Personal Blogs

Here’s To 2020!

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Usually I would write about all the new year’s resolutions that I have like every other person, but instead, I wanted to talk about how shitty 2019 has been and what I plan to do in 2020 to make up for that!

2019 I went through a lot mentally and physically that seen me bed bound, riddled with infections, pain, reactions to medications and A LOT of toxic family members that caused me grief. We did however manage to attend the GetYourBellyOut charity ball where I volunteered and did the photography for the evening which I thoroughly enjoyed! We also went to the Enchanted Forest event with complimentary tickets which was lovely and the lights are gorgeous! The most awful parts were going onto antidepressants that made me severely sick and unfortunately we had a miscarriage. However it also gave me luck and I was finally put on the waiting list for wisdom teeth removal and to have my tonsils removed!

Financially it has been the toughest last few months I have ever experienced. We also almost lost the house and our gorgeous dogs. Luckily we are still here but have dreams of moving out this year as not only is the soundproofing terrible, I also have a really disrespectful neighbour who keeps having parties that terrifies the dogs and keeps us awake right through until the next morning. I cut off quite a lot of people and it has done us the world of good – I don’t feel so stressed anymore and don’t have to be treated badly anymore!

I also raised almost £600 for The Purple Wings Charity by being sponsored to do a calendar photoshoot to raise awareness of ostomies! I also collected donations for The Street Friends Helping The Homeless Aberdeen and we go there tomorrow again to drop of the last of what I have managed to collect (HUGE thank you to the community for helping me achieve this.)

So moving onto 2020.. of course I have a few nasty surgeries to have and procedures BUT with GOOD outcomes (hopefully!) I have said to myself that I will make up for all that lost time not being able to see friends and being stuck at home. We have the GetYourBellyOut ball in April to look forward to and hopefully we will also be going to the sea world in Birmingham whilst we are down there! I plan on taking my camera with me a lot more whenever I am out the house – the amount of pretty pictures I could have taken in 2019 would have been fab but I forgot my camera every time! I absolutely plan on a weekend or week down to Glasgow to see one of my best friends. We are also going to be attending the Purple Wings Charity Ball as we missed last years ball.

I also have made it an essential to save and get my passport so I can go abroad once or twice with my friend who models and can take a plus one! Unfortunately I will be selling my beautiful fish tank as I can no longer afford to keep it but the money will be put to good use and pay off some debts. I also have challenged myself to clear out my wardrobes of things I no longer wear either due to they don’t fit anymore or I just never wear them! We have some stoma supplies to donate to The Jacobs Well Appeal too so if you have any spare stoma supplies sitting around that you can no longer use – that’s the best place to send them to! We got a spa day voucher for our christmas so looking very forward to that after my birthday and a little scope around the shops to see what is on sale, I love a good bargain. One of my best friends gets surgery for an Ileostomy this month so will be making sure I go in to visit as much as I can!

So my main goals for 2020:

  • Move house
  • Get a part time job
  • Go on holiday
  • Pay off debt

Here’s to another year of being stoma confident and raising awareness!

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, People's Stories!

Aberdeenshire Barbers Volunteer at NHS

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Two barbers from Hombre in Aberdeenshire, Liam and and Brandon have been assisting the elderly and ill patients at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary once a week.

Liam Robertson (23) who has been there for 4 years, came up with the idea to assist patients at ARI that are unable to leave the hospital with Brandan Milne (18) who started a year ago. Liam reached out to the hospital about volunteering at the ward, as they are off from the barbers on a Tuesday. They now spend their day off at the hospital giving haircuts to patients at the green zone. Liams main purpose and what strived him to start volunteering was to give back to those in the community who can’t manage to get anywhere especially their barbers shop and felt he was the man for giving back!

“I felt this time of year it’s important to help those that either don’t have families or can’t see them due to age/illness. The patients were elderly, the smile and extra enjoyment after having a chat with us and feeling normal again felt amazing. Our plan was to try make them feel relaxed and trying. To take their mind off things for a little while.”

The two men take their own supplies and make their own ways to the hospital for 11am, finishing at 4:30pm. Through the day, they see patients who are unable to leave the hospital and struggle to maintain with simple tasks that many of us can do without any problems and take for granted, including keeping up with their hair and facial hair. Nurses care for their patients every day with medicine, clean bedding and assist with washing however they are so stretched with time and funding that it is not possible for them to hire a barber or take patients out to a barber for the patients who are able. Not only are the nurses at the ward very grateful and appreciative of Liam and Brandan’s selfless and passionate work every tuesday, many other social media pages have thanked them!

