Biting the dust

Unfortunately I mean that quite literally. 

M and I went hiking yesterday, about 7 miles round trip. It was beautiful scenery yet kind of a miserable experience about 20% of the time, as it was a long, arduous uphill climb on the way out, and my very first time with the new-to-me hydration unit on my back. The views were lovely, the hike not THAT awful once we got to the PCT, but it was hard for me to say I was enjoying it. Honestly, I was happier when we turned around and started heading back. 

On the way in M had showed me the deep layer of fine silt covering the hardpan of the road. He stressed how slippery and treacherous it could be and tried to demonstrate and show me where to walk and to avoid losing my footing. I was extremely tired on the way back, having gotten only 3 hours of sleep the night before and been on my feet and walking for the better part of 4 hours by that time, and I slipped in a patch of that very same thick dust and gave myself a big patch of road rash on my left thigh from the hard granite marbles underneath. I will say the dust does have the redeeming quality of making landing from a rather cushy event. I have lots of falling experience for comparison purposes. 

So while the main injury was my pride and my whole body now being coated in a layer of fine dust, we continued our journey. I had not gone 20 feet before I slipped and fell AGAIN. This second time was not quite so graceful, more an upper body landing included and a slight wrench on my left knee and ankle. That one royally ticked me off and I felt like crying from the humiliation. But I didn’t. I picked myself up, tried my best to dust some of the thicker layer of dust, and kept on walking. 

Once we got home and I washed all the dirt away, I find my patch of road rash is about 6″ in diameter and a lovely shade of navy blue bruising. My knee is a bit weak and stiff, but again, nothing serious or worrisome. It is mostly annoying because I am not sure when it might decide to not hold me up.

Our takeaway from this experience is need for better planning. Had I known M would suggest to go hiking yesterday, I might have tried a sleeping pill so I went to sleep sometime before 4 in the morning. Also getting an earlier start and ensuring I eat closer to my usual schedule (more on that in a moment). Next weekend we will return to the same hike, but we will drive the access road and park at the trailhead, rather than burning me out on 2 miles of uphill climbing only to have limited energy once we actually get to the sweet stuff and the PCT. 

While I bitched and moaned and complained significantly more than I usually do, I actually enjoyed the adventure. Mostly. I could have done without falling down. Next time will be better, because I will be in the car through the bad silt patches.

I have mentioned previously that I am diabetic. It’s been hugely frustrating this year because despite my best efforts to watch my diet and exercise routinely, my readings were staying high and not dropping. My doctor recently changed my medication, and finally something is working. Except I have to be pretty careful, pretty strict about regular meals and eating. Only I’m not always hungry. M does not tend to eat at all during the day, and I tend to not prioritize my needs when we are engaged in activities. Yesterday was no exception. I ate breakfast at 8:30 and waited to eat my sandwich until we were hiking and feeling light-headed at 4 p.m. My reading was 69, which my meter says is low blood sugar. Half a sandwich and a small handful of almonds later, I’m good to go. 

But our later start meant we were late getting home, and I did not have dinner until 10 p.m. Because of the hiking day and so little sleep the night before, I pretty much went to bed shortly after dinner. Then at 2 a.m., I wake up dripping in sweat and somewhat disoriented. I get up and check my blood sugar, it was 59. What a mess. I never want to be in that position again.

So today we are off to find me some better shoes for hiking. My slick-soled running shoes are not cutting it for hiking. I’m not sure if I am ready to graduate to hiking boots, but continuing our outdoor adventures makes shoes with cleats and traction.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. 

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