Saturday, May 3, 2008

Emergency Trip in Front Royal.jpg

Day 60: 5/3.

Well today I saw off Team Deustchmark at 11 am as they continued their trip up north on the AT after checking out of the Quality Inn. I then went to test out my leg with a very short walk to the visitor center. I continued to have very sharp pain in my leg and continued to have numbness in my right foot, which worried me the most. This even after icing my leg pretty much all day yesterday and this morning, and taking my regular doses of Vit I.

So, I came back to the hotel and checked in for the night. I thought about maybe staying at a hostel, but when I called, the lady wasnt to thrilled with a hiker staying for 2 days. Totally understandable.

So, I was chilling out in the hotel resting my leg, when Amee called during her lunch break. I gave her the update, and we decided that I should check to see if I have a stress fracture or compartment syndrome going on. So, I called my family doctor oncall (Dr. Cooper). She also was very worried, and recommended me to go the ER and get it checked out.

So, I got a cab and took my first ER visit in as long as I can remember. I was quickly processed and triaged. The doctor quickly saw me and ordered up the x-rays. Then the came back and said that he saw no obvious stress fractures, but said my right ankle was significantly swollen, which is causing the numbness in my foot. So, his recommendations were obviously not what I wanted to hear, but I knew it was coming. To get off the trail and rest my leg for 6-8 weeks. I asked about maybe 5 days of rest, and he said that it may feel a bit better but you would just continue to be plagued by these shin splints and probably do more damage to your leg in the future. Especially hiking the AT! I was in the ER for 1.5 hours (amazing!)

Lakewood: I hope I dont have the insurance problems that you had to go through in your 2007 thruhike! I am sure I will, because you know how insurance companies are! lol.

So, what does that mean for me. Well, I took a cab back to the hotel and waited for Amee to get off work to talk about it.

Painfully and through many tears, I have decided to get off the trail at mile 957.6 at Front Royal, VA. Virginia finally got the best of me, but I am totally fine with it, and am at peace. All day, I have been reflecting on the amazing gift God gave me to do this trip, see all that I have seen, and met some amazing people! I am so thankful. I pray you aren't to dissapointed with me. I know that is stupid to think, but I have enjoyed getting to know all of you that have been following me on my journy!

So, Amee is coming to get me on monday and then we are headed back to Lafayette on Tuesday. She is excited to have me coming back home. I plan to write 2 more posts over the next 2 days (a trip in review & a farewell post), so stay tuned!

I am a statistic though...80-90% of all people who start this trail, DONT make it to Katahdin. So, my hats off to Bill Tilt (Yossarian) and John Fegy (Lakewood) who have done the whole AT in one season! It is by far the TOUGHEST thing I have ever done in my life!

Again, thank you all for the support and encouragement that you have provided, but more on this in my farewell post! To God be the glory! We serve an amazing God!


GA-->Front Royal 08


Anonymous said...

Tears came to my eyes as I read this entry. As I told Amee, I have lived this experience through you and even though I totally understand, it saddens me that your journey is coming to an end. You must take care of yourself and what an amazing experience it has been. You and Amee are both amazing people. Have a safe trip back home.


Anonymous said...

Hi again from mom,
Even though I talked with you on my way to work I knew you and amee would come to this decision. I am so proud of you always and I am very proud of what you accomplished on the trail. You saw so much and met so many neet people that you will probably some keep in touch with. I know you are sad that you could not finish the whole trail but your health and your leg are more important at the present. I know all that have followed you are proud of what you have accomplished but all will understand why you are coming home. When I told your dad he goes does he need me to come and get him he said he would take off monday and come up sunday but I told him amee was coming up monday anyway to visit. Keep off the leg and keep icing it and hopefully it will feel better. Not to much motrin or at least eat more so your stomach isn't upset.
Love you,

Mac/cgul1 said...

I know you must be totally bummed out, but I am glad you did not have a more serious/permanent injury.

God is Great, may He lift up your heart and spirits as you review this amazing journey.

I am pleased to have had the opportunity to "arm chair" hike along.

Peace Brother

Russell Boronow said...

You are doing the right thing. I am a former college track athlete and All-American in the 4x400, with some permanent damage from "toughing it out". It was NOT worth it and now I have to live with that. Your body is a temple and this is one of the ways you can worship by taking care of it. I am sad for you loss of your goal but I am also so glad that so many of us could follow along with you and read your "walking testimony". You have been an inspiration to me and a good way for me to softly identify my faith with a few of my co-workers. (he is a Christian, so am I) You still have the great memories of half of the trail, and famous AT hiker, "Andy Bliss", did the same thing you are doing. He did the southern part all in one trip and then section hiked the rest of it in later years. If you ever come up to CT for a section hike, write me an email and I can "show you around" :-). Once again, thank you for your "written testimony" and I hope to see you out on the trail some day.

PS said...

Hey Shep,
Dangit... I have been blessed all through this of how you lived each day on the trail to the fullest. It wasn't about putting in the miles, reaching certain points... What I have experienced here on your blog is that it was about the fellowship, beauty, joy, family and living a life that becomes the Gospel...

Thank you for allowing us to tag along (while remaining dry and in our own air-conditioned/heated, bugless bedrooms) I have thoroughly enjoyed the trip with you. I trust we will keep in touch.

I am proud of you.

And hike on, on whatever the trail is before you.


abby said...

So sorry to hear your adventure ended earlier than planned. Selfishly, we'll be delighted to have you back in Lafayette though. Can't wait to hear even more about your amazing adventure in person! Kuddos to you for going the distance.

MadMup said...

Tears here, too, Jeremiah, but so glad for all that you've accomplished. I wouldn't have made it two days! God has certainly blessed you in your endeavor, and blessed you with new friends.

Good work, my friend.

John said...

I just read this Shepherd and I'm truly sorry that the leg problems didn't get better and that you had to get off the trail. I was really pumped on seeing you in PA in a couple weeks. Don't think of it as "Virginia go the better of you", think of it as you hiked 1000 miles of the A.T. and that is friggin' incredible! It is something you will never forget. the A.T. isn't going anywhere, and you can always come back when you're all healed up, and do the remaining 1200. You'll still be a thru-hiker.

The worse thing to do would be to keep going and permanently damage it to where you won't ever be able to hike again.

You kept an amazing blog/journal and I enjoyed reading it every day. You've got very supportive friends and family and in the end that's what really matters.


on a side note....I'm driving down to trail days in 2 weeks (since I missed it last year). if you'd like to go, i'd love some company on the drive down. Let me know if you'd be interested.

The Rockstar said...

It has been so great to follow this adventure via blog! You did so great even if you did not "finish"!

Dana said...

I've been praying for you and I am happy to know your feeling at peace with the situation. I know it isn't what you wanted, but as Abby said we will be glad to have you back in Lafayette. Keep your spirits up Jeremiah! We ARE proud of you!!

Mel Eik said...

I've been praying for you. The stories have been so fun to read on my screen, but it'll be even better to hear them in real life. I'm sorry that you are hurt, but glad you are ok and coming back! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeremiah,
There are many (of whom you may or may not have known) were following your journey. I am sorry that you were not able to finish but it sounds as if you really need to take care of yourself now. In any case, you must have had an unforgettable experience and I have enjoyed reading your blogs and following your journey. I hope you feel should!
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Hey love, I am SOOO PROUD OF YOU and can't immagine how hard this was for you. I'm so glad you had an awesome time. It was fun for all of us! It's been an amazing journey and I pray we continue to glorify God with what He's taught us through it.