Halfway through dialling the number for the police press office today I got a very unexpected phone call. Totally out of the blue I was asked if I could appear on a very well-known sofa tomorrow morning, alongside some very well-known characters (some might call one of them a national treasure) to talk about a not very well-known subject!
Ok, I will stop being so cryptic, before you start thinking I’m going on Jeremy Kyle to talk about my love life, I have to tell you all….
I’m going to be on BBC BREAKFAST
Please don’t choke on your cornflakes – or send nasty tweets about my awful outfit or too short legs
Yes, that’s right folks, I am going to be joining Bill and Louise on the famous red sofa to talk about Crohn’s, Colitis and living with an ostomy. I think they’re going to be getting more than they bargained for. I might almost be too outspoken and have too much of a back story for what they are after, but I guess they will have to cope with that. This is the first time I have ever been on national TV; in fact I think this is the first time I have ever appeared on the telly – apart from possibly being seen bobbing around in the background on a North West Tonight report trying to catch a suspected criminal going in to Chester Crown Court.
If you know me, have known me, or have been interviewed by me, and didn’t know I have Crohn’s/Colitis and an ostomy bag, tomorrow with be a massive shock for you (and you must have been living on a different planet; with no access to local newspapers; blogs; Facebook; twitter or come within 100 miles of anywhere I have spoken in the past year, or 14 years!).
Of course I’m nervous. John from BBC Breakfast just phoned me to check everything was still ok for tomorrow, and I almost chocked on my tea. Being on the other side of the notebook/camera is always a nerve-wracking/bizarre experience, and has always left me feeling confused. But I like to hope I will do ok, as, I guess, if it all goes wrong it will be brought out time and time again at every function, work do and event I ever attend for the rest of my life.
But tomorrow, no matter how bad my hair looks when I wake up in the morning (pretty damn awful); how red my eyes are; or how little I’ve slept worrying about my blabber mouth, I will be appearing of TV screens across the nation. People will be literally waking up to me – how horrifying! I’m so sorry if you wake up in the morning, bleary eyed and spot me making my TV debut. I just hope that whatever outfit I chose doesn’t make me blend into the sofa, or leave me looking like a bouncing head with an invisible body, or spark national outrage!
At the end of the day raising awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis is incredibly important to me. I want to show everyone in the world that no matter how alone they may feel right now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I want to share my story; increase understanding and show that living with a stoma is nothing to be ashamed of. I want to tell the world IBD sufferers are not just complaining about a tummy bug, period pains or food poisoning – that IBD is a life changing condition, which has serious consequences for sufferers outside the toilet stall. But I also want to show people like me, especially young girls, that no matter how alone they feel there is help out there; they are not alone and will eventually feel better – even if it means having a massive operation and living with an ileostomy – I will never regret my decision to have Winnie (my stoma) for the rest of my life.
I hope I do the IBD and ostomy community proud – if not, you’ll all have a hilarious clip to show of me crashing and burning for years to come!
And I have to pack 13 years of turmoil into a few minutes – which could turn me into a gerbil.
Turn on your telly on BBC One at around 8.10am tomorrow morning to watch me talk about IBD (hopefully!)!