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View Full Version : Venting My Frustrations (Caution: Long, Pitiful, Boring, and Irrelevant to your Hike)



Undershaft
01-20-2011, 06:33
My job sucks. The intra-office politics I have to deal with makes me want to climb the nearest Bell Tower with a rifle. Each day I am there I get more frustrated and angry. I don't know if I can last 3 more months. I don't know if I can last 3 more weeks. I'd love to just walk away, but my plans for the AT counted on me being employed until the end of March. If I quit now I'll be a couple grand short of where I need to be financially. I could still hike, but I would have less $$ for the trip and zero $$ for after the hike. This is not the position I want to be in.

My car sucks. I drive an ancient Lincoln Mark VII that is slowly and steadily falling to pieces. In the past week it's developed an 8 inch crack in the windshield and half the exhaust has rotted away and fallen apart. The exhaust system is now held together with a little bit of wire and a lot of optimism. The transmission hasn't functioned in 4th gear since last spring, and 3rd gear is becoming more tenuous each day. The wires are bad and the engine skips. It needs to warm up for at least 20 minutes each trip if I want to entertain any hope of driving normally. If there is 1/4 inch of snow on the ground the car becomes less than useless, in fact it becomes scary. Oh, and the speakers crapped out so I can't listen to the radio anymore.

It's a 40 mile roundtrip drive to work each day. If I can't drive to work, I won't have enough $$ to thru-hike. If I fix my car so I can get to work reliably or get a new car, I won't have enough $$ left to go hiking. Kind of a Catch-22.

My body sucks. About two weeks ago I started to get a chronic pain in my left leg. It hurts when I sit. It hurts when I stand. It hurts when I walk. Sometimes it hurts so bad I can't concentrate on anything but the pain. It has started to effect my job performance and overall happiness. I have not injured my leg (in any way that I know of) and I don't know what is causing this problem. I do not have health insurance because I got frustrated and gave up after dealing with endless circles of bureaucracy and red tape for 2 years. (Massachusetts has a law that all must be insured and provides subsidized health plans to that end, but after two years of being on this plan I still hadn't been able to get an appointment to have a physical with a PCP and gave up.) I need to see a doctor. I will have to pay for it out of my hiking fund. I'm sure it will be very expensive and deplete a hefty amount of $$ from my hiking fund. If I do not get my leg fixed, I probably won't be able to hike. If I do get my leg fixed (providing it can be fixed), I might not have any $$ left to go hiking with. Another Catch-22.


My wonderful, perfect plan to thru-hike the AT in 2011 is crumbling into nothing. I no longer have a coherent plan to hike this year. I am no longer confident that I will be physically able to hike.


It was all so perfect. I'm (more or less) Single, some money in the bank, no kids, no pets, no morgage, no debt, no obligations. A dead end job, dead end relationship, and a dead end life of crappy, worthless possessions all of which I'm prepared and eager to walk away from. I love the mountains, I love the forests, I love walking and camping, I love the idea of Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail. All of the day, weekend, and section hikes I've done on the AT have been great, fantastic even, but its just not the same. I don't really want another hiking vacation, I want the hiking trip of a lifetime! I want to hike up the Approach Trail, down the Knife Edge, and into a Brand New Life featuring a Brand New Me. There is something special about a continuous Thru-Hike of the AT. I've seen it in the eyes of the other hikers, in their shelter register entries, in that first thru-hiker journal I read 15 years ago....


Two weeks from tomorrow I will acknowledge my 34th birthday. Today I may have to acknowledge the fact that I probably will not thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Fifteen years ago I dreamed about thru-hiking the AT, ten years ago I wanted it, five years ago I needed it. Two years ago the stars aligned, the time was finally right, and I made the realization of that dream/want/need my primary goal in life. Two years of hard work, focus and saving flushed down the Bowl like the greasy sandwich I ate on Tuesday.


It is now 5 o'clock in the morning. I have been awake, sober, and in constant physical pain since midnight. Good Luck and Godspeed Class of 2011; May you have good weather, good views, good laughs, good loves, and great drinks!

Cookerhiker
01-20-2011, 06:56
Sorry for what you're going through. It seems to me your first priority should be your health. Get that leg examined and go from there.

Don't give up the dream of thruhiking. Even if it doesn't occur until you're in your 50s and 60s, it can still be done.

Awol1970
01-20-2011, 06:57
Get the leg looked at. Could be Deep Vein Thrombosis. Potentially fatal. It's what Capt. Phil had in Deadliest catch.

bfayer
01-20-2011, 06:58
April is a ways off and right now you need to stop and take a breath. Then talk to your doctor about how you feel, and form a plan to get you better so you can hike.

Climbing a clock tower will not get you to Katahdin, but planning and hard work just might. As for the pain, I had a lot of success with physical therapy, but like I said form a plan with the doctor.

Keep your eye on the ball and please go talk to someone.

As for the car, have you though about selling the Lincoln and buying a used Honda. It will get better gas mileage while you are still working, which will save some money, and then sell it when you get ready to hike. Used Honda's hold their value and you can probably get out of it what you paid for it. Also since gas prices are going up, you may be able to get more for it in April. Just a thought.

Trailbender
01-20-2011, 07:09
To be totally blunt, I would start as early as you can. Get medical treatment first and foremost, have them send you a bill later. Your life is more important than money. I did my thru on $2400, I probably could have done it much cheaper. If this is that important to you, do what it takes. Even if you have zero money at the end, you will know what to do, trust me. Do not let money stand in the way of your dream, it is just green paper. Live your life.

I did my thru in 2010, and I have considered just dropping out of school and living on the AT. I am getting a Geology degree, so I will have plenty of outdoor time, so knowing that helps.

Kel, the "Stickman"
01-20-2011, 07:22
Sorry to hear you are having troubles... seems like they chase us when we begin chasing our dreams, but don't give up! Adversity, now, will make the victory so much sweeter!

I also had hopes to attempt again this year, but will also look forward to 2012... so... if you don't make the trail this year, I will see you on the AT next year! Keep pushing on! God Bless!

10-K
01-20-2011, 07:57
About life: The way things are is not the way they'll always be.

Tilly
01-20-2011, 09:14
Hey Undershaft,

You REALLY need to go to the doctor. That kind of pain isn't normal.

Are you able to obtain a different type of job? One closer to home? Or move closer to work? In the meantime try to mentally disconnect from all the crap that goes on there and concentrate on yourself.

The trail will be there when you are ready for it. Hang in there.

RGB
01-20-2011, 09:30
My body sucks. About two weeks ago I started to get a chronic pain in my left leg. It hurts when I sit. It hurts when I stand. It hurts when I walk. Sometimes it hurts so bad I can't concentrate on anything but the pain. It has started to effect my job performance and overall happiness. I have not injured my leg (in any way that I know of) and I don't know what is causing this problem. I do not have health insurance because I got frustrated and gave up after dealing with endless circles of bureaucracy and red tape for 2 years. (Massachusetts has a law that all must be insured and provides subsidized health plans to that end, but after two years of being on this plan I still hadn't been able to get an appointment to have a physical with a PCP and gave up.) I need to see a doctor. I will have to pay for it out of my hiking fund. I'm sure it will be very expensive and deplete a hefty amount of $$ from my hiking fund. If I do not get my leg fixed, I probably won't be able to hike. If I do get my leg fixed (providing it can be fixed), I might not have any $$ left to go hiking with. Another Catch-22.


