Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs, Pregnancy and Baby

Healthy Eating With An Ostomy

Recently, my partner and I have been calorie counting and eating much more healthy. If you are new to my blog or didn’t know, my partner also has an Ileostomy and we both have Crohns Disease.

Six months ago, I had a c section to have our son Odin and since then, I have put on weight whereas before my son, I struggled to keep any weight I put on.  I’ve not only struggled with fitting into my clothes and body confidence, but also my skin. It’s not unknown that skin conditions associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease can creep up on you at some time in your life and for me, this started three months ago and I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want to leave the house, I made very minimal effort but whenever I did have to leave the house, I tried to cover my red and broken out skin best as I could. It was also extremely painful and washing my face hurt and, it would smell really bad some days. Like others with IBD, I need to have a low fibre/low residue diet which can mean a lot of fatty, processed and sugary foods because most healthy foods cause pain, wind, diarrhoea, blockages and vomiting.

As I said at the beginning, we started healthy eating and calorie counting. Now, we had zero idea how this was going to go because throughout and after my pregnancy, I kept getting really bad blockages and severe constipation. Every time I had any fruit or vegetables, my stomach and stoma played absolute havoc! So far, it has been two weeks since we started our weight loss journey with an app called My Fitness App, recommended by two other ostomates on twitter. To start, I put in the current weight I was at, my height and what my goal weight is that I would like to be. It then calculates how much calories you need per day and it has a diary section where you put in your intake for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and water intake.

Meal planning has been much easier than we expected. The app has a recipes section, with lots of amazing recipes to choose from. When it comes to eating healthy and following recipes, you need to adapt them to your needs and so, in this instance, I know I cant eat anything wholemeal at all. So for each recipe that uses wholemeal for example, rice, I use white rice because that’s what is safe and best for my stoma and Crohn’s. It’s been so much fun making everything from scratch at home together! My favourites are the banana and almond smoothie and the potato and carrot latkes. There is also a section for workouts such as yoga and videos showing you how! I haven’t ventured into these yet but I do plan on doing that next week as at the moment I am trying to go for small walks each day to get steps in but I find that difficult due to my mobility issues so I know the home yoga may be good for me.

So, to current date (6th April) I have lost 8 pounds! My skin has also become so much better as I don’t eat a lot of processed foods that I had previously of eaten a few weeks ago. Food somehow tastes a whole lot better and so much more fresh. We are enjoying it so much so, that takeout isn’t very appealing anymore! I’m looking forward to fitting into my clothes and just feeling better in general. I have noticed how much better mentally I feel by cutting out crappy foods and snacks, not fully, because obviously I have mental health conditions (which are caused by chemical problems in the brain and gut) so they will never fully go away but any improvement is better than none in my eyes. I have surgery to remove all my wisdom teeth in May, which means I will be on a liquid diet for a couple of weeks. There are lots of high calorie but healthy things available on the app, so I can find lots of recipes to help. There is also Google, so these will make sure I don’t loose too much at once.

If you want to loose weight, you have to make the start! Adapt the diet and recipes that you know, to suit your body and chronic illness. That ensures you don’t cause any issues for your health by triggering any flares etc. Good luck to anyone on their journey or if this has given you motivation to start then I hope it goes well! ❤️

Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs

A Letter To My Son

Once you have a son, life is never the same and you find it hard to imagine what your life was like before he made his appearance into this world.  It is the most wonderful feeling to be a mum! I wanted to write a letter to my son so when he is older, he can read this. Many other mums may also be able to relate to my pregnancy and fertility journey!

I carried you through the hardest months I’ve had in my life so far. Pregnancy was hard and with chronic illness, a stoma, PGP, and mental illness added into the mix, it was quite the mocktail without the cherry on top! As you began to grow in my tummy, I felt butterflies rumbling as you moved in your sleep, when I played music, and when I lay in the bath (I knew from that first wriggle in the bath and every time I was in there, that you were going to be a water baby!) If I hadn’t of announced I was pregnant with you, everyone would have been none the wiser, due to having such a small bump, which didn’t appear until you were around 26 weeks old and boy, didn’t I know about it when I did! I felt every kick and hiccup which was super painful but rewarding at the same most precious time. Your favourite place to kick was under my ribs and my bum! It’s a sensation I can never really explain to anyone when they have asked how it feels, all I can say is it’s super sore and weird but also funny at the same time.

