life is too short.

This has most likely been one of the best weeks of the 19 years that I have been alive. Not only was it the first Christmas in a long time that I actually enjoyed, I got to spend it with my family and my wonderful boyfriend. I also had my consultation with my surgeon, who said I should be healthy enough for my reversal in around three months, I’m so excited about this. It may only be the type of person I am, but I am choosing to only take the positives out of this whole experience, as I don’t think there are any negatives! It’s a relatively small procedure, considering how big my first op was. I’ll most likely wake up with a nose tube going down my throat, a urinary catheter in, staples in my stomach, as well as stitches were my stoma was, I may have a few lines in my arms again, but it will all be totally worth it! I know I may need another bag in the future, and there may be complications with my re-join, but I’m willing to give it a try! Don’t get me wrong though, having an ileostomy hasn’t been a negative experience at all. It has allowed me to enjoy life again. I spent two years physically and emotionally shutting myself down, that I seem to be going into overdrive now that I’m well again. It’s made me realise how ill I really was beforehand. I now understand that it isn’t normal to sleep for 16 hours of the day and still wake up tired. It’s not normal to fear your meals or to spend the majority of the night in the bathroom doubled over in pain. It isn’t normal to need to sleep with a hot water bottle violently pressed to your stomach every night, and it most definitely isn’t normal to not enjoy life. When things like this happen to you, your body does everything it can to make things better, it is a lot stronger than you could ever imagine and it was this strength that is the reason I’m alive today. Each and every one of you who read this are stronger than you believe. You can do whatever you put your mind to, you’ve just got to believe you can do it. I know this may sound corny and some of you may even cringe at the thought, but whether you can or you can’t, you’re right.
I’ve always had a keen interest in the human mind, specifically positive thinking. I don’t think there is any tool that is more powerful than a human’s mind. It can create objects that aren’t really there, it can store hundreds of thousands of memories, words, lyrics. It allows people to communicate in different languages, create machines that we once thought impossible. Due to the power of the human mind and the brain, we have invented a 600 tonne machine that can fly through the air, a method of transport that exceeds the speed of sound. I bet you if we’d told this to human beings 200 years ago we’d be flogged for talking nonsense. We are incredibly powerful creatures and we don’t use our minds to their full potential. Tell me one thing, how many times do you say you “can’t” in one day? The answer is most likely too many. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You’ve just got to believe yourself.
When I was in hospital I decided I was going to make a few rules to live by in order to surround myself with the positivity that I needed to live happily. The past three months have been an incredible journey and if you’re willing to try out these few rules I can guarantee you’ll feel the difference soon.

1. Remove any negative factors from your life. – For me, this was one of the most important changes. I needed to remove any factor that had a negative impact on my life. I needed to spend less time with people that drained me of my energy, and spend more time with the people that energized me. Life is far too short to spend any of that precious time with people that make you feel angry, sad or frustrated. To do this, I cleared out my facebook friends to people I actually had an interest in. I made sure I spent time with the friends that made me smile, laugh and remember what it felt like to live my life. I made time for the friends that needed me as much as I needed them, and I stopped spending time with people that left me feeling as though I needed to impress them, or entertain them.
Removing the negative factors also includes things you say to yourself. If you don’t believe you are beautiful, then no one else will. I have promised myself that I will stop saying the negative things I used to say to myself. I’ve met a few people who have stopped living after they have gotten their bag, because they think they’re ugly. But I can guarantee they are the only people who think that. When I first got my bag, I stood in front of Matthew and asked him “do you think I’m ugly now?” He paused for a minute and answered with “That’s such a badass scar, I want one!” – he is a positive impact on my life. I showed my friends the bag and they embrace it, they ask questions, laugh, joke and make me feel completely comfortable about it all – they are a positive impact. My family love my stoma because it means I am alive today, they think my scar is beautiful because it reminds them all of what I can overcome, and how strong I am. – They are an extremely positive influence in my life, so they can all stay!

2. Stop judging other people.– This is another form of negativity and it is only going to drain me. I get filthy looks from people when I walk into a disabled toilet because they can’t see a disability on me. But I need the extra room for my stoma products. Should I have to explain my story to them when they look down their noses at me? No. I no longer judge people when I don’t know them, why should I? People are often too quick to pass judgement or come to conclusions, which in my opinion, is wrong.

