At some point in all of the 3-Day for the Cure there is a chance that you may need to go to the medical tent. In this weeks column, I want to go over things you can do to avoid going to the medical tent and also talk about when you should look to go there.
Let’s Not Go to the Medical Tent!
The medical staff at the 3-Day are great people. Every interaction I have had with them has been good and they have always had a smile despite the hours into the night that they have to work. With that said, if you can do some things to avoid seeing them, aside from at closing ceremonies and in the dining tent, it would be a good thing because that means you don’t need medical attention! There are two definite things that you can do to avoid making their day more busy than it already will be.
First and foremost, stay hydrated. That bears repeating. STAY HYDRATED! That means before, during and after the walk. You should be peeing on the walk more than you have probably ever peed in your life. You should be waking up in the middle of the night to pee, you should be peeing frequently during the day, staying hydrated will do that to you! Definitely make sure that you are hydrate before you go to the shower. The last thing any of the medical team wants to have to do is to pull your naked body out of the showers because you passed out because you didn’t drink enough.
Second, pay attention to your feet. I say this a lot, but walking 60 miles with a blister between your middle toes is not at all fun! I did this my first walk because I didn’t pay attention to my feet. If you pay attention to your feet you can do a lot to treat issues yourself before they become issues that the medics have to take care of. You don’t want a blister so big that they have to lance it, especially if you could have prevented it by stopping for five minutes and putting moleskin over a hot spot.
Let’s Go to the Medical Tent!
There will be occasions where all the preventative measures in the world will not keep you from the medical tent. You need to realize this and accept this now. The 3-Day is not a world’s toughest competition. You’re already doing the tough part: fund raising, training and walking 60 miles. There’s no need to continue walking on an ankle that is killing you. Chances are that they could wrap that ankle up for you and it would feel tons better. If your knees need ice, go get them iced! Prolonging your pain is not going to help you when you get to day 2 or day 3, it’s just going to mean that you are in more pain than you would have been if you had gone and gotten treated. Again, I can’t stress this enough, pay attention to your body. If think you might need medical attention, you probably do.
When you go to the medical tent, you are probably going to have to wait in line. Keep this in mind when you decide to go there, and plan accordingly. Don’t go and expect to get in and out in 5 minutes. These people are good at what they do and will try and get you taken care of as quickly as possible, but there are only so many things you can do in a certain amount of time with two hands. Just make sure that when you plan to go, you are aware that there will be a wait and don’t expect to be done right away. One more reason to do all the preventative care that you can! Avoid the waits!
I had to visit the medical tent the first year that I went on the 3-Day because I didn’t pay attention to my feet and got a terrible blister in a terrible place. Luckily, since then I have done the preventative stuff, done the training (which gets the body ready for the physical nature or the walk!) and not had to go see the medical staff. However, I do still pay attention to my body and if ever there is a time where I’m in a large amount of pain, I will not hesitate to pay them a visit!