Woah! we’re going to….

So my boyfriend, two of my friends and I have decided to go to Turkey for a weeks holiday. We leave on Tuesday, “how fantastic!” you say? Well, first there are a few points I, and probably every other IBD sufferer must consider:

1. What if the authentic Turkish food sets my bowel into spasm?
2. I can’t drink the Turkish water, it may have chemicals in it. What if my delicate stomach decides to play up if I drink some? Wash my salad leaves in it? Have a cup of tea? Open my mouth during a shower (see Charlotte during Sex and The City 2)
3. What if I need the loo quickly? Many loos in Turkey are apparently a simple hole in the ground with no toilet paper…IBD hell.

I also must consider that I struggle with dehydration as my ilium has been removed. (the part of the bowel that absorbs salts and nutrients) add this to the fact that last week in Turkey the temperature was reaching 40 degrees and I must consider that we might have a problem. I drink roughly four litres of water here in Scotland every day, where 101% of the times it is raining, what am I going to be like with that big old yellow thing in the sky beaming down on me?

If I need a hospital, will they understand English? Do they have have the right things to treat a flareup? Will it by hygienic? Will they give me water!?!?!? Oh dear lord. How do you say “bowel” in Turkish?!

Not to mention my health insurance, which is, of course, more expensive as I have a chronic illness, will it be okay? Will they rob me in my naive state?

Will my scar be okay in the sun? Will it pop open like a scene from Alien? ahhhhhhh

Breathe Roisin, breathe.

And as I lay here in the foetal position, rocking back and forth, I realise I’ll be in Turkey, most likely with a cocktail in hand, in the sun, in a gorgeous White dress my Mum bought me. That thought calms my mind a little, until I take a sip and my chilled bottled Highland Spring water and slowly I feel the panic rising again…


Never forgotten.

Fear [feer] noun – a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

To feel fear, I believe, is to feel alive. When one is faced with a situation of flight or flight, what is the immediate response? To feel that surge of adrenaline coursing through your veins, the throb of your blood pulsating at your temples, the cold sweat beginning to slide down your body, gravity pulling it downward. Do I run? Do I hide? Fear is an unrequited love, smothering you with it’s greasy hands. Raping your senses. You can smell fear, you can hear it ringing in your ears, taste it on your tongue, but most of all, you can feel it. In that one moment, you realise your wildest nightmares don’t compare. The little things no longer matter, the anger you felt when you couldn’t find your keys, or the frustration at hearing something someone had said about you become irrelevant. In this moment you and your instincts run hand in hand. Your body will do everything for you; breathe, bleed, cry. You’ll have no control.
When I really think, I fear many things. I fear that Crohn’s Disease will come back, I fear it comes back more determined and does it’s job properly next time. I fear it spreads to the whole of my digestive system. I wonder how many times in my life I’ll be admitted to hospital. I fear for my future children, will they suffer with Crohn’s? Or maybe the Crohn’s gets my reproductive system and I can’t have those children? I will always have those fears, but that’s all they are just now, and I hope that’s all they’ll stay. Tucked away in a not too far corner of my mind.

Last week was a terribly sad week. Alison Atkins, a beautiful ambassador for IBD and ostomy bags passed away. She had an extremely hard battle with IBD and everyone is devastated to hear she had passed away. At only 16 she had a very tough life battling bowel disease. She always had a smile on her face, and helped many people come to terms with having an ostomy bag. She will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Alison. x