3. Spend time on yourself.– I’ve always followed this rule, just more so recently. Try spending time by yourself, it’s extremely beneficial. Try going for a walk without your iPod, or going to the cinema to see a movie by yourself. This allows your body time to relax, to gather your thoughts and have time to pamper yourself. Sit and read a book for an hour or two, or just lie there. Enjoy the beauty of the word without anyone there to pass comment.

4. Keep fit.– Exercise has many benefits. It’s good for your health, your body and your mind. It releases endorphins which are a feel good hormone. It relaxes you and I believe it helps to centre your mind. Exercise will always make you feel better about something, whether its that extra packet of crisps you ate or that fight you had with your partner. Plus you can exercise by yourself so you’re killing two birds with one stone! (no birds were harmed in the making of this blog)

5. laugh!– Laughter really is the best medicine. I’ve been in far too many situations where I could have just curled up and died with embarrassment, but choosing to laugh about the situation makes everyone else feel at ease. When my stoma starts farting really loudly, I’ll make a joke out of it, or blame it on someone else. When I can feel my bag all pumped up with air, I’ll show my friends and we’ll make jokes about it being a whoopy cushion on my stomach. Laughing about situations always lightens the mood and puts other people at ease, who may not know how to react with the information you’re giving them. It also releases the endorphins which I was talking about earlier!

6. Don’t regret.– What’s the point? Regrets focus of what you wished you would have done, instead of what really happened. It will only waste your time and energy on something you can do nothing about. If it’s good it’s a memory, if it’s bad it’s a lesson! Learn from your mistakes, move on. Don’t dwell on what you can’t change.

Life is a precious thing, many people waste it, spending too much time arguing, bitching and worrying. Just stop. Take a minute to notice what’s important, and cherish it while you can, because it could be gone in an instant.

you’re part of this as well.

I’ve found through this whole thing, that it’s not only myself that is battling Crohns, but my family and friends also. My family have suffered every time I have, they have sat beside me in hospital and felt my pain. I somehow feel that it was worse for them that it was for me. Okay, I’m the one that has had to go through the operations and live with a stoma, but my family and friends are the one’s that feel completely and utterly helpless. When I was away in fairy land all doped up on Morphine, my family had to sit, helplessly at my side. They had to watch me writhing in pain and have my veins punctured multiple times. When I publicly showed my pain, it was watching my parents faces that frightened me more than the crippling agony. I understand now, that with a good support network the healing time almost halves. My family and friends have been there through every step of this process, from ushering me to a quiet corner of the shopping centres so I can catch my breathe, rubbing my back on the ski trip when I didn’t understand why I was throwing up my juice, to bending over with me in the middle of the street (what I did to try and combat the pain) just so I didn’t look odd on my own. This is as much your illness as it is mine, and I want to thank every single person that has struggled along with me. As a very lovely nurse once said to me; “the body won’t heal unless the heart is content.” – he couldn’t have been more correct and I think this is the reason why I am healing so well. Thank you all very, very much for your patience, love and friendships.

I also found this article that brilliantly explains a few things that some of my family and friends may have been wondering. I know it’s just as hard for you lot as it is for me, because you want to be there for me, but don’t know how to or don’t want to upset me. I don’t get upset very easily, and believe me! I wouldn’t get offended if anyone said one of these things to me, but I found it to be quite a good article to give you an insight in to how to act when discussing someone’s chronic illness;

11 Things Not to Say to Someone with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

Living with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, is a challenge.
People with these serious conditions can lose weight during a flare-up and gain it all back—and then some—if they need to take corticosteroids to get symptoms under control. And it can be hard to find food that’s OK to eat, because the conditions differ for everyone.
For all these reasons, certain comments—such as those that focus on looks, weight, and diet—can be more harmful than helpful. Here’s what not to say.

You don’t look sick
“That’s one of the hardest things about having colitis—people can look OK on the outside,” says Leigh Stein, 35, a fourth-grade teacher in Pittsburgh who was first diagnosed with the condition at 23.

People don’t realize that it may have taken that person’s last ounce of effort to get showered, dressed, groomed, and out the door, says Stein’s friend Gina Lynn, who also has ulcerative colitis (UC).

I know what you’re going through

When people with IBD tell someone about their condition, they often get an earful about that person’s digestive problems.

