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Playing on the Water

Playing on the Water

For any person with a chronic disease, or rare disease, or anything causing ongoing pain, normal summer activities can seem like the most challenging types of fun.  You have to plan and plan and plan for something as simple as a boat ride.  Do I have the meds I need, did I bring the right equipment “just in case”, do I have to do anything the next day if I over do it, is there medical attention near by if something goes wrong, if there is will they be able to properly handle my condition?  This is just the tip of the question iceberg.  But the nice thing is, the fun summer activities can be done, especially with a little advice from someone who has already done it.  

I had a chance to go visit family on a lake up north for a few days.  This also afforded the opportunity to try out some new water sports.  I was always a fish, so being in the water is nothing new to me, and I had loved going tubing as a kid.  But in the last few years those things have happened less and less to the point of non existence.  So I was naturally apprehensive at the thought of getting back on the water to try the traditional summer sports, i.e water sking, jet sking, knee boarding, tubing and so on.  

There was all the normal preparation involved, make sure to pre-medicate with a good anti-inflammatory, have pain medication on had, assess current body statues for pain and points of tenderness to make sure everything is good to go.  I had been doing pretty good, nothing flaring at the moment so I just made sure I had meds ready for later and ice packs just in case.  

My first experience was with water skies, of which I have tried before and was successful at getting up and skiing. But to say the least it was really hard on my body back then and I suffered afterward.  This time I was prepared to be careful and not push myself if there was even a hint of over doing it.  Luckily I had calm water, so no worries about dealing with wakes from other boats, plus it was less hard on my knees to keep balance.  I got up right away, which of course I was super proud of, and was able to make it once around the small lake, another victory.  By the time I was done my back was a little sore from trying to hold every muscle tight so I wouldn’t fall, but otherwise okay.  After a break, some stretching and some water I had my first chance to try knee boarding.  This made me really nervous since I have osgood-schlaters in my knees, so kinda like tiny bone hooks where the doctor always hits your knee to check reflexes.  So naturally kneeling is painful for everyday activities but bouncing up and down on a board on the water seemed like an even worse idea.  But I wanted to give it a chance because you never know what you can do until you try.  I talked it over with the person driving the boat so they knew I might bail right away if it felt like it was going to be problematic.  Luckily and surprisingly it wasn’t!  Because of the high density foam on the board and more anatomical position I was sitting in, I didn’t put any pressure on the portion of my knee that I normally do and worry about.  Plus it was less stressful on my body overall and more comfortable being that I was closer to the water so If I had to bail it would be easy and less painful when hitting the water.  Plus I actually took a minute to try kneeling on the knee board on land before giving it a shot in the water which was smart since it gave me more confidence to start. 

In the end after two days and five rides I was doing pretty good.  I took a hot bath to sooth sore muscles, and dosed with my anti-inflammatory for a few days.  Not to much pain beyond what you would expect from a physical activity.   And I had a lidocaine infusion coming up so that was just good planning in case I did cause a flare the lidocaine would help prevent it from getting bad.  

In conclusion don’t limit your summer fun to the beach and sidelines.  Take a bit and figure out a way to do those summer activities that make summer worth having.  All you have to do is take a little bit of time and plan out how your going to try those activities.  There is nothing you can’t do with a little bit of planning and creative thinking. 

The MAGIC Convention and all its wonder/knowledge

The MAGIC Convention and all its wonder/knowledge

When you think of a convention you tend to think of a boring try and sell me stuff type of event.  Like the kind you attended in high school where they tried to sell you on different types of schools and colleges.  Not this one.  The Magic foundation supports a network of families a persons suffering from a group of rare diseases including the one I suffer from, Hypophosphatasia.  I was nervous to attend my first event, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was worried it would be dull and clinical the way so much of medicine tends to be.  

However, I was pleasantly surprised by all the things this convention had to offer.  To begin with they offered scholarships for everything from hotel and travel costs to event fees and dinner.  This is wonderful since it provides an opportunity for people with lower incomes to attend this event and network with others suffering the same disease as them.  Because of this generosity I was able to attend myself on scholarship and it greatly reduced my stress level when it came to preparing for this since I didn’t have to worry about how to come up with the extra money.  The next great opportunity they provided was a chance to speak with one of the leading experts of HPP Dr. Kathryn Dahir from Vanderbilt Center for Bone Biology.  If you signed up you were able to sit and speak with this expert and her nurse assistant.  I found this to be a rare opportunity since I do not live near any experts so I was able to ask a few questions and speak with this professional on my particular disease state, something I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to do normally.  The next opportunity was a free dental screening by a well versed dentist on rare diseases and how they affect the teeth.  I was very grateful for this since my own dentist, despite being very good, was unable to explain to me why I could not have the procedures done I wanted.    