When I asked Liam what was the best part about the day, he said how the mood and atmosphere changes of the patient’s from when they first arrive to the end of the day – “everyone had that extra kick and they became very warming.”

I think this is absolutely fantastic and patients can have such a confidence boost, as a chronic illness sufferer I know how difficult it can be being stuck in hospital and I know fellow chronic illness sufferers can relate! It’s also fantastic to see the young part of our generation spending their free time helping those in need.

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NHS Grampian Acute Sector 

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Fubar News

Friends and family of the two men have also shown their support via social media platforms, as well as family of patients!

To anyone who has thought about doing something similar or are young and haven’t yet thought about volunteering, Liam says the following: 

“I strongly believe we’re all far too caught up in our own lives and it is time that we start giving back, even with something small. Doing something small will make a massive impact in someone else’s life. It’s nice to be nice!” 

Awareness, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs

Christmas Wishes

Hello everyone, it’s been just a wee while since I updated you all about my health and everything else in my life! So here goes;

Mental Health

So many who follow my social media will know my mental health hasn’t been so good. You will think “is there a particular reason or trigger?” The answer to that is yes. Myself and Jaimie have had a very hard past few months financially which has been extremely stressful. Last month I sadly had a miscarry and not long after that, I had family members treat me like absolute dog poop due to not having money to attend a baby shower before hand – it got really nasty and my mental health has been spiralling downwards ever since. This isn’t because of the lies they said to me and about me, just more so that they felt the need to directly be nasty towards me rather than just be quiet and leave me alone with their negativity. Anyway, I see my doctor next week so I can try yet another medication for my Anxiety and Depression.

I get so scared over the silliest of things such as the shower curtain being closed, the door not being locked and when Jaimie isn’t in the house I feel panicked. I am barely sleeping and sit awake all night and lucky to get a nap in the morning without someone knocking on the door (usually post that sort of thing!)

Chronic Illnesses

The fun part, I wish! My wound where my rectal stump had been, is a real pain in the ass – pun intended!! My fistulas have been leaking and giving me infections which is super sore, my Tonsilitis/Tonsil stones won’t clear and my wisdom teeth keep getting abscessed (currently on the waiting list as urgent to have the four of them removed.)

My arthritis of course has flared with this cold weather so most days I need to use my walking stick and last week I had an appointment at ARI so used the bus, BIG mistake. I really struggled with sickness and my joint pain was just exhausting so Jaimie came to pick me up after offering to as he knew I was struggling.

I continue to fight the constant fatigue whether I manage to sleep or not and have also been in and out of hospital recently with my chronic migraines, sickness and wound problems. I’m also waiting for a capsule camera endoscopy to find out what is wrong with my small bowel and stoma which is four months overdue.

Charity Volunteering

I have done quite a bit of charity volunteering via social media this year!

I have just made a hamper in aid of GetYourBellyOut to raise money for those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, it’s almost finished! I also did the photography for the charity ball in April this year when my friend Hanna took really poorly and was admitted to hospital, thankfully she was okay and recieved really good care. We will be attending the ball next April again to see some of the most amazing people ever including my best friends Levi and Steph!

I have been collecting donations for Street Friends Aberdeen charity who help the homeless of Aberdeen, run by volunteers making them warm meals a few nights a week. (If you would like to help please click here for the items list.)

You will remember earlier this year in March, I took part in a charity photo shoot for The Purple Wings Charity Calendar where I raised almost £600 in sponsors and by auctioning off items for the charity. The calendars are now on sale for next year and can be bought by clicking here. It was great fun!

Everything Else

A lot to take in right?! I know it is a lot, sorry! This saturday we get our first ever real christmas tree! Most of the christmas presents have been wrapped up for everyone, just literally one or two left to wrap and that is all done yay! The dogs are all doing fine and have been squished up to me or on my knee giving me loads of cuddles whilst I have been poorly. They always seem to know how to make me feel comforted, bless their little but big hearts.

My Christmas Wishes

Lastly, my wishes for this christmas.

