Loving Life and My New Normal (feat. new video)

What an amazing week of outdoor adventure it has been. We are still working on the video for our backpacking trip last weekend, as there is a lot of footage to sort through. We hope to get it on the site in the next week.

Until then, we created a short film covering a fun day-hike Doug and I completed along with Doug’s dad and our good friend. Shadow Canyon, leading to South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak in Boulder, Colorado’s famed Flatirons, has always been one of my favorite hikes. It is a challenging ascent that links up two peaks, and has around 3000 feet of elevation gain in a little over 3 miles. I have been day-hiking a bunch to get strong again, and figured I was finally up for something more strenuous. And was I ever! I could not believe how great I felt on the entire hike. Everyday I realize more and more how my diseased colon had held me back. Now that it is gone, I am blissfully getting used to my new “normal” and loving life!

There were a couple of new things to deal with on this excursion. One was scorching temperatures. The high today was 90 degrees–definitely my warmest hike since surgery. I had to really stay on top of hydration and ended up tanking up on water before getting to the trailhead, drinking about 4.5 liters of water on the actual hike and then guzzling another 1.5 liters when I returned home. I am finding that avoiding dehydration on the trail is not that difficult. It just takes planning to make sure you carry enough water, and then some self-discipline to make sure you drink, drink, drink.

I also tried closed-end pouches for the first time today. Wow! I didn’t know what I was missing. I had been planning to use these when I start rock climbing again, but am also beginning to realize their potential for hiking and snowy backpacking (as you will hear about in my soon-to-be-released backpacking video). Closed-end pouches were wonderful to use on my day-hike today, as they were super quick to swap out and more discreet than digging a cathole when a lot of fellow hikers were around. I ended up having to swap one out five hours after starting the hike and then another 4 hours later when we were at a restaurant for some post-adventure dining.

I am finding that now that I have all the important basics of ostomy care down, such as pouch-emptying and -changing, as well as skin care, I am rather enjoying experimenting with what works for my favorite outdoor activities.

4 thoughts on “Loving Life and My New Normal (feat. new video)

  1. I continue to be so proud of you! You are going to help so many people with this blog. Keep doing what you are doing. I totally agree with the amazing feelings of energy…you don’t realize how much the illness was dragging you down until it’s gone. On the hydration front, for my outdoor runs I’ve been carrying a handheld bottle and I make myself drink every time a new song starts on my iPod (if not more often) and that seems to be working well. Rock on, Heidi! 🙂

    1. Thanks Dawn! Good idea for hydration too. It is easy to get in the zone and forget to drink and your song method sounds like it would be very effective. I feel like I am almost ready to start running again. I have this crazy, unwarranted fear that I am going to shake my belly too much and that there is all this empty space in there. I know this is completely ridiculous:) I am sure once I start running again it will feel fine… except for sore muscles!

  2. I agree with the previous post, you will be helping so many with this blog! If you have time, stop on over to my site, havebagwilltravel.net and see what you think. I’d love to have you contribute something as a guest writer! 🙂 Heather

    1. Hi Heather,
      I love your site! I will add it to my favorite pages. I would be interested in contributing something. Let me know what ideas you have, and I may have some time later this summer. Your UC story sounds similar to mine in many ways, as do your thoughts on why you decided to go for the permanent ileostomy option. Keep up the great work!

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