Home, Sweet Home

Day 58 — Zero Day 1 in Atlanta

We all woke early. I ate what I could, and we started for Atlanta. I drove, Christopher slept, and Tandem controlled the tunes. The drive went well, and we arrived at 13:00. Carson greeted us and was very happy to see us. Tandem and I both unpacked, and I started removing items like my last long sleeve shirt, pillow, and Crazy Creek chair, since I am trying to drop a few pounds. I do want to add a third short sleeve Troop 434 Philmont shirt. I took our sleeping bags to the cleaners, picked up my prescriptions, and spent the rest of the evening getting caught up on blog updates. Our plan is to rent a car on Day 61 (Thursday) and drive back up to Trail Days in Damascus, VA. We will get back on the trail on Day 64.

Day 59 — Zero Day 2 in Atlanta

It is so nice being home with Couch Control. Being home, rather than in a hotel in Virgnia, provides us the time and resources to reexamine our packs, which I spent half the day doing. By dropping half of my cold weather clothing and other items, I decreased my base pack weight by six pounds.

When I wasn’t working on gear, I fixed the washing machine by clearing the filter of stuff. I also attempted to diagnose Week_9_Day59_5and fix the lack of low beam headlights on my Trailblazer. I replaced the relay and got the left one to come on but ran out of patience and time to check why the right headlight was out, I do know it’s not the fuse, so it’s probably the bulb. I didn’t do anything about my swollen shin except elevate it when I was idle.

We attended Carson’s semifinal lacrosse playoff game later in the afternoon. Unfortunately, they lost. We met our family friends, the Borrellos, at the game and they came over to the house later for pizza and wings. We had lively discussions about hiking gear, food, water, and logistics around towns.

Day 60 — Zero Day 3 in Atlanta

Today I concentrated on my shin and why the swelling continues. I starting a 20 minute on/20 off cycle of icing it all morning, which helped some. Because I was prepping my pack gear in between, I was walking around on it and trying to run errands in under 20 minutes — tough to do around busy Brookhaven.

I used free Chick-fil-a mini chicken biscuit coupon from Carson then picked up the sleeping bags from the cleaners. After adding the sleeping bag to my pack, my base pack weight without food and water came in at 22 pounds! I am very pleased with that weight. I plan to carry less water (2 pounds per liter) between creeks and springs due to how little I drink while hiking.

I was able to schedule an appointment with Resurgens Orthopaedics for 14:00. I iced until then, watching the worst movie in the Matrix trilogy while I finished sorting out my food bag and adding to my pack.

Once at Resurgens, the doctor examined my shin and swelling down to my foot. He poked and asked what hurt, then scheduled me for an x-ray for broken or fractured bones and an MRI for blood clots. The x-Ray came back negative, so he sent me off for my MRI on the sixth floor of the main St Joseph’s Hospital building. The last time that I was here was years ago when my father passed away from cardiac failure.

The MRI operator gelled up the wand and checked the entire length of my left leg for a blood clot. Curious about the swelling, she concentrated from my shin down to my foot but found nothing broken or torn.

Week_9_Day60Armed with no concrete information on the source of the swelling, I returned to the Resurgens offices to check out. The doctor told me the swelling is probably due to a shin splint gone bad and that I should rest, ice, compress, and elevate the left foot. He said that I could return to the trail if I lowered my number of miles hiked and paid attention to the levels of pain and swelling. He took me off the antibiotics and prescribed wearing a compression sock.

After I checked out, I went to the Northside Women’s Clinic store for the compression sock. There were no fitting appointments available, so I asked for off the shelf options. I was surprised by the cost. Since I will be able to soak my ankle in cold streams and keep it compressed in my pairs of liner and hiking socks combined with above ankle hiking boot, I left without a compression sock. My trip inside had been so quick I didn’t even have to pay to park.

I scheduled an Enterprise rental car from Atlanta to Abingdon, VA, for tomorrow. Even with the a drop fee for the one-way trip, it’s cheaper than staying in a hotel would have been. I spent the rest of the afternoon icing my shin while clearing 1/2 GB of songs from my iPhone trail song to make room for pictures. The evening was spent icing and hanging out with Couch Control.

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