I remember the very first outfit I ever got you, it was just after my gender scan and I had found out we were having a little boy. Now the gender scan did not go to plan at all! When I think back, I laugh! I had taken a Chinese gender scan online and, with the symptoms I had whilst pregnant with you, it appeared to me, that I was having a girl! When the person doing my scan said I was having a boy, I was so emotional and I cried. Half of those tears were due to hormones and the other half was down to being so annoyed at myself for thinking you were a girl and also due to grief. You see, before I was pregnant with you, I had a previous pregnancy but she had to leave too soon with the doctors help as I was too poorly. It would have been her 3rd birthday this year and she is never forgotten even though she was so little ( I say she because [some may not believe in this] I saw a pshyic medium who seen her with your great, great granny). Now, your outfit was this gorgeous blue and white winnie the pooh shorts romper, you’ll see this picture below.

SO cute!! At just 5 months, you have the greatest lanky legs like a dandy long legs! Which you love to kick around and swing left, right and centre whilst wriggling and rolling in mid nappy/clothes changes, cheeky! You might notice when you’re older, a little cut on your hair line. This is because I had to have my tummy cut open to give birth to you, ouch! I’ve had lots of many different surgeries and by the time we read this and you’re old enough to understand, I know I will have had lots more! Never worry, I’m always looked after by very nice doctors and nurses and I had many surgeries before I had you so I’ve learnt a thing or two on how to be a tough cookie! Same as for your daddy, which is how we met, and is a story for another time.

Being your mummy is hard some days because when I am sore, I become very tired and some things that wouldn’t really bother me most days, bothers me and I get grumpy. Like not being able to take you out for walks in your pram or having the house clean and tidy. Every time you laugh on those hard days or when you smile or say “dada” it helps me feel better and it makes them so worth it! When I see you splashing in the bath and having so much fun soaking my face, all I can do is laugh. When I hurt and feel pain, your cuddles are the best medicine I could ever need. You are six months old and growing so quickly, slow down! I haven’t had enough of my little baby just yet, and maybe you will always be my baby boy. When you are old enough to understand, I can explain in more detail just how much of a special little rainbow baby you are.

A little miracle. A blessing. Pure joy.

Your big brother Biggie knew when I was pregnant with you before we had announced it to all our family and friends, and has loved you from the minute he knew. He loved to lay his head on my belly and listen to you inside! When I brought you home, he slept by you in your moses basket and bouncer chair and still now, loves to be by your side. You have just started to see him as a dog with fur and his big flappy ears! You explore his face and body with your tiny little hands and fingers, feeling his soft smooth and jabby fur as he naps next to you before you too drift off into a nap. You are trying to say “dog” too! What a clever little man you are. As you grow older, Biggie will too, and he will always be your bestest friend and remember that Biggie is part of the family, more than just a dog!

Sometimes, I may need to be away from home when I don’t feel well but always know, I’ll be coming back home to you and when I do, I will always be ready for your kisses and cuddles. When I am away, I go to a place called the hospital where I get looked after and helped to feel better so you mustn’t worry. Daddy and Biggie will be there with big cuddles and Biggie more than likely will make you laugh with his loud and stinky farts!! Sometimes daddy may need to go to hospital to feel better, too,but he is much more braver than I and we never need to worry. You will also become aware that both Daddy and I poop and fart differently with our pink squishy buttons on our tummies! My squishy is called Lola and she saved my life and she can be very funny! You will learn all about her from your Buttony Bear book i read to you through the years and your buttony bear!

Know this icke baby, that whatever we go through in life, know we have eachother. We got this. Strength grows with love and our family is full!

Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs, Pregnancy and Baby

Travelling

Waiting for the train. 15/03/21

Travelling for the first time on my own since having Odin has felt so strange. I’ve missed him from the minute my partner drove away in the car. Finally, after being on the train for a half hour, I was able to relax and enjoy the Scottish scenery we are so lucky to have here in Scotland!

