So, here’s something I never thought about until recently. I was invited to a non-traditional birthday gathering at a ropes course. This is one of those places were you climb rope ladders, fly on zip lines, and otherwise flex some muscle. I didn’t want to participate for a number of reasons. The first, and this will not shock anyone who knows me, is that it is just not my idea of fun.
However, I also had some serious worries about how I would hold up. This event would be outside in August, and that means it could be H-O-T hot! As you probably know, with an ileostomy, dehydration is an enemy. On this course you are not allowed to bring along anything and need to have your hands free. So, I imagine schlepping along some Gatorade is out of the question. Plus the course is supposed to take up to 3 hours to complete. That’s a long time for heat, humidity,and exertion. What if I feel I’m pushing it too far and need to stop? Hard to stop when you are 40 feet up in the air and attached to a zip line. Plus this group of people, who I barely know, may not be very supportive or understanding.
And then I wondered about the harness you have to wear. What if it smushes my ileostomy or causes any harm? What if it is painfully uncomfortable for 3 hours?I read some discussions online, and it sounds like zip-line harness usually don’t cause a problem. However, it depends on the placement of the stoma.
I debated this for quite some time. I hate to feel like a wimp, but I’ve come to appreciate the fact that I can avoid potentially stressful or even dangerous (health-wise, that is) situations. I’ve wimped out and declined the invitations. The good part is they are also gathering for dinner after and I plan to join the festivities then.
However, the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that I would like to do this. But I want it on my terms in a way that feels controlled and comfortable. I want to go in Autumn when it is not hot, plus I want to do it with some close friends who I know will be supportive.
So, why do I want to do it? Well…..I know I’m doing the right thing by not participating with this group at this time. But, I almost feel like a challenge has been issued and I want to get out of my comfort zone. It could be really empowering and fun. So, maybe, just maybe, I’ll do it and be sure it is at a time and place where I am comfortable. Maybe that is the most empowering thing of all!?