Bargain hunting, painful sneezing with stoma, & Winnie’s antibiotic hell

After taking my first blue dreaded antibiotic evil pill on Friday night me and Winnie have had a pretty rough time of it over the

So tired - after a big meal and a day of Bargain Hunting with antibiotics killing Winnie

So tired – after a big meal and a day of Bargain Hunting with antibiotics killing Winnie

past few days. On Saturday morning after having one of my usual restless nights – lying uncomfortably flat on my back staring at the ceiling thinking please sleep please sleep for hours on end, and constantly wondering if there was some kind of weird infestation in my bed making my skin feel like it was crawling with tiny bugs with giant pointy teeth and sharp claws randomly attacking my legs, feet and chest – I woke drenched in sweat, hair stuck up at weird angles (picture Sonic the Hedgehog – a good look for a funky cartoon, not a sexy morning look for a 25-year-old in bed next to her boyfriend) and well full of snotty flu.

To my poor boyfriend, who was staying with me for one of the first times since my ileostomy op under the agreement that he would lie like a Mummy and not move in case he hit Winnie, Oscar or my aching and torn muscles, I must have looked like a zombie emerging from the black lagoon, emerging from my hour-long slumber with all the grace and angelic qualities of a dog cocking its leg and peeing against an unsuspected guests Dolce & Gabbana jeans. I don’t think I need to go into much detail here…just imagine waking after a peaceful night’s sleep and turning to your loved one, who a few tiny hours ago had looked tired but, well human, with tame hair, tired eyes and a peaceful smile as she settled to sleep – then turning in the morning and being faced with a manic madwoman, hair sticking up everywhere, left over mascara pooling like black tears under her eyes, gunk around her mouth and a crazed look in her eyes – he must have thought he had woken up with Bertha from Jayne Eyre – poor, poor guy.

Ok Rach the journey isn't that long is it

Ok Rach the journey isn’t that long is it

Ok, I have to be serious here for a second and explain something. Since my disgustingly damaged bowel packed his bags and dramatically left my life (I think of my colon as a man, as only a man could cause that much destruction and pain and then just take off without so much as a look over his shoulder or a farewell kiss) around eight weeks ago I have been terrified that Winnie and my tender and scarred stomach will get knocked or bashed. I have avoided crowds, packed bars (not that I have been going out anyway), Saturday shopping and, when possible, crowded public toilets. In fact the few times that some unaware stranger has come close to knocking me I have subconsciously backed away shielding my stomach and looked at them with such fear that anyone would have thought they were about to attack me with a sledgehammer. Take for example that I’m normally a HUG person, I love HUGS, but since my operation everyone, even people who would have avoided me in a ‘I wouldn’t touch her with a barge pole’ sort of way, has wanted to hug me (I’m so popular). Which is lovely and affectionate, but has caused some serious moments of pure panic, especially when the hugger (I’m the huggie) is drunk, wasted, leathered or whatever you want to call it. On these occasions I see someone I hardly know stumbling towards me bleary eyed with their arms open sloshing their drink around and, I’m ashamed to say  two thoughts cross my mind – am I fast enough to duck or can I find someone to shove in front of them. I feel myself getting a hot flush and starting sweating with fear. It would be rude to avoid the hug, which is meant as a loving and caring gesture, but how can I protect Winnie from someone who a) doesn’t really know what I’ve had done, so doesn’t know to avoid bashing or crushing her b) doesn’t realise their own strength c) could fall on me and squash me, landing me back in the hospital ward. These moments usually result in an awkward sideways hug with my trying in vain to protect Winnie from being crushed to death, while the hugger mutters how lovely it is to see me so well again.

Sorry guys I know all that made me seem really ungrateful, but it is a real fear at the moment, and that is why my poor boyfriend is having to lie like a statue all night and I stay bolt upright wide awake in fear his arm will suddenly fling out and smack Winnie full on, causing a nuclear explosion in my pretty princess room. I know the chances of it happening are miniscule, but I am terrified of it happening and if it was him lying there will the painfully tender stomach I would have no doubt slapped, hit and bashed it in my sleep wanderings and splaying my tiny limbs across the bed at least a million times by now.

Anyway, despite feeling like I had swapped my brain for a giant snotty bogey and my tiny body for a lump of lead, me and Andy were determined that we were going to do one of my 101 challenges on Saturday. So after a quick shower and some dry shampoo to try to tame my wild hair (just about worked, but you guys can be the judge I guess) I put on my Team GB t-shirt and a dusting of  makeup to perk up my ghost white face, and clambered into the car to set off to Stafford for challenge #no 37 SELL SOMETHING ON EBAY.

Lost in the antiques fair - argh HELP!!!

Lost in the antiques fair – argh HELP!!!

