I did not know my ankle was fractured until I came home from the Camino. The only thing I knew was that the pain wasn’t getting better, only worse. One doctor I went to said it was a sprain and just needed rest.
Using two sticks for support, pack on back, I hung a medicinebag from my neck. Pilgrims, as called, would see me struggling and offer pain meds. And in desperation, no mater what language the directions were in, I’d take them. Everything I had been taught about doing that stuff, I unlearned.
I rested in hostels a few days at a time. Sometimes having to plead my stay in the only Spanish I knew, tears. Most hostel rules were one day only. Sometimes they had no choice but to keep me because I was unable to take a step. Not being able to respect and follow the rules was emotionally difficult.
Realizing after my infection with bug bites (another story) that no matter what I had heard, I really couldn’t suddenly be wheat tolerant in Spain. In order to heal I needed to eat clean again.
My limited mobility made it difficult to get food. Which made taking all the pain medication I was taking even more dangerous. Somewhere along the way I found out the sharp piercing pain in my stomach was maybe leading to a stomach bleed.
In the medicinebag were medicines and creams, a bag of potato chips, half a bar of chocolate, and an orange. Because of weight I’d only carry a tiny bit of water, a couple of inches in my bottle; just enough to take my pills. Such a huge mistake I didn’t think about at the time. How could I possibly heal with dehydration. But how could I drink and then not be able to make it to a bathroom, or tree.
Because of my fear of a stomach bleed I rationed my food. 10 potato chips, a square of chocolate, or an orange section with a pill (or three). No longer eating for hunger, only for pain management.
One of the last few days I was able to walk the trail it was very hot and I was very hungry and thirsty. My thoughts went only to fruit. Every fruit imaginable. I could feel, see, and taste them all. I kept thinking of the different ones I had in Brazil. The colors and creamy textures and sweet juices. Debating whether to eat my whole orange and get it over with, I looked up and saw something ahead. A table to the right of the trail with a figure standing behind it. How could this be. I was in the middle of nowhere. Fruit.



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