We were up at 8:30 am. I got showered and packed the last of my things after changing Odin whilst my partner fed him and let our doggy out for his morning business! My train was at 10:13 am so we left the house around 9:40 am to make it there in time for me to print out my train tickets. It was bloody freezing, so I quickly dug out my hat and gloves from my backpack (pictured above, which is from Hype.) Once on the first train, I popped in my wireless headphones and put on my rock playlist. I was feeling pretty down from missing my boys, but after coming off the first train, I went and got a coffee and a maple pecan plait (which is my favourite bakery food!!) And back to listening to my playlist on Spotify, I feel a lot better. It sounds super strange, but it definitely helps to pick some really chilled out rock when I feel anxious.

So what are my tips for travelling with a stoma? In my previous blog from when I flew with my stoma (you can find by clicking here.), I haven’t blogged about travelling on the train with a stoma! Here are some tips that may help you;

  • Apart from the main things you need, it’s handy to bring a backpack with your essentials in there, for example, medication, juice, snacks, hand sanitiser, and a phone charger.
  • Empty your bag when you can, especially when you feel it getting near halfway. This will help you not only avoid leaks but also panic! If you suffer from frequent leaks or eat anything high in fibre the night before and are a little worried, take some spare stoma supplies in your backpack. Eating low fibre foods if you are sensitive to those also helps and drink plenty of isotonic drinks to keep hydrated, for if you have a long journey, it can be quite warm on public transport.

Thanks to Scotrail for having WiFi on the train, I was also able to video call with my partner, which helped my anxiety A LOT. I got to see Odin and my dog, Biggie, and see how they all were doing. The views on the train from Montrose were absolutely stunning, too! I forgot there was a bridge and freaked out a little being on a train above water, haha! Once I arrived in Glasgow, it was onto busy and exciting things! Which I can’t reveal just yet (which also means when I do, my social media will be private for a little while). After my slightly busy afternoon, I came back to my hotel and nipped to tesco for some makeup remover wipes because I forgot to take my Elemis cleanser with me, then ordered some food from Tofu Asian Fusion Partick (a place that specialises in tofu but is highly recommended by people I know and me!)

After food, I got tucked into bed and started to watch the new Jeremy Kyle documentary on Channel 4 via the all 4 app, (gutted it’s only just two episodes!) and relaxed for the night. In the morning, I had a fabulous relaxing shower, a coffee, and lounged around in my towel whilst doing my makeup and continued to watch the second episode of the Jeremy Kyle documentary. Once ready, I popped off to go the shop for some isotonic drinks and a quick look in the charity shop, in which I managed to grab a bargain; a top for just £2.50! Then, a quick dash to my taxi and then the start of a busy and exciting day! After an exciting and emotional but fun day, I had to make a quick dash back to the hotel to check out. I then picked up a coffee and toastie before heading off to get my first train home (I had a couple of changes to get).

Finally, after what felt like forever, I got onto my last train home!! The anticipation to see my boys was crazy! The whole hour, I was thinking, “I can’t wait to see them and give them all a big squeeze!!” Which is EXACTLY what I did when I saw them once returning home! Odin became wide awake with excitement (he was fast asleep in the car). I ran a bubble bath after changing Odin’s nappy and popped him to bed and then enjoyed a lovely soak in the bath and then also went to bed!

Travelling can be exhausting when travelling, so it is important to take time for yourself and rest when you get home.

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, People's Stories!, Pregnancy and Baby

Chronically Ill Parenting

My new YouTube channel series!

A bit late to the party! However, my new YouTube series is now up and running after months of wanting to do it!

Once a month, I will be interviewing chronically ill parents, ostomates, those who suffer with mental health and also interviewing those who have struggled and do struggle with fertility. My first live stream was this evening at 7pm and will be edited and posted onto the channel to view at any time.

I thought it was important to highlight the struggles and achievements that chronically ill parents have throughout life! I know whilst I was pregnant, that there just wasn’t that support available and I’m hoping this can help other chronic illness sufferers and ostomates when planning to have a family, even if it is only just questions before thinking about conceiving. I also hope to help any mums out there who are pregnant and those who are already parents but just struggle with feeling alone in some aspects of their life.

I am aiming to do 10-15 interviews for this series, I will be kept busy! If you are interested in being interviewed, pop me a message on my instagram page.

I look forward to seeing how this goes and hope it helps some of you out there!

