Some people may already know that I have been a reasonably keen foot pilgrim, having walked from Paris to Santiago de Compostela in 1994, Monaco to Rome in 2000, and then Monaco to Lourdes and on to Santiago in 2005 — apart from some other shorter hikes, not all on pilgrimage.

A small number of you are aware of my health problems, but I believe that it will be news to everyone that these problems include problems with my knee — that is to say, a loss of cartilage in my right knee in particular.

Which is, of course a severe blow to my personal pilgrim’s way…

I spent all of 2012 being severely handicapped just for ordinary walking about purposes – let alone returning to the Camino !!!

But it seems that there’s finally some small amount of hope for the future and in the present — I’ve been staying in Burgundy with my (very atheistic) brother, and well, the rolling hills of Burgundy are exactly in line with my favourite walking surface, unlike the rough mountainside of the French Riviera — quite apart from which. I’ve also been receiving medical help for the past two months, including a pain killer and some injections into my knee.

Not only am I no longer in constant pain, but I can actually walk, even though Dr. Gross would far prefer me to do swimming instead, because I also really really need to build up my muscles again.

So I’ve been doing a fair amount of walking in these past weeks here — and though it was quite painful the first couple of times, I’ve managed to do some actual hikes (not just long strolls), including a fairly decent one of about 15-18 KM without being in excruciating pain at the end of it — and even managed a 12 KM follow-up walk the next day.

Now, this is still far from the 25 KM that I’d consider as a basic minimum, very far from the 40 KM that used to be my daily average, and kid’s play compared to my old 65 KM maximum distance — but the fact that I can do it AT ALL is a God Send !!!

I’ve no idea, of course, if I’ll ever recover enough strength in the knee to be able to return back to my beloved Camino, but to simply be able to enjoy the sport of hiking at even this very basic level after three years’ severe health problems preventing it entirely is more than just a breath of fresh air — it’s an utter delight !!!


16 thoughts on “Walking

  1. You assume we know what your ailments are Jabba, but I honestly don’t think anyone does know? I admit to being curious, but if you prefer not to elaborate, you are of course quite entitled not to do so. It’s just good to hear you are feeling better and that you have been relieved of your constant pain – a horrible thought!

    Being a hiking enthusiast myself, I can deeply sympathise with your forced inaction this year. Let’s hope 2013 will be better one for you, and a continuation of your recovery. Best wishes from me too. 🙂

    • I assume nothing my dear Kathleen, as the forum where I’ve vaguely discussed these matters in the past is a private one …

      Briefly, had three very bad flus in a row in 2009/2010 ; had (and still have) muscular atrophy as a result of being lengthily bedridden from these ; broke my foot in 2011 ; cartilage in the knee gave way about a year ago ; as well as native high blood pressure (that I’ve had since being a toddler) that has grown dangerously high.

      The combination of all these was a bit dreadful — particularly as I was without medical cover (for VERY complicated reasons, that are so bizarre, really, as to be unbelievable — so don’t bother asking !!!) between November 1992 and October 2012.

      Thank you for your good wishes, and I hope 2013 is a great year for you and yours !!!

      • Dear Jabba, I’m truly sorry to hear about this real Via Crucis you have been through.
        Just one quite bad bout of flu is enough to set one back, by leaving one feeling weak and depressed for weeks afterwards (as happened to me a few years ago), but THREE!! And all very bad bouts of this horrible virus. How terrible your consequences have been, and all made worse by not having medical cover throughout that time!

        I am so happy to hear things are at last looking up for you again.

        May Our Blessed Mother – whose feast day it is today – be your refuge. May she cherish and care for you, and bring you back to good health.

  2. ..Well, Jabba, I’m relieved to hear anything whatsoever from you, optimistic or not.
    Your current situation troubles me all the time.

    I don’t know what to suggest. If I can make your situation better in any fashion, tell me how to do so. Come and stay here if you like. We might both detest it, but I doubt it.
    In the meantime, try and have as happy a New Year as you can.

    And that goes for anyone else reading this.

  3. Wow! Given your previous hiking regime, my initial thought was that it was remarkable your legs hadn’t dropped off entirely!! More seriously, glad to hear that your strength is returning. Happy New year!

    • 22km. – fantastic! Don’t push yourself too hard though….. just in case you overdo it! Given time and regaining strength you may well cross this “threshold” again, but slowly does it. 🙂

      God Bless you dear Jabba. (I miss your contributions on CP&S. Come back soon.)

  4. CP&S currently excels even itself(not easy to do!) with a uniquely spectacular smorgasbord of paranoid gibberish by an (ex?) Jesuit called Malarkey.

    Which fact Jabba was not slow to recognise.
    They don’t call him Jabba for nothing.

    It woz the devil wot done it. Apparently. Flung ‘im darnstairs!

    Ooh, er…

  5. …are you suggesting Malarkey lived in a pond? Jabb?
    The vatican it seems.
    I’ve now heard his ideas, that Juan Carlos, or Gorbachev, would become Chief of the European Union, which will stretch from Vladivostok to San Francisco.

  6. But Toad must admit, after a little research on the net, that MM was exactly the sort of cleric that excites a great many “impressionable” Catholics, and has done stakhanovite in helping the Church acquire its somewhat dubious current reputation.

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