Like all conventions there was a trade room that had booths with different companies promoting their products.  Though many of the booths did not pertain to me, and there was no booth for the product I use or my disease, there were still a few booths that I benefited from.  Not to mention some of the swag they were giving away was universally useful, so needless to say I did walk away with a few beneficial products.  

For those who traveled with children there were a number of services offered including a full staff of highly trained child care persons.  They had field trips and parties and other various activities planned for the children which allowed the parents to attend the talks and lectures pertaining to their or their child’s ailments.  If I had been there and a child I imagine it would have been very fun since some of the activities included field trips to amusement parks, scavenger hunts, dress up parties, along with a variety of games, give aways, and crafts.   

The convention had several conference rooms for each of the diseases sponsored with refreshments and breaks after each session.  The organization brought in specialist to speak on everything from dental issues, medical issues, dietary concerns, and durable medical equipment and exercise.  Most of the lectures were well put and well rounded made to address those suffering from all ages.  Some were a bit hasty and not as good as others but over all the information was beneficial and I was able to make contact with some great specialists who can help provide my medical and dental professionals as home with more current and relevant information.  

There were mix and mingle parties for both the men and the ladies, to allow different people from different disease groups get to know each other as well as allowing time for networking within ones own disease group.  This is one of the things I most benefited from since when you live with a rare disease it can become very isolating when you never make physical contact with others in similar situations.  There is always a digital presence and community, but that only goes so far to console someone suffering otherwise alone.  

To top off all the great things this convention provided the organization also offered dinner for two of the three nights we stayed there.  This is the only area I can honestly say was lacking.  The food was geared solely towards children and there was no consideration for persons with any type of dietary restrictions.  There were multiple buffet lines and I feel it would have been much nicer if at least one of those had offered more adult and nutrition conscious options.  Despite this downfall the whole thing was a success and a lot of fun.  

I was lucky enough to meet many of the people at this convention and really enjoyed taking pictures as many of disease sponsored primarily affect children, so there were a lot of cute little faces to capture on camera.  The follow are some of the images I took.

Dark side of rare

Dark side of rare

Sometimes I’m not sure where to start.  So many thoughts run through my brain, like endless waves crashing against an ever shrinking wall.  I wonder sometimes why me?  How did I get so “lucky” to be so “special”, and if I really am then how?  I’ve been told that God does not give us anything we are incapable of handling, but it doesn’t always feel that way.  Like when I lay awake in the small hours of the morning with nothing to calm the crashing waves.  Sometimes I think my mind is worse than my disease.   I have been diagnosed with an “ultra-rare” disease.  Shit like that doesn’t happen.  Bad breakups, heartache, failure, success, those are the things that happen.  I break my arm, or get dumped, I even crash my car.  All these are so small and insignificant when someone tells you that you suffer from a disease that most professionals can only claim to have heard of maybe once in their medical education.  I curse modern technology and medical advancements sometimes because without them I would just have kept living my small endless circle of feeling like there was something wrong, being depressed, breaking down, then getting over it.  But nope, not anymore, now I know I have Hypophosphatasia.  To be honest, among a million others thoughts, I worry about the way my disease effects those around me.  What does my husband feel, how are my parents doing, do my friends and family take me seriously when I try to explain?  I can’t read minds, but sometimes I wish I could because then I would know for sure.  What do you do when the person you love is suffering?  If I’m honest with myself, and the roles were reversed, and my husband or mother or father told me they had this……I’d be devastated.  I’m not sure I would ever be able to treat them or look or think about them in the same way.  But somehow I expect for those around me to both act like nothing has changed, but also empathize with me.  Kind of a have your cake and eat it to type of thing.   I had goals once, and dreams, I was going to be someone and do great things.  Somehow that feels so hard now, and yeah I’m 28 years old with my whole life ahead of me.  But sometimes I want to skip to the end, like reading a book, and see what happens.  A part of me needs to know if things might have been different.  And what would have happened if I had known in my “younger” years that I had this, or if I had never had it at all.  Would school have been more tolerable, would people have been nicer to me.  I’m not sure if that would have been a good thing since sometimes kindness from pity is worse then cruelty.  There is a certain kind of loneliness that comes with being “rare”, and an even worse one when you look “normal”.  