  • Have tests done
  • Be seen in the IBD clinic
  • For friends and family to have a lovely christmas and new year
  • More donations for Street Friends Aberdeen
  • Get my GetYourBellyOut volunteer shirt!
  • Not end up in hospital
  • To be well enough to enjoy christmas day without being tired and being able to eat Christmas dinner without feeling sick

Seems silly christmas wishes to many but for me, it’s big wishes.

What’s your christmas wish(es) this year?

recipes

Spicy Parsnip Soup

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The end of this week has been super cold with snow and frost so I thought making a nice hot soup with a kick to it would be nice for us!

Luckily I can digest parsnips no problem no matter how they are cooked! My partner (Jaimie) however struggles with them. Isn’t it strange how we both have the same illness and stoma but we digest things differently?!

Now, the good thing about this soup is you can add as much spices, as little or none at all depending on what you like. For me, I add in quite a bit as I LOVE spicy foods! This is also a very good soup to have if you are suffering from constipation – it will clear you out! ha ha.

So, let’s get right to what you need to make the Spicy Parsnip Soup –

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chilli powder
  • chilli flakes
  • smoked paprika
  • butter
  • 675 grams of parsnips (one packet and a big from another)
  • Vegetable stock

Starting the prep, peel the parsnips and cut into chunks. Do the same with the onion and add into the pan with olive oil, put in two garlic cloves, butter and spices.

Add in vegetable stock and boil for two hours.

Blend to a consistency that you like and serve!

recipes

Beef Stew

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It’s that lovely time of year where the snow is starting to fall,the grass is crisp and you want a good nutritious meal that is easy to make.  Beef stew or ‘casserole’ is a lovely meal and super easy to prepare which includes soft beef chunks and soft cooked vegetables.

As this recipe is done in the slow cooker, it makes everything soft and easier to digest!

For the recipe, you will need :

  • diced beef
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • bisto gravy granules
  • beef stock cube
  • vegetable stock cube
  • two garlic cloves
  • one diced onion
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • ground pepper for seasoning

I started firstly by dicing my onion, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and garlic. I put olive oil and onions into the slow cooker to fry first. Then added the other vegetables in.

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I then put in the diced beef with the gravy granules, water (thickness of gravy is up to you) beef and vegetable stock with garlic, butter and some ground pepper.

Leave on the stew selection of the menu (or leave on heat mark 4 for 90 minutes) if it is an ordinary slow cooker you have, leave on high for 2 hours.

Serve with whatever you like! For example; bread and butter, white pudding or steam cooked vegetables!

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Personal Blogs

BBC Radio Brain waves

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After talking with the lovely Pennie from BBC Radio Scotland, we had a cuppa at my home and recorded some conversations on topics for the Brainwaves Podcast edition for Series 7 in 2020.

In Pennie’s Brainwaves series, she explores the science behind our everyday experiences and shares this with scientists who work in Scotland. The first series which started in 2014, covers topics such as Edinburgh Science Festival, Obesity Figures in Scotland. Series 2 covers topics such as how sounds affect people, meeting and talking with scientists and professors and meeting Karen Vousden, director of Cancer Research. Series 3 covers topics such as Biometrics, The Psychology of Cheating, Donating your body to science and The Flu virus. Series 4 covers topics such as The Northern Lights, Antimicrobial Resistance and the Anatomy of a stroke. Series 5 covers topics such as The problem with plastic, The Invisible Disease and Child Tissue Donation. Series 6 which covers various topics such as Food For Thought, Street Drugs and Pain.

Series 7 which is set to be released early 2020, is currently being recorded. Subjects include a shocking insight into the prevalence of perinatal PTSD, a real eye opener on what might be the next big environmental pollution issue plus a few good, bad and ugly facts about fat.

I am VERY excited for you all to hear our one which covers many subjects! When it is published, I will make sure to update you all!

 

 

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs, People's Stories!, Personal Blogs

The Mental Health Taboo With Pregnancy

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After watching Loose Women, a celeb dating star Anna Williamson talked about her mental health before pregnancy, during and after the birth of her first child. Anna was extremely brave in talking about something that society has a set perspective on when it comes to pregnancy and having a family which is that pregnancy should be the most exciting and amazing time of your life. But that isn’t how it is for many who suffer from mental health conditions.