But it’s probably better to keep details of your upset stomach, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (an unrelated condition) to yourself.

“Don’t say you understand what they’re going through, because unless you have it you don’t know what they’re going through,” says Julie Novack, 44, a senior credit underwriter for Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C., who was diagnosed with UC at 22.

You’ve lost weight! You look great!
“My biggest pet peeve is comments about my weight—anything weight-related,” says Marge McDonald, 46, who runs a council on aging and senior center in Chelmsford, Mass., and was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 10 years ago. She recalls that when her mother, who also has UC, lost about 50 pounds, people kept saying how great she looked.

McDonald says she would think, “No, she doesn’t. Her skin is hanging off her; she looks gray.”

“We’re so focused on weight we don’t notice anything else,” she says.

You’re so lucky; you can eat anything and stay skinny
Well, not really. Weight loss is often due to flare-ups that cause severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea that can mean spending most of the time in the bathroom.

And during a flare-up, a person may need to choose food very carefully so they don’t make symptoms worse.

“Stop, stop, stop telling people that they are lucky to be thin,” says Denise Lindberg. “I have to work to stay not malnourished.”

You’ve really put on weight!
Prednisone, one of the most effective short-term medicines for quickly quelling a severe flare-up, has several side effects, including weight gain. Another side effect is “moon face,” in which the cheeks get rounded, making for a chipmunk-like look that can give the impression that a person is heavy even when his or her body is rail-thin.

Fortunately, this effect tends to go away when the person stops taking corticosteroids. Until then, the best approach to commenting on weight or looks to a person with IBD is not to comment at all.

Is it OK for you to eat that?
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for people with an inflammatory bowel disease. Fruits and vegetables may be no-nos, but some people do just fine with spicy foods.

“Different foods affect different people differently,” Stein says. “It’s a trial-and-error thing, and each individual figures out what’s OK and what agrees with them. Crohn’s and colitis patients know what they can eat, and when someone’s looking over your shoulder and commenting, that’s kind of bizarre.”

come on, try a bite!

By the same token, many people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are by necessity very familiar with what foods they should avoid. John G. says he gets annoyed when people ask him why he eats the same thing every time they go out.

“Definitely listen to your body,” says Kristine Fulco, 29, a graphic designer in Brooklyn, N.Y., who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 21 and says she’s fared much better by figuring out what foods are OK for her to eat rather than listening to generic advice. “Don’t let everyone else bully you.”

You must have a lot of stress in your life
Many people mistakenly believe stress causes inflammatory bowel diseases. There’s absolutely no evidence that stress or tension cause Crohn’s or colitis, although it can make symptoms worse for people who have the diseases.

A rogue immune attack on the digestive tract appears to be the cause, and the result is symptoms such as abdominal pain and chronic, bloody diarrhea.

Damage from inflammatory bowel diseases can be so severe it requires surgical removal of portions of the colon.

Can you wait until the next exit?
Assume the answer is no.

If you’re in the car with a person with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and they tell you they need to go, listen to them, Novack says.

“One of the biggest fears of probably anyone with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s is getting stuck in traffic,” she says. Just help them find the closest bathroom, and get them there as soon as possible. Another question not to ask: “Why can’t you just hold it?”

Why are you so tired?
“People need to understand that ulcerative colitis is a serious disease,” says Novack. “If you can’t go to an event or you have to stay home from work, it’s not because you’re slacking—it’s because you really are sick.”

Jill Plevinsky hates when her friends and family try to get her to do things she’s not up for by saying, “Oh, come on. You can’t be that tired.” She likes to answer them by saying, “If you lost as much blood as I do with each bowel movement, you’d be pretty wiped out too.”

You need to change your diet
Krystle Carbone says she often gets unsolicited advice on her eating habits, such as, “Maybe if you ate better you wouldn’t have that problem.” And, “Why are you sick all the time? Maybe you should take vitamins and supplements.”

Although the food a person eats can affect their symptoms during a flare-up, there’s no evidence that diet causes inflammatory bowel diseases or brings on flare-ups. It is important, however, for people with colitis and Crohn’s to eat as healthy and balanced a diet as possible—which they most likely know already.

By Anne Harding /

Living life.