When you have a rare progressive disease no one seems to think of the other effects besides how it affects your body.  You don’t think about how it affects the family, your future, the chance for children, travel, even whether or not you can work in the field of your choice.  No one wants to feel like the greek Atlas holding the world on your shoulders, but the reality is that is what we deal with.  Being rare is not limited to the effects of the disease on the individual, it expands to effect every part of that persons life and extended life.

So I encourage you if you know someone with a rare disease, especially if that disease is invisible to take a few minutes and consider that that person is not only carrying the burden of their own disease, but how their disease affects all the people around them.

Minneapolis Pride and HPP: Invisible Acceptance

Minneapolis Pride and HPP: Invisible Acceptance

I recently had the chance to visit an event known to many as the main celebration for the LGBTQ+ community, Pride.  The vacation was all planned, two whole days of concerts, clubs, shows, festivals and more.  For those with HPP this can be exhausting and painful just to think about.  And for the most part they would be right.  Take a second and think about the difficulties a 28 year old with an invisible illness goes through when trying to keep up with other youngsters their own age during a massive summer event.  Starting with the parking.  If you have ever gone to a festival or major concert of any kind you know that parking can be a real bitch.  You can expect to pay a ton and walk two plus miles to get from your car to the actual outskirts of the event.  Many places, though having handicap parking, are still wholly inadequate for those with more severe and obvious disabilities.  Given that I was going through a particular rough spell with pain in my SI joint I really was hoping for something semi close and easy to walk through so I could use all my energy to enjoy the festivities.  Having been to other events I was worried after we had circled several times only to find nothing available and people flocking from miles around.  So taking the chance I wouldn’t be looked at as the typical “faker” of a disabled tag I am used to I pulled over and asked a police officer if there was any designated handicap parking.  He very polity and with a smile replied that there was a whole street blocked off for that purpose and then explained how to get there. This was my first bit of excitement, designated parking nearby, so there was a shot!  After finding the street I pleased to find a spot open immediately, near a sidewalk, and near the festival restrooms, which also btw’s had a handicap port a potty.  Normally when I put up my placard I get a sense of worry, like people are judging me and that this might be the time I come back to a nasty sign on my windshield.  But something was different this time, no looked twice and I felt immediately at home and comfortable.  

After parking we began the adventure of Pride festival.  Being that anything can happen I tend to look around first thing and try to identify staff, emergency personnel, and first aid tents.  Again I was pleased to pick out staff easily as well as officers on bikes, on foot, and golf cart, riding and walking around ensuring everyone could thoroughly enjoy their time.  This always makes me feel better for the “just in case” scenario where I fall wrong or get run into and something terrible happens requiring immediate medical attention. 

To my great joy and surprise, I was able to keep up with my friends for the whole day as we walked around.  Normally I have a limited amount of time determined by how much and when I take pain and pre meds to prepare for an eventful day.  However being that I was post Lidocaine infusion I was doing particularly well and thought I would try going without. For the most part I did great.  I never had to be the one to stop and take a break, or sit down and rest, and we didn’t have to leave early for me because of my pain.  Last summer this never would have happened, and because of my disease I never would have noticed what a great event to go to if you have a disability or need a little more security when going to festivals.  I had a blast and people were friendly and accepting wherever we went.  There were hundreds of booths and rows dedicated entirely to single subjects.  

There was everything from pet adoption, to different religions, adoption and fostering, medical care, dental care, insurance, education, the list goes on and on.  The culture was extremely diverse and truly a pleasure to have the chance to experience.  Those working the booths were always more then happy to share their product/service or simply point someone in the right direction.  Not to mention the free swag they were giving away was a major plus in some cases.  

As we wandered around what quickly began to resemble a wonderland fit for Alice I noticed the number of service dogs and ESA’s around, as well as extra seating and places to rest.  I always love to take my service dog with me when I go places as he can carry things for me if I am having a bad day, or I just need the support and a friend to help tell me when I pushing myself to hard.  But sometimes it makes me very uncomfortable in public as my dog doesn’t look much like a service dog, and to be honest I don’t look disabled. But here I felt things would have been different.  The air itself was tangible with acceptance, regardless of whatever, or whomever may be accompanying you.  

