The doctor gets tough

Jonathon, David, Claire and Jack - my Ashburton saviours

Matt and Darlene: top-notch taxi drivers 🙂

If only my shin was as gorgeous as the Pudding Hill morning… instead I knew it needed rest so an SOS to Claire in Ashburton soon had me gorging myself on home baking and teaching Jonathon (Scout) and Jack (Cub) the finer points of practical joke etiquette.

Three days of not doing much apart from eating (a much-needed 2kg managed to stick to my skeleton somehow) and I felt I could hit the trail again. According to Matt and Darlene, who deposited me back at Pudding Hill, I looked fine as I disappeared into the afternoon sun.

But trouble loomed. The longer I walked, the sorer and more swollen my right shin became. A decent pause at Staveley helped a little yet by the time I reached Mt Somers I was hobbling. Uh-oh…

Treated to a barbeque dinner and plenty of Easter eggs by Phillippa of Mega Advertising (she didn’t seem to mind me crashing her family weekend) I had crossed fingers, toes and tonsils for a miraculous overnight recovering.

Phillippa and her folks, shivering in the Easter air.

The season is changing! Brrrr...

My heart sank when I woke to find it raining and my shin still rather tender. Determined to reach Geraldine, or at least get closer, I gritted my teeth and plodded on. The road was dead straight and chock full of campervans, caravans and trailers heading home from the long weekend. I was walking face-first into the raindrops and cold rain. For the first time this adventure, the thought “I’m over this” started to skirt the periphery of my mind…

Rescued from the looming darkness, Brian (Group Leader for Geraldine Scouts) had arranged me a shower, food and pillow with next-door-neighbour Austin (Cub Leader) and Anna. Compared to my left ankle, my right was gigantic. Cold ice wasn’t making much difference. I needed help.

With Brian planning to drive to Christchurch the next day, I arranged a physiotherapist appointment at SportsMed. It was soon decided that my ailment wasn’t muscle/bone so I got passed to the GP team. Once again, I managed to raise the eyebrows of medical professionals…

It would seem I have a rather impressive case of inflamed tendons in my shin. To continue walking would have been a limiting move if I want to be active for the next 40 years. The end result? I now have a compression stocking (very fashionable), a ‘moonboot’ to stop my heel from flexing, anti-inflammatory pills plus the instruction for “severe rest”. Joy joy.

Doc even mentioned “at least two weeks” when I asked about expected recovery. Joy joy again, yet for some reason I’m not freaking out about the delay. I wonder what that means?

About Stuart Fleming

Just a guy who likes to walk and write.
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4 Responses to The doctor gets tough

  1. Mark Boggiss says:

    Mate, so sorry to hear of the bodily breakdown (that sounds a bit morbid!). Thank your lucky stars though that you weren’t out in the back of beyond atop a mountain ridge when it decided to pack it in though. Rest well, you have earned it and here’s to resuming the trail when the time is right. Take care.

    • “Bodily breakdown” – jeepers, that might have to feature as a book sub-title! 😀
      And very true… some of the terrain I’ve covered would be most unforgiving to a limping, shuffling, hunched hiker 😉

  2. Chris Bird says:

    Sorry to read of your ailment, Stuart.
    Take time to recover so you can enjoy the rest of the trip.
    we are thinking of you.

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