Since the 1950's, people have perpetuated the myth that you need to be behind a cubicle to be making something of yourself. This is complete and utter bull*****. The reason people think we're crazy when we want to do something unorthodox, say, hike the AT, is because they secretly are miserable, desire the same change, but are too cowardly to ever do something so drastic, so they wonder why anyone else would.

This type of pain is not uncommon from people that spend their lives at cubicles and could be thrombosis. No one ever thinks that working at a cubicle can kill but it is an occupational hazard. We were not meant to be sedentary like that.

Quit your job.

Monkeyboy
01-20-2011, 09:31
First, I'd have to say that the AT isn't going to change your life. It's going to change the way you look at life. BIG difference. It will allow you to put into perspective what really matters and what doesn't.

Second..........OMG.......A government mandated system that totally sucks due to the BS red tape that will actually cost me more in the long run and gives me crappier service???? I'm glad I don't have that mandated on me.

Oh, wait..........I do. Nevermind.

Sailor (The other one)
01-20-2011, 10:34
1. Leg pain: I'm a massage therapist and personal trainer. I work in a chiropractor's office. One possibility is your pain is a sciatic nerve problem, which is common among people who sit a lot. But it cpould also be any of a number of other things. definitely get it checked out. If an MD can't pin it down or says its sciatic nerve related, you might be better of treated by a chiropractor and/or massage therapist. Since you're self-pay, this would also be less expensive.
2. When I got back into backpacking a few years ago all I could afford for gear was a bunch of heavy, old, military surplus gear. On my first SAT section my pack weighed 50 lbs with food b ut no water. We could only average a pathetic 2.5 miles a day, being also old and fat.

Sailor (The other one)
01-20-2011, 10:40
Sorry, didn't get to finish.
Anyway, despite the heavy old gear and low mileage, I LOVED it and if that's all the gear I could afford, I'd hike anyway.
So if you have less money for your hike, but you can still do your hike, then if I was in your shoes I'd get the leg fixed and blow town. You are easily young enough to start fresh with nothing after your hike and do just fine. I've doens imilar leave-it-all-behind stuff several times and here I am old and owning all kinds of stuff and remarried, starting a business on the side and own my own home, etc, etc.
Go for it.

sbhikes
01-20-2011, 11:20
I swear I started to get more aches and pains before my hike. It could be psychosomatic. Can you try going to a walk-in, free clinic (usually sliding scale so you might have to pay.) Just pay to have the doctor give you an opinion, an opinion that isn't wrapped up with insurance liability red tape we gotta do an expensive MRI, X-Rays, or whatever other expensive testing BS. Maybe it isn't anything to worry about.

A possibility to consider: Quit now. Start your hike a little earlier. Spend the time between now and then working some crap job close to home for basic needs. Get your needs as basic as you can. Eat only tuna sandwiches and lentil soup from now on. Live in your car if you can, or couch surf. Then hit the trail and go as far as you can until the money runs out.

bulldog49
01-20-2011, 12:55
I recommend you see someone about Depression. I say this as one with a family history of it and I see many signs of it in your narrative. Depression often results in physical ailments in addition to emotional ones. It could be a temporary situational condition or it could be chronic. If the former, your hike might cure it, if the latter it won't. In any case as others have suggested you should seek medical advice before undertaking your hike.

mister krabs
01-20-2011, 13:47
My job sucks. The intra-office politics I have to deal with makes me want to climb the nearest Bell Tower with a rifle. Each day I am there I get more frustrated and angry. I don't know if I can last 3 more months. I don't know if I can last 3 more weeks. I'd love to just walk away, but my plans for the AT counted on me being employed until the end of March. If I quit now I'll be a couple grand short of where I need to be financially. I could still hike, but I would have less $$ for the trip and zero $$ for after the hike. This is not the position I want to be in.

My car sucks. I drive an ancient Lincoln Mark VII that is slowly and steadily falling to pieces. In the past week it's developed an 8 inch crack in the windshield and half the exhaust has rotted away and fallen apart. The exhaust system is now held together with a little bit of wire and a lot of optimism. The transmission hasn't functioned in 4th gear since last spring, and 3rd gear is becoming more tenuous each day. The wires are bad and the engine skips. It needs to warm up for at least 20 minutes each trip if I want to entertain any hope of driving normally. If there is 1/4 inch of snow on the ground the car becomes less than useless, in fact it becomes scary. Oh, and the speakers crapped out so I can't listen to the radio anymore.

It's a 40 mile roundtrip drive to work each day. If I can't drive to work, I won't have enough $$ to thru-hike. If I fix my car so I can get to work reliably or get a new car, I won't have enough $$ left to go hiking. Kind of a Catch-22.

My body sucks. About two weeks ago I started to get a chronic pain in my left leg. It hurts when I sit. It hurts when I stand. It hurts when I walk. Sometimes it hurts so bad I can't concentrate on anything but the pain. It has started to effect my job performance and overall happiness. I have not injured my leg (in any way that I know of) and I don't know what is causing this problem. I do not have health insurance because I got frustrated and gave up after dealing with endless circles of bureaucracy and red tape for 2 years. (Massachusetts has a law that all must be insured and provides subsidized health plans to that end, but after two years of being on this plan I still hadn't been able to get an appointment to have a physical with a PCP and gave up.) I need to see a doctor. I will have to pay for it out of my hiking fund. I'm sure it will be very expensive and deplete a hefty amount of $$ from my hiking fund. If I do not get my leg fixed, I probably won't be able to hike. If I do get my leg fixed (providing it can be fixed), I might not have any $$ left to go hiking with. Another Catch-22.


My wonderful, perfect plan to thru-hike the AT in 2011 is crumbling into nothing. I no longer have a coherent plan to hike this year. I am no longer confident that I will be physically able to hike.


It was all so perfect. I'm (more or less) Single, some money in the bank, no kids, no pets, no morgage, no debt, no obligations. A dead end job, dead end relationship, and a dead end life of crappy, worthless possessions all of which I'm prepared and eager to walk away from. I love the mountains, I love the forests, I love walking and camping, I love the idea of Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail. All of the day, weekend, and section hikes I've done on the AT have been great, fantastic even, but its just not the same. I don't really want another hiking vacation, I want the hiking trip of a lifetime! I want to hike up the Approach Trail, down the Knife Edge, and into a Brand New Life featuring a Brand New Me. There is something special about a continuous Thru-Hike of the AT. I've seen it in the eyes of the other hikers, in their shelter register entries, in that first thru-hiker journal I read 15 years ago....


Two weeks from tomorrow I will acknowledge my 34th birthday. Today I may have to acknowledge the fact that I probably will not thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. Fifteen years ago I dreamed about thru-hiking the AT, ten years ago I wanted it, five years ago I needed it. Two years ago the stars aligned, the time was finally right, and I made the realization of that dream/want/need my primary goal in life. Two years of hard work, focus and saving flushed down the Bowl like the greasy sandwich I ate on Tuesday.


It is now 5 o'clock in the morning. I have been awake, sober, and in constant physical pain since midnight. Good Luck and Godspeed Class of 2011; May you have good weather, good views, good laughs, good loves, and great drinks!


2nd on the depression/anxiety thing. You should get it checked out. Things doesn't have to be as bad as you're making it out to be. Take hold of it spiraling out of control. Make a list, get back on that doctor thing, spend all your lunch hours on it if you have to. If that doesn't work, go to a clinic. Get them to check your leg and ask if you can get a mental health referral and some mild anti anxiety meds to see how you like them. Get 25$ used snow tires with good tread and put em on the back end of the hooptie. Throw a bag of cat litter in the trunk, a portable radio in the front seat then keep driving it to work until it dies and hit the trail then.

