Hey kind krafters, hope you’re all doing well and feeling wonderful! Today I’m sharing a pretty personal story of things doing wrong and ending badly, of some pain and hard times that I’m being forced to tackle straight on and tough my way through. It all started with a camping trip.
I learned last year that labour day weekend and the few days afterwards are the best days to go camping if you want to have a real break and get away from it all, especially as a student finishing summer and moving into a new academic year. For me this year it was marking a transition from my summer schedule to a new work schedule and the end of my internship. It came after a crazy stressful week of busy work, missed appointments and lost keys. I desperately needed a vacation and was extremely grateful when it came time to start. I added an extra day on, so I could spend a night in Fundy National Park before heading to Kouchibouguac for three nights.
My sites at Fundy and Kouchibouguac
And so the trip was wonderful and relaxing and beautiful. I headed to Fundy and spent the night in the most beautiful secluded camp spot, off the main road, and spent the evening hiking steep coastal views, and returning to a warm campfire and hearty sweet potato camp stew. The next morning I packed up early and headed to the Third Vault Falls, hiked to the waterfall, had a snack, and then headed back to my Jeep. From here I went to Kouchibouguac. I set up camp at a giant site surrounded by woods and trees and quiet campsites. Afterwards I went to the beach and read for a bit until the wind became too much to keep my pages open. So I walked all of the surrounding short trails. I spent my evening winding through giant pine trees, along a salt marsh, and through a beautiful bog and it’s tower as the sun began to set and the moon shone in the changing sky.
Hiking on the Coppermine Trail
Third Vault Falls
The evening I went back to my site and enjoyed burritos by the campsite listening tentatively to the sounds of the woods around me. Thunder was expected that night, so I went to sleep knowing I would soon be awoken. At 1:30am the pounding rain woke me, keeping me awake as I drifted in and out of sleep until the lightning strikes began around 4am. Knowing staying in my tiny tree surrounding tent was not a safe choice, I grabbed my rain coat, lantern and book, and hopped in my Jeep. I spent the next two hours uncomfortably trying to sleep until the rain and lightning stopped and sun came out, and I was able to crawl back into the tent and sleep for three hours.
Waking up I was stiff and tired, I attributed the pain to the bad sleep, made some camp coffee and headed to complete two beautiful trails along the Kouchibouguac river. Heading back my throat had a tingle so I had a nap and went for another hike at the gorgeous Cote de Fabien. It was a gorgeous way to end the evening. That night a bunny visited my campsite, coming right up to my seat before running away. Waking up the next morning I was just as sore, more so even, and we were expecting another night of rain and lightning. Knowing another bad sleep, followed by a long drive would be unwise and unhealthy, I packed up a day early. I spent Tuesday morning with the beach all to myself reading, and ate a quick picnic lunch before heading home in the afternoon. The trip was glorious, but in coming back I realized something was not right.
Osprey Trail on the Cote de Fabien
I’m used to eight hour and 20km hikes on my weekends. Yet after a weekend of short hikes and a night of bad sleep, my legs were more sore than they had been when I ran a half marathon. And my throat was tingling and sore whenever I went to eat. I was treated for an infection and made myself take extra care to stretch. A few days later, with now swollen legs, I was told take some anti-histamines and see how it is. I went to work, and ended up with legs swollen three times their regular size and a throat no better than it had been since medication began.
And so I spent 6 hours in an ER trying to find out just what had happened. I expected maybe a reaction to a plant or something I came in contact with while hiking or camping. I later found it that I was being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. In response to taking an antibiotic I was allergic to a month and a half ago, my body started fighting, and didn’t stop, eventually fighting itself. When I got a new infection in my throat, my body didn't know how to respond. And so my legs are swollen and sore and marked by hives and bruises. My throat is sore and healing at a rate slower than molasses. And worst of all, there is no cure besides some coping mechanisms in the form of rest, anti-inflammatories, and medication. And so, to my utter sadness I am stuck on my couch and deck chair, unable to do anything besides walk TV and read, and walk to the kitchen and back. And I’m here as I play the waiting game, for this condition to simply go away, and it does on it’s own after a few weeks of rest and waiting.
This has been the hardest time in my life, and the toughest thing I have gone through. My health and my ability to live as I am used to and love, constantly moving and in a state of activity, in gone and I do not know for sure when it will return. Remaining positive is my greatest tool right now. I force myself to read in the sunshine and watch the birds in the trees in my backyard. I can't eat everything I want, but try and choose foods that I enjoy. I watch shows that make me happy, even if they’re guilty pleasures, and don't feel guilty for watching two movies in one day because I can’t leave the couch. It is tough. But I keep reminding myself, I am tougher. I have to be.
For those of you coming through a tough time, fighting to stay positive in the face of something crippling, know that you are not alone. Know that you can and will be ok, that you are tougher than you know and can do so much more than you realize. Know that you are not and never are alone. And if you are dealing with a tough time, reach out and chair with me, connect to me or someone you love or know is experiencing a similar ordeal. Spread love and positive vibes and knowledge. Be kind and share, spread positivity and tips for doing so.
Be Kind and Stay Well,