I have decided to take myself off the Appalachian Trail and not continue my hike. If you have been following my journey you know that I injured my hip early in the hike and sought medical advice. Eventually my doctor told me that it would be all right to continue. I got back on the Trail and the pain returned. I decided to grit my teeth and push on hoping, perhaps irrationally, that the pain would diminish. I did not tell anyone about this pain. Some days were worse than others. Prescription NSAID's (anti-inflammatory medications) became a daily part of my diet. And after almost a month of this I have decided that enough is enough and I don't want to cripple myself for life.
In the time I was out there I covered almost 300 miles through five states. I met some amazing people, saw some amazing scenery and had some amazing adventures. I do not regret having done it; my only regret is that my 69-year-old body would not allow me to continue.
I know I was successful in my mission to increase awareness of veterans struggling with PTSD. I spoke with countless people I met on the Trail including numerous veterans. I passed out cards and in return received e-mails with thanks and blessings for what I was doing as well as donations. I was afforded the opportunity twice to speak to large gatherings about PTSD and the response from these events was truly touching.
One of the biggest gifts from my time on the Trail is an increased awareness of the fact that everything happens for a reason or as a woman I met on the Trail put it “Humans plan and God laughs.” So I am off the Trail but still on the mission. Now I must figure out a new way to continue to spread the word about this terrible disease that afflicts over one million veterans. I have some ideas percolating but I am going to take a little while for my body to heal.
I want to thank you for your support in the past and what I hope will be your continuing support in the future.
God bless our veterans