Posted 2/17/2020 8:42 AM (GMT -6)
I've had a stoma now for nearly six years, and once I was fully recovered, it's pretty much not stopped me from doing anything at all.
I've been into outdoor activities for years, but only recently took up rock climbing (I had done some prior to getting sick) as the hiking activities I was doing had become more like scrambling, so using a rope and harness became the natural next step. Up until now I have been using a hernia belt with stoma guard, but only when wearing a climbing harness, as I'm worried that if I fall (which I have plenty of times) the impact of the harness on my stoma might cause injury.
Yesterday I was in the climbing gym and was doing some bouldering (for non-climbers: bouldering is done at lower heights, with no ropes or harnesses, and if you fall, you fall onto crash mats). I wasn't yet wearing a harness, but was wearing the hernia belt with guard. I was trying to complete a climb which involved a cove (so you're climbing horizontally, and using a lot of core muscular strength) and I kept falling. I then noticed that my bag had come off! I think what had happened was that:
1. I had just changed it an hour before, and the glues hadn't quite set yet
2. The hernia guard hole had pushed the wafer along my skin, which resulted in it buckling away from my skin, caused by over-using core muscles.
I had a spare and changed it in the toilets, I don't even think my climbing buddy noticed that anything was wrong! But I now have a problem - I don't feel that my setup is as foolproof as I had thought, and this might stop me from climbing.
To be honest, I've never liked wearing the hernia guard as I feel it restricts my core movement too much - even bending to put on shoes is difficult. I also feel that it has the potential to block the outward flow, as there isn't much room between the end of the stoma and the plastic guard itself.
I'm not sure what I'm asking here, but wondering if others have any experiences with either core-heavy exercise and/or climbing with or without a hernia belt? Has anyone used a climbing harness that is non-standard, to get around the possible problem of injury? I know that more and more people working even at small heights have to harness up, so perhaps somebody has experience of this in the workplace?
Thanks in advance for any similar experiences/help/advice that people feel happy to share!