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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Personal Blogs

Halloween Tag 2019

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It is Blogtober and that means many wonderful blogs! After being tagged by the lovely @thespooniemummy who has an awesome blog raising awareness on all things chronic illness and parenting.

I thought I would join in on the Halloween Tag 2019, here are the questions!

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1.What’s your favourite non scary Halloween Film?

Casper!! I have loved Casper since I was a little girl and how they intertwine the physic side of life into an epic kids halloween film.

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2. And your scary film to watch is?

I absolutely love scary/horror films.. but of course I can only pick one! So it has to be The Nun. It is simply terrifying and even though it is the last of the Insidious Saga of films, it is actually the first one. It was released after the last Insidious film. I won’t ruin it for you if you are yet to watch it.. if you like a good scare! What I will say is it will definitely leave you sleeping with the light on or destroying a whole multipack of crisps or tub of ice cream without realising!

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3. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

We always have a night in watching scary films or gaming, however last year we had a little switch up and bought the dogs Halloween costumes! When the trick or treaters knocked on the door, we greet them with dressed up doggies and the kids totally love the animals joining in! This year however one of my friends who owns his own bar locally is having a Halloween party on November the 1st so we will be dressing up and attending that, I’m also doing the photography for that so it will be really fun!

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4. What is your favourite season of American Horror Story?

That is such a tough decision to make as each season is bloody amazing! I’m 50/50 with The Asylum and The Hotel! I love the Asylum because it highlights such important factors within the mental healthcare system back in that time and also how in those days mixed racial relationships had to be kept hidden and if anyone knew, these couple received such awful back lash not only from the community but also their own families. The nazi doctor who did experiments at the mental asylum was also crazy, infact wacko! It was so well put together showing how each patient was mentally unwell/unstable but they were all affected differently.

There is no question as to why I love The Hotel… it has Lady Gaga as the main character! If you love vampires then this season is definitely for you. The glamour, the mystery and the deaths inside the hotel that trap their souls forever is so interesting.

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5. Favourite thing about Halloween?

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G! What isn’t to love about Halloween?! It gives me the excuse to snack on absolute crap for one ha ha! In all seriousness though, I love the creativity that flows within people – the makeup, home made or bought costumes, families coming together and taking the little ones trick or treating and all the fun Halloween games such as dookin’ for apples!

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6. What Halloween costume will you or your children be wearing this year?

This year I’m breaking my Zombie Nurse costume that I used to wear every year and I’m going for an eco-friendly costume that I bought from Ebay which is a Skeleton bodysuit and skeleton tights. Halloween costumes are so great and the less plastic we use for costumes each year, the better. I don’t have any children as of yet however the dogs have a variety of costumes to choose from such as a shark, jester, pikachu and much more!

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7. Has anything spooky ever happened to you?

Yes, quite a list but I won’t bore you with the entire list! I always have to remember that not everyone shares the same views or beliefs however, the scariest thing that happened to me was when I was 17 when I was newly diagnosed with my illness- Crohns Disease. At this time I stayed with my mum and was very unwell. One night I woke up to people standing around my bed and it was so terrifying, I screamed and cried. I eventually cried myself back to sleep and when I woke up there was noone there.. I later discovered the people I saw were passed over. Since then, I have seen a lot of non living people and have had dreams where my Granda and another person I knew called Gav who visit me.

It is quite terrifying to  be able to see the unliving and I try to ignore it as much as possible as I’m not quite ready to live my life being comfortable with it and having them around me more.

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8. Who is your favourite fictional serial killer?

Damn, just fictional! It definitely has to be A from Pretty Little Liars! As it was originally a book. It first starts off as Mona then as the series goes on, it turns into CC being A!

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9. What’s on your Halloween playlist?

I actually don’t have a playlist dedicated to halloween as my music taste is full of variety! Mostly Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Disturbed, Slipknot, Nirvana etc. But if I had to pick some then they would definitely be The Cranberries – Zombie, Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper and Bad Wolves – Killing Me Softly.

Now I have to tag other bloggers to continue the Halloween tag 2019! I have chosen;

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crohnsfighting 

Colitis and Me

Have a lovely Halloween and make sure to give these bloggers a follow!

 

 

 

Life With A Stoma, Personal Blogs

5 Years Today I Was No Longer Homeless!

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Today, five years ago I finally got the keys to my permanent home after being in homeless accommodation for 7 months. Aberdeenshire Council were so helpful in finding me a permanent home and I am still to this day very grateful. The rent was crazy expensive at almost £90 per week in homeless accommodation, so by the time it was time to move I was in quite a bit of debt.