Last night was my works night out, it was the first time I have had an alcoholic drink without any pain in three years. I was just taking things slowly as I had heard that with having an ileostomy you can get drunk very quickly. I tried a few small cosmopolitans which were very nice, and in the pubs I had two archers and lemonades, I was regretting the lemonade when I got home! The gas bubbles meant that my bag was filling up with air every half hour! So I kept having to wake up to go and empty it, very tiring! But it was a very good night 🙂
As usual, I’m writing a blog after I’ve been thinking about life. I have my consultation with my surgeon on the 19th of December where he is hopefully going to tell me when I’m getting my reversal. Im not really too sure about how I feel regarding my reversal. I’m looking forward to wearing low cut jeans again and feeling the air on my stomach. I’m looking forward to being able to confidently lie on my tummy when I’m sleeping. I’m also looking forward to going to the toilet like a regular person again. But there’s a part of me that’s nervous. I’m nervous about complications and infection. What if things go wrong and I need an ileostomy again in a few months? What if joining me back together means constant flare ups of the crohns again? I’m nervous about all of these things, but I’m willing to find out. I’d rather go through it all and say I tried, than not try at all. I needed an ileostomy because my bowel was so diseased and it was an emergency, if they had caught the crohns earlier I wouldn’t have needed it at all. So I’m glad I’ve had the experience and found out that the taboo subject of ostomy bags, isn’t so bad.
I’m trying to take every day as it comes; I know that crohns can leave complication in future. I know that it may effect my fertility, I understand that it may increase my chances of colon/bowel cancer and I know that I’ll most likely be in and out of the hospital for the rest of my life. But I’m okay with that. Life is all about challenging yourself, and I see no greater challenge for myself than this. BRING IT ON.

Don’t be afraid should things happen to change, because change can be a beautiful thing. Life is loving and letting go.

My time in hospital.

A few people have asked me what a few of the hospital procedures are like, because they are curious or because some people are having to go in to hospital for treatment of their own, so I thought I’d write a short post of my own experiences in hospital. 🙂

taking blood – isn’t as sore as people may first think! (not for me anyways) they will strap a band around the top of your arm. They they tell you there will be a “sharp scratch” as they push the needle in. That’s the only sore bit. They then click little tubes into the line and the blood comes out. I get quite woozy when they take a few tubes because I’m usually anaemic (I have a low amount of red blood cells) but it’s normally pain free, if you’re very nervous about getting your blood taken, I try to think of a song that I like, but don’t quite know the words, and sing it in my head, trying to remember the right words 🙂 also, if you are nervous and someone comes to take your blood, ask them if they are trained or are in-training. Although nurses need to learn on someone, if you are very nervous and the person taking your blood isn’t 100% confident, then it can lead to a bad experience.

getting a cannula placed in a vein– an intravenous cannula is the device used for medical staff to have access to your veins at all times. It is a little more painful than having your blood taken, but again, it is nothing to worry about. They can put a cannula in many parts of your arm.I have found that the crease between your thumb and your wrist is the most comfortable place to have one, but if there is a good vein somewhere else, they may want to use that. They will tell you again that there will be a “sharp scratch” when the needle first penetrates your skin, they then push a tiny tube into your vein which feels funny, but doesn’t really hurt. They will then strap it to your skin with tape, and bobs your uncle! This can be used for any IV fluids or drugs they wish to give you.
Another thing with cannulas; if they have placed one and you are having something (drugs or fluids) put into your vein, don’t be alarmed if when the bag is completely empty, your blood starts to run back down the tube. This is simply because your vein is open when the cannula is in use, so the blood is only going where it thinks it should!

having a urinary catheter in – now I wasn’t awake when they put the tube in as I was in theatre, but I shall tell you my experience with having it taken out. I wasn’t too keep on having the catheter in, as I felt I constantly needed a wee. As I was continuously having fluids given to me to keep my blood pressure up, I was needing the loo a lot of the time! What a urinary catheter is, is simply a tube. It is used to have access to your bladder, and to drain the bladder content. it is placed up and into the urethra. Once they have put the tube up, they inflate a small balloon, this is to hold the tube inside.
I didn’t feel any pain having the catheter in, although it was slightly uncomfortable if someone accidentally tugged on the tube! I asked to have it out pretty much as soon as I woke up. I stood up and she deflated the balloon, then pulled! That’s about it. It didn’t hurt, but was a huge relief to have it removed.