Life With A Stoma, Product Reviews

ModaVi Bag Review

This week I was sent samples of the new ModaVi bags to try from Pelican Healthcare! As promised, I would try them and write my review on my blog as well as sending feedback through the feedback link.

How do they feel?

Honestly the fabric feels amazing and soft, like suede! The flange is also super nice on the skin and very comfortable. They feel very light on the stomach when the bag is full too and the adhesive caused no issues and in fact, felt so lovely to wear around my stoma and on my paristomal skin. They are also fantastic to look at and definitely gives you a lot more confidence!

Flaws?

So for me, I found a few flaws with this bag (this is personal opinion and not the same for everyone!) I really do not like how the opening for drainage is at the bottom. Its really messy and fiddly because in order to clean it fully you have to open it at the bottom then stick tissue all inside a good few times before you can roll it back up again, a similar opening design as the Salts bags. When unrolled to go and empty, there was poo everywhere and leaking out the sides so my fingers got covered every time. I also didn’t like the flappy part at the top of the bag which is used to view the stoma underneath as it dangled around a lot. Super handy though, I admit, for being able to get a good clear look at your stoma and it also folds up for when wearing a Bikini or something similar! I also found that after showering, it peeled away but that could purely be because I am pregnant and have a lot more curve on my paristomal skin and may not be due to the actual flange itself so do bare that in mind when you have read this!

Over all the aesthetic of the bag is perfect and I couldnt fault that at all but practically it just didn’t work for me. The flange is the best part, due to how healthy it made my skin and it just felt so good whilst on!

I still definitely prefer the opening draining design on the sensura mio bags by Coloplast as they have an extra part where the poo runs down and its so easily wipeable and takes a lot less time, toilet roll and no fiddling about what so ever. As always, different bags work differently on every ostomate so please do not be put off from trying them!

Thankyou so much Pelican Healthcare for sending me them and so quickly too! The bags I have left over will be donated to The Jacobs Well Appeal.

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

Addiction

In the last 5 years, the world has seen an opioid crisis become worse and worse. People overdosing due to building up such a high tolerance to pain medications, many don’t make it out. After my first major surgery in 2015 I was one of those people amongst that crisis, I was 20 years old.

The thing is, you think that it will never happen to you. You take it as prescribed by your doctor/surgeon and because of this, you feel that you are safe from becoming addicted. Unfortunately addiction can happen to anyone and that is a fact! Most addicts have either a background of Chronic Health, have been involved in a tragic accident or have Mental Health conditions. The problem mostly, is that people do this over a long period of time and sometimes decide the dose may not be enough because their tolerance has changed, with it being a prescription drug, they still feel safe to increase the dose, thinking there will be no danger.

My addictive side of life with drugs started before I got seriously ill when I was in my teens, dabbling in Cocaine, Marijuana, Ecstasy, Speed and Legal Highs. I would drink as normal at the weekends like most teenagers. At that time, it was seen as “the norm” for most people my age to be doing this. I had an addictive personally, a need to be lively and enjoy life and wanted to do that at any cost.

However, my journey with prescription pain killers started before surgery just taking when I was in severe flare ups with my Crohns Disease. After surgery I needed a PCA pump, oramorph and oxytocin on top of what I was already on. I did really great after surgery pain relief wise and had the PCA pump removed just a couple of days afterwards, the oxytocin started to pass straight through my Ileostomy so was taken off of that from the get go on that happening. Being completely honest, I didn’t even know I had an addiction, after all why would I? I was taking it as prescribed. As time went on, my pain seemed to become worse and I couldn’t understand why. One night, I had to call out of hours and a home visit was arranged due to being so poorly. A practitioner nurse visited me and had explained what she knew it was after working in a prison and watching the same thing happen there. I was terrified and didn’t want to be alone, so I went to stay with my mum to detox, I went cold turkey – a term that’s used, meaning you come off everything all at once without weaning off.

After months of sweating till my clothes were soaking through, my stoma going non stop like a firehose (bag changing was an absolute nightmare!), sleepless nights, sleepless days, struggling to eat, losing weight, nausea, intense stomach cramps and my entire body feeling like my veins and skin were crawling, I got better and managed to go back home. I had a lot of support from doctors during this time and it is really important to always communicate with your doctor. Doggy cuddles helped tremendously too! I mostly survived on smoothies made by my mum and water. My dad would come past to check on ey every day and took me to the beach often, it’s my favourite place to go when I am struggling.