In my blog IBD – Pregnancy/Termination I talked about my situation when I became pregnant after being told I would never be able to get pregnant and to help other women in the same situation I was in which was that I was told this information based on opinion and through no fertility testing. However I never talked about the emotional impact this had and STILL has on me. It’s hard, and that’s putting it lightly. Since then I have had another miscarry and I am desperate to be a mum. They say to look at that silver lining and for us, it’s that I know I can get pregnant now!

I spoke to women and men who also felt that mental health had a big role to play prior, during and after pregnancy;

 

Kellie

“It felt like I was going to fail as a mom. When I was pregnant over three years ago, four months before falling pregnant I had my stoma operation. My surgeon was very concerned which made me concerned and panic. There were regular what ifs and what if this baby didn’t make it  as I had had 5 miscarriages. At ten weeks, my whole life was on pause as they didn’t know if I would survive, they diagnosed me with a brain condition and I went blind for three months. I was in such a dark place I didn’t know if I was going to make it, I kept asking myself was my baby going to make it, or if we did pull through how would I cope being a mom with a new illness on top of the illnesses I already have!”

“Pregnancy was no walk in the park for me, and I couldn’t be alone. I was scared to be left alone so my partner would come to the hospital everyday and be with me from 7am that morning till 11pm at night. I had to stay on the phone to him all night just to try and stay as calm as possible. I was also on different types of medication as they didn’t know if the baby would come out addicted to the medications or not. I wasn’t on medication by choice, I was on medications to try and survive and for the baby to survive. I had open brain surgery at 20 weeks pregnant and I honestly thought when I was being put to sleep that it would be the last time I would see my family. I didn’t bond with my son for a few months and unfortunately, it took longer for me to bond with him as all I did was sleep and eat. My partner actually had him the majority of the time after major bowel surgery, being ill, open brain surgery and being a new first time mom. Delivering conor I was all over the place between hormones. I really didn’t know if I was coming or going. When I got better and when I was allowed to go home, I was close to my due date and I kept having panic attacks thinking something was going to happen to the baby or myself. I couldn’t sleep, I was restless, I was alone.”

Laura

“I’ve been on maximum dose antidepressants for depression and anxiety since the age of 14. When I became pregnant in 2010, I was seen at the hospital regarding my medication. They advised me to either come off my medication or to switch to one that would have less effects on the baby. My anxiety told me to stop my medication completely, I couldn’t bare the thought of any medication having a negative impact on this little person I was growing. The first few weeks weren’t too bad, I found myself either feeling on cloud 9 and the happiest person alive or I then felt myself pushing everyone away and isolating myself. I kept blaming it on pregnancy hormones and carried on as I was. My baby was born prematurely in April 2011 via emergency caesarean. Nothing prepared me for that, and especially for what was to follow. I blamed myself entirely. I blamed myself for my tiny baby being in high dependency. I felt like I had failed him, my body had failed him, and for weeks I bottled these feelings up and tried my hardest to embrace my new role as a mother.”

“When I finally brought my baby home, I made sure he was clean, fed, loved and my god did I love him. But there was always this overwhelming feeling inside that I wasn’t good enough. I truly believed that I didn’t deserve this baby and didn’t deserve to feel happy. I told myself I didn’t love him enough. I struggled in silence for 6 months before admitting that I needed help. I openly told my doctor “I can’t do this” and the GP put me back on to antidepressants. It has taken me so long to accept that I need these tablets to function and to stabilise my emotions. It has taken me so long to accept that I was and am worthy of this special boy. I am no longer ashamed of my mental health issues and I need to take these tablets to make life easier for me and keep those intrusive thoughts at bay then I do! I was also so in love with him but I remember those unwanted and intrusive thoughts creeping in, telling me I wasn’t good enough for this and that I didn’t deserve this beautiful baby boy.”

