Me, My Ostomy and a Mountain

Exercising with a stoma

“It was so exhilarating to push my body to its limits and feel that sense of achievement”

Tweet this!

Hey everyone!

I’m going to start this blog by saying something I never thought I’d say... I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN!!!

If you follow me on social media, you might’ve seen that a few weeks ago I decided to climb Snowdon and I can honestly say, I’m so proud of myself. Stoma aside, I never thought my body would be strong or fit enough to climb a mountain, but I DID IT!

We set off at 8am and we completed the hike by 4:30pm, completing over 8 hours of walking (with a few breaks, of course!). It was so exhilarating to push my body to its limits and feel that sense of achievement!

I was really nervous about doing the hike, not because of my fitness level, but more because I didn’t know how my bag was going to behave. Unfortunately, finding a toilet on the side of a mountain, isn’t a usual occurrence so I did have a little bit of a situation to handle at some point, but my bag was so well behaved, and it made me feel proud to have an ileostomy and know that I really can do anything I put my mind to.

It’s been a few weeks since the hike and despite my poor bruised toenails (that still haven’t recovered!) I can’t stop talking about my amazing experience and I wanted to share my tips and tricks about hiking with an ileostomy!

Firstly, I made sure that I took a spare bag for a ‘just in case’ moment and also some of the disposal bags that SecuriCare provide to throw the products away. I put a few bits of tissue in the bottom of the bags to weigh them down, this way it would allow me to empty my ileostomy bag waste straight into the disposal bag with ease.

I’ve learnt quite a few things over the years to slow my output for certain situations, one of which is to watch what I eat the day before. I try to go for more thickening output foods like; bread, rice and other high carb foods, rather than vegetables as they tend to make the output watery. My go to, holy grails for slowing my output are jelly babies and marshmallows! I’ve used these for years and this trick hasn’t failed me yet!

Lastly, I would also usually eat a little bit less, but when hiking a mountain, you need all the energy you can get, so this wasn’t really an option for me! Throughout the hike, I ate bananas and flapjacks, both fantastically filling and great for thickening output, and of course I made sure to drink plenty of water. As an ostomate, I tend to get dehydrated quickly, so I try to make sure I’m drinking water throughout the day. Water is great, but sometimes you need some added electrolytes, I absolutely DETEST the taste of some of the doctor recommended electrolyte drinks, so I usually go for sports drinks or tablets that you can drop into water. I certainly needed the added boost on this hike, with walking for hours as well as the sun being out to play all day!

It all worked out so well and I’m so proud of myself and my bag and how far I’ve come since my surgery! I’ve travelled short and long distances, I’ve been to places by myself and now I’ve been on a long outdoor hike and I even rounded the experience off by jumping into a waterfall at the end of it.

I really do feel like my Ileostomy has given me so much strength and although I do still get my anxiety moments about my ostomy, I’m really proud of myself and everything I have achieved... something I don’t say about myself very often, but I’m starting to feel like I should!

I hope this blog has inspired you to get outdoors and enjoy life with your ostomy.

Sending love!

Nathan x

Share this article:

by Nathan Wheeler

Nathan Wheeler

About the author

Hello - I'm Nathan Wheeler! I'm a YouTuber and I've had an ileostomy since 2007 when I was just 17, so I have a pretty good idea about how to deal with the struggles of a stoma! I want to share my experiences with you and bring a light-hearted approach to all the questions that no one wants to ask! You can follow me an Instagram and YouTube.

Add a Comment

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.