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Pain, pain, go away

Written by on August 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

If you experience any pain along the MS Challenge Walk, the medical tents at each rest stop and at the Sea Camps can offer non-prescription painkillers to help relieve what ails you. Whether you're asking us to distribute this medication to you or you've brought your own, be careful with your choice of pain relievers and how much you take. Too much Tylenol (acetomenophin) can cause liver damage, too much Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen sodium) can lead to kidney damage and bleeding, and too much aspirin can cause bleeding problems. Try alternating pain relievers so that your body doesn't develop an immunity to any one. The recommend dosage for adults varies; follow the directions on the bottle.

Jacqui is a registered nurse working in home dialysis, living in Denver, Colorado. Born and rasied in Gray, Maine, Jacqui was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and has been participating in the MS Challenge Walk since 2007. This year is the first time she's had her own team, Whittaker's Warriors.

Some tips for caring for your feet

Written by on August 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

The part of your body on which the MS Challenge Walk has the greatest impact — pun intended — is your feet. Everyone knows to wear the right sneakers and to break them in well before the walk. But what more can you do to avoid blisters and visits to the medical tent? Here are some tips.

  • Wrap your feet in athletic tape, from your toes to your ankles. Don't wrap too tightly! Use Vaseline or Petroleum jelly under the athletic tape.
  • Be sure your toenails are trimmed or filed close to the end of your toe, to prevent friction and bumping against your shoes which could result in the loss of toenails!
  • Epsom salt foot soaks help soothe tired achy feet! Dissolve a half cup of this mineral into two quarts of very warm water. Pour the water into a foot-soaking pan and soak your bare feet for fifteen to twenty minutes, once or twice a day. Rinse your feet off with clean tap water and dry them thoroughly. This service is provided free to all visitors to the medical tent, whether or not you need to see a medical professional.
Foot tape

Better to look like this than blistered!

Good luck out there!

Jacqui is a registered nurse working in home dialysis, living in Denver, Colorado. Born and rasied in Gray, Maine, Jacqui was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and has been participating in the MS Challenge Walk since 2007. This year is the first time she's had her own team, Whittaker's Warriors.

Water, water, everywhere

Written by on August 16, 2010 at 11:12 am

One of the most important things you can do for your body over the course of the MS Challenge Walk is to keep it hydrated. But be careful of too much water or too much Gatorade; too much of either can cause electrolyte imbalances in your body and cause you to become sick.

Hyponatremia, or water intoxication (overdose), is caused by drinking too much water. This causes the sodium levels in your blood to become too low. Excessive sweating can also lead to hyponatremia. The early warning signs are often similar to dehydration: one may become nauseated, have muscle cramps, become disorientation or confused. The opposite condition is hypernatremia, which is too much sodium. This and hyperkalemia (too much potassium) may be caused by excessive drinking of Gatorade. The wrong amount of sodium or potassium can cause irregular heart rhythms. The best bet is to alternate water with Gatorade to keep your electrolytes properly balanced.

GatoradeThe best way for to avoid electrolyte imbalances and prevent hyponatremia is to plan ahead by training in the same conditions you will encounter during the walk. Here are some additional hydration recommendations:

  • Use a sodium containing sports drinks during long distance, high intensity events (more than 60-90 minutes long).
  • Increase salt intake per day several days prior to competition (except for those with hypertension).
  • Try not to drink more then you sweat.
  • Avoid use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medicines that contain sodium. Research suggests that these drugs may predispose runners to hyponatremia.

Jacqui is a registered nurse working in home dialysis, living in Denver, Colorado. Born and rasied in Gray, Maine, Jacqui was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and has been participating in the MS Challenge Walk since 2007. This year is the first time she's had her own team, Whittaker's Warriors.

What to expect at the medical tents

Written by on August 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

I have had the opportunity to experience the medical tents both as a walker and as a nurse. The medical crew is available for everything you may need as a walker or as a crew member. As a walker you may develop sore, blistered feet; the crew will mend you with ointments, bandages, gauze, and advice. You may develop sore or swollen joints; the crew will ice and wrap you up! Maybe you will suffer a bit of dehydration or heat exhaustion. They will cool you down and nourish you with fluids. Aches and pains? A little Tylenol or Advil will do!

The main medical tent is available at the Sea Camps from 6 AM until the last patient leaves, and each rest stop has a medical station with nearly everything you might need on your two-day, 30-mile journey. Should the need arise for more intensive medical treatment, the crew will stabilize you until more advanced care arrives.

As a walker my first year, I was treated with TLC, and I saw all walkers treated that way. As a nurse on medical crew my second year, I treated everyone with the same TLC! But no matter how well you're treated, the best care is preventive. Over the next few Mondays, I'll give some medical advice that you can use to take care of yourself and avoid any medical emergencies. Stay tuned!

Jacqui is a registered nurse working in home dialysis, living in Denver, Colorado. Born and rasied in Gray, Maine, Jacqui was diagnosed with MS in 2003 and has been participating in the MS Challenge Walk since 2007. This year is the first time she's had her own team, Whittaker's Warriors.