The next thing I found surprising but also awesome was the food selection.  As many people with rare diseases know there are almost always some sort of dietary guidelines or restrictions that go along with the disease.  This can mean finding food when you go out can be difficult unless you wanna have a “cheat day” and pay for it later.  But at the Pride festival there were several choices that allowed for many different diets from vegan, vegetarian, paleo and more.  I was happy to not have to think to hard about what I was ordering.  There were also plenty of places to get a drink and dispose of the garbage afterwords, but there were also no restrictions on bringing stuff in.  Given that alcohol was the one exception since the festival did provide the traditional beer tent, you were allowed to bring bottles of water or Gatorade to stay hydrated on the semi warm day. 

Later that night I was able to attend a small show put on at LUSH , a traditionally gay bar playing host to some very entertaining acts.  While enjoying the atmosphere and people watching I was able to meet some to the Drag Queens whom were there to perform.  For me this is always fun and exciting as I consider Drag Queens to be literally walking pieces of art, and have followed RuPaul’s Drag Race since the beginning.  They were amazing and wonderful people.  Never have I felt so normal and comfortable with people as I did when talking to the queens of LUSH.  In particular I had the pleasure to meet the lovely and talented Shangela Laquifa Wadley.  She approached me with warmth and smile despite how tired she must have been.  She spoke softly and made me wish I had more of a chance to sit and talk than just a quick fan to fame moment.  But despite this I was able to get a few good photos together and give her my business card directing her to my website here!  As silly as this sounds that small gesture made me feel so good.  I had just had the opportunity to pass on some knowledge, and possibly educate someone with power about one of the zebra diseases.  Giving her my card was a huge leap of faith and to be honest at 2:30am I wouldn’t blame her if she lost it or never bothered to look.  The point was she was kind and took the card, and I had the chance to spread the word about HPP to someone who matters. 

The last step in my journey through Pride was to attend the cant miss event, the parade.  For miles the street was lined with all manner of people in all manner of dress.  We had been running a little late so naturally I was concerned I might have missed the best parts but whether it was fortunate or not a “Black Lives Matter” protest in the middle of the parade street had delayed the start of the the parade by nearly an hour.  I was somewhat baffled as to why the protesters choose that place and that time to express themselves since it was interfering in an event meant to promote acceptance and equality for all.  Despite this my friends and I were able to locate a decent position where I could comfortably stand or sit and watch or take photos of the parade.  It was such a great time to see so many people openly expressing their true inner selves.  I loved being able to capture the souls of some of the parade walkers who truly shown.  It is not often that people allow us to see that intimate part of themselves that at our core defines us.  To capture in on camera was a challenge and pleasure.  

I definitely plan to attend this event in the future and I hope you all enjoy the article and the photos.  Some have been edited some are just as they were taken.

Fight for a Job I Love

Fight for a Job I Love

Never in my life have I been told I didn’t get the job after I had been basically guaranteed it.  Never has my medical history or medications been an issue.  I work in EMS, and I’m good at it.  I love to help people and work with patients.  I know how to make someone feel better when they are experiencing one of the scariest times of their lives.  Never did I think that I would not be able to work in the field I was put on this earth to be a part of. 

But sometimes life has a way of kicking you when you’re down, and turning you in a different direction.  God knows it’s happened to me more then once. Every time I get kicked I somehow manage to pick myself up and start over.  I don’t know how that this point because if I was humpty dumpty there would just be to many tiny pieces to try and put back together again.  But there is also an ancient Chinese practice that says when something is broken you do not throw it away as though it no longer has value, you mend it with gold, and make it better.  So I guess I can also be seen to be made of mostly gold from the number of times I have been mended.  

Today after feeling like there was no way I could pick myself up again I had a few things happen that renewed my strength in the fight I have to live my life fully and help others to do the same.  

The first thing was having a Lidocaine infusion this morning and even if the effects last only a few hours, I got the chance to remember what it feels like to live without pain.  I was so happy I could have cried because I didn’t realize how much pain I had been carrying around with me for so long, and how heavy it had gotten.  I smiled and it felt good, I stretched and nothing hurt, I napped and didn’t wake up with something in pain.  So I am grateful for this day because it reminded me I still have some fight left in me.  

The second thing that happened was I came across a young woman, deaf since the age of 18 from a connective tissue disorder, competing in a singing competition of all things.  As I watched her video I could feel the hairs all over my body stand up.  She sang beautifully on stage barefoot to feel the vibrations from the bass to keep time, and took ques from her interpreter down by the judges.   This is someone who gave up on something she loved for many years and then somehow found the strength and determination to make it work and reclaim the love she had lost so long ago.  I decided right then that this would be the video I would watch the next time I got kicked, the next time someone told me I couldn’t or wasn’t able to.  Because this girl is living proof of living life without limits!