When you're ready to quit, take this to heart. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhlWddAXSRA)

Trailbender
01-20-2011, 16:52
Sorry, didn't get to finish.
Anyway, despite the heavy old gear and low mileage, I LOVED it and if that's all the gear I could afford, I'd hike anyway.
So if you have less money for your hike, but you can still do your hike, then if I was in your shoes I'd get the leg fixed and blow town. You are easily young enough to start fresh with nothing after your hike and do just fine. I've doens imilar leave-it-all-behind stuff several times and here I am old and owning all kinds of stuff and remarried, starting a business on the side and own my own home, etc, etc.
Go for it.

You can get ultralight gear for cheap, as well. Synthetic clothes at thrift stores, a wal mart grease pot, a tarp. Only thing that would be really expensive would be a good sleeping bag and ground mat.



A possibility to consider: Quit now. Start your hike a little earlier. Spend the time between now and then working some crap job close to home for basic needs. Get your needs as basic as you can. Eat only tuna sandwiches and lentil soup from now on. Live in your car if you can, or couch surf. Then hit the trail and go as far as you can until the money runs out.

Rather than risking your health not eating wholesomely enough, you could consider food stamps or a food donation bank. Food stamps are like a debit card now, so the mobility is there.


I recommend you see someone about Depression. I say this as one with a family history of it and I see many signs of it in your narrative. Depression often results in physical ailments in addition to emotional ones. It could be a temporary situational condition or it could be chronic. If the former, your hike might cure it, if the latter it won't. In any case as others have suggested you should seek medical advice before undertaking your hike.

Agreed with this, but a thru made me realize a lot about myself and things I was thinking about doing.

baddog
01-20-2011, 18:24
Please follow the excellent responses already given. See the MD/Chiro/massage folks first. If it's an MD go further describing the "stress". Thats what I called the feelings you're having...for too many years. When the doc prescribed zoloft I said "you can call it depression if you want but I can never call it depression". So goes much of american male population. I needed more so I shopped til I found a (female) pysch nurse-practioner. She was better and cheaper than the several shrink docs I tried. Now I'm in very good shape on lexapo and reading some Dahli Lama books. I'm no Buhdist but boy that guy is good with simple, to the point ideas on how to get your soul settled. Your still young. Don't waste 3/4 of your life the way I did. Fix the bod and get your head's chemistry balanced. DO NOT WAIT-----DO IT NOW.

Luddite
01-20-2011, 18:44
ask if you can get a mental health referral and some mild anti anxiety meds to see how you like them.



Bad idea. Believe me you don't want to start taking that crap.

mister krabs
01-20-2011, 18:53
Bad idea. Believe me you don't want to start taking that crap.

I dunno, everybody is different. I took zoloft at the minimum dosage for about 8 months for anxiety/depression. It took the edge off. I stopped taking it when I got into a 4 day a week exercise routine. It was no big deal, but helped when I needed help.

bulldog49
01-20-2011, 18:54
Bad idea. Believe me you don't want to start taking that crap.

You are full of crap. Proper meds work, you just have find the one that is right for you.

Chronic Depression is a biological disease, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can and does work.

This is the sort of thinking you expect from a Luddite.

Luddite
01-20-2011, 19:02
You are full of crap. Proper meds work, you just have find the one that is right for you.

Chronic Depression is a biological disease, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can and does work.

This is the sort of thinking you expect from a Luddite.

anti-anxiety meds aren't for depression, they're for anxiety. And they are suppose to be for temporary relief but they're extremely addicting and when you quit them your anxiety is 10 times worse. I know this from experience. The best method to treat/cure anxiety and depression is to talk to a psychologist that specializes in CBT.

Wise Old Owl
01-20-2011, 19:07
Wow Bulldog and Luddite, its the internet - we don't have all the details and it could be both conditions. Stop poking at each other.

Luddite
01-20-2011, 19:19
Wow Bulldog and Luddite, its the internet - we don't have all the details and it could be both conditions. Stop poking at each other.

You're right. I wasn't trying to argue.

hikingshoes
01-20-2011, 19:34
Lets show Love,Peace,and support for this young man.Maybe he just needs someone to listen and help him along the way.Hang in there Brother!!!HS

Ashevillian
01-20-2011, 19:38
You are full of crap. Proper meds work, you just have find the one that is right for you.

Chronic Depression is a biological disease, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can and does work.

This is the sort of thinking you expect from a Luddite.

Depression is nothing to fool with (if that is the problem for you or others). Iíve been on meds for depression on and off over the last several years and it does help. Iíve also had depression related physical pain, itís real. I, fortunately can afford to go to a doctor, as well as having several doctor friends and suggest you get help with whatever ails you. Bad car? Sell it. Lack of money? Find a way or wait a year. No equipment? Buy it cheap. I donít want to sound harsh, but hiking is a dream, secondary to getting oneís life in order. I was fortunate enough to hike most of the AT out of college due to the lack of responsibilities; life, money and otherwise. Now I am finally (I hope) in a position to hike the damn thing because of years of hard work, a caring and understanding family, and the finances (God willing) to complete it. Point said Iíve busted my arse and waited 25 years to undertake the adventure of a lifetime. If this is not your year, maybe next year or five years, or 25 years; the day will come.

Speakeasy TN
01-21-2011, 07:41
You are full of crap. Proper meds work, you just have find the one that is right for you.

Chronic Depression is a biological disease, a chemical imbalance in the brain. Medication can and does work.

This is the sort of thinking you expect from a Luddite.

I'm going to have to agree! An anti-depressant when needed isn't any different than dropping a Tylenol at the end of a long day. Roots, berries and cumbaya just won't cut it.:D The stigma that comes from getting help has to stop.

mister krabs
01-21-2011, 09:36
anti-anxiety meds aren't for depression, they're for anxiety. And they are suppose to be for temporary relief but they're extremely addicting and when you quit them your anxiety is 10 times worse. I know this from experience. The best method to treat/cure anxiety and depression is to talk to a psychologist that specializes in CBT.

My experience was different. Different medications have different side effects on different people. I have a somewhat addictive personality but I was still able to use them for a period of time and then move beyond them. Along with some counseling and stress management classes, Sertraline (zoloft) helped me get beyond the thought vortexes that were leading me to be depressed and grumpy. Spiraling circular thoughts processes like the OP's that my world was crashing around me and leaving me with an inability to gain perspective. I chose to keep the medication at the lowest dosage because of the potential side effects that you mention and others. It was "enough to take the edge off" and I had no noticeable side effects. When I later changed my diet and began to exercise I realized that I had forgotten to take it for weeks and that I had gotten better enough to not need it anymore.

birdog
01-21-2011, 09:51
Brother, you and I need to talk. Went through the same things almost to the letter a few years ago. There is hope. Nothing cures what ails you like some time in the woods. The medical advice you hear is sound; can't do much when the machine is down so get urself to a medical professional. Then lets work on the skills that make you a winner in life.

bulldog49
01-21-2011, 09:55
My experience was different. Different medications have different side effects on different people. I have a somewhat addictive personality but I was still able to use them for a period of time and then move beyond them. Along with some counseling and stress management classes, Sertraline (zoloft) helped me get beyond the thought vortexes that were leading me to be depressed and grumpy. Spiraling circular thoughts processes like the OP's that my world was crashing around me and leaving me with an inability to gain perspective. I chose to keep the medication at the lowest dosage because of the potential side effects that you mention and others. It was "enough to take the edge off" and I had no noticeable side effects. When I later changed my diet and began to exercise I realized that I had forgotten to take it for weeks and that I had gotten better enough to not need it anymore.