After sharing my story on Instagram, many followers commented and messaged me to thank me for talking so openly about this. It made me realise there is not enough awareness about addiction to prescription medications. There needs to be more talking about this, supporting others who have been though it or are going through it! I am not ashamed that this happened to me as it actually taught me quite a lot and helped me understand addiction on a whole other spectrum and why it can happen and take over peoples lives. The pain of withdrawal is unbearable, it makes you feel as if you are dying and the only thing that will take the pain away is to take the one thing that’s causing it – it’s a vicious circle. So if you were given the choice to have no pain, 9 times out of 10 you will. It’s an awful place to be in and many suffer with this for most of their lives.

Luckily there are many charities and organisations that help with addiction and substance misuse. One that is very well known for this is a charity called MIND,

Addiction can happen to anyone but it can also be overcome by anyone. You truly never know the strength you or someone else has until they go through the hardest times of their lives and come out the other side!

Life With A Stoma

Can’t Wait Card from Bladder and Bowel


Fellow stoma buddies! I have my Just Can’t Wait card, do you?.

Many stores are now accepting Just Can’t Wait cards, which is a huge improvement to a few years ago! I have been one of those affected by not being allowed to use toilets in stores before AND after having my stoma. Many have suffered much worse where they have been refused with a very full ostomy bag, resulting in a bag leak and soiled clothing. Bladder and Bowel have made a Just Can’t Wait card for ostomates to show that you need the toilet, in a much more discreet and private way. Perfect if you don’t want to cause a fuss or let anyone else around you know about your stoma.

This week is stoma week, which they have dedicated this week to talk all things stoma!

“We’re always looking for ways in which we can support the community, and this week we have a few little surprises for you! You’ll have to join us on social media to find out exactly what we’re planning. 

They will be sharing patients stories, asking for ostomates opinions, running new exciting events and starting conversations and giving support for anyone who lives with a stoma. Below you will find links to their social medias to find out more!

Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, Personal Blogs

What To Watch This Winter?

As winter draws in, the nights are getting darker and the cold is creeping in more and more. We also find ourselves in part 2 of the pandemic with the majority of the south of the UK shielding and the days are beginning to merge into one and before you know it, you have no clue what day of the week it is and it is BORING. I’ve been shielding since the first lock down started earlier this year, with the exception of hospital appointments, shopping and getting out for the odd walk here and there, so I know how the lack of activities is beginning to get on my last nerve! Apart from working out, I can’t deny how much I love a good NETFLIX binge especially on the days where it’s too cold to go outside or I’m simply just not well enough to. Looking through NETFLIX and amazon prime, I thought I would get everyone filled in on what you can watch and watch you will be able to watch later during the last of 2020.

Some Amazon Prime films mentioned may cost so do keep on mind do avoid those if you are on a super tight budget like us, as with NETFLIX the monthly fee is as what you pay for it (we don’t pay for ours.)

