- Bursitis in my left hip (pain: 0-6), resting it as much as possible. It seems the Aleve didn’t do much, but the first few days of paddling worked wonders for it because I was nearly always sitting. It flared right back up when I walked around Bemidji, and has been bad again since then.
- Lax left ankle=still mostly gone
- Tight jaw=mostly gone!
And from the bottom up now:
- Cut on bottom of my foot from stepping on a shell. Cleaned it well every night and it’s healed now.
- Lost pinky toe and middle toenail on left foot. Probably from stubbing my toes on rocks as I was leading my boat through shallows on the 2nd day. At least one of those could have been from before I even left though, and I somehow just never noticed it, because there was zero pain or blood.
- 5 Leech bites. Scabbed over, itchy now, probably from nearby mosquito bites.
- Mosquito bites all over my feet and lower legs, and anywhere that isn’t covered when I’m using the latrine. Trying not to scratch them. Several are scabbed over. I’m keeping them clean, applying Neosporin, and increasing the amount of anti-itch cream and deet that I use next week.
- Hemorrhoids. I know, embarrassing. But that’s what sitting for 10 hrs a day will do to you. It’s been difficult to get out of the boat between camps because I’ve been paddling through marsh, where there’s not really any dry land except campsites. But it should be easier from now on to take breaks and stretch my legs more regularly since there is less marsh.
- Multiple bumps and bruises on my legs. (to be expected, right?)
- Sore muscles: latissimus dorsi, serratus dorsalis, rhomboids, deltoids, pectorals, forearms, lower abdominals. I've used some muscle rub, but mostly I try to drink a lot of water and rest.
- Sore joints: clavicular joints, elbows, fingers, hands. I think my clavicles are sore from paddling, my elbows are sore from portaging, and my fingers and hands ache from gripping the paddle. Trying to build muscle to help my poor joints out! Also, asking for help at portage sites.
- Left middle finger is sprained from catching a fall. It’s extra sore and a teeny bit swollen compared to my other fingers, but still functional. Trying to maintain range of motion without stressing it much.
- Ingrown fingernail on index finger of right hand. It’s been painful and creating pus every day this week until today. All healed. Yay, Neosporin!
- Blood blister on my chest. Don’t know why, it just popped up the week before I left, and keeps bursting. I’m keeping a bandaid on it now.
In general, my body feels like it’s been working hard. But I’m doing my best to take care of it, and it seems like its responding well. I have to remember to plan for the worst, not the best case scenarios. Then I’ll be pleasantly surprised when things go extra well! I know each portion of the river will present different challenges, but I think the log jams and beaver dams and shallows of the first week were a particularly intense way to start the process. Paddling is a marathon activity, and I’m hopeful that my strength and endurance is building up, little by little.
Mentally: I feel good. Most importantly, I am happy. The excitement has worn off a bit, but I’m still determined and enjoying this project a great deal. Plus, every day presents new challenges and geographies, so it’s very stimulating. I find myself mentally reminding myself to make smart decisions almost constantly. “Hug the shore of the lake unless the wind is down. If you’re tired, take a breather. Keep going, you can do it. Don’t forget to eat. Clean your wounds really well. Staying rested is a bigger priority than blogging. Put the cockpit cover on before you leave the boat no matter what. Pull up the rudder, don’t let it get banged around. Relax your shoulders. Hold the paddle with proper form. Use sunscreen even though you’re covered. …” I miss my kitties, but am glad they’re being well cared for.