People's Stories!

What’s Your Story? Meet Abbie!

My name is Abbie Louise Crystal, I’m 26 and I live in South Wales. I’m a model influencer and blogger. I live at home with my mum and dad and we have a beautiful little blue staffy called Nico, he is 5 almost 6 and I wouldn’t be without him! He’s been there through thick and thin with me and is my little baby! It’s mad how something so special can change your life for the better. I studied at the University of Cambridge for professional dance and my favourite food is Chinese. Dancing is my passion especially choreographing, I also love to chill out by having a pamper with face masks, tanning and skin care. My hobbies are mainly reading ,running and working out when I’m well enough to! Here is my journey with Inflammatory Bowel disease;


I was diagnosed Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis two years ago, I also have Depression and Anxiety, Vitamin b12 Deficiency and bouts of really low blood pressure which is making me faint often. Being a dancer, I was active multiple times a day and so that’s when I knew something was wrong with me because my body started lacking energy and although I would eat, I still would pass out! My dance teacher was terrified along with the dance girls in my team. In 2019, I was training for the world championships in Blackpool when I started experiencing stabbing pains in the bottom half of my stomach and my back. I thought it was just a stomach bug and so I told my mum not to worry and continued doing my dancing and carried on as normal as I could. It wasn’t causing me any problems until I ate and that’s when it would get really bad for me. I couldn’t hold anything in, it was just going right through me and when I went to the loo, I was bleeding a lot from my back passage. This is when I started to worry especially one night when it started to get worse, so I got rushed in to hospital. Little did I know it was really serious and I was about to enter the most terrifying months of my life.. Months went on where they did so many tests including cameras to look inside me ( Endscocopy, Colonoscopy and Laparoscopy) I had so many biopsies that I wasn’t able to get out of bed for over four weeks at a time. It came August 2019 and I was admitted to hospital for the first time to have an emergency camera and that’s when they found out that my colon was so inflamed and had lesions the size of a 50p coin! My bowel was also covered in thousands of little ulcers. It was a week later that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis after the result came back. I thought all was well and took the medications I was prescribed and got on with it! Something started to feel not right again and then found out that I wasn’t quite out of the woods just yet. 2020 was just around the corner and I started getting weaker and weaker, the weight started to come off rapidly and quickly and a lot of my family and friends were noticing. My parents got so worried as I was hardly keeping anything down and I was passing out all the time so I rang my doctor. They came did some more tests to see what was going on and to figure out what was causing the bleeding and decided to start me on steroid enemas 6 times a day to control my bleeding and 11 oral steroids to control the inflammation in my bowel.

I then got admitted again (the 7th time in a couple of months) to have another emergency camera where more biopsy’s were taken which involved more cutting, more prodding and more emergency incisions. This is when they found Crohns Disease on the left upper side of my colon and so now I was dealing with not one but two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Hospital was my second home for a long time and still is from time to time when I am unable to keep things stable at home. I cannot thank my doctors enough for being there at my time of need especially through the covid restrictions due to the pandemic that we were all in! To this day, I experience many many flares and different injections, medications and enemas every single day of my life but that’s part of my life now and I’ve learnt to accept it is part of me! Illnesses do not define you as a person, they only make you stronger. I am constantly in pain 24/7 and it can be draining. This disease has affected my social life in a big way because I can’t eat out without needing to go to the loo. My family have been so supportive with the whole diagnosis and I’m so lucky to not had major surgeries just yet but I do know that it is part of my future. It has also knocked my confidence and my ability to deal with being Chronically Ill and has also been hard adapting to a new life as before, I was such an active girl and it’s so hard for me not to do what I’m used to like my fitness and dancing. The most annoying part for me at the moment is that I can’t lead a normal life like I used to, due to being ill with no energy and not going out of the house due to the affect it has had. I now lack the ability to socialise with people at events and have found that people attitudes are sometimes not the best as they don’t really know about the illness and what it entails.


The positives that I have found out of having Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis is how it’s learnt me how to love myself again, to look after my self and do self care. I am also overwhelmed by the support I have had on this journey and my biggest lesson I have learnt is to not abuse your body and to look after it! You never know what’s around the corner. I’ve now started my new injections called adalimumab and have only been on them for a month, the side effects are mental but hoping it will keep me in remission longer than I have been previously!

Thankyou so much for reading my story and continuing to support me. Please always check the signs of bad tummy’s and bleeding as it could be something really serious, if left and it’s not tested and treated it can be fatal. You can follow Abbie’s journey through her instagram here.

Personal Blogs

Words Can Hurt But Also Heal

Lately, I’ve had some negative comments about my pregnancy and it has been really hurtful. I wanted to be open about how many pregnant woman can often come across these situations and how to cope and deal with them as best as possible and to put yourself first.

Sometimes when people don’t know you, they often judge without knowing your struggles and the journey it has taken for you to get you to where you are. I am always very open and honest about my journey and the struggles I’ve faced but it is apparent that many don’t take the time to read that and make assumptions. They also forget that it doesn’t only just affect myself, but it also affects my family and my partner.

