Happy New Year. I know it’s incredibly late to be saying this (internet issues at my place), but what the hell, welcome to 2015.
As I look back on the roller coaster of the last 12 months I can’t help but wonder what craziness this year will bring. Over the last 365 days I’ve been cut open, stitched up, injected, drained, screamed, cried and laughed. I’ve seen disgusting things, met amazing people, sobbed and almost burst my stitches with laughter. I’ve come face to face with criminals, seen incredible bravery and felt humbled to the core by some of the unbelievable things everyday people do for complete strangers and those in need.
It’s been a heck of a year. Some of the most important moments of my life happened in 2014, namely me and Winnie (my stoma) became attached for life – I will never be rid of her. I had my second bag removed in a year complicated operation, bum stitched together, and finally (hopefully) waved goodbye to my Ulcerative Colitis/Crohn’s for good!
Looking back, I can’t believe we ( me and Andy) managed to pack so much in. With so many adventures (some of which I’ve still not had time to write about – I’m sorry I’ve not blogged I’ve been snowed under and I know I’ve been frankly crap lately), I’m often surprised I managed to have time to have the rest of my bowel removed.
Last year we headed to the USA on an incredible trip where my dreams of visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, going to see a Broadway Show (indeed the longest running one – Phantom of the Opera) and enjoying magical sunsets from a beach filled with golden sand, finally came true.
I appeared on BBC Breakfast to talk about life with IBD (Crohn’s/ Colitis – whichever the bloody hell it eventually was) and that it is not caused by junk food. I worked at a national newspaper, where I met amazing people and spread the word about IBD while having the time of my life.
I also finally read Pride and Prejudice (while tucked up in bed suffering from flu), sat on Murray Mound eating strawberries (without the cream) after queuing for Wimbledon, watched Boyzone live in a forest with one of my best friends in the world, said goodbye and welcome home to one of my best friends, seen some amazing sights as we explored the UK for my challenges, hiked, swam and cycled.
I’ve read hundreds of books while trying and failing to complete my reading challenges – which I have restarted for the new year and am determined to finish – struggled with learning French and utterly failed to learn a single audible cord on the guitar.
I’ve thrown freezing cold water over my head, raced through the streets of York sweating to death in a monkey onesie and worn stupid jumpers all in the name of charity. I’ve stayed in stunning cottages, drunk too much beer and eaten too much meat in Bruges (will blog about this soon) and travelled all over the place seeing remarkable things with Andy, who has somehow managed to get the strength to drive me all over the place (I’m a nightmare in the car!).
My boyfriend, incredible friends and my family have made my year magical and have stuck through me through thick and thin. I’ve also been overwhelmed by the bravery of inspirational women with IBD and stomas, including Bethany Townsend whose pictures captured the nation and seemed to open people’s eyes to the fact that not all people with ostomy bags are old. I take my hats off to some of the campaigns including Get Your Belly Out for raising awareness and changing perceptions.
It’s been a magical year, but it has not all been plain sailing. This year I felt pain (not just from IBD and surgery), had horrible infections, skin problems and finished the year with a possibility of heart issues (and not the romantic ones). Through it all my boyfriend, family and incredible friends have been there. To be honest I don’t know where I would be right now without them – probably still with two ostomy bags.
Anyway I’m rambling….here’s to a healthy, happy, adventure-filled and inspirational 2015! I can’t wait!