 

Danielle

“Before I fell pregnant, apart from the desperation and obsession with becoming pregnant, my mental health was quite good. I was always able to control it and get on top of it myself. Never felt I needed to seek much help and always dealt with life’s shit pretty well. But it’s like something changed in me when I became pregnant, I was petrified of losing my unborn baby! SO petrified that I was adamant it was going to happen.
I didn’t really enjoy pregnancy much until 20 weeks. I don’t know why but that 20 week scan made me feel like I could breathe a bit and my unborn baby boy was healthy and he was actually going to be OK. But that horrible anxious feeling never fully went away, I think that’s because I didn’t have a lot of trust in my body, seen as though it had thrown a chronic illness at me out of the blue. Despite all my concerns and issues, besides initial worries from labour, he was a healthy baby boy. I don’t know if my pregnancy anxiety is to blame for my mental health declining once I had him. He had Cmpa ( a food allergy caused by the baby’s immune system reacting to proteins in cow’s milk) from birth so we had our issues and battles which was never easy. He wasn’t diagnosed for weeks and I felt like I was losing an uphill battle with medical professionals. I struggled so much from early on because he screamed, a lot, and wasn’t a happy baby. I felt so stressed and angry All. The. Time, A time that I was meant to be enjoying my new baby boy it was awful some days.”

“Even though I wasn’t alone I felt very alone, very scared, both judged and a very bad mum! I was petrified to talk to anyone about how I really felt incase I was judged! I was so scared someone would take my baby off me and think he would be better off with someone else. I did go to the Drs a few times, trying to explain how I felt but I kept getting dismissed and I lost faith in them. Eventually, nearly 2 years after having him! 2 whole years, I felt like I was losing my mind and I wasn’t a very nice person to be around. I couldn’t control my anger or my emotions. I felt so lost and so far from myself it was unreal! I took my sister to the Drs with me who thankfully listened. I self referred from there advice to try CBT. I give it a good go, I tried a few appointments and stuck to it, but still felt myself sinking. My son was well over 2 now and he deserved so much more than what I was giving him! So I went against everything I once believed in, and asked for antidepressants. I was scared of those because I didn’t want to feel numb, I didn’t want to be emotionless towards my son or partner, but I NEEDED something and fast. So 11 months I have been on them now, and my God what a difference!! I’m quite saddened to think I lost myself for so long and got such an important chunk of my little boys life, and I know, which is also proven, that my mental health WOULD of had an effect on him because I left it too long. But I pray and I hope with everything in me, I have time to reverse any damage and soon enough, before the years out, I’ll be medication free and coping OK. Nobody tells you about this part of pregnancy and being a parent, not peppery. You never expect it to happen to you. But it can happen to anyone. And please don’t do what I did, don’t try cope and don’t ignore it. Ask for help, no-one is there to judge you, only to help you.”

Zoe

“My experiences with a newborn – I went into it expecting it to be the most amazing and wonderful experience in the whole world: especially after all the ivf and how longed for our baby was, I thought it would be magical. And don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful, but wow it was so hard too! The physical exhaustion of having a newborn affected me more than anything. I was breastfeeding for the first 2 and a half weeks, and he would feed constantly. And I mean constantly. There was no physical time left in the day for me to sleep. I was beyond exhausted. I was losing control of my mind, I felt like I was ghosting my body, like I wasn’t there. I felt like looking after my baby was a chore. I didn’t feel like I could enjoy even the cuddles. It wasn’t until I started bottle feeding, where Harry actually enjoyed being put down, I could actually sleep, and I got my sanity back. When he was breastfeeding, he would only settle on me, he would only sleep on me. It was relentless. I didn’t want to tell anyone, I felt like I was failing and I had to keep my front.”

Debbie

“I have recently had 3 miscarriages, and during my pregnancies with both my daughters in 2007 and 2008, I had strep B with severe sickness. Due to severe depression which I was diagnosed with in 2009, my two girls were taken away and have been adopted. I found it hard to manage simple things like cooking, couldn’t eat without being sick so ended up being anemic for a while, I couldn’t get much sleep as I was always lay awake worrying. Due to this awful experiences, I have ended up not trusting professionals and I still don’t. I was always worrying something bad was going happen and this has affected my mental health long term.”

(this gentleman is being kept anonymous) 

“I find men don’t know what to expect during pregnancy, and I personally found that when going into the hospital with my partner, I was ignored by the staff. They don’t tell you what to expect or how it’s going to be. When we had my youngest, my partner was on gas and air and I sat there doing nothing until she went into labour, nobody talked to me or said what to do or helped me cope with it all. I think because we aren’t the patient, we are left to it which I think is unfair as it’s an experience to go through together as a couple.”