I moved in on the 16 of October 2014 and had no idea just what was about to happen just a few months later. By January 2015 I fell gravely ill and was hospitalised with the biggest Crohn’s flare I had ever had from contracting a bacteria called Campylobacter. From January until June 2015 I spent those months in and out of hospital and at the beginning of June, I had surgery to have a stoma placed and my entire large bowel removed due to sepsis. It was stressful as I wasn’t in my new home for very long at periods of time and when I was able to go home, I spent some weekends at my mums just to avoid having to do anything tiring like changing my bed or lifting a kettle. Again this repeated in September where my rectal stump had become septic and I needed that removed too. The operation was the easiest one I have had and I got home just three days later.. until the wound got infected.

For a few years I struggled with the infections, losing blood, vomiting, pain and fatigue. My home changed over the years from colour, furniture, flooring etc but I really struggled to have a feel of the house being ‘home’. I struggled financially and was never happy with what I had because it was all I could afford at the time and I wasn’t able to upcycle anything due to being so poorly. However now sitting here in my comfy, cosy bed on a lovely Autumn night I am really beginning to love what I have achieved. Most things have been left to break before replacing them such as kitchen essentials. Slowly I have been replacing the old with the new and making it fresh and bright. All I have to replace now is the dressing table! As it is fast approaching to winter the garden will have to be redone nearer summer time.

I have paid all my debts off that I had from back then but of course we know that life is not cheap!

I have also learnt that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy things in life. A wedding doesn’t need to be so expensive that you spend the rest of your life paying it off or for a honeymoon that will really break the bank. Special days, memories and moments can be priceless and cost not one penny. When you are chronically ill, the littlest things can mean the most and we appreciate life as it is.

Being in a happy home that feels like home is something not everyone is so lucky to have and I think that makes us appreciate it even more.

Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs

How To Pass The Time On Bad Days

It may seem a strange to blog about how to pass time when you are having a bad day, but in reality time really does go slow when you are having a bad day, for example with pain or mental health. Many of us are guilty of trying to pass the time by scrolling through social media and find that it can sometimes make you feel worse or if it’s really late and no one is online, it can make you feel quite lonely.

So how can we pass the time during these difficult times?

  • Apps such as Pinterest, the Kindle App, YouTube, Sky Go and games that you like or may like to try.
  • Gaming on your laptop, PC or gaming consoles (for cheaper prices on games visit cdkeys.com)
  • Colouring in or diamond painting (you can get these cheap on eBay)
  • Picking a new hobby such as photography or walking if able.
  • Doing D.I.Y projects that are within your limits such as revamping an old mirror or old furniture.
  • Visiting the beach if it isn’t a cold day! The sea air smell and sounds are so relaxing that you don’t need to walk around the beach to enjoy it, just sitting with a flask of tea or coffee watching the sea is lovely.
  • Doing crafts, many people make beautiful things such as hats, scarves, sculptures and scrabble pictures.

For more ideas on what you can learn to do, visit google or Pinterest where there are so many ideas to choose from!

Please also remember that should you need to rest and sleep a few or many hours a day, do not feel guilty! I spend a lot of hours per day sleeping or napping and I always remind myself that listening to your own body is so important. On the good days, make the best of them! After a day of sleeping, I try to get my housework done and if the weather is nice then I like to go for a little walk with my pooches. Each day is very different, if not every hour so do what you can when able and try not to be hard on yourself.💕

Chronic Illness Blogs, Mental Health Blogs

Looking At The Positives

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Hello all, it’s been a while hasn’t it! I hope you are all doing well and my apologies for being so quiet this last little while.

So what’s new? Not much is new really! I had my implant removed finally which is slowly improving my acne. My mental health really hasn’t been good at all as it’s been a very stressful month or so and I have taken quite a bit of time out for myself to focus on family and friends. I have to admit that I’m not quite 100% and need to revisit my GP for a referral to get more mental health help but I have fantastic support from Jaimie, his parents and my parents. Having the dogs around has been my cushion when I fall, when the world feels like all hope is gone- there they are with a lovely soft cuddle and lots of kisses. As for moving house, I have decided that it just isn’t the right time due to the stress moving causes so I’m happy to stay where we are. It gave me the push I needed, though, to declutter my wardrobes etc! Biggie had his operation to remove his manhood and has recovered well and is now a little water baby and it is so, so cute!