Me too, I had the same problem (particularly the spiraling out of control thought process) and meds and counseling helped me control the problem. The point is there are a number of different medications available and they work differently. A med that works for you may not for someone else, you have to find the right one. Just because a particular med did not help Luddite does not mean all meds are bad for all people. His statement to that effect is wrong and irresponsible. And they are not addictive. I've reached the point where I seldom use them anymore, I have never had the need to pop pills. The only addiction I've experienced is the need to get out and hike. :D

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 09:56
This has nothing to do with Hiking, other than you can't go do it. As I was told once on this site when I posted about my job.
Wright Dear Abby your drama story not here on WB. I do not care about your health nor do I even know you. Like most the folks on this site. Maybe Abby cares.:D

Sailor (The other one)
01-21-2011, 09:59
I'm a bit embarrassed, having also been a counselor for 12 years and having PTSD, which inclujdes depression and anxiety, yet having missed the signs in the op's initial post.
From my personal and professional experiuence, so far everyone's comments about depression and anxiety are correct. In my case., a combination of therapy and appropriate meds, as well as staying clean and sober, have meant a vast improvement in all of my life. I didn't return to backpacking until I started getting help.
It is true that anti-anxiety meds like Xanax and Valium are highly addictive. they are meant only for the short term treatment of acute anxiety. The followup medication treatment is anti-depressants, like Zoloft or Celexa. Anti-depressants are a very effectice treatment for anxiety, because anxiety and depression usually go together whatwever the primary diagnosis.
In my cases, the beta-blocker inderol is also effective against anxiety and has no addictive qualities. I think the advice to get a mental health checkup is also very wise.

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 10:07
Pills, Pills, Pills... that's Americas BIGGEST problem when it comes to health issues. You go see a doc, and all he does is say here take this pill, it will fix all your problems. NO, they are wrong, only you can fix your problems not some f-n pill. Pills cause more health issues than you have now without taking them.

10-K
01-21-2011, 10:10
There is not a single answer. What works for one person could kill another.

One thing I've learned over the years is not to believe that my way is The Way.

Fog Horn
01-21-2011, 10:20
Pills, Pills, Pills... that's Americas BIGGEST problem when it comes to health issues. You go see a doc, and all he does is say here take this pill, it will fix all your problems. NO, they are wrong, only you can fix your problems not some f-n pill. Pills cause more health issues than you have now without taking them.

If you don't want to take pills for depression and anxiety, you have to interrupt your thought process. First you have to recognize that you are feeling down, and figure out if the reasoning behind the feeling is reasonable. If not, force your body and mind to do something different. Go out with friends (without booze) or go for a run.

If you cannot stop and recognize that you are feeling down and cannot interrupt it, I'm not sure there is much other choice between pills and talking to a professional. I personally have many friends who have taken anti depression pills and it has saved them from suicide. While I hate taking pills and use the system I previously stated (mostly running) I wouldn't knock the pills because they've saved the lives of some truly amazing people who just couldn't get there on their own.

Another thing that I find helps with depression is a Dream List. Write down all the things you want to accomplish, big things like buying a house or hiking the AT, and small things like visiting a particular park or complimenting everyone you see for a day. Having them written out helps you see which ones you can accomplish now, and what the path to accomplishing the others will be. It puts things into perspective, because you can see without a doubt, that the future is going to be good.

Just my two cents. The trail will be there. Fix your body, change your mindset, get your life closer to how you want it, and then hike.

mister krabs
01-21-2011, 10:24
Wow generallee, nobody said that a pill would fix all his problems. Somebody pee in your cheerios this morning?

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 10:39
Wow generallee, nobody said that a pill would fix all his problems. Somebody pee in your cheerios this morning?

I did on accident, thought it was the toilet.:D

No I just have a bad insight on meds. Have any of you ever listen to some of the side effects the have on the human body? They make your anus bleed, lose hearing, and can go blind and the list continues.

It seems as if the government wants us all to be on some sort of pill. Do any of these pill making companies give back to the people? No, they are helping make us more sick and even killing some of us. Do they have to pay the bill when you or I lose your loved one NO.
There is one "drug" that can help with depression and it is called well..... let's just say it's green and grows from the ground. This makes most all happy when used and hungry. What a good way to boost the food sales as well.:D
If you want a drug get it from our mother earth, not some factory. Just my opinion.

SouthMark
01-21-2011, 10:43
You received a lot of suggestions that you need to see a doctor with your leg and they are right. Do not put it off. I also sit in a cubicle all day and had same symptoms five years ago. It turned out to be PAD and my right leg had 100% blockage. First they tried stents and they only lasted about six months before they were blocked. Next I had a fem-pop (bypass) using artificial artery. It lasted less than a month. Doctor said it was like someone poured concrete in it. Next they stripped a vein and used it for the fem-pop. With constant exercise it is still holding up. In the meantime my left renal artery became 100% blocked and I lost the kidney.

So please see a doctor asap. It may not be PAD but if you should have atherosclerosis it could affecting more than your leg (your heart) and you not even know it. See a doctor now.

BobTheBuilder
01-21-2011, 10:43
Today you think you job sucks, car sucks, lack of insurance sucks, and untreated leg pain sucks.
On the trail I imagine you will find the weather sucks, the climb sucks, the shelter sucks, and the food sucks.

mister krabs
01-21-2011, 10:58
I did on accident, thought it was the toilet.:D

No I just have a bad insight on meds. Have any of you ever listen to some of the side effects the have on the human body? They make your anus bleed, lose hearing, and can go blind and the list continues.

It seems as if the government wants us all to be on some sort of pill. Do any of these pill making companies give back to the people? No, they are helping make us more sick and even killing some of us. Do they have to pay the bill when you or I lose your loved one NO.
There is one "drug" that can help with depression and it is called well..... let's just say it's green and grows from the ground. This makes most all happy when used and hungry. What a good way to boost the food sales as well.:D
If you want a drug get it from our mother earth, not some factory. Just my opinion.

I hear ya, I'm a fan of your medication of choice. It smooths the valleys for sure, but for me it leads to amotivational syndrome which is exactly what you don't need when planning a thru and/or trying to get your sh1t together.

mister krabs
01-21-2011, 11:05
By the way Undershaft, your gallery is awesome!

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 11:07
I hear ya, I'm a fan of your medication of choice. It smooths the valleys for sure, but for me it leads to amotivational syndrome which is exactly what you don't need when planning a thru and/or trying to get your sh1t together.


This is true, I kinda like it when mine falls apart. One big pile is a little easier to clean up though:):D
This why you need to eat all your greens, such as spinach, green beans, collard greens and so-on. Or fiber up with the oats and grains:)

RGB
01-21-2011, 11:56
I did on accident, thought it was the toilet.:D

No I just have a bad insight on meds. Have any of you ever listen to some of the side effects the have on the human body? They make your anus bleed, lose hearing, and can go blind and the list continues.

