I was so reluctant to do this but I just had to.
So I picked up the phone and made the dreaded phone call to Sue Hile, owner of the Adventurous Women’s Club and organiser of my Everest Base Camp trek, letting her know that I couldn’t go. This was a month before I was due to fly out.
Well, weeks have passed since the time I would have arrived back from my trek and I look at the photos of the women who went and look through my training photos leading up to the trek, feeling quite disappointed but yet I remain philosophical about it all.
I had often heard of people with their “knee” issues but I never thought that would be me!
I have such strong quads that why would I have knee issues?
Well, I did and the more I trained the more it became evident. It was only slight but enough to suspect something.
I made an appointment with the doctor and coincidentally my doctor is also an enthusiastic hiker/trekker. Having done many treks in New Zealand and Tasmania with her teenage son. So she knew and understood what this trek meant to me and being a doctor she also knew what my knees meant to me too.
Basically my right knee had inflammation with my left experiencing the same but to a lesser degree. I would feel pain in the back of my knee as well. Even with the use of my poles, which I would not walk without them, I still had the pain. And given that the training would only intensify it was going to get worse. By this stage I was only training 3-4 times a week for 1-4 hours duration. Averaging around 2 hours.
Mine and my doctors thoughts were that the trek was going to be more intense than what I had been doing, trekking daily for much longer periods. And yet I needed to give my knees a rest to allow the swelling to go down and to allow it to heal but I had only a month to go before I was due to fly out. It just wasn’t going to work!
My doctor did suggest a MRI but I didn’t see the point because it wasn’t going to make it any better in time. So, I just accepted that it wasn’t my time to go and that the mountain was always going to be there.
I learned a lot in the process of preparing and I will know what to do and not do next time.
I’m glad I discovered this before my trek and not during. You can only imagine if that would have happened. Of course I would have coped (most likely in pain) and it would have been a story to tell but I’m just glad that I didn’t go and gave sometime for my knee to get better.
Make sure you have good knees
For my next trek I will make sure that I have done and am regularly doing knee and leg strengthening functional exercises. But I have to add that having my trekking poles helped me a great deal not only with my knees but calves and the impact on all those joints.