Watch this girl and know you can do anything!

Being a Victim of the “Opiate Crisis”

Being a Victim of the “Opiate Crisis”

I am a victim of the opiate crisis.  No I have not lost any friends or family to drugs, and no I am not, nor have I ever been an addict.  But the war on opiates has more than one type of causality.  I have spent the last year trying to get a job in my area (so within an hour drive) in the field that I have dedicated my life to, emergency medicine.  I have gotten a bachelors in health sciences, taken many classes pertaining to medicine, obtained my AEMT certification, and worked for multiple fire departments as an EMS provider.  But all of a sudden I find myself unable to become employed in the field I was put on this earth to be a part of because of the medications I have PRESCRIPTIONS for to help control the chronic pain I have from a rare disease.  I do not want to go on disability yet, I am just not ready to admit that is what my life has come to.  I am able to work, I want to work, but no one will hire me because I have prescriptions for and take on occasion opiate medications.  I have worked for several years in this field prior to this year with no issues, an exemplary record for care provided and letters of recommendation from employers due to my ethics, ability to function under stress, and provide excellent care to any patient in all situations.  However, now because of the war on opiates, pain medication and chronic pain have become an extremely taboo issue in the workplace.  

The FDA uses a lot of different adjectives to describe everything from A to Z when it comes to opiates.  What I find interesting are all the things that seem to be ignored such as:

This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you. Sit or lie down if you feel dizzy. Stand up carefully.

So what employers and their legal teams seem to ignore is the part where it states these meds MAY have certain affects, as in they MAY also not affect you at all.  Or how you should not perform certain activities UNTIL YOU KNOW how it will affect you, as in you are good to go if you already know how it will affect you.  This is what applies to my case.  I do not process most medications the way the average person does and as a result it means the combination of medications I take for various things is a bit odd.  However I also know after years of being on these medications exactly how they will affect me, for how long, in what manner, and even how long they will affect me based on what I have eaten or drank recently.  The websites basically give all the worst case scenario information which is what companies and legal teams grab onto.  

I find it very hard to be told that I should find another field to work in, or to let it go and apply somewhere else and just don’t put down my medication list.  I want to get a job in the field I love and I want to do it honestly.  Why should I have to hide my medication list, or give up the thing I love the most after already doing it for years?  I understand that rules and regulations are put in place for a reason to protect the patients.  Personally I would never endanger a patient by taking something that affected me so severely it could cause them harm.  But when advising physicians are making recommendations based on one aspect of the medication it can be very hard to for those few who have no issues to make it through.  There is a “black box” warning on almost all medications state that they can impair you in some way, and for good reason.  But again that is there because a few people reacted that way and now it must be put on all prescriptions regardless of the person taking them.  I have met people who respond so poorly to caffeine they are unable to function on even the smallest doses present in things like chocolate.  Just an example of how something benign can have a profound affect on someone the same way it can have none. 

I will not give up, I work every day to find a way to do what I love.  I am always looking into new research and new methods of pain control that do not involve medication or at the very least opiate medication.  There are people out there every day showing that you can do what you love despite all the odds, you just have to believe and work hard enough.

Fight Song

Fight Song

Sometimes, in the late hours of the night, we feel alone.  When the pain of the day becomes to much and we can no longer distract ourselves from the depression of the situation we are in.  Our minds spin, swirl, leap, bound, wander and never stop.  We fall deeper into the abyss of depression because each of us is just one person and what can we do?  Some think they’re a burden to the ones they love, a failure because they can not achieve the basic goals they set before themselves.  The biggest fight we deal with every day has nothing to do with the chronic illness we suffer with.  It’s the fight to find the will and strength to make it through another night, another day, another hour, another minute.  It’s the fight to beat the battle we fight inside our own heads.  We who live with chronic illness are the best chameleons you will ever meet.  We can fit into any situation and my any person think we are just fine, even when we have lost a battle we make you think it’s fine and that we can win the next one.  But inside is a whole different story.  Much of the time the only person who see’s the real us is the person looking back in the mirror at us.  I hate showing the sad and upset side of myself to anyone, even the ones I love because they only look back at me with more pain because they suffer for me.  