It seems as if the government wants us all to be on some sort of pill. Do any of these pill making companies give back to the people? No, they are helping make us more sick and even killing some of us. Do they have to pay the bill when you or I lose your loved one NO.
There is one "drug" that can help with depression and it is called well..... let's just say it's green and grows from the ground. This makes most all happy when used and hungry. What a good way to boost the food sales as well.:D
If you want a drug get it from our mother earth, not some factory. Just my opinion.

Yeah, and Grizzly Man was right that we can all be friends with animals.

davenc
01-21-2011, 12:58
I can only speak of that which I have experienced.

1-your car. Keep it until it totally dies...unless your life is in danger to keep driving it now. The good news is that when it does die you have money to replace it. I wouldn't spend my AT fund right now if you don't need to.

2-I would avoid meds at all cost. I was on and off (mostly on) various anti depressants and anti-anxiety meds for the past 10 years. For the most part I feel like the meds did nothing more but numb me so I could continue to "endure" what was supposed to be my attempt of the american dream. News flash:: there was no american dream. I simply endured. Nothing more nothing less. Last September I decided to stop all meds. The withdrawals were awful, and I mean awful. maybe some of your feelings are just nervousness about the thru-hike. You can do it!!

3-As far as your leg goes I agree with the poster about the constant sitting. My mother sits in fron of her computer for hour upon hour and she recently had to see the DR about her sciatic nerve. I would suggest seeing a massage therapist as 30-40$ twice a week would be cheaper then seeing a DR out of pocket.

4-One thing i have noticed since I began my radical life change last fall is that unfortunately people around you won't be as excited as you are. You have decided to actually DO something. Those around you continue to search for happiness in things, food, money, etc....They will never find it there and are to afraid to try another path. We love them anyway, and accept them as they are where they are. But we DO NOT change our plans.
Keep trudging, don't change your mind to hike this year. My plan is to hike in 2012. I don't have all the details yet but that is my plan and I know it will work out.

davenc
01-21-2011, 13:03
Pills, Pills, Pills... that's Americas BIGGEST problem when it comes to health issues. You go see a doc, and all he does is say here take this pill, it will fix all your problems. NO, they are wrong, only you can fix your problems not some f-n pill. Pills cause more health issues than you have now without taking them.

here here!!:banana

Spokes
01-21-2011, 13:06
My job sucks. The intra-office politics I have to deal with makes me want to ........


........ consider exploring Five Treasures Qigong? The entire routine can be found here ([URL="http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1572962536605659291#).

Cheers!

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 13:06
Yeah, and Grizzly Man was right that we can all be friends with animals.

We can, maybe some need more practice. I deal with animals every time I drive on the highways and roads, does that count?:-?:)

GeneralLee10
01-21-2011, 13:10
here here!!:banana

You are such a pusher:):D:banana

Sickmont
01-21-2011, 13:15
Actually, if you sell your car you may not need the job after all. I have a friend in philly who worked a ***** job just to keep her ***** car going. Once she figured it out, she sold the car, bought a bicycle(yes, i know she's insane for riding a bike in that city with those people and how they drive) and quit her job. She makes more than enough money picking stuff out of the garbage and selling it on EBAY and at some local flea markets to more than pay her rent. And she's now the happiest i have ever seen her in the entire 20 plus years i've known her. Frugality is the key apparently.

sbhikes
01-21-2011, 13:19
Those around you continue to search for happiness in things, food, money, etc....They will never find it there and are to afraid to try another path.


And she's now the happiest i have ever seen her in the entire 20 plus years i've known her. Frugality is the key apparently.


Seriously true on both of these. With frugality I am happier at a low wage than I was at a high stress, high wage.

P.S. The depression pills helped me cope, got me out of a bad time and gave me permanent ringing in the ears.

Luddite
01-21-2011, 13:26
His statement to that effect is wrong and irresponsible. And they are not addictive. I've reached the point where I seldom use them anymore, I have never had the need to pop pills. The only addiction I've experienced is the need to get out and hike. :D



It is true that anti-anxiety meds like Xanax and Valium are highly addictive. they are meant only for the short term treatment of acute anxiety. The followup medication treatment is anti-depressants, like Zoloft or Celexa. Anti-depressants are a very effectice treatment for anxiety, because anxiety and depression usually go together whatwever the primary diagnosis.


That is simply all i was saying. I have a friend thats taking 3 or 4 Klonopin a day now. Doctor keeps giving them to him.

takethisbread
01-21-2011, 13:36
The best part of a thru hike is the people and the planning.

The walking, the rain, the cold, the boredom, the sense of pointlessness is no joy.

Relax. Enjoy the planning, even if it takes another year.

TheYoungOne
01-21-2011, 13:46
I really hate to say this but this is what I would do.

1) dead end job- Suck it up and tought it out. You either got to work up until your due date then quit, or you need to get "Laid off" . If I were you I would try to get "Laid off" so that you can collect umemployment. The economy is bad, so if there are threats of a layoff going around your office, approach a manager or HR Rep. Play it off that you rather get let go then someone with a wife and kids.

2) Car, just keep it until your due date, or until it dies. If it dies early, it dies early. At that point you have two options, buy another car so you can get to work ,and throw away your chances of a thru hike, or quit your job early. If you can get a job closer to home, to cover you I would do that. Maybe you will be better off working in the walmart down the street for a month, then driving 40 miles to a crummy office job, with a crummy car that is bleeding your money.

3) Get the leg checked out NOW. If its a state issue, drive to the closest out of state hospital and go to the ER. You NEED to be somewhat healthy to thru-hike.

4) Are you depressed or sad...Go on Zoloft for month and keep your eyes on the prize.

M1 Thumb
01-21-2011, 13:51
I would have the exhaust system on the car fixed or replace the car. If the exhaust system is as bad as stated, you could be poisoning yourself on your way to work and on your way home. Repeated exposure to carbon monoxide (chronic CO poisoning) can cause all kinds of problems. For brevity I pasted the following but above all go see a doctor.

Low level carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms may include any combination of the following:



Headaches



Flu like symptoms
Food poisoning like symptoms
Unexplained nausea
Chronic fatigue like symptoms
Feeling of physical weakness
Brain fog
Problems focusing
Disturbed sleep patterns
Irritability/mood swings
Impaired judgment
Unexplained feelings of claustrophobia
Difficult or shallow breathing
Unexplained panic or anxiety
Sensitivities to sugar and simple carbohydrates
Food and chemical sensitivities
Changes to hearing, vision, smell, taste, and/or touch
Subtle and not-so-subtle personality changes
Bizarre behavior(s)
Flu like symptoms but not typically with sinus congestion
Problems regulating temperature of hands and/or feet

DapperD
01-22-2011, 02:03
You said it yourself when you stated that you need to see a doctor. If your leg is hurting you as much as you say it is, and it's onset arrived from out of the blue and it is not from you straining or pulling a muscle, etc...then something could be seriously wrong and this is what is the most important thing to do. Go to a doctor and get it checked out. If your leg is bothering you that much then I don't think you would probably get very far nor even enjoy yourself hiking day after day, especially with the added weight of all your necessary gear. If the job is that horrible, and it is affecting your mental health (and maybe your physical), and you are at your wits end, then you are already past the time of when you needed to be out of there. If you can find a different job, maybe closer to home, then do that. Otherwise if you get your leg checked out and it turns out to be minor, then maybe consider staying at your job for only a little longer, and then leave to hike the AT. If your money begins to wane, then don't do the whole thing and head home with some money still available. Whatever you choose, your health needs to always be given the most attention. Good Luck

mweinstone
01-22-2011, 08:41
to dispare, is to turn ones back to god.