Ok, I hear you ask, why are you going all the way to Stafford to sell something on eBay, surely that is a challenge that requires no travelling. Well normally you would be right. But in a moment of genius (or insanity) Andy decided that reading or watching me find some unwanted item in my flat from several Christmas’s ago and then flogging it to some poor soul on eBay would not be very exciting, or much of a challenge really….so he decided we should go BARGAIN HUNTING.

Now, not being avid Bargain Hunt watchers (sorry BBC) apart from when the channel gets stuck when watching TV to waste away the hours in the visitor’s room in the Countess, me and Andy had to recap on what the rules and formatting of the show actually are. So the night before the challenge and the horrible sickness kicked in we sat, huddled up in bed watching an episode of the show, trying to learn exactly what type of items we should avoid/aim to buy – I’m sorry to say we didn’t learn very much at all, apart from maybe not to wear a fleece in a hot auction room!!

So before you watch my Vlog below (video blog for those not down with the kids) I guess I should set out the rules behind the challenge.

THE BIG STOMA BARGAIN HUNT CHALLENGE #no 37

(all proceeds go to Crohns and Colitis UK – amazing people who help me not feel alone)

Team Red – Andy

Team Blue – Rachel

1) each team has a maximum of £50 (of own money) to spend

2) each team must buy THREE items with said £50

3) the challenge will last for a maximum of THREE hours

4) each team has a bonus buy – must find an item for £1

The BLUE TEAM!!!

The BLUE TEAM!!!

5) then all items must be sold on eBay in the hope we break even and any profits will go to Crohns charity

Now that all sounds very easy doesn’t it. Erm, NO!!! What we didn’t take into account is that the antiques fair held at Stafford Country Show Ground had 400+ stalls of amazingly wonderful, and incredibly expensive antiques. Also that we had absolutely no idea what we were looking for.

So here’s the VLog, containing clips of our bargain hunt inspired challenge 🙂 look out for Andy trying to be Tim Wonnacott or Dickinson minus the orange fake tan (joke guys, don’t sue)…wearing my glasses and his work blazer. Oh, and sorry for the windy conditions, can’t be helped I’m afraid.

The pretty country pub -before the massive sleep inducing meal

The pretty country pub -before the massive sleep inducing meal

So, as you can probably tell from that footage, we had fun at first, but the excitement quickly faded and we were left panicked and well exhausted. Winnie spent the whole day kicking off due to the antibiotics. She didn’t even agree with the yummy Winegums Andy had kindly bought her as a treat. Here I have to add that I love that I can now eat Marshmallows and gummy sweets like Jelly Babies and Gummy Bears as nutritional suppliments….in fact on Crohnology (a fantastic site designed to help you keep track of your IBD health and to meet other sufferers) Marshmallow is listed alongside Iron and Calcium as a supplement – RESULT!!!

Anyway the items will be appearing on eBay on Wednesday evening, and once they are up for sale I will put a post letting you all know, and, hopefully (because you all love me :)) you will all bid for them, whether you want them or not. Please, it would be humiliating and I will cry if they don’t sell or we don’t even break even (sorry a little bit of emotional blackmail never did any harm!).

After our exhausting challenge we decided to grab some good old country pub grub, and, as I couldn’t miss the chance I made Andy drive to Salt. If you don’t know my family I will quickly explain that we have an obsession with finding the silliest and weirdest place names. I have been dragged to Piddle Down the Hole, Upper and Lower Slaughter and once my Mum tried to ask an old man directions to Fart, only to find that the map was creased and it did, humiliating, say Ford. So a place called Salt couldn’t be passed up on…we did pass on Flash!!! but only because it was quite a drive and we were very very tired by then.

Me & Winnie go to Salt

Me & Winnie go to Salt

The pub we went to claimed it was the 2nd oldest pub in Britain. It was picturesque, like one of those Lilliput Lane ornaments brought to life in the middle of Stafford. The food was stunning, but it was so quiet I thought the staff were going to come over to the table with their figures over their lips going SSSSHHH NO TALKING IN THE PUB!!! It wasn’t the right place for me to be in at all!!!

I have also learnt a valuable lesson always take a cushion to hold in the car, it helps stop your stomach falling apart at the seams and you screaming in pain from pot holes and speed bumps. And don’t fall asleep in the car or your EVIL boyfriend will take pictures of you and then make you laugh so much that your stomach hurts and you wake up the next day feeling like you’ve done ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

Anyway, I have a really exciting evening tonight to prepare for…won’t tell you too much right now as I am genuinely too excited to talk about it, but I will give you a hint…me and Winnie are going to the BBC!!!!! EEEK!! I only hope that some of my smarter clothes still fit me now that I have Winnie (who is determined to transform me into a perfect 10) ballooning out of my tiny stomach. Oh well if not I guess I will have to go in a cocktail dress or a pink pineapple track suit which says Gorgeous across my butt….TRENDY!!! Wish me luck 🙂

AWH me & my man - Winnie is not allowed in this shot - three's a crowd

AWH me & my man – Winnie is not allowed in this shot – three’s a crowd

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