Hello all,

Some of you may remember me from 6 years ago. I was quite active on the boards before, during, and after my surgeries. Since getting busy with 'life' since then, I haven't been around very much. However, I wanted to share the story of my last week.
Like most of us, I was nervous at first with my new pouch. I wasn't sure if I could lead a normal life, if I could go back to my job, have a relationship, or live a lifestyle where I wasn't always near a toilet.
My pouch will be 6 years old this fall, and truly, life just keeps getting better and better.
Last week, I went on a 6 day hiking trip called the West Coast Trail. It is a rugged 75km trail along the coast and through the rainforest. You have to camp the whole way, and carry everything you need for the week on your back. The trail consists of muddy bogs, steep ladders, bridges, fallen logs, and beach trails. I was nervous. Especially about food and bathroom situations!
I tried to stick with mostly low residue foods and surprisingly, my bathroom visits decreased while I was hiking. Partly because my body was probably in shock from hiking so much Wink And partly because I was eating small portions of food and was more dehydrated than I usually am. But the pouch and I made it through with flying colours. From stinky outhouses to pooping in sand and bushes...it didn't hold me back at all.
I hope that my story can be a small reminder that the sky is the limit - whether you have a pouch or not. Just don't forget your toilet paper!
Original Post
Congratulations, well done! I'm an avid long distance hiker too, surgery has never gotten between me and a long trail. May there be many more multi-day hikes in your future.

Sue Big Grin
Awesome story! I think the biggest thing for everyone to know is that things improve with time, both with overall function and our ability to adjust and adapt to what works best for each of us. Things don't have to be perfect to be very satisfactory.

So, congrats on living life!

Jan Smiler
That's great! I would love to do a long distance hike like that. I know my pouch can handle it....the question is can I?! Razzer Continued good health to you! Smiler
Thanks guys! I was very pleased with the sense of accomplishment I had. After having struggles it sometimes makes the good moments that much better Smiler
Sue, I read some of your posts about hiking before I went and they definitely gave me confidence!
And Jan you are definitely right when you say that things aren't perfect but they are still 'enough'. And we can still handle our issues and do great things Smiler
Congratulations Pixie,
You rock!
Thanks for the encouragement for all of the newbies and not so newbies out there who wonder if there will be a light at the end of the tunnel...you are that light.
Sharon

Hi Pixie,

First time poster here, but not first time visitint. I was a big hiker before and during the first two surgeries with the ostomy. I'm wondering if you have any recommendations on what I should be eating on the trail come May? It's very hard when you can't have nuts, chocolate bars, fresh fruit, etc.

I am 3 months post takedown now, and recently had a CT scan for some tailbone pain. Pouchitis was ruled out because of the low output. Structurally they said the pouch looks good. They think it is nerve pain due to my low weight. On a ibuprofen regimen. I weigh 145 lb now, but my normal weight is 165 lb.

When I had the bag, I was eating anything and everything including Cliff bars. I ate one around the 2 month mark and it was the worst night of my jpouch. I just had peanut butter for the first time yesterday and that was ok. FYI, I struggle with hard stools sometimes and go about 6-8 times a day now, usually once a night.

Thank you!

They thought my perianal pain was nerve pain at first too but a CT scan with oral and IV contrast showed I actually had a small anal fistula (or leakage) that was causing it. Pain meds also slowed my bowels down and made me strain more when going to the bathroom actually making my perianal pain worse. I've found that ibuprofen every so often really helps and my surgeon said it's ok once in a while but not routinely Bc it can cause pouchitis. 

Hi Jeff: My lunch, snacks, and dinner included Stoned Wheat Thins, hard cheese, cured sausage, small tins of tuna, canned oranges/peaches, and electrolyte chews. For breakfast we used a stove to make oatmeal. My diet was quite restricted compared to what I usually eat but I did that on purpose to avoid bathroom problems, gas, discomfort, etc. And they definitely weren't the "light & packable" foods recommended for hiking but most of those things do not agree with me (those freeze dried dinners are not pouch friendly!). For me having small portions helps a lot too.

You mentioned that you had a Cliff bar and it caused problems--I still have that issue too sometimes with those bars and protein bars. If you want to try and introduce things like that it works best for me to eat 1/3 or 1/2 bar. Hopefully that helps a little bit, let me know if you have any other questions. Happy hiking! 

Congratulations!  It's always scary to reach out and do something beyond the "normal" everyday.  I went on my first week long back packing trip this past fall.  The pouch does pose a few extra challenges but it's manageable!  

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