Amy

I have never been very maternal, yes I wanted children, I wanted one each a boy and girl, but for me I had to be a lot older, successful and married. Obviously fate had a different idea. I fell pregnant 3 months after dating my boyfriend, it was mid Jan 2015 when I found out. I had just landed a full time permanent job and this really put a spanner in the works. It was a shock, this wasn’t planned and I didn’t know my boyfriend that well enough either. Even though my pregnancy was a shock, I knew then and there I was sticking with this pregnancy. My boyfriend however wasn’t so keen on the idea. I broke the news to my parents and apart from an initial shock the next day they both supported me with whatever I decided. My boyfriend took a whole week to tell his parents and they weren’t thrilled either. Back then I think I should of left him as the warning signs were all there.

My pregnancy wasn’t easy at the slightest, I’m 4ft9, I was about 5 and a half stone then, so growing a baby left me in a lot of pain. I was sick constantly and was back and forth in A&E as I was so dehydrated and had constant drips to help with that. I had sickness throughout until I actually went into labour. My boyfriend came to terms with things but wasn’t at all in the slightest encouraging. He came to most of the scans, as did my family but he wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion like we were. Anyway we got prepared and minus the sickness and needing constant growth scans, (as for a while baby was growing quite small) things were fine and dandy. My due date was 4th October 2015. I got told I wouldn’t be on time and would be late, however on the 14th September, I was getting a lot of pain and started bleeding. On the 15th pain was worse and my mum decided to time them and low and behold I was actually starting labour. The labour ward got me in when my contractions were about a minute apart and after a quick sweep and realising I was already 4cm dilated, I had a birth pool running and we were in hospital. 16th September 2015 at 7:56am my daughter was born at a beautiful 6lb4oz. Apart from being a bit blue and mucusy she was fine and after 24 hours we went home. This was when things went bad. My partner moved in with me in my parents house, but they just couldn’t get on. He hardly helped with our daughter and at this point I became quite poorly myself as was having a lot of stomach pain. It got so bad at one point I had to get an ambulance round. No-one could work out what was wrong so was put on some painkillers. Day 5 of my daughter’s life and after a few days of her being jaundice my midwife and health visitor told me to get her to hospital and myself as well as I was running a fever and not being well. So we did. We both got admitted in.

My daughter was poked and prodded with numerous tests and she was rushed straight to NICU as her bilirubin levels were dangerously high. We were told if they continue to rise that she may have brain or organ failure. We were told to expect the worst if things didn’t improve in 24 hours. She was put in all uv lighting. She had tubes going everywhere and the tiniest cannula ever. This was when my mental health went bad. My heart was breaking in so many ways. How can this happen? I’ve only had her in my life for 5 days, you can’t take her away from me now. Will she live? Will she have permanent problems? How am I going to cope? Why the hell has this gotten so bad? I was distraught and worse I was admitted in and until they can figure out what was wrong with me, I wasn’t allowed to be in nicu. I was breastfeeding so I needed to be there so I could do that. They allowed me for that reason but after 2 days my bloods came back saying I had an infection and while that was going on I no longer could be there. So I expressed. But I wasn’t making much sense, which then made me cry my eyes out as I couldn’t even do one simple thing for my daughter. The hospital was amazing. They made sure I was being checked on and keeping me updated constantly about my daughter. I had the mental health team round as my scoring was very bad so they sent the support, but I refused, I just wanted to be with my daughter. Her father hardly went to see her, he was more interested in playing his game or sleep. At one point he saw her for about 10 minutes and then went off with his family to get a pizza, not once asking if I needed anything.

My parents, especially my mum, were there being my support group that they always are, they made sure I was coping and being there with my girl while I couldn’t. They gave me things so I had her smell and she had mine. Regardless though, I still felt alone, so lonely, so lost, so hopeless, so frustrated and so very angry. I just want my baby home and well. Somehow a miracle did happen and after 2 and a half weeks we were home. We had another month of tests to make sure nothing creeped back but she was safe. But even being home my low mood didn’t budge. I instead worried every time she was asleep.

It is incredibly brave for these people to share their stories over the past few months and to share via this blog post. The main aim in sharing these stories is for those who are in similar situations with mental health whilst being a parent’s or parent’s to be to not feel so alone. It’s OK not to be OK at any time in your life! Just make sure to reach out and get the help and support that you need, whether that be in a friend, family member or medical professional.

Life With A Stoma, recipes

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

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This week was started of by making Cauliflower cheese soup!