NerdyJohn
01-22-2011, 17:50
As for the car, there are places around here that will rent you a car by the month (Rent-A-Wreck) for only $150 or so per month. That's less than almost any repair. Sell the car and rent one of those. One less thing to worry about when the big day finally gets here.

freemarie
01-22-2011, 20:13
Sometimes you need a boost to push yourself out of it. Anti depressants should by no means be a permanent solution. If it gets to that point, you are not resolving the issue. Resolution and therapy must go hand in hand with medication. And sometimes you may have to switch if one leaves you feeling less than normal. If you don't feel right, it isn't the right one for you. It's something to consider just as you would consider tylenol for a headache.

Don H
01-22-2011, 23:30
I'd feel a lot better if Undershaft would post again. The desperate tone of his post really concerns me. I hope he gets the help he needs.

mweinstone
01-22-2011, 23:42
he needs to declare a medical hike. thats when only hiking can save you. sell everything. go to the trail with your bum leg and camp out a few nights. try to walk a mile and see whats up. you may kick this thing with freash air and good vibes. your happyness levels will be thru the roof if you just go now.quit and go to a doctor anytime its not working. but try to let the hike heal all your ills.

Trailryder42
01-23-2011, 01:45
I agree with having the leg taken care of ASAP. Seems to me that hiking the AT is a mute point until that's done.

Then, since you don't have any ties, why couldn't you take what you have left over, plus what you make on selling off un-needed belongings, and hike as far as that will take you. Layover in one of the many cool towns/cities I read about here just off the AT, take a job, make some more money. All the while you're just a hop, skip and a jump from the woods for any spare time activities.:banana Save up a stash and continue on down the trail. It may be the first of 2012 before you can continue on, but you've changed your lifestyle, location and stress levels, and even if you end up taking a job you really don't like, knowing you're so close to the woods might very well be rejuvenating.

Sassafras Lass
01-24-2011, 12:35
~ For your body - heal yourself with REAL foods, not 90% of the processed nutritionally dead junk that laboratories have created to replace the real food we used to consume decades ago. Stop using microwaves - go for a walk every single day. Do strength-training every other day.

~ For your mind - you'll find that stopping the flow of carcinogens, chemicals, etc. will improve your mood. Pray, meditate, go volunteer at a homeless shelter/pound/etc. It is extremely difficult to think of others and help their situation when you yourself feel helpless or just downright depressed, but it's the cheapest therapy and helps others as you're helping yourself, a win-win.

The cycle of modern living and the push towards consumerism is indeed depressing. If you fight to stay out of "21st century life" then you're a kook or silly or stupid. Drive your car into the ground, keep your eye on the prize and get on that trail as soon as finances allow.

My husband and I are both almost 27. In February 2009 we had "everything" - car, a few thousand $$$ saved up, I just found a great little apt. and job in Chicago that allowed us to move there finally after years of dreaming.

3 weeks later, I lost my job. Rent was cheap but we couldn't decide if we wanted to stay in Chicago or move back home to sit and stew and decide where life should head next. Went to the Kentucky Derby, just hung out for a month or 2 and enjoyed each other's undivided company.

On a visit home, we were riding our bicycles to go to Dairy Queen. At a stop sign, we stopped, then I stood up to accelerate. I have weak ankles. My ankle turned, I fell head-first to the pavement. Landed with all my weight on my mouth. I black out. I come to, I'm on the road, my mouth feels weird. My husband rushes over, the blood drains from his face, he scoops me up and carries me to the side of the road. I'm just sitting there completely stunned. I'm vaguely aware that he's picking stuff up off the road. We have a pay-as-you-go cell phone for emergencies and we just happened to have it with us that day - he calls our mothers and tells them to come right away. A passing driver apparently called the police since they show up and ask if I want an ambulance. They put gauze in my mouth. Our moms show up and we go to the emergency room.

My shoulder is very scraped up and I know I've hurt my mouth but not until they've drugged me up and I have to pee do I get a moment to peek in the mirror. I don't recognize myself. I'm missing 9 teeth/tooth fragments - 1 tooth has turned and pushed up through my lip near my nose (still have a blue scar there), tearing a huge gash there. My bottom lip is nearly severed. I look like I bit a grenade. I'm in shock.

I have surgery that night and they are able to put 4 teeth back in my mouth but I broke the bone in my lower jaw and they can't replace those teeth. I have wires in my mouth and as we go over paperwork the next day it's dawning on me how awful this is and how expensive it is.

My hospital bill is $16,000+. The various doctor/anesthesiologist fees are another few thousand $$$. I had to see more doctors - I had to have root canals - I had to have another minor reconstructive surgery. I racked up another couple thousand $$$ worth of medical bills.

We're broke - literally broke. Our Chicago $$ had run out. We had sold our car before moving to Chicago so my parents bought us a used car. My mom bought us groceries for a few weeks and clothes so I could go back to work (my previous employer took me back). We're living in my husband's parents' basement. My medical bills are around $24,000 at this point and we're both unemployed and w/o insurance.

It was the darkest point of my life.

I wrote the hospital and explained the situation and they have a fund to cover cases like mine - they wrote it off. Bless them :)

I was not that lucky with the other medical establishments. In fact I'm surprised I haven't been sued yet. My accident was in late May and I went back to work mid-July and at first I offered to pay $10 a week - it was all I could afford at first. I was laughed at and my bills were sent to creditors. There is no compassion in the medical field. I had zero credit before but it is now ruined.

I went for an evaluation in April and was told that if I wanted proper implants and reconstruction (so that I'd have a normal smile again) it would be $28,000+. Wow. Okay, guess I won't have teeth ever again. Only 26 and I'm missing 5 teeth and can't smile at people (a huge turn-off in retail) and can't eat an apple off the tree or chew a steak.

My husband I take it one day at at time. We're still mostly broke, living around the poverty line, and we won't have any $$ when we get back from our thru-hike but I'm tired of living "modern" and furthermore tired of living in fear. I'm fine - I have food in my tummy, a husband who loves me, and the sun rises every single day.

My point?

There comes a point in everyone's life (hopefully) where the ***** hits the fan and you decide what your priorities are. Do you want to live an existance that isn't very fulfilling, doesn't have a lot of color or music to it, doesn't keep that childish excitement alive? It's scary to go against the grain. It's scary to get away from the norm.

But it's very fulfilling :)

Ladytrekker
01-24-2011, 12:59
1. Leg pain: I'm a massage therapist and personal trainer. I work in a chiropractor's office. One possibility is your pain is a sciatic nerve problem, which is common among people who sit a lot. But it cpould also be any of a number of other things. definitely get it checked out. If an MD can't pin it down or says its sciatic nerve related, you might be better of treated by a chiropractor and/or massage therapist. Since you're self-pay, this would also be less expensive.
2. When I got back into backpacking a few years ago all I could afford for gear was a bunch of heavy, old, military surplus gear. On my first SAT section my pack weighed 50 lbs with food b ut no water. We could only average a pathetic 2.5 miles a day, being also old and fat.

This was my first thought especially if he has been training more or carrying a pack he could have easily pinched a nerve and a Chiropractor can treat that much cheaper than an MD.

I think you need to do the thru to clear your head and get your thoughts on whats important to you for the future. Your needs will be simple use the time to chill, relax get yourself in shape and get a perspective on the next phase of your life.

