Day 3: A magical 28th birthday #7daysofIBD #7daysofstoma


I made it to the grand old age of 28 – it feels like an achievement.

I was after all a premature baby, who was born fighting.

Teamed with my Ulcerative Colitis it has taken a giant team of very dedicated people and a fantastic amount of love and patience from my family to get me this far.

I hope I’m not wasting the gift I’ve been given.

Yesterday was my birthday and I had the day off, accompanied by a stinking hangover. But despite the big headache I had a truly lovely day, deliriously pain free and felt very happy and loved indeed.

My birthdays are always a quiet affair. I like the simple things: a good meal, some wine, a lie in, and no chores all day.

Oh and fab gifts, loads of best wishes messages and some unexpected cards too.

I also ate the thing I try to avoid, as it blows me up like a whale – bread.

Chris spoilt me with some really gorgeous flowers, and we spent the day freezing and feeling sick from stuffing our faces with sweets wandering around the Christmas market stalls in Cardiff, with me getting soaked as someone wasn’t too great at holding a brolly.

I even found a vegan Welsh cake – which might not have helped with my twitchy tummy today.

It was all polished off with my favourite – not Winnie’s favourite – meal at Bills’, spinach, bacon and avocado salad and sweet potato fries….mmmm.

Here’s to many more healthy, happy and pain free birthdays for decades to come.


Training for Cardiff Half and the falling of the first leaves of Autumn

It’s my favourite season at last.

There’s nothing I like more than Autumn, although like many things in my life I have a love hate relationship with it.

The falling of the leaves and stunning colours mean the return of snuggly jumpers, thick duvets and cuddling under thick blankets, but it also means the end of summer – meaning no more coral nail vanish, flip-flops and beer gardens.

I love Autumn fashion. I find it easier to dress myself with the layers, colourful prints and return of the little black dress making dressing effortless with an ostomy. It’s not that I feel that uncomfortable in the summer, Autumn just suits me better.

But while the first fall of the leaves welcomes in my favourite and most breathtaking time of year, it also means dragging myself out of bed to run in the cold, wind and dark….which is not very fun at all.

I realise I haven’t blogged since I ran the Cardiff 10k.

It might have only been a few weeks ago but it was so hot it felt like I was running in the height of summer, despite the heat and a few training hiccups and injuries on the way I did pretty damn well.


I finished the race with a sprint – looking far from pretty – in under 59 minutes. Not my best ever 10k but pretty good for how nervous, hot and bothered and confused I was.

Next week is the Cardiff Half and my training has been rocky to say the least.

The start of Autumn, with some confusing hot days, has led to a weird cold and stuffy feeling. I also had some sort of virus which made me dizzy – and a brace fitted making me feel like crap and behave like a total cow in heat for a few days.

But after a few very disappointing runs, on Tuesday I dragged myself out in the dark and plodded around 15K in 1hr 30min, my furthest run to date – very proud indeed.

I just hope that I stay well for the next few days, avoid the heavy drinking which seems to come hand in hand with the stresses of work, watching the rugby of a weekend, and well everything at the moment, and perhaps get some sleep.

I have started to fall in love with running.

Next year I’d like to do a marathon – perhaps then I won’t be so enamoured.

If you’d like to sponsor me for my running challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis UK please click here 

Why am I waiting for my Ulcerative Colitis to return? It’s not even possible….

I can’t remember the last time I laughed hysterically at something.

You know that feeling where you feel like your going to wet yourself, or worse poop!

Earlier today I actually laughed out loud, and as the sound reached my ears I almost jumped out of my seat thinking someone else was in the room – that’s how alien a sound it was.

I guess I’ve been feeling pretty low recently and I’ve been giving myself a really hard time about it.

It’s been over a year since my final operation (hopefully ever) to remove the last evil part of my ravaged bowel and strip that horrific disease from me. I’m not going to pretend everything is perfect, but I have never been better, and that horrific disease has been sewn out of me for over a year!

So it’s hard for me to understand why I feel so low and tired, surely I should be shouting from the rooftops?

When you first get well after a long illness it’s the strangest feeling. For years I lived with a disease that would hide behind a hedge and pounce at the worst possible moment, draining the life from me and taking until I just didn’t have anything left. Sometimes it would leave me alone for a few months but it was always waiting until life started to feel just about perfect before flaring up in my face and messing everything up again.

I guess I’m waiting for that moment, I guess I’m expecting it to come back.

Of course, that would be physically impossible – I don’t have a bowel any more to be ravaged!

But I’m not my positive self at the moment, I just don’t feel quite right, and I’m not having the adventures I sat in that hospital bed dreaming I would be having once I was well and living my life to the full. Instead I’m being a bit of a boring old arse!

That’s why I’ve not been blogging. I suppose I feel a bit of a fraud.

But tonight I was watching a film which made me really think about what matters in life.

In the past few months I’ve left everything behind for a new job in a city where I know absolutely no one, and, if I’m honest, I’m finding it pretty tough.

But watching that tonight reminded me of why I started this blog. It was a bucket load of selfishness – a way of me unloading my feelings on the world – teemed with a genuine desire to help others not to feel alone if they faced the same journey.

This blog was always meant to be about hope, adventure and above all else honesty.

I think I might have forgotten that a bit on the way, and I want to say I am truly sorry for that.

I’m not in any way comparing myself to the amazing woman in the C-Word, a film that left me covered in mascara and clinging to my teddy overcome with emotion at her strength and bravery.

But she reminded me that no matter what you have to carry on, look life in the face and say “you will not stop me” – her story made me feel hope, and gave me a little bit of a slap around the face and a kick up my sewn up bum to sort myself out.

Reading some of your comments tonight made me think that this blog is something that matters, and not something I can just ignore until I think I’ve got something amusing to write – I mean we could be waiting years!

And so I’m going to start blogging again, and, of course, trying to crack on with some of these adventures.

I’ve missed you all so much. I can’t wait to start this journey again….