Just some of the things I’ve had is “she only got pregnant to get attention” “she is a pitty party” “she always goes woe is me” “she just did it to get likes on social media”. I’ve also seen comments about other woman, too such as “she doesn’t deserve a baby” etc. Some women get pregnant easily, some dont. It is not for others to decide how or why we got pregnant!

I have struggled with fertility since the age of 17 and in 2017 was told I would never have children. Fast forward to now after 5 misscarries and a surgical termination, I am 6 months pregnant that is an absolute miracle and blessing to my partner and I! We have had amazing support from family and friends even through these awful comments and this is where I am healing.

If you are struggling through hard times with hateful comments, find your healing in the supportive calls and messages from friends and family. It can be hard to see through it but never loose focus on what is to come – a beautiful baby completing your family. Don’t loose sight of what obstacles you got through and the journey you have faced! You are stronger than you know and we have all got this!!

Personal Blogs

The Highs And Lows In Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of those experiences that unless you experience it, you don’t REALLY understand it. The good and bad thing is that it is different for so many!

Many women find that falling pregnant doesn’t ‘just happen’ and it can take a few tries and losses to finally get far along enough to feel that “safe zone”. If you are high risk and have lost before, you will find that each milestone feels like a huge achievement. As each day, week and month goes by you still feel anxious, scared, nervous, excited and have a sense of wonder for what the future holds for you as a first time mum.

For me, the first milestone was 12 weeks because I have never, ever gotten that far before. Then came 20 weeks where we also found out the gender of our baby and had the babies weight and organs checked, all of which came back 100%!! It was a huge shock for us due to us both being chronically ill, we worried something would happen or be passed onto the baby so we were super chuffed to hear all is well and a VERY strong heartbeat! Now, at 21 weeks my next milestone is going to be 24 weeks and I feel that at that one I can fully breathe and relax a little bit better without so much worry.

So what have the highs and lows been for me? There has been so many, just to list a few:

  • Losing friends – it is true what they say that when you become pregnant, you realise who is really there for you. One of my friends of years completely blocked and removed me over night. It still hurts to this day but you do learn to come to terms with losses of friendships over time!
  • Feeling the baby kick – it feels bizarre! But it is SO lovely to wake up in the morning by little baby kicking away letting me know they are awake!
  • The hot flushes – oh. my. goodness. They come out of nowhere and can last upto a few hours!! The room can be freezing due to windows open and the fan on the highest setting and I will still feel too hot! Eventually it does settle with some paracetamol and an ice pack.
  • The hunger – this is a funny one! You eat and eat and EAT and you still don’t feel full, only when you feel the indigestion pain starting and the sick burps from your body letting you know that “girl you have to stop!!”
  • The amazing support – you connect with your friends and family in a much different way than before. Especially those who have had children of their own as its nice to have something in common. For friends who haven’t had kids yet, its nice to be able to share this experience with them!
  • The fatigue – this part is probably the worst. As I have said previously, 10 years of chronic illnesses has not prepared me for how tired you become when pregnant. Before I would laugh it off when people would tell me how tired you get when carrying! Naps have become my daily routine and really do help.
  • Looking at baby clothes/items!! – looking at all the cute items and clothing you can get for your baby is the best feeling ever! Everything is so dinky and cute! It makes you that more excited for the arrival of your baby.
  • Blockages/constipation – this has been super difficult! Just a few days ago, I had a really bad blockage and was vomiting real hard. I was super close to going to hospital but eventually after sipping on diluted laxatives from 6am, it eventually did clear. The constipation makes my stoma quite swollen so sometimes it can be painful however having an Ileostomy means there are now nerve endings so you really don’t feel much apart from pressure and swelling which is like a tightness.
  • Lastly (this one is very dependant on you and your pregnancy) the pain – luckily my crohns hasn’t been too bad but everything else has not been so kind on my body! I was diagnosed with PGP (pelvic girdle pain) which is super painful along side having Hyper Mobility Syndrome – my joints dislocate and pop back into place almost daily, sometimes multiple times per day. So I have to rest quite a lot! All it takes is a sneeze or cough and my hip clicks and pops.

It’s been really lovely to document my pregnancy journey not only here, but over at Trio Healthcare too where I talk about how pregnancy has been with a stoma. When I first became an ostomate, there was no blogs or information available about pregnancy with an ostomy and so, I never knew what to expect or any advice on how to cope with things! I hope by sharing my experiences, that it helps anyone out there with an ostomy feel reassured and have some advice on becoming an ostomy mum! To start with, I was so worried about how it would affects my stoma and my chronic illnesses but in time like with most things, you learn to adapt and cope with what your body throws at you. You learn to grow through your pain and bad experiences and turn them into something good! My number 1 advice would be is to listen to your body, so often we push ourselves to do that bit of housework or go for a walk when our body feels ready to collapse with tiredness! Rest is so important.