Good Luck.

Trailbender
01-24-2011, 18:16
The cycle of modern living and the push towards consumerism is indeed depressing. If you fight to stay out of "21st century life" then you're a kook or silly or stupid. Drive your car into the ground, keep your eye on the prize and get on that trail as soon as finances allow.

I agree, that is why I am a minimalist, with very few things. I own hiking gear, an old car, my computer, and a few clothes.

I was not that lucky with the other medical establishments. In fact I'm surprised I haven't been sued yet. My accident was in late May and I went back to work mid-July and at first I offered to pay $10 a week - it was all I could afford at first. I was laughed at and my bills were sent to creditors. There is no compassion in the medical field. I had zero credit before but it is now ruined.

Compassion is indeed lacking, and if they treated you that way, I would just ignore it. I have had creditors call friends before and they just treated them badly. People in the medical field need to remember why they got that job, to help people, medical costs are insane. I had minor surgery that ended up being like 5K, fortunately a charity paid for it, there was no way I could have paid for it.

I went for an evaluation in April and was told that if I wanted proper implants and reconstruction (so that I'd have a normal smile again) it would be $28,000+. Wow. Okay, guess I won't have teeth ever again. Only 26 and I'm missing 5 teeth and can't smile at people (a huge turn-off in retail) and can't eat an apple off the tree or chew a steak.

Yeah, stuff like this is saddening. Our greedy society places money above people's lives and health. If I had a treatable disease and was dying from it, and I could be treated and they wouldn't because I didn't have any money, you can bet I wouldn't just lay quietly and die. Not saying you have this, but just giving an example.

My husband I take it one day at at time. We're still mostly broke, living around the poverty line, and we won't have any $$ when we get back from our thru-hike but I'm tired of living "modern" and furthermore tired of living in fear. I'm fine - I have food in my tummy, a husband who loves me, and the sun rises every single day.

My point?

There comes a point in everyone's life (hopefully) where the ***** hits the fan and you decide what your priorities are. Do you want to live an existance that isn't very fulfilling, doesn't have a lot of color or music to it, doesn't keep that childish excitement alive? It's scary to go against the grain. It's scary to get away from the norm.

But it's very fulfilling :)

Thanks for your post. I am in the middle of college, and did my thru last year, and I can't stop thinking of the peace and enjoyment I have had on the AT. Sure, it was rainy, and sucked sometimes, but I was much happier than I am now. Too many things in modern life seem to just suck the soul out of people. I have 25K or so in student loans, but even so, I am thinking of leaving school and just hiking, working when I need to. I think it might make me truly happy.

Sassafras Lass
01-31-2011, 13:31
Thanks for your post. I am in the middle of college, and did my thru last year, and I can't stop thinking of the peace and enjoyment I have had on the AT. Sure, it was rainy, and sucked sometimes, but I was much happier than I am now. Too many things in modern life seem to just suck the soul out of people. I have 25K or so in student loans, but even so, I am thinking of leaving school and just hiking, working when I need to. I think it might make me truly happy.


You're welcome. I find that the more I distance myself from modern living and the more I analyze my life and get to the bare bones of what I need to exist, the happier I am. Who'da thunk it? :p

sbhikes
01-31-2011, 14:08
Wow, F-Stop. The end of your story was a huge surprise happy ending. I mean I was expecting you to say you never got to hike the AT because of your accident and wish you had. Instead, what a surprise ending! I'm kind of choked up.

Sassafras Lass
01-31-2011, 14:26
Wow, F-Stop. The end of your story was a huge surprise happy ending. I mean I was expecting you to say you never got to hike the AT because of your accident and wish you had. Instead, what a surprise ending! I'm kind of choked up.

:o Thank you! This whole experience has taught me so much - the vain me says no way would I go through this again, but the real me thanks God for opening my eyes.

Lemni Skate
01-31-2011, 14:51
Don't let the things you're trying to get away from keep you from getting away from them. The job should be a piece of cake for 2 months. Anytime it starts getting crappy, just tell yourself that you'll be gone in 2 months. The car...drive it until it does fall apart. If you must, buy the cheapest clunker you can find for the duration of work and resell it when you're done. You won't lose more than $100 or $200 on the thing...who knows, you might even make a buck or two. Sell the old one for scrap if you have to and you might come out ahead.

As to your leg. Get a doctor to look at. I had all kinds of various leg pains and after a month of hiking they were all gone. Go to a free clinic to make sure it's nothing serious. If you want to walk away from all the crap, have a yard sale. You'd be surprised how much of your crap somebody will pay you for. Even if you only make $100 that's 3-7 days on the trail depending on how you spend it. You can do this. Don't give up. I'd also ask the doctor about depression. You sound a little hopeless and the trail is just around the corner.

Bo Knows
01-31-2011, 16:43
The reason people think we're crazy when we want to do something unorthodox, say, hike the AT, is because they secretly are miserable, desire the same change, but are too cowardly to ever do something so drastic, so they wonder why anyone else would.


I completely agree. I'm getting all those jealous stories and I'm crazy bs with 2 weeks left at my job. If you want to then just do it. Why is everyone so worried about my bank account?!?!?!?!?!

Land_Shark
01-31-2011, 17:40
Land shark on the move. Fisrt thing there are worse things in life then death such as living in the hell you just described. All the support that has been generated by such an honest confession testifies to the spirt of the hiking community. You need to see a doctor do what they say (lose a lot weight this is very hard) it will help with your pain. Your body like your pack is more fun when it weighs less. Hope to see you good luck and GOD speed to your life.

Undershaft
02-07-2011, 10:15
Thank you for all your kind words and advice. I never expected my lame tale of woe and misery to generate so many responses. I apologize for being absent from this thread for so long. I've been very busy these past few weeks trying to get everything in order and back on track so I can hike. About a week ago I wrote a huge post replying to all the nice posts you folks have made on this thread and just before I submitted my reply the power went out and all was lost. (Good Grief, Charlie Brown!) I don't have time to do that again today, but I did want to give everyone an update.

First off, I am not suicidal. (typing those words was really weird) Like the title said I just needed to vent although, as some of you noted, I was depressed when I started this thread. I realize my life is not so bad and these setbacks are minor in the grand scheme of things. I do wish to thank everyone for your concern and apologize if I caused any worry.

Work: I finally made my manager sit down and set a week for my vacation. They owe me one more week of paid vacation before I leave, but my boss has been sidestepping the issue for two months. Everytime I brought it up she would complain that she needed her vacation and basically ignore me. Three days ago I went into her office with my company keys in my hand and basically told her: set a week for me to take off or my vacation starts right now. Fortunately they need me a lot more than I need them at the moment. I also told my boss to start looking for my replacement. I haven't given my offical notice of resignation yet, but they now know this "Hiking Thing" that I want to do is far more important to me than my job. The company politics are getting worse each day, but I'm coping as best as I can. Two weeks from now they won't owe me a thing, and I will be free to walk away whenever it is most convenient for me to do so. My bosses realize this now, and are actively trying to make my work situation as good as possible. They know it is in their best interest to keep me around as long as they can (Upper Management even signed a birthday card for me, a company first!).

Car: The Stinkin' Lincoln has gone to heaven. It not only got stuck in the snow last week, but broke down at the same time. The transmission is almost completely burnt out and the altenator is toast. I'm turning in the plates and canceling insurance today. The Fates smiled on me the next day however, and provided me with a decent car to use free for the next eight weeks until it is needed again by its owner.

