all depends on what your physician says, but I was always started out on injections after a DVT episode, then was switched over to pills. As far as whether you can walk after a recent DVT, again, see what your physician recommends. A post DVT Doppler ultrasound will be able to check clot resolution and blood flow. How extensive is your DVT and how limited are you now? I rely on walking and plenty of hydration with water to prevent further clotting, so it all depends on how your recovery goes, but definitely stay active and keep moving! Listen to your doctor, keep your body moving ( no matter how slowly) and hang in there. You will get through this, and the Camino will be waiting for you as soon as your body is ready for it!
I so needed to hear this! Thank you! I’m not sure, but I just walked four miles for my blood test without any issue. 16 miles per day is another thing entirely, though.
 
I so needed to hear this! Thank you! I’m not sure, but I just walked four miles for my blood test without any issue. 16 miles per day is another thing entirely, though.
4 miles is awesome!!! You can build from there. I first started doing laps around my kitchen table, then walked down our driveway, and added from there. I’ve always recovered by being active and listening to my body. You’re doing it! Keep it up!
 
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Where you ever concerned about the risk of bleeding whilst in relatively remote areas or the clot becoming dislodged the walking and reaching the chest?
As others have said, I carry all of my meds with me.

I have been on oral blood thinners for 33 years and have had three episodes of bleeding. One was a shaving cut that would not stop bleeding even with a styptic pencil. I discovered that applying cayenne pepper will work to stop bleeding. I have also heard that black pepper has the same effect.
 
Staying active and keeping very well hydrated are the two most important things for preventing DVT’s - hopefully the few months on enoxyparin sodium will prevent any further clots- can you wear compression socks? Keep medication with you as others have suggested- a letter from your physician that could be presented in a larger town to a hospital if something goes awry- you can catch a taxi to a hospital if you needed to. Of course you will have thought about travel insurance- I would imagine the pre-existing condition would make premiums $$$ but nonetheless imperative. I agree with you that you should ‘seize the day’ none of us are assured of tomorrow- Go lightly, and Go well!
 
Staying active and keeping very well hydrated are the two most important things for preventing DVT’s - hopefully the few months on enoxyparin sodium will prevent any further clots- can you wear compression socks? Keep medication with you as others have suggested- a letter from your physician that could be presented in a larger town to a hospital if something goes awry- you can catch a taxi to a hospital if you needed to. Of course you will have thought about travel insurance- I would imagine the pre-existing condition would make premiums $$$ but nonetheless imperative. I agree with you that you should ‘seize the day’ none of us are assured of tomorrow- Go lightly, and Go well!
Thank you so much. Your final comment made me smile 😊
 
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As others have said, I carry all of my meds with me.

I have been on oral blood thinners for 33 years and have had three episodes of bleeding. One was a shaving cut that would not stop bleeding even with a styptic pencil. I discovered that applying cayenne pepper will work to stop bleeding. I have also heard that black pepper has the same effect.
What an amazing tip - thank you!
 
Where you ever concerned about the risk of bleeding whilst in relatively remote areas or the clot becoming dislodged the walking and reaching the chest?
This may be more information than you want/need😉

Walking increases blood flow - alcohol too - so during the first few years taking meds I had to carefully monitor my INR so that it didn't go too high (i.e. risk of bleeding). On the Camino once every week or two I visited a Centro de Salud and asked them to check my INR. As I am part of the EU my health card covers any care within the EU. They took a finger prick and within minutes I had a reading. Based on the information I knew whether I needed to decrease the dosage. Once I did experience extensive bleeding when I got a bad blister. I didn't even realise it but when I stopped for the day my sock was full of blood! My INR was obviously too high.

Most people can regulate their INR fairly easily and remain on the same dose day in day out. This does not work for me, my levels are all over the place, at times too low (risk of clot) or too high. As I was constantly having to adjust my dosage and check my levels, even after trying two different standard oral blood thinners such as Marcoumar, several years ago I was put on a new generation of blood thinners Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®). Upside 1 pill a day and no blood tests. Downside you have no idea what your levels are as INR testing not valid.

Bottom line, I don't let this bother me and I actually never think about it! There has been no need to adjust my activities and since being on blood thinners I have been on two treks at altitude, once in Peru up to 5030 meters and this past October to Nepal where we climbed to 5535 meters. I did clear this beforehand with the trip organization of course and the guide was also informed.

Oh, and I always wear my heavy duty compression socks when sitting for any length of time in a bus or train and always on the plane. They are confection socks meaning made especially for me and are a b*tch to put on and take off!

First step I would say is to get yourself regulated on your meds.
 
Thank you so much for all the detailed information. It’s genuinely very helpful. How long after a clot did you start hiking?
 
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