having a ryles tube inserted and removed– I’m going to explain my experience on here, which wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, but I have heard from many people that it doesn’t usually hurt, or cause too much distress.
I woke up in the high dependancy unit with a ryles tube down my throat. This is a tube that is inserted down your nose, down your throat and into your stomach. When I woke up in H.D.U I didn’t actually realise I had a tube down my nose! It wasn’t until I coughed and moved it that i became aware I had one in. Once I had moved it, it began to hurt a little every time I talked or swallowed. Having it removed wasn’t sore, but it was the oddest sensation ever! They take hold of it in your nose and tell you they’re about to pull. They then pull the tube all the way from your stomach and out your nose. Mine was about 3 foot long! I felt it coming from my stomach, and all the way up my throat, again, this wasn’t sore, but was slightly uncomfortable.
My experience with having a ryles tube inserted is a different story! It was after I had had a barium meal (I’ll explain later) my bowel was blocked and nothing was managing to get out of my body. After having the liquid for the barium meal, it didn’t move out of my stomach, so the doctors said they were going to have to insert a tube down my nose, to suck the content of my stomach out. I was in a lot if pain, so they had given me morphine, ciclozine (an anti-sickness drug) and a drug to calm me down. The nurse put some lubricant on the tube and told me to sit still, she then push it up my nostril, but as soon as it hit the back of my throat I instinctively drew myself backwards. I freaked out every time after that when she tried to place it, so I had a go myself. I found it much easy doing it myself because I was in control. I push it up my nostril and got it half way down the back of my throat, but then the nurse grabbed it from me, which gave me a fright. So I wouldn’t let her do it. I asked her why I couldn’t just be sick, if they wanted the content of my stomach to come out, and she said they didn’t want me to hurt my stomach…so I excused myself to go to the toilet. I made myself sick twice and told the nurse there was no need for the tube now! She told me off, but it was totally worth it!

having a morphine button– some may think it was great to have a pain button! But I really didn’t enjoy having it. It is a small hand held device that only the patient can press. When you are sore, you simply press it and it gives you a small, monitored dose of morphine. The man in the bed beside me was having a great time with it! The nurses can tell how many times you had pressed it, although it only delivers the morphine when it’s safe to do so. He had pressed it 212 times in the space of an hour! He must have been very sore! I didn’t like it, as whenever i pressed it, I had a panic attack. So they took it away after a couple of days because I wasn’t using it.

being put to sleep– Being put to sleep before an operation is actually quite nice! The people who will be administering the anaesthetic come to introduce themselves before you are wheeled into the anaesthetic room. They tell you what is going to happen, and are happy to answer any questions you have. When you are in the anaesthetic room, they will put an oxygen mask over your face, the masks smell like vanilla! They will then ask you to take deep slow breathes. They will also hook you up to a monitor to read your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. As well as this, they will put three little circular pads on your skin to monitor your blood pressure and other stats. After you have been breathing the oxygen for a little while, they tell you they are about to give you the drug that will put you to sleep, which they administer through your cannula. They may also ask you to keep your eyes wide open so they can tell when you have fallen asleep, or they may ask you to count back from ten. That is all I remember, but it isn’t scary at all, and is actually quite pleasant!

waking up from theatreI’ve had three operations in three months, and each time I have woken up, I have had a different experience. All depending on the amount of anaesthetic they give you. You will wake up in a room called the “recovery room” there will be a nurse beside you, and she’ll ask you how you feel, and whether you are sore or not. The first time was from a major operation that lasted several hours. When i woke up I was hooked up to many different machine and I had 19 staples down my stomach, so I couldn’t really move much. I don’t really remember much from this time other than I had a really lovely nurse looking after me, who put me in the most comfortable position I’ve ever been in! Although that may have been the morphine talking! The second time was from a small procedure called a dilatation, I only had a small amount of anaesthetic, so I woke up very chatty, and very hungry! The third op was a little bigger, and I had more anaesthetic for that. I woke up feeling quite sore and I couldn’t really talk much. There was a nurse beside me, she asked how I felt and gave me little sips of water. I was in and out of sleep, but very comfortable.
After you wake up in recovery and they make sure you are alright, they will wheel you back to your ward and let you sleep.

