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