  1. Emily In Paris : If you love a chick flick you will absolutely DIE and go to chick flick heaven with this series! A girl finds herself getting a job promotion from America, to Paris and her journey there is tough but totally heart fluttering.
  2. The Tiger King : I think by now we have all heard of Carole Baskin! I you haven’t watched this gob stopping documentary about a guy who wanted to live a celeb life whilst raising tigers, lions and whatever else at his animal park, you need to. It all comes to a crashing end with SO much drama.
  3. The Ted Bundy Tapes : If serial killers, murder documentaries and evil people is your thing, you’ll love this. Following Ted Bundy the serial killer in America of the 60’s to late 70’s before being executed in 89′, how his brain worked, his background and how he managed to deceive multiple communities before being caught.
  4. Sex Education : A hilarious comedy featuring a young teenager who’s mum is a sex therapist. Being a not so popular guy in school, love is tricky for him and doing the old tug of the chicken is as non excitant as his love life. He finds the girls of his dreams but will he see it through?
  5. The Witcher : I can’t lie, THIS is my ultimate favourite watch this year! If you love Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones, this is right up your street. Dragons, Mages, Witches and a Witcher who tackles huge monsters.
  6. Stranger Things : An absolute belter of a series! Based back in to the 70s/80s genre, a group of kids and their parents/guardians tackle the most evil and biggest monster the world has never even dreamt of. Main character Eleven who can open the porthole for all unruly monsters escapes a scientists lab after being kidnapped as a child, finds herself fighting the evil monsters to save her friends, family and the world.
  7. The Last Kingdom : This epic series dated back in the Viking times has so much of a story line I can only sum it up as best I can! Uhtred being an outsider Saxon (a rouge tribe) seeks to make England a better place following the death of the king and doing his best to support the new one leaving his Saxon life partly behind, whilst finding his brother Ragnor and his sister – on the opposing side as Saxons.
  8. The End Of The Fucking World : A dry and dark comedy that sees two young teens with troubled home lives and mental issues, not popular at school, develop a friendship after murdering a podophile in his home after breaking into his home and being caught, thinking nobody was going to be there for a long period of time.. Their love story has many off and ons and during this time, they go on the run together.
  9. The Corpse Bride : A childhood classic! A man dreaming to make his arranged marriage just perfect, ends up married to a corpse bride!
  10. A Cinderella Story : An updated and new version of the classic Disney story, featuring Hilary Duff at high school, working for her evil step mum after her dad passes when she is a little girl. She texts a boy named Justin and is falling for him, but there’s a catch – he doesn’t know who she is.
  11. Easy A : A hilarious film featuring a young teenager in high school who somehow has it spread round she lost her virginity, instead of trying to deny it, she goes with the flow and there is a storm before the calm!
  12. Blades of Glory : An amazing comedy featuring Will Ferrell, known for his active roles in comedies, is a champion ice skater teams up with another after they become disqualified. They hate each others guts but it’s about to get up close and personal…
  13. The Innocent Man : From being charged for a murder he didn’t commit, you see how his life is turned around and he gets justice – a true story how a man is made innocent and set free.
  14. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina : A new take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, seeing Sabrina a normal 15 year old at high school (mortal) leading up to her 16th birthday which happens to be on Halloween – her dark baptism. She has to sign her name into the book of the beast, giving the dark lord her soul in exchange for her life as a witch and her powers. So many twists and turns happen and after refusing to sign the book, she is left with no choice at one point. Leaving her mortal life behind and starting her new life a witch and MUCH more. New season coming December 2020.
  15. Riverdale : Ah, the charming Archie Andrews. Living in a small community things get rocky when drugs, murders and gangs start to rival in his small town. He has a mission to stop who is leading these terrible crimes and is confronted with his lovers father. Can he stop him and save his friends, family and town?
  16. Shadow Hunters : A young Clarissa finds herself bumping into someone who usually can’t be seen by anyone, unless he wants them to. She soon finds out that she was born with abilities, wiped from her memory as a young child to protect her from her real father, who seeks to avenge her mother and the community that banished him.
  17. American Horror Story : If you love horror films, this series is perfect. Each season see’s the same actors playing different roles as each season has a different story line. (My personal favourite is Season 3 – The Asylum.)
  18. The Lovely Bones : Only available on Amazon Prime at £5, this chilling docufilm follows the life of a young 14 year old Suzie who is lured and killed by their neighbour. It shows her watching her friends and family in the “in-between” which is the place between Earth and Heaven. Will they get justice for Suzie? I can only say that the ending gives me great happiness.
  19. Knocked Up : A comedy featuring a E star employee who finds herself getting a promotion to be on the TV screen interviewing celebs, has a one night stand and ends up getting pregnant – with not the guys she initially anticipated to have a baby with.
  20. The Invention of Lying : Featuring comedy actor and writer Ricky Gervais, our world is full of honesty without one person ever lying. Harsh and critical honesty, turned around when he invents lying for the first time!

These are all my favourites to watch! Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Personal Blogs

One week post-op!

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Found this old blog post just one week after receiving my stoma in 2015! I thought it would be great to get it published for any new or upcoming ostomates can have a read! 

So as all of you are aware, I received surgery a week ago and now have a permanent stoma (ileostomy.) I have recovered so well so quickly! I was walking the next morning and was off my PCA pump on Saturday morning! I am on regular pain relief and got home on the following Wednesday! It’s great being able to eat foods I couldn’t before and not feel so ill with constant toilet trips! I am settling in at home great too! The only thing I am struggling with is doing the housework and sleeping.