Now, it’s about trying to get more into N.O stands for ‘Next Opportunity’ and focusing on the positives. A break from things like social media (and if you are a blogger, then blogging too) does you the world of good. I had a few issues with others trying to shed me in a public negative way and after so long I told myself that enough was enough and I deserved better and to only surround myself with good people who care about me and my wellbeing and what a lovely bunch they are! Even people that I don’t know who follow my blog and social media’s have been incredibly supportive and I thank you all so much. At the moment I will be doing some blogging here and there and remain to write articles for the Stoma Tips Magazine and possibly work on some blog contributions in the next few weeks.

Health wise i.e my Crohn’s Disease etc hasn’t been ideal but I’m coping. The Chronic Migraines has been the worst alongside Chronic Sinusitis and Arthritis but I have listened to my body and rested when I can, mostly watching Harry Potter! I also binge watched the new season 3 of 13 Reasons Why and Euphoria which were brilliant. Things can only get better and I will do my best to make sure of it! I also need to start watching That Crohns Chick more, if you aren’t subscribed to her Youtube Channel you can do so by clicking here to check it out!

A big thank you for reading and supporting me.

-Alannah

 

 

Awareness, Life With A Stoma

Purple Wings Ostomy Calendar

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Earlier this year, back in March, I took part in a photoshoot with The Purple Wings Charity and some other lovely women for the Ladies Ostomy Calendar for 2020! This photo is of all of together after our individual photos with the lovely women from The Purple Wings Charity, Lauren and Paige.

I flew down from Scotland on the friday and stayed until the sunday and flew back home on the Sunday too. Louise A.K.A Crohnsfighting was a super ostomy Mom and picked me up from the Airport! The weather stayed good too.

It was such a lovely day! All of us ladies got to meet and have a chat and had our makeup done by the lovely Jasmine Stacey (you may remember her from her ostomy underwear line The Jasmine Stacey Collection), beautifully made buffet food which I definitely had too much of! and then we had our photoshoots done by Lisa the photographer who was so relaxed and kept everyone super calm as a lot of us were quite nervous!

Here are a few of my favourites from the photoshoot;

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If you would like to do it for next year or any of the years to come, go for it! It has given us ladies a much needed confidence boost and it’s an opportunity of a life time, full of memories I will never forget!

Uncategorized

I Have Been Nominated For The WEGO Health Awards!

As a chronic illness patient and sufferer, blogging my journey has really helped not only me but many people in various online communities. Being nominated for the WEGO Health Awards is amazing!

There are so many great bloggers and support groups such as GetYourBellyOut, within different communities who also have been nominated which is fantastic. I am so honoured for the support from each and every one of you and thankyou so much, thankyou to those who nominate me in advance too.

It’s so important to make chronic illness awareness in a positive light but also to let people know that it is OK not to be OK. We have more bad days than good but making the best of the good stuff can really help. It’s also important to remind other chronically ill patients that you DO have a choice in your care and who cares for you. It’s also important to find support, friendships and a doctor that you have built trust with.

If you would like to nominate me please click here!

Uncategorized

Stoma Products Review: Confidence Be Soft Convex Stoma Bag

Today is Wednesday the 3rd of July and I have finally received the Confidence Be Soft Convex black drainable bags in the post! As today is bag change day, I am going to be trying the bag sample out!

First impressions of the bags are great! Very soft, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing! Putting the bag on was very easy and being completely honest, it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a bag! It doesn’t crinkle on the skin or rustle like most bags do when there is movement. The flange sticks very well and it feels soft and light with no indications of leakage from the product itself.

However, after emptying the bag I found that when I went back to empty each time, there was leakage of the contents of the bag at the opening at the bottom. No matter how much I tried to clean and put tissue inside the bottom, the same thing kept happening. I also found that it was messy and it made emptying the bag quite difficult due to mess and getting well basically, poop on my hand. The type of fabric that is used also makes it difficult to slide your hand down when in the process of emptying.

I think this range of bags are more for late ostomates rather than new because of the leakage issue when emptying. If you are a new ostomate with this bag on in hospital and on pain relief, tired and learning about having a stoma, the mess is going to make accepting of the stoma a bit more difficult and also very messy. For us more older ostomates (those who have had their stoma longer than 6 months) it isn’t so bad as we know what to expect and how to deal with the mess as such.

That being said, if you don’t mind a little bit of mess which is easily cleaned up and want a bag that will give you that confidence boost with the colour range, making the bag blend in with your clothing, then this is absolutely the bag for you!