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Need harness advice. Have ostomy.
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dorienc


Dec 15, 2013, 11:16 AM
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Need harness advice. Have ostomy.
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I'm 60 years old, been climbing for about 15 years. I have a colostomy pouch (if this freaks you out, stop reading and go away now). I've used a body harness since a sit harness rips off my pouch. This is untidy and disturbs my belayers.
I recently had surgery that changed my ostomy configuration. Without going into details, I believe I can use a sit harness again. "Why change" you ask? Have you ever taken a lead fall in a body harness? It's very violent, the high tie-in point slams your lower body into the wall.
So the advice I need is: I'm looking at big wall harnesses because of the wide padded waist belt. I need a harness with the buckle on the left side. My stoma is 4" to the right of my belly button, on my waist line. So the harness must ride high. It's ok to be on top of my stoma, but the edge cannot be below it, or it'll rip off my pouch.
Considering the BD Big Gun, Wild Country Summit, Yates Shield and Big Wall and Metolius Waldo. Has anyone any experience with these? How high do they ride? Imagine a plastic flange glued to your stomach, 2" in diameter with the center 4" right of your belly button. Would the top edge of the waist belt hook under the flange on a fall?
Thanks for your advice! And any climbers with ostomies, I'm happy to hear from you!


(This post was edited by dorienc on Dec 15, 2013, 11:45 AM)


kiwiprincess


Dec 15, 2013, 2:25 PM
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Re: [dorienc] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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During pregnancy I've been using a borrowed industrial type harness with Wide waist and shoulder straps. Can have Waist loose for comfort climbing but it supports you in sit position lowering. Only draw back was the shoulder straps rubbed my neck a bit so i have to wear a High necked shirt under. I found It hard to keep the Big wall type high enough. Make sure you hang quick draws on it when trying on!
Good luck.


jeepnphreak


Dec 16, 2013, 1:02 PM
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Re: [dorienc] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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Check out Misty Mountain thread works, give them a call and let them know about when you needs are, they are happy to make custom harnesses. They are USA made in Banner Elk NC. So far their customer service has been top notch,


deltav


Dec 17, 2013, 7:52 PM
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Re: [jeepnphreak] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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jeepnphreak wrote:
Check out Misty Mountain thread works, give them a call and let them know about when you needs are, they are happy to make custom harnesses. They are USA made in Banner Elk NC. So far their customer service has been top notch,

I second this. The Cadillac and Titan are both excellent harnesses.


doktor_g


Dec 17, 2013, 10:06 PM
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Re: [deltav] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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Dorienc,

First, congrats on keeping with it! I've often wondered how that would work and was concerned that it might stop someone from climbing. I suspect that you will still likely need a body harness regardless of the new location. It seems that the harness will certainly over-lie the stoma. However, if you are intent on trying one out, I would suggest a Yates. I've used it on El Cap and find that it's more comfortable than the Waldo mainly because of the wider belt. The front buckle(s) are a bit more fiddley though. I'd be more concerned about the gas build-up getting bellowed back into your gut in the case of a lead fall with this style. Mostly the harness will be pulled away from your abdomen in that case though.

Also, padding won't keep from pulling it off or rupturing in case of an unprepared fall or a real screamer. Regardless, I'd be very interested in hearing more about your experiences and perhaps any tips you might have if I ever have to educate someone in your position. Feel free to PM me.

I might also suggest a long tailed Under Armor shirt that is somewhat formfitting. That stuff is so shear and slick that it may keep your normal cotton shirt or whatever from grabbing the bag (ie cut down on friction).

Bro, you've given me some much needed inspiration tonight. I'm continually impressed by climbers.

Thanks,
DrG Wink


dorienc


Dec 18, 2013, 7:22 PM
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Re: Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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First of all, thanks, folks! Your thoughts and concerns really mean a lot to me.

I've emailed with Mountain Tools, Metolius, Gear Express, Misty Mountain, and one or two others that slipped my aging mind. No perfect solutions yet. I'm also going to contact Paradox Sports, who works with people with different disabilities.

When I wear a wetsuit, I have a foam horseshoe I tape over the stoma (taped onto my belly, it does hurt to remove it! sort of a wax job) to keep the pressure off. I think I might try that when climbing. I also just ordered a neoprene "stealth belt" that holds the pouch flat. I usually use a Phoenix or ostoMysecrets belt to hold the pouch down (yeah, I know this doesn't mean anything to non-baggers. But just in case any other bagged climbers are reading this...)

For Dr G, I have had a subcutaneous prolapse of my ostomy for a lot of years with an extended stoma. Created occasional blockages. The revision removed about 6" of bowel, and left me with a much flatter stomach and stoma. I really am concerned only about catching the pouch with the top edge of the harness. Can you get gas bellowed back in? I figure the pouch would pop first. OH, NO, a worry I never had before! Wink

Yes, the harness does pull away, but when it's below the pouch, it can pull the pouch with it. For some reason, this bothers my belayers. Crazy

The Wild Country Summit also looks like a possibility along with the Yates, looks like the area over the stoma would be quite padded. I'm having trouble finding big wall harnesses in Illinois or Wisconsin...maybe the lack of big walls...but I have kids in Boulder area that I visit as much as I can, so maybe next trip west I can try some on.

An ostomate whose adventures are worth checking out is Rob Hill. His site is "nogutsknowglory.com". He summited Mt. Everest in 2010, completing the Seven Summits. A real inspiration to me!


(This post was edited by dorienc on Dec 18, 2013, 7:32 PM)


doktor_g


Dec 19, 2013, 9:23 AM
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Re: [dorienc] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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I have the Yates Shield, but the Yates Big Wall looks cushy!

http://www.yatesgear.com/climbing/big/

I like the neoprene horseshoe idea! Yates is just 60 miles south of me. It's a small operation and they really make their bones with government contracts I think. But small enough to get some custom stuff if needed.

You rock!
G


lostparrot


Jan 4, 2014, 2:22 AM
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Re: [dorienc] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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dorienc wrote:
An ostomate whose adventures are worth checking out is Rob Hill. His site is "nogutsknowglory.com". He summited Mt. Everest in 2010, completing the Seven Summits. A real inspiration to me!

You didn't happen to mention that you hiked to basecamp with him on that trip. You are a real inspiration to alot of us too. Not just for that trip, but all the trips we have done.


dorienc


Jan 4, 2014, 6:19 PM
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Re: [lostparrot] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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Awww, gee. Thanks!


dorienc


Jan 15, 2014, 5:32 PM
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Re: [dorienc] Need harness advice. Have ostomy. [In reply to]
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In case anyone is interested, I have the solution! I got a neoprene "stealthbelt" with the heavy duty muffler insert. This provides a hard surface over my ostomy.
I also got a Petzl Adjama harness, which sits high and has a wide spot over the stoma.
Wore it this weekend in the gym, took a few falls, everything worked great!


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