In Los Cabos, there exists Wild Canyon Adventures. This park touts zip lines, ATVs, camels, horses, a small water park for children, and a tiny bird sanctuary. When my parents and I were considering things to do, we figured zip lines would be fun. Now I have ridden zip lines previously through the rain forests of Alaska over a decade ago. I was still on oral medicine for my Addison’s Disease at the time, and I remember pausing between a few zip lines in order to take additional hydrocortisone. This would be my first time zip lining with my cortisol pump, and I was excited to experience the difference.
With Addison’s Disease, I never just “do” an activity spontaneously. I always plan and prepare. Yes, it looks like I lead an adventurous life. However, all of my adventures are calculated (… well, with the exception of my ER adventures…). Our original plan was to get tickets for the zip lines during the morning. We figured it would be less hot, and with it being earlier in the day I would have more energy. My parents went to secure the tickets while I prepared to go solo adventuring along the Mexican coast.
But there was a problem. The tickets we wanted for another event later in the week were already sold out. My parents decided to rearrange our itinerary to accommodate both activities. My mom knew that I was about to do a “cortisol intensive” adventure, so she quickly alerted me to the change of plans. I saw that I had missed a text from her just as I was about to head out the door. I wanted to check back in with her before I left.
The tour was touted as a “high intensity” activity and I knew I was about to attempt another “high intensity” activity with the adventuring along the coast. That was potentially too much for one day, especially when I considered all of the unknowns that accompanied the zip lines. I wanted to conserve spoons, so I chose to hang out in our hotel room for an additional four hours until it was time to depart for the zip lines.
The four hours in the hotel room gave me time to change my outfit and select a new cortisol pump site.
Cortisol Pump Site
I wasn’t quite on my full three days, but I knew that with going into a potentially stressful activity it was best to have a known good pump site than one that would expire in only a few hours. But where to place the site? Would the harness get in the way? I looked closely at pictures from the brochure and determined I could place my new cortisol pump site on my stomach without it getting in the way of the harness.
Access to Water
Well what about water? I wanted to bring my Camel Back, but my mom was pretty confident that they would not let me keep that on me while I rode the zip line. She was correct. In the pictures in the brochure, I noticed that everyone had a bottle of water attached to their harness. This eased some of my fears, but I was still concerned that I would run out. I can easily drink over 1L of water over the course of a few hours. A small 600 mL bottle will not sustain me. Thankfully, they had spots to refill the water bottles at practically every zip line station. I refilled every chance I got.
Availability of my Emergency Injection
My final concern was my emergency injection kit. I was about to partake in a dangerous activity where medical help would not be easily available. That emergency injection needed to remain close to me at all times. This is where my mom came to the rescue! While they would not allow me to keep my Camel Back, they did allow her to keep the ever stylish fanny pack. Before we surrendered all belongings into the locker, we made sure to have some snacks, my emergency injection, back up oral meds, and Vitassium Salt tabs on her at all times.
With water, meds, and emergency meds all accounted for, I was finally ready to adventure across the canyon!
Zip Lines in Cabo
Although I did not show it, I did have some anxiety and trepidation before I started. The planning and preparing helped ease some of that, but I also did bump up my rates on my cortisol pump to handle the strenuous activity.
When I went zip lining in Alaska, we just hopped from platform to platform. Here? Oh there was some actual hiking. This was the type of hiking that caused your thighs to burn and your breath to feel cut short. Wild Canyon is not honest with the level of difficult of the trail. I would not recommend this zip line tour during the summer or the heat of the day. It worked out well for us to go during what was still considered “off season” and as the sun was setting. We had a smaller group and plenty of shade. The guides also did a good job of making sure we were well taken care of with both water and rest breaks.
After one of the sections, my mom and I both took some Salt Stick tabs. She was apprehensive that the tabs would mess up her stomach and cause her to feel more sick. I reminded her that they were formulated to be easy on the stomach especially while engaged in high levels of activity. She was amazed with how they helped her feel better and did not upset her stomach. Taking those Salt Stick tabs at the half way point helped empower us to continue on our zip lining adventure.
Adventuring with Addison’s Disease
Before every zip line, we had to step up on a platform to ensure that our pulley was properly connected for safety. This put the cortisol pump directly in the face of the guides. One asked me about it. I told him it was delivering medicine. Without that medicine, I die.
I could tell that he was taken off guard by my statement. Here I was, a diseased woman, partaking in a high adrenaline adventure activity. Shouldn’t I not do that? What if something went wrong? Could I be seriously injured? How much risk was I taking?
I told him life is inherently dangerous.
Sure, zip lining through a canyon in Mexico carries some risk. But so does getting in a car and driving. You cannot live your life in fear. You can prepare and plan in order to reduce risk so that you can enjoy living life.
Before I ever stepped off the first ledge, I made sure my medicine was taken care of. We verified that I would have ample access to water. My mom had my emergency injection kit on her person at all times. And I was able to take salt tabs after a particularly strenuous section of the hike. All of these factors combined empowered me to be able to enjoy flying over 40MPH across a canyon in Mexico.
I am Clearly Alive, and I plan on remaining so.