having a main line removed– when I woke up in H.D.U I had a main line in my neck. This is like a cannula, but much longer. It is inserted in the side of your neck, and the line is fed down your vein, behind your ribcage and finishes close to your heart. This is so the drug they give you can be administered quite quickly and they can also have many lines coming from one single insertion. I had 5 lines coming from my neck. So I could have 5 different drugs given to me at any one time. I was asleep when this was inserted, but I was awake when it was removed. All they do is lie you very flat and take the stitches out that are holding the line in place. Then they pull! It’s a really weird sensation, it almost feels like someone is ticking your chest! The line is about 2 and a half foot long, so they have to pull that all the way out of your veins. It’s the oddest sensation, but not sore in the slightest! You then have to stay lying flat for 15 minutes incase the blood hasn’t clotted at the incision mark.

having staples removed– I had my staples in for much longer than I needed to because my wound became infected. It isn’t sore having staples in, it just makes things twice as difficult to do! Getting out of bed is like climbing mount Everest, you’re more tired after you’ve gotten out of bed because it’s such a struggle! They removed them with this odd looking pair of scissors. They clamp the staple and close the scissors, this bends the staple in the middle, and pops the edges out at the sides. It’s quite stingy, but not too sore. It makes you want to itch like crazy!

having an xray– having an xray isn’t sore at all, unless you have a broken limb! They’ll ask you to remove any clothing that has metal on it, like your jeans or an underwire bra. They’ll then put you in position, leave the room and take your picture! Easy peasy 🙂

having a ct scan– having a ct scan isn’t too sore either, if they use a small vein for the cannula then it can become quite painful but other than that it is okay. They will ask you to lie down, and put your arms above your head. They will attach a curly tube to your arm, this is what will administer the radiation. The machine will start whiring around you and they will tell you when the liquid will be given. When it does go into your arm, it’s very, very hot! You feel like your sweating all over and you feel like you’ve wet yourself! It only takes a few minutes and you don’t need to be put to sleep. 🙂 the machine will whirl around you, and it takes hundreds of pictures of your insides! They may also ask you to drink a dye beforehand, it kind of tastes like mouldy water…if there is such a thing! But it isn’t too bad 🙂

having a sigmoidoscopy– a sigmoidoscopy is a small procedure done to view your large intestine, a colonoscopy can also be used which looks at your small intestine. I wasn’t given any anaesthetic for this procedure, and it wasn’t sore. It was very uncomfortable and not pleasant at all, but I had to have it done! It involves pushing a small scope up your bum and turning it to view your colon, you watch the whole thing on a screen and it doesn’t last long at all. You can feel the scope moving around the corners and bends, which is the sorest part, but apart from that it is okay! They pump lots of air into your colon in order to inflate it to get a better look, so afterwards you fart like a trooper! Which is oddly hilarious 🙂 they will also give you a special drink beforehand to help clean out your bowel, this is horrible. I’m not going to lie! It tastes disgusting and leaves you on the toilet for hours. It also made me throw up multiple times which was horrible. But for other people it may not be too bad.

having a barium meal– Again, this procedure is usually painless, it simply involves drinking a dye that they then take pictures of as it goes down your digestive system, but my bowel wasn’t working properly, so for me it was very painful! I went down for the meal at around 11am, where I had to drink this dye, it tasted like liquorice which I hateso I was boking, but luckily it stayed down! Then I had to stand up on a machine and they took pictures of my intestines as the dye moved through my digestive tract. I then had to go away, wait and come back in half an hour for more picture, after almost three hours, the dye hadn’t moved at all. Which started to worry the doctor. He said it was probably because I had a blockage in my bowel. My bowel began to cramp extremely hard which was so painful, it was just doing it’s job; trying to get everything out! This is when I had to get the tube down my nose and you know the rest!

I have had a few other procedures and little things, so don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to answer any question at all, be it big or small! 🙂

To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people exist, that is all.

