I’ve already been thinking that I should redo my first aid certification before I go on my hike. Since I intend to be primarily solo on this trip (I’ll have people joining me for various legs, but no one partner for the entire route) I think it would be best if I can deal with my own bumps and bruises, at least until help arrives. That is, if it’s bad enough to need help. And I should also be knowledgeable enough to know if I need help.
All this became more evident last night, when I stubbed my toe. It is a completely run of the mill injury, the kind of thing I actually do kind of frequently. As I pointed out to my best friend, when you stub your toe the pain is always so severe and so immediate that you always think you’ve broken it clean in half. Until you look at it, you’re convinced it’s got to be mangled. And then you take your sock off and there’s NOTHING wrong with it and you feel like an idiot but it still hurts.
Anyway. This wasn’t any different, except the pain didn’t go away. I’ve never had a stubbed toe that still hurt the next day, or even that hurt too badly a few hours later. I usually just forget it even happened after a few hours. But in this instance, I woke up this morning and flexed my feet (not an uncommon thing for me in the morning) and *bam* the pain hit all over again. I’ve got a nice little bruise on top too.
Now, I’m almost certain I didn’t break my toe. But I ended up looking up information on Google because I didn’t even know how to tell if it was broken or sprained or what I should do in either case. Which just brings me back to my first point – first aid training. I really need to know these things so that if I do stub my toe or scratch my arm or anything like that, I take the proper steps right away. A thru-hike is going to be difficult for my body to endure if it was in perfect condition, which it never will be, and adding injuries to that isn’t going to help.
So I guess I have to add first aid certification onto my “to do very soon” list. And it’ll have to be a more comprehensive course than the last one I took, I think.