Leg: I have been spending a lot of time and effort re-applying for insurance and trying to find a doctor. In the meantime the pain got so bad I could barely function and went to the ER. After they finally decided I wasn't a druggie looking for a pain pill fix, they examined my leg and ruled out anything really serious like a blood clot or DVT. They diagnosed a slipped disk in my back causing sciatic pain in my leg. I was given a course of steroids (which has helped a lot) and some muscle relaxers to help until I get with a doctor and figure out a plan of action to relieve this condition. I found a doctor who is local and I'm just waiting on the paperwork from the state regarding my insurance. I'm optimistic that my leg (and back) will be good to go in April. I may have to start a week or two later than I planned, but I've stopped caring if I finish the trail this year. I just want to hike. There is no stress or worry when I'm hiking, and I feel very relaxed when I'm on the trail.

Things have gotten much better since I started this thread. It seems as though it will all work out OK and I will be hiking on the AT sometime this spring after all. I feel like I can now resume planning and gearing up for a long hike. It seems like ages since I've been on Whiteblaze or looked at any gear, and I miss it.

Again, Thank You very much for your kind words, advice, and for sharing your own stories. It has given me a lot of hope and inspiration for tackling my own obstacles in life. With a lot of luck I will be standing on the summit of Springer by mid-april heading north. I hope I get to meet some of you on the trail. Happy Hiking!

mister krabs
02-07-2011, 11:31
Thanks for updating Undershaft, glad things are looking up.

Sassafras Lass
02-07-2011, 11:38
I'm optimistic that my leg (and back) will be good to go in April. I may have to start a week or two later than I planned, but I've stopped caring if I finish the trail this year. I just want to hike.

Again, Thank You very much for your kind words, advice, and for sharing your own stories. It has given me a lot of hope and inspiration for tackling my own obstacles in life. With a lot of luck I will be standing on the summit of Springer by mid-april heading north. I hope I get to meet some of you on the trail. Happy Hiking!

:banana Glad to hear it! Best of luck to you :)

RETCW4
02-07-2011, 22:07
Thank you for all your kind words and advice. I never expected my lame tale of woe and misery to generate so many responses. I apologize for being absent from this thread for so long. I've been very busy these past few weeks trying to get everything in order and back on track so I can hike. About a week ago I wrote a huge post replying to all the nice posts you folks have made on this thread and just before I submitted my reply the power went out and all was lost. (Good Grief, Charlie Brown!) I don't have time to do that again today, but I did want to give everyone an update.

First off, I am not suicidal. (typing those words was really weird) Like the title said I just needed to vent although, as some of you noted, I was depressed when I started this thread. I realize my life is not so bad and these setbacks are minor in the grand scheme of things. I do wish to thank everyone for your concern and apologize if I caused any worry.

Work: I finally made my manager sit down and set a week for my vacation. They owe me one more week of paid vacation before I leave, but my boss has been sidestepping the issue for two months. Everytime I brought it up she would complain that she needed her vacation and basically ignore me. Three days ago I went into her office with my company keys in my hand and basically told her: set a week for me to take off or my vacation starts right now. Fortunately they need me a lot more than I need them at the moment. I also told my boss to start looking for my replacement. I haven't given my offical notice of resignation yet, but they now know this "Hiking Thing" that I want to do is far more important to me than my job. The company politics are getting worse each day, but I'm coping as best as I can. Two weeks from now they won't owe me a thing, and I will be free to walk away whenever it is most convenient for me to do so. My bosses realize this now, and are actively trying to make my work situation as good as possible. They know it is in their best interest to keep me around as long as they can (Upper Management even signed a birthday card for me, a company first!).

Car: The Stinkin' Lincoln has gone to heaven. It not only got stuck in the snow last week, but broke down at the same time. The transmission is almost completely burnt out and the altenator is toast. I'm turning in the plates and canceling insurance today. The Fates smiled on me the next day however, and provided me with a decent car to use free for the next eight weeks until it is needed again by its owner.

Leg: I have been spending a lot of time and effort re-applying for insurance and trying to find a doctor. In the meantime the pain got so bad I could barely function and went to the ER. After they finally decided I wasn't a druggie looking for a pain pill fix, they examined my leg and ruled out anything really serious like a blood clot or DVT. They diagnosed a slipped disk in my back causing sciatic pain in my leg. I was given a course of steroids (which has helped a lot) and some muscle relaxers to help until I get with a doctor and figure out a plan of action to relieve this condition. I found a doctor who is local and I'm just waiting on the paperwork from the state regarding my insurance. I'm optimistic that my leg (and back) will be good to go in April. I may have to start a week or two later than I planned, but I've stopped caring if I finish the trail this year. I just want to hike. There is no stress or worry when I'm hiking, and I feel very relaxed when I'm on the trail.

Things have gotten much better since I started this thread. It seems as though it will all work out OK and I will be hiking on the AT sometime this spring after all. I feel like I can now resume planning and gearing up for a long hike. It seems like ages since I've been on Whiteblaze or looked at any gear, and I miss it.

Again, Thank You very much for your kind words, advice, and for sharing your own stories. It has given me a lot of hope and inspiration for tackling my own obstacles in life. With a lot of luck I will be standing on the summit of Springer by mid-april heading north. I hope I get to meet some of you on the trail. Happy Hiking!


Undershaft,

I feel your pain. I was diagnosed last week with a herniated disc in my lower back that I have had since Christmas. My neurosurgeon told me it will heal itself between 6 wks to 3 months. I planned on starting April 1st, but have now decided to take this year healing and training and do my thru-hike next year. Good luck with yours.

Tumbleweed

Don H
02-07-2011, 23:13
Very good to hear from you again. Sounds like things are falling into place, everything will work out. If you decide to do a thru and you think you're running out of time you can skip a state (many like to skip PA) and then finish it later in the year. That way you won't run out of time in Baxter SP.

Trailbender
02-08-2011, 09:14
Undershaft,

I feel your pain. I was diagnosed last week with a herniated disc in my lower back that I have had since Christmas. My neurosurgeon told me it will heal itself between 6 wks to 3 months. I planned on starting April 1st, but have now decided to take this year healing and training and do my thru-hike next year. Good luck with yours.

Tumbleweed

Yeah, I know that would be a really hard thing to accept, but you can use the time to go on a lot of section hikes and perfect your gear. That helped my thru immensely, doing my section hikes.

Undershaft
02-10-2011, 01:43
Undershaft,

I feel your pain. I was diagnosed last week with a herniated disc in my lower back that I have had since Christmas. My neurosurgeon told me it will heal itself between 6 wks to 3 months. I planned on starting April 1st, but have now decided to take this year healing and training and do my thru-hike next year. Good luck with yours.

Tumbleweed


Sorry to hear that Tumbleweed. It sucks to invest so much time and planning into something only to be brought down by a physical ailment. Maybe you'll be able to do some section hiking this year after your back has healed up, and you will definitely be ready to thru-hike next year!


Very good to hear from you again. Sounds like things are falling into place, everything will work out. If you decide to do a thru and you think you're running out of time you can skip a state (many like to skip PA) and then finish it later in the year. That way you won't run out of time in Baxter SP.

Thats probably what I'll end up doing Don. Hike from Springer to Harper's Ferry then skip ahead to Massachusetts and hike to Katahdin. I can then go back and finish the mid-atlantic section in the fall if time allows.