This is one of my favourite quotes, It resonates deeply. I love finding a quote that you can apply to your own life. I find that you can take any quote and depending on your situation, it will just fit somehow, that’s the beauty of language and literature. I’ve taken more time to realise the smaller things in life now that i’ve had no choice but to slow down and take it all in. I’ve realised how each situation can be seen from two aspects; if someone close to you passes away, is it sad that you’ve lost someone, or is it a chance to realise the joy they brought in to your life?
I think each person is the only one who can determine how their life pans out, it’s all about attitude and outlook. Glass half full, glass half empty kinda thing? I once asked a friend this question and her answer still makes me smile today, she took a while to think about it and answered with, “it depends how it’s poured.” I thought this was a bloody brilliant answer! She captures my thought on life perfectly. Two people can have two different outcomes from one situation. For example: if someone is rejected from a job, do they sulk, and blame the world for their failings. Or do they ask the company what they can improve on, and have a new piece of knowledge for their next interview? It’s all about your own personal outlook. I can’t blame anyone for what happened to me, and why would I? I see it this way: yes, I spent two years of my life not really existing, but now I have the knowledge that I need to make every moment count. Yes, I now have an ileostomy bag, but this means I can eat pretty much whatever I want and I’ve learned now more than ever not to judge a book by it’s cover. Yes, I spent almost two months in hospital, but I’ve seen how hard people are willing to work when they see someone who needs them. Just remember, when you’re all cosied up for Christmas with your family and friends, there will be some people who are in a hospital bed, stitched, bruised and punctured, and there are those individuals that are working hard to care for these people. There are the nurses, doctors, paramedics, police men, firemen…they all base their careers on caring for others, I think that is extremely admirable. I’m not religious, and I don’t believe you come back after you die, so I’m going to make the most out of this life that I have now. Of course if I want to be sad and take a while to feel sorry for myself I will, because that is all in the process of healing. But the most important thing is that I realise how lucky I am to be alive and cherish every moment.
I want to thank everyone again for reading my blog, I’ve had almost 1000 views since I started it and I am honestly completely overwhelmed by the support I have received. To give you a little update, I am doing well since my last little op. My stomach is still a little tender at moments, especially when I sneeze! But I haven’t taken a painkiller in almost a week! Which is the first week in three years I’ve managed to wake up and not take something to dull my aches and pains, it feels magnificent. Paddy is growing tremendously, he can now reach the living room table, so cakes, biscuits and other culinary delights are now unsafe at these lower levels. His lovely little face when he bounds towards you in the morning is enough reason to wake up as the thought of eating breakfast without pain is!
I must say, without sounding pretentious I am very much in love with life and the little gifts it throws my way.

Thank you again for reading, and remember; to live is the rarest thing in the world, most people exist, that is all.

are you really living?

Challenge number 3.

As many of you may have seen, I was back in hospital on Monday for another little operation. I’d been sore since my dilatation, but simply thought it was because had another little operation! The output from Sally was very watery and my stomach cramps were getting increasingly worse. I’d been to a&e and they had said if it gets worse, make sure we tell someone but it wasn’t until I’d spent yet ANOTHER night on all fours, with mum rubbing my back, breathing slowly and trying not to pass out that I realised something wasn’t right. We had an appointment with a stoma nurse on Thursday and we pleaded with her to do something. We were meant to be there for a 10 minute appointment, but we were there for an hour! A little side note – I say “we” because my mum has been there for me every step of the way. It’s almost as if she has a stoma as well! When I’m sore at night time, she’ll come marching down the stairs and keep me company! Chatting to me and making me laugh, even if it’s at 4 in the morning. We’ll have a good old laugh at Callum sleep walking and sleep eating! She has been amazing throughout all of this and I love her more than words. – to carry on! We asked the stoma nurse to do something and she promised she would. And she kept her word! On Monday I was admitted to the surgical ward, I was seen straight away by Dr Allijani and told I needed a small procedure to cut the muscle surrounding my stoma. On Tuesday, I was answering the surgical questions before I had even opened my eyes! I was told I was on the emergency list so I would probably be going around 2 o clock, the next thing I knew I was being wheeled down to the anaesthetist! At around 9.30am! I went down and had some banter with the anaesthetists! I told them that I had written the joke “what is an ostomates favourite punctuation Mark? – a semi colon!” they laughed and said I wouldn’t need any laughing gas as I had a great sense of humour! I figured thats the best thing to do. So many things have happened when I could have quite easily broken down and gotten upset but I figured, what’s the point? After I woke up from the surgery I had a really sore throat from the tube they put down to help me breathe, it’s still sore today! I was also really crabby because I needed to sleep but I was all groggy and bleugh. But here we are! I’m back at home and resting, playing with Paddy and doing little things to keep me busy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last surgery I will need before my reversal but who would know? Life comes one day at a time. All I know is that it is too short not to live every moment to it’s fullest.