 The operation went extremely well and was done via keyhole. The doctors, surgeon and nurses are amazed at how quickly I have recovered from this, as are my family and friends. I am still sore and weak, I also get tired so easily but being able to do my own washing and have the comfort of my own tv and sofa is amazing! Spending time with family and friends  isn’t spent in the hospital for once! My scars are still quite purple and sore to touch but I am so thankful to be alive, writing this blog right now. I know that if I didn’t have the surgery, I would be dead, the sepsis and infection in my large bowel was really bad, my surgeon said during removing it, my large bowel was disintegrating inside me.

A bag on my side is such a small price to pay for my life. There is still so much that I want to do and achieve in my life! When I have healed completely which will be in 3 months time from now, I hope to be getting the house finished and get my passport sent away and start saving up for my first holiday! A brilliant Facebook page I am a member of has changed my life completely, called #GetYourBellyOut. Everyone has been so supportive to me and my mum and I have made some AMAZING friends there! I couldn’t have went through the surgery without my friends on #GYBO, friends, family and my amazing doctors. I really want to say thankyou to every single one of you and I have so much love for you all! This blog is dedicated to all of you! One friend in particular who is more of a sister to me called Levi has been there day and night and we have so much in common! I love her to bits and wouldn’t be where I am without her!!! So I now leave the end of this blog as my takeaway is being delivered to my door and away to put on a DVD!

Alannah 🙂

Super sweet to read back on this blog piece and to remember exactly how I felt that night too. As for my friend Levi, that still goes! Crazy to think that had I not met her when I was newly diagnosed at 17, I wouldn’t have come across GetYourBellyOut when I did. Since then, just recently, I raised £100 pounds for the charity to say thankyou for all that they have done for not only me, but the entire IBD and Ostomy Community.

Awareness, Chronic Illness Blogs, Life With A Stoma, Mental Health Blogs, People's Stories!

Trilogy of Chronic Illness Stories Part 2

Ashley’s Story

I grew up in Skye and then moved to Norfolk in 2002. I had a really normal childhood without any health problems until 2011 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I then had major surgery for a stoma in 2016 which was a huge shock to me but I am really glad I had this done. As well as being Chronically Ill I am also known as Genderfluid. Being genderfluid is really hard to explain, in simple terms I am me, both sides of ash are equally me, I hid this part of me of many years and it really affected my mental heath and I hated my body. This led to self harming and Depression. If you aren’t sure what Genderfluid means, it means that a person who is Genderfluid doesn’t go by a fixed gender so being male or female, they can be both hence the “fluid”.

I have had many challenges thrown at me during my life, the biggest challenge going through all the symptoms that comes along with Crohns Disease. The weight gain is the worst.. before Crohn’s I was 7 stone, steroids soon changed that! I’ve never been able to lose it and I’m 14 stone now. I haven’t always had the best care from doctor’s which I am sure many people with a Chronic Illness have experienced! I was on steroids for two years straight before a doctor mentioned Osteoporosis so a bone scan was booked and the results had shown that I had developed it in my back and hip from being on steroids too long. Another hurdle I’ve had to face is pain killer addiction due to the severity of the pain I was in daily, taking 50 pills per day just to get me through and attempt to help with everything I had going on. This wasn’t helped due to being handed stronger and stronger pain medication without any questions asked or a real pain management plan/checkup.

If I wasn’t Chronically Ill I would be making plans to follow in my fathers footsteps of a career in the army. I’m now 30 and luckily I have been blessed to have a daughter and I have a partner now who accepts me being genderfluid and we have been together since 2008. My girlfriend Helen has been there the most for me, everything that I have gone through, Helen has been there. I love to travel to my favourite places and so far I have travelled to Edinburgh and Lowestoft. I love nature, nothing beats the feeling and buzz of being truly lost in a forest surrounded by gorgeous trees and scenery. I am also a Christian which has helped me throughout life. Being Christian and Genderfluid is not a big thing to me, god made me as I am.

If you are struggling with any of the issues talked about in this blog please visit the LGBT Foundation, IBD Superheros or speak to your doctor who can offer support and advice. You can find Ashley on his instagram here.