Zero #5

Wednesday, August 21, 2019; day 32

I rose, and stepped inside to use the restroom.

Jami was up and moving about. “Ah. You are up early!”

“Yeah, I’m up!…but that doesn’t mean I get going straight away!” I replied, smiling.

I returned to the backyard to finish packing up my things. Soon Jami followed with a fresh mug of coffee! Oh how kind!

Jami and I chatted briefly as she tended to her garden, and I fiddled with my resupply. We did not get to speak for long, however, as she had a painting engagement that morning. We soon hugged good-bye.

I took a much needed shower and chatted with Josh for a bit. He said that hosting hikers has certainly been a “two way street”. This made my heart smile. I thanked him for all of their hospitality, and was on my way.

First stop: the post office. It was about time I sent home my ice-axe. It was becoming apparent that I was carrying fear.

As the lady at the post office and I worked together to come up with some sort of creative packaging for my ice-axe, I began to notice a swelling and tightness in my leg. It was hot to the touch.

I did not pay it much mind at first, continuing to wrap the make-shift packaging with layer after layer of tape.

Then, I noticed my left leg was not only turning red and blotchy, but it was also now appearing at least 1/3 bigger than the other.

I began to present my legs to the other patrons that walked in, gauging their responses to help determine my own level of concern.

One kind woman was worried about potential infection. She had a friend, Jaelle, who was a nurse. She called her up. Jaelle told her to bring me over. I finished my business at the post office, followed the woman to her vehicle, and was delivered to Jaelle.

Jaelle (who is also a Trail Angel) promptly sat me down and looked my leg over. She mentioned a definite redness and swelling, and what appeared to be tiny little blisters forming along a large surface area around my calf. My leg felt incredibly tight. What made diagnosis even more of a challenge, was that it was the same leg I had blistered from over-icing. She suggested that it may be a spider-bite or some sort of plant poison. I recalled stepping in to the brush along the recent roadwalk to avoid an oncoming vehicle. I remembered having a prickling, stinging sensation afterward. But it soon dissipated, and was forgotten. She asked if I had showered. I told her that I had that morning, but not immediately after the incident. She suggested that I take a zero day, and that I wash everything I owned…including my sleeping bag.

Jaelle was hosting an overnight guest that evening. Before I could even reply, she turned to her friend Sarah and asked if she might take me for the night.

I was overwhelmed with their kindness. I was also concerned about my leg. I agreed that a zero day may be a good idea.

I was given some cream to apply topically, and some Benadryl. I showered and put on some clothing Jaelle loaned me, and put all of my things to wash.

Soon, under Benadryl induced drowsiness, I fell asleep on their couch.

After a couple of hours, movement and bustling filled the house. Dinner preparations were underway.

Soon I was invited to the table for a meal and beautiful togetherness.

Then it was out in to the yard for an enjoyable game of Bocci Ball on the grass. The entire evening was so wholesome and full of love.

My leg did not seem to like any sort of vertical positioning, but it was certainly improving.

As the evening wound down, Sarah suggested that we head over to her place (which was just next door).

We made up the guest bed together. We pulled the freshly dried sheets over each edge of the matress, adjusting and readjusting, laughing quietly until we got it right. We then wished eachother goodnight.

I took two more Benadryl, and fell fast to sleep.

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