Saturday 16 December 2006

Out of action

Getting bandaged up - health problems suck!

As they say it's easy to take your health for granted until it fails you. I've been away on a bit of a tour of the UK coaching climbers and giving lectures, trying to fit in training and everything else - generally burning the candle at both ends. There is always a cost to behaving like this somewhere along the line. The body does not thank you for being abused. I just got home from the tour and was all set to leave for a short climbing trip, but had to cancel due to health problems for the first time in years. A skin problem (eczema) on my feet which has been there all my life doesn't normally get in the way, but tends to get worse at times of extreme busyness. The last time I remember having painful walk-ins to crags was during my finals. Anyhow It means I am not in good shape for getting a pair of rockshoes on my feet and will have to go back to wearing socks with them all the time.

Its not all a tale of woe on the climbing front though. At least I can still hang off the fingerboard and time stuck at hoe at night with the bandages on will mean the rest of my work gets done and I'll be ready (and hopefully a little less weak) for new year climbing trips.

Should still be OK for mountaineering boots though, and there are signs of winter waking up!


  1. I'm probably about to preach to the converted but you seem to be sufferring a bit so here's my 2 bits.
    I used to have eczema so badly on my arms that my skin cracked and wept and my clothing stuck and I had to bandage it every day. Doctors told me there was no cure and I got prescribed lots of creams, usually petroleum based, which did nothing or made things worse.

    I eventually found, and figured, out that eczema, for most, is allergy based and the skin is reacting to an irritant, internal or external, affecting the body. The skin is the body's biggest organ and is usually the best indicator if something's wrong, (like being stressed, although that seems to magnify an already existing problem.)
    So it turns out that I'm allergic, in varying degrees, to dairy products, caffeine (still have both though,) and biological washing powder (in clothing next to skinand/bedding etc). Cutting out the powder, and drastically down on the dairy and caffeine, leaves me eczema free. Re-introduce them, (like now with caffenine,) and it comes back.

    The problem tends to appear in areas that don't see much fresh air like feet, inside of elbows, back's of knees etc.

    I don't have any useful links I can point you at but for the majority with the condition it can be controlled, or eradicated, even in stressful times.

    Like I said, you probably know all this so hope it gets better soon.

  2. Thanks for the comments. Yes I've also learned over the years what aggrivates it. Unfortunately in my case it's rockshoes!!! Hence I wear socks when things get bad.

    I also find the change of seasons is a trigger too for some reason. But I think the most likely reason that links to seasons is fluctuations in training load in different seasons. Again, not something I want to cut back on. Usually it's ok if I work hard to manage external stress in order to accomodate high training stress. As you'll know the bodys responses to stress of different types can have similarities which affect the other areas (e.g cortisol levels).

    At least it responds quickly to remeving the stress! Just a couple of nights at home instead of sleeping on trains and airports and I can climb again.