Some days, it’s all I can do to get up and have a cup of coffee and watch the dogs run around the yard.  On those days I am disgusted with myself.  I know I shouldn’t be, but just because I shouldn’t feel something doesn’t mean I don’t.  I have to work each time to tell myself it’s okay.  It’s okay you didn’t get the job because of your illness, it’s okay your behind on the laundry because of the emotional hangover from the night before, it’s okay to just sit and watch the world go by because tomorrow is another chance to do more and be better.  I work every day not to let the day before win.  I fight every day to make it one step closer to being the person I really want to be inside and out.  And I will be the first to admit that I get really tired of fighting.  Tired of fighting for better health, for a job I love, for the life I want, just tired of fighting for everything.

On those days, in those hours when I feel like I just don’t have any fight left in me, I turn to music.  I put a few songs on repeat and just lose myself in them trying to embody every word and find some kind of strength.  If every battle I have fought was illustrated on my skin, there wouldn’t be an inch of me uncovered.  But that’s the truth of it isn’t it, no one can see the battles you have fought, the ones you won, or the ones you lost.  They see the “healthy” looking “happy” you standing in front of them.

This battle, this fight, this war, that each of us suffers through every day, may never end.  But as long as we keep getting up, and finding a reason why each day is worth living, we can win the fight, one year, one month, one day, one hour, even one minute at a time.  I read once you can stand anything for ten seconds, so when you sit in the darkest of places, pain coursing through every fiber of your being, remember you can do it for ten more seconds.  Then scream, or cry, or throw something, find a way to release the poison building in yourself because only you know how quickly it will build up again. 

So I sit outside, listening to the anthems I tell myself I have to follow, believe in, and follow.  I feel the sun on my back and hear the birds sing nearby.  It is a beautiful day outside, but its a ragging storm inside me.  I try hard to find a way to bring the peace and calm and beauty that surrounds me inside me.  I try to find a way not to let the enemy I am fight today win.  Because if I can win today, maybe I can win tomorrow too.

Skydiving Cause the Skies the LIMIT!! Skydive Midwest

Skydiving Cause the Skies the LIMIT!! Skydive Midwest

So if you have been to this page you know that my motto is #nolimits, do anything, be anything, go forth and accomplish whatever your heart desires.  Well for some of us that includes the adrenaline of free falling from an airplane at over 120mph nearly 14,000ft off the ground.  I recently had the chance to spend some time at one of the best sky diving locations in the Midwest, Skydive Midwest.  I spent the day observing, asking questions, trying desperately to talk myself into going up in the plane, and generally getting to know the people who deal in pure adrenaline. 

When I first thought of the tandem jumping, where you are strapped to an experienced jumper, I was most concerned with the landing part being, shall we say a bit jarring.  Given they do slow you down before you come crashing back to solid ground, it still seemed like it could be dangerous for someone with “soft bones”.  So I watched, and watched, and watched some more.  I got up close and personal and was pleasantly surprised to see how carefully the instructors put their jumpers down, many not evening landing on their butts but actually just lightly standing once the instructor touched the ground.  Some did come in shall we say sliding, legs out in front, but even then the instructor took the brunt of the landing leaving the companion jumper to essentially sit in their lap.  I watched dozens upon dozens of these jumps and not a single person had pain or injury following their landing. 

Next you may be concerned about what happens when you pull the chute radically slowing your decent.  Well part of what you are going to feel has to deal with the harness you are strapped into.  There are two straps that circle your thighs and essentially cinch up into your crotch (sorry guys no avoiding it).  The only real issue with this comes if you have really bad hip problems because when the chute is deployed you will feel some pressure on your hips, but it is kind of like sitting in a really awkward chair with no middle to the seat.  The rest of the straps go under your arms and around your middle then one over each shoulder to keep you securely attached to the instructor.  Once the chute is pulled there is a very slight jarring but nothing major.

So now you may think what the heck happens if the chute doesn’t open!  Well that is why they have a reserve.  I even had the chance to see someone have to do what is known as a cut-away where the first chute fails, is cut away, and a second chute is deployed.  When I asked staff about this they said that it happens on occasion for unknown reasons, and that it is no big deal.  Plus I watched as highly experienced staff took great care in re-packing each chute that is used to make sure every experience is not only fun but safe.

Never in a million years would I have been tempted to try this ultimate adrenaline rush.  But after spending the day and talking with the people I am now prepared to go for it.  I am committed to my motto #nolimits, so I better follow through.  Wish me luck guys, I’ll update this when I have had a chance to soar through the skies myself.

For more information visit the following website:

http://www.skydivemidwest.com/