Gut health and off to Red Rocks

Yes, a natural combination, no?

Since coming back from the City of Rocks, I have been struggling with some pretty severe gastrointestinal issues. It can, understandably, be a bit of an embarrassing topic but it has been severely negatively impacting my life the last while. I have been displaying all the symptoms of severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); extremely painful bloating and distention, messed up bowels, etc. The question is why? As most of you know, one of the biggest effects of my spinal cord injury was on my GI tract. Amongst other things, the motility of my intestines is much slower than a normal persons. My sluggish intestines can and have caused some severe problems, including my hospital stay right before I flew out to Salt Lake City.

Like, Salt Lake City, I was not sure if I would be able to follow through with a last minute invitation to climb in Red Rocks, just outside Las Vegas. I have not been to Red Rocks in close to 9 years; before my accident. Things were touch and go but I decided to take a chance and go and cross my fingers that my dysfunctional gut will not give me problems for the short four day trip. I return the day before Thanksgiving, will cook and clean a little, before heading to Northern Vermont (like, Canadian border Vermont) for Thanksgiving and perhaps the first ski day of the season! It will be dinky and there will probably be only a few runs open but what the heck.

I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist soon after that, so hopefully we can identify the issue(s) and possible solutions. In the mean time, I am embarking on a low FODMAPs diet in the hope it might offer some relief. It definitely makes meals and eating out a lot less fun, but it is temporary.

It seems like every one and their mother is in Red Rocks right now, and who can blame them. Unfortunately my stay is a short one and I need to balance my objectives with my partner’s and the group. The approaches in RR tend to be very long however, and that will limit the routes I can do. I would have loved to get on Levitation or Original Route, but with 3 hours approaches for people with two working legs, with significant elevation change, it is pretty much a no-go. As I was looking through routes, I had a hard time not feeling limited. My friend asked how I could feel that way when I was looking at 5.11+ routes. I appreciate his perspective, but still, evidence that I still find it challenging to not feel a sense of loss. I am looking forward to the sun and warmer weather though!

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