Nothing gives me more pleasure, apart from being a homeopathic practitioner, than independent travel. I have almost regarded it as my duty to travel, given the fact that, by dint of my birth place, I have a passport that allows me the privilege of being able to visit many countries without the visa restrictions that some parts of this world have in place.
Last year, I donned my rucksack with my husband, as I have done on and off for many years, and headed for South America. Over the years, I have become a rucksack packing expert and, if it weighs more than 10 kilos, including my homeopathic medical kit, it is time to jettison something. My philosophy is that I can buy most things in other countries anyway, except my remedies.
It had been a life-long dream of mine to visit South America – Argentina in particular, to see the mighty Andes. I had studied that mountain range in my a level geography and it had fascinated me. I have travelled through parts of other mountain ranges – Alps, Pyrenees, Rockies, Himalayas etc. but was always drawn to one day seeing and travelling through the Andes.
As we only had 4.5 weeks of travel in that part of the world, we had to fit in as much as possible. It really was a case of planes, trains, and automobiles, or rather, planes and long bus journeys.
We had travelled down to El Calafate. El Calafate is a town near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz. It’s mainly known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier.
We decided to base ourselves there for a few days in order to get closer to the Andes on foot and to visit the Perito Marino Glacier. As we were in Argentina during spring, we realised that the weather could be very hit and miss on a daily basis, especially down in Patagonia. However, the day we took the early public bus to El Chaltén, a 3 hour bus journey from El Calafate, the weather was superb, not a cloud in the sky and pleasantly warm. What more could one ask for in such a magnificent part of this amazing world! El Chaltén is a village within Los Glaciares National Park. It’s a gateway to trails surrounding the peaks of Cerro Torre and Mt Fitz Roy to the northwest.
Upon arriving in El Chaltén, we decided to do the 5-hour round trip trail up the mountain to the Mt Fitzroy view point, (one that is featured on the cover of the Lonely Planet Guide to Argentina) in order to ensure we were on the last public bus back to El Calafate.
The underfoot conditions could not have been better and I had a smile on my face from ear to ear knowing that I was being privileged to experience a spectacular view of the Andes.
Everything had been going swimmingly until our return leg of the journey. About halfway down the steep mountain track and moving at a reasonable pace, as I placed my right foot down, dropping over some rocks, suddenly, the ground gave way.
My right foot went right back on itself as I landed on it with my full body weight and continued to slide, scraping against some very sharp rocks! Initially, I was really stunned and couldn’t move, but once centred again, I was able to wriggle my right toes.
Although, in absolute agony, I knew that I hadn’t broken anything. Not far behind me were a group of British medics and one had seen what I had done and said that I had been lucky from what he had just witnessed that I hadn’t snapped my ankle completely off!
That cheered me up greatly. At least, I thought, I would be able to continue with my travels. They we went on to call for help. In the meantime, with the help of my husband and two very well-built Argentinian gentleman, I got further down until the Patagonian Mountain Rescue team appeared. They bandaged me up, got me to the bottom and took us both to the bus station to catch our bus. That’s a trip I won’t forget.
The British medics had given me some very strong prescriptive Ibuprofen drugs, but despite the tremendous pain, I only took the one. It did absolutely nothing anyway. I rarely take those types of drugs, and only have to if I haven’t got my remedies.
Allopathic medicine is my second choice of medicine, not my first. Not only had I injured my ankle but I also had nasty gashes on both my hands and elbows. As soon as I got back to the ranch in El Calafate, so to speak, I was straight to my homeopathic medical kit. I made up a combination of 30c potencies – Aconite, Arnica, Ledum, Hypericum and Symphytum – 3-4 x daily.
Although I had acquired a new style of walking, I was determined it would not interfere with my travel plans too much. For the first few weeks, I took all of the combination and then reduced it to just Hypericum and Symphytum.
In 3 months, I was able to walk normally, without the ankle support and rotate my ankle without any difficulty. In six months, I could do everything I could do before the injury –including squatting and kneeling. The symptom that took the longest to clear was the fear of doing it again. Perfectly normal, given my injury, but that too, has now passed.
Interestingly enough, I had met someone who had had a similar injury and had used Ibuprofen for months. His recovery had taken much longer, and even after a year, he had stated that he felt he had not recovered full use of the ankle joint. Thank God, I am a homeopath.
Carla on the track to view Mt Fitzroy, Patagonia, Argentina, November 2019
Right foot ankle injury sustained on the return trip from the View point of Mt Fitzroy starting to recover – November 2019
Carla Carmichael is a Homeopathic Practitioner now based in Dunblane, Scotland, UK. She continuous to update her knowledge through her mentor Dr Shanthakumar of Sri Lanka and India. Website – www.cchomeopathy.com