Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kidney March 2011-End of Day One

Rosie and I by one of the better quote signs
The one good thing about not marching the full way on day one was that I arrived back at camp before the bulk of the marchers. This meant first dibs on a shower and a massage as well. But first I had to find my stuff and my tent in "tent city".

Tent city is a sea of red tents. Very tiny red tents. They were divided into colour coded sections (which was what I was supposed to tie to my bag so it would be put in the right area-but I had not). I limped around and finally found where the "colourless" bags were. I then went to look for my tent, "85 Pink". I quickly found it and was pretty happy knowing I had the tent to myself. They were teeny and I couldn't imagine the prospect of spooning in one with a stranger-no offense to any of the lovely marchers out there. I quickly unpacked my stuff, got the shower gear and headed off as quickly as my sore legs would allow, to the shower truck.

Having a shower after walking over 20km in 30 degree heat is about the same as having a hamburger after starving all day: in reality what you are experiencing is not best in class but it feels like the most luxurious, amazing, decadent thing ever. I've never used a shower truck before but it was very clean with decent water pressure and the right amount of heat. Before I saw what the shower solution was I had envisioned the sandy campground showers with the lukewarm water that barely got you wet-this exceeded all my expectations.

After my shower I went and put my name down for a massage. I didn't have to wait more than about 15 minutes. I was asked what was ailing me (my ankle and right leg) and she set to work on both. It was one of those "hurts so good" massages. After it was over (each session was about 15 minutes) everything was feeling better except the ankle/foot area, aka the "cankle". I realized this might require further attention from the medical tent. But first-I was hungry!

I went to the food area....they had a big dining tent set up with a separate food line where friendly crew would serve food up on your plate.  They also had a separate area for drinks. I was impressed by the section-there had to be something for almost everyone. I got my food (spaghetti and meatballs with salad) and went into the tent where I was happy to find my adopted team members Rose and Lee. We chatted about the days events and as we were wrapping up, Sue and Marian arrived-they had walked the whole way and we just getting back to camp at that point. I was humbled by how far they had gone and how they kept going, even though they must have been the last to come in. Made me feel a bit wussy 'till I stood up and the cankle reminded me part of why I had stopped.

After dinner I went to the medical tent and waiting in line with a few blistered people to get the cankle checked. I heard the first half of Kidney-oke (karaoke) starting in the dining tent-it was good entertainment while waiting to see the medical staff.. I didn't need to wait too long until I aw the nurse-she did some tests on my ankle and thought I may have sprained it (due to a weakness from an old injury) but the doctor thought it was more likely that I irritated the "sheath" in my foot. Tape and ice were the solution as long as the swelling stayed relatively low. Woot! The doctor was funny-he looked at me and then looked an my medical sheet (which indicated I was a recent donor) and then looked at me again. He said "you are one of those altruistic donors aren't you?" I nodded-he said "cool" and went back to looking at my foot. I have know idea how he knew that but it was nice to have a break from explaining (I don't mind explaining but its nice to have a break! Especially when having cankle issues!)

I was exhausted and it was starting to get dark so I headed back to my tiny red tent and got comfortable for the night. I realized that they had the whole tent city illuminated with giant spotlights-they eventually shut off every night at 9:30 but it made getting around without a flashlight pretty easy. Little things like that made for a nice stay, even in little itty bitty tents.

I don't even remember falling asleep-I was that tired. I do remember really looking forward to seeing how I would feel day two, and more importantly how much I could accomplish.

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