I absolutely love cauliflower cheese but I digest Cauliflower much better when it is in a soup, blended. I know many people with a stoma or Inflammatory Bowel Disease have the same issue so I thought this was a nice recipe to share. Many dietitians recommend a high fibre diet so if you are on a high fibre diet this could benefit you!

This is a lovely comfort food soup if you aren’t enjoying a high fibre diet or have limited foods within that diet that you can eat. It is creamy, cheesy and full of flavour!

For this recipe, you need:

  • 2 peeled potatoes
  • half tub of double cream
  • 2 bags of mature cheddar
  • 700ml (or to your taste) of vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cauliflowers
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • butter for cooking the onion
  • 400ml milk

Firstly, cook the onions in butter then add chopped cauliflower, potato, milk and vegetable stock.

Simmer for 30 minutes (or until really soft) then add in cheese, cream and seasoning.

Boil at heat mark 4 for one hour and then blend to how you like!

And that’s it! Simple and prep/cook time is super quick.

 

 

 

Life With A Stoma, Personal Blogs, recipes

Stoma Friendly Bread and Butter Pudding

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Having a stoma can be difficult when you can no longer eat the foods that you once loved, if that means either you are unsure about eating them or simply you have found you cannot eat it from your trial and errors food list. Bread and butter pudding is my most favourite dish and has been since I was little as my mum used to make me it on a cold winter day.

I found a new way to still enjoy this dish without having to eat sultanas as they make my stoma terribly sore and give me a blockage. Sultanas are what gives this dish the most flavour complimenting the cinnamon and nutmeg, here’s how:

For this recipe, you need;

  • 1 tub of double cream
  • 25g of caster sugar
  • milk
  • 2 eggs
  • sultanas
  • bread
  • butter
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • one oven dish

After cutting the bread in half, making triangle shapes, butter just the top and put into the dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and repeat this process until you are happy with the depth of bread.

When combining the cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, put in the sultanas and warm on the heat setting 4 for 15 minutes then bring to boil on heat setting 6 for 5-10 minutes. This part sounds a little messy however it isn’t so messy! Take a potato masher and squeeze down the sultanas until they are a mushy consistency.

Mix the two eggs with sugar together and whisk until they are a pale colour. Take a sieve and pour the contents of the pan with your sultanas into the sieve over the egg and sugar mix and squash out all the juices with a spoon until no more comes out, then dispose of the sultanas.

Mix these together and pour over your bread triangles in the oven proof dish and leave to sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes put into the oven at 180 degrees for another 30 minutes.

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Add some cream or ice cream and enjoy!

Personal Blogs

The Enchanted Forest Cosmos

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Last year we went to The Enchanted Forest event to celebrate our first year anniversary of being together. This year we wanted to do the same and make it a yearly thing! This years theme was Cosmos with lots of outer space sounds and visuals.

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This event is held in Pitlochry, a scottish town near Perth. As we are in the North East of Scotland it takes is around 3 hours to get there depending if traffic is OK so this year we left early to get there during the afternoon and explore the town as last year we didn’t have time. We had a little walk around the town and went to a little candy store that had lots! We also had to make a stop into the hardware store as silly me forgot the memory card for my camera! Once we got that sorted we headed back to the hotel where the coaches picked up people for the event, had our complimentary tickets scanned and our hands stamped.

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Once we got onto the coach, they had a recording with cute music playing alongside a voice over, to let everyone know the rules such as not to litter and explaining to children to be careful etc. It took around 5-10 minutes to get to the forest where the event is held and we stepped off and headed towards the beautiful coloured lights. The weather wasn’t exactly on our side but the trees sheltered out most of the rain! Firstly, we went for a bite to eat at the burger stall. Jaimie had a cheese burger meal and I had a hot dog with chips and cheese (my favourite!) The chips were just as amazing as last year but sadly we were both quite disappointed with the hot dog as when tasted, it was just two normal sausages with herbs in them which didn’t taste too nice, I didn’t care too much as the chips were so so good!

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We walked around the lake and viewed all the beautiful displays such as the water light show and these beams that lit up and played music when we touched them! We then got some hot chocolate (just me as Jaimie doesn’t like chocolate) and headed back to the coach. By this time it was really, really cold so we headed back to the car after getting off and put the heated seats and warm air conditioning on!

 

Down below are some photos from the event ;

 

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