I Am Alive

Oct 8th continued

I’m just getting back to my blog here. I am home and reflecting on my trip. I can’t get over how epic this adventure was. I think the feeling of reaching the summit was the hi-light for me. Reaching the summit and the peek is amazing and gives a feeling of success accomplishment and happiness. This mountain was difficult though, I have never had tears while climbing, yes tears. I was emotional when I saw the summit. The reason for this is so much deeper than just reaching the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. I know a lot was going through my head.

For instants, I had never thought this would be possible, medically, because of my bowel management program that I do everyday. This week was the first time doing my treatment outside of a bathroom and without the luxury of a flushable toilet. If it was not for Dr. Pená this adventure would have never been possible. The Malone procedure that Dr. Pená had done when I was 12 years old. Is what allowed me to accomplish this. There were other obstacles but they did not deter me from this goal. All of this was on my mind in a good way but made this moment that much more rewarding!

The rest of the way down I suffered from altitude sickness which was not that fun, haha. I feel the reason for the altitude sickness was that I had a stomach bug, as I would describe it. I got this from unfiltered water or by eating food that was washed in unfiltered water. I was very lucky to get this on the final day, because if I had it the day before. There is no way we would have summited in 4 days or even summited at all, which was my goal. This bug caused me to get dehydrated and in the end, that leads to the altitude sickness. The trek of the mountain was a bit miserable but all you can do is throw up, smile and carry on.

We said goodbye to our team and headed to Simon’s farm where we would stay the next two nights. Simon had built a small hotel on his farm for his climbers we had the opportunity to explore the farm and the surrounding areas. Which immersed us in the culture and allowed us to see the way the people lived in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. To me, this was another rewarding opportunity.