Personal Blogs

Pregnancy At 19 Weeks

I can’t believe I have reached 19 weeks already! Time whizzes by! Only feels like yesterday that we announced our rainbow baby.

Firstly, pregnancy is HARD guys! Not even 10 years of chronic illness, surgeries etc has prepared me for this whirlwind. Having said that, I am getting really excited! Last week, I started to feels kicks after having felt butterflies from around 16 weeks. Let me tell you – it’s a bizarre feeling! The baby likes to kick right where my butt used to be! (Not even outside my belly and it’s causing trouble already!) We have started to gather baby items too which makes it that even bit more exciting to see everything in the babies room.

Yesterday, we went to Cullen Beach with my in-laws and their dog Zak, it was SO lovely! There was a fab wind so even though it was warm, the wind kept me cool enough to enjoy a walk on the beach – watching the dogs play and paddle in the water. Biggie took a plunge and even went for a little swim!! We also enjoyed a lovely ice cream and then went back to my in-laws place where a big box of baby stuff was waiting for me!! I could have cried as it was such a lovely gesture and jaimie’s mum got me the most beautiful Disney baby changing bag, pictured down below! I am obsessed with Disney!

Last week I went past to visit my mum who got me these gorgeous aristo cat pyjamas that I had spyed in primark just 2 weeks prior when I had my Blood Pressure attacks in Primark and had to leave as I could barely walk from passing out! The baby also got a little comfort blanket attached to a cute little sheep! I have had some lovely gifts from other people too, which I will be doing a video on at my virtual baby shower, to thank everyone on.

We have our gender scan on the 15th of June and so, have been asking what people think it may be! To my surprise, it’s totally 50/50 on the votes! So we will just have to wait and see. My Pelvic Girdle Pain is beginning to get worse as the physiotherapists had said would happen however I am relying less on antisickness some days and my migraines aren’t as severe but I do unfortunately get them daily. My blood pressure drops are also beginning to happen almost every day but I am not letting any of these things stop me from trying to continue my daily life, some days I am bed bound but totally make up for it on the days I am able, like yesterday.

A few things I have noticed so far are ; increase in thirst, heart palpitations, restless and sometimes very little sleep, fatigue, feeling of a small dog being carried on my stomach!, breathlessness, dizziness and increased hunger. My hair also seems to be in better condition and my nails grow like no tomorrow! My skin is also doing really great and my weight hasn’t done too bad either as I try to keep a balanced diet and my cravings are mostly healthy stuff too! (Weird.)

So at this point, I am 50/50 of enjoying pregnancy but also still finding it super tough! So hopefully it keeps going on up from here and next time I update you all will be after my 20 week/gender scan! Lots of love from bump and I x

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

We Have Moved!

Baux and myself settled in!

It’s been a while since I gave you all an update! My laptop got completely rebooted by my friend John who used to work in a computer shop and now fixes computers etc in his spare time. So even though my laptop has been fixed you’re probably wondering why I haven’t been blogging! For the past few months we had been preparing to move so we had to clear out E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G because I had way too much stuff!

We have been in our new place a week past Sunday and we are absolutely loving it! What had drawn us to this place the most was that there was a bath and shower separate in the bathroom and there is no big garden so we hadn’t the need to to cut grass as we struggled with that at the last place. To start with at the new house I really struggled as just three days before moving I had dislocated my knee cap twice so I had this awful leg brace on and I couldn’t walk properly (it’s still causing me pain.) The bath has been absolutely lush and I have been using my bath bombs! We had another few hurdles to bypass whilst moving which included my huge bedroom wardrobe having to be taken to bits and rebuilt and other minor little things. The dogs have settled in so much better than we expected too which has been great. The best part though is not living under temporary accommodation anymore and having anyone with issues living above and also not having a party animal living above making my life an absolute hell anymore.

My health is up and down at the moment.. stomach pain has been quite intense, my reflux hasn’t been great with frequent heartburn and feeling sick, my headaches have returned again, joints are not so well and I am super exhausted. Stoma wise I have been having A LOT of bag leaks. Luckily I haven’t needed to visit the doctors since my knee dislocation but who knows how long that will last – all chronically ill people know the drill with that! Emotionally it has been a really rough ride through 2020 so far and I got to a really bad place where I really was not coping after loosing my Aunt Nina, and old school friend and an old work friend. Hopefully though this is the start of a better period of time with two friends expecting baby girls I am super excited for them to arrive!!

So for now, my time is spent playing Animal Crossing, trying to sort out the new house, resting and catching up with Family and Friends. I have been told due to my Hyper Mobility Syndrome that dislocations are very common and it will more than likely happen again (but im going to hope NOT! Its so painful.) Today it is SUPER cold so I had a shower, got back into my P+J’s, put on harry potter and my partner and his sister are baking some goodies including my favourite – chocolate sponge cake with cream!! I hope you enjoy your day ❤