There’s no shame in talking POOP, mooning nurses & yucky antibiotics


http://youtu.be/meTZDQ0qEjc

So I’m back on the dreaded antibiotics again! I always dread going to the doctors because no matter what the problem they always

Me & Winnie have a very bad day and night

seem to put me on antibiotics, in fact, I think they have put me on so many of them over the years that they may as well be giving me a little tablet with nothing in it for all the curing qualities it is having on my body….which, I am now sure, is totally immune to them.

Antibiotics never seem to do anything apart from mess up my meal times, as, if you follow the instructions correctly, which I always try to do, you have to take them one hour before eating or two hours after eating totally destroying all the advice my dietician gave me to help me gain weight and to give my poor beaten body nutrients and the energy to fight my evil Crohns/Colitis, who keeps coming back with bigger and better weapons every day!

I dread going on them and, probably like a lot of stubborn IBD and chronically ill patients, when I get an infection or complication that I know will require being put on those dreaded blue capsules I try to put up with it for a few days – (#ahem) Weeks – until it goes gooey and pussy and starts looking like a scene from Alien, then, and only then, do I face my fate and head to the doctor’s surgery with my tail firmly tucked between my legs begging for tablets or a miracle cure.

ARGH the big blue puke pills

ARGH the big blue puke pills

You see all the antibiotics do, and it doesn’t seem to matter what type they give me, is make me really horrendously nauseous. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if they’re for flu, a skin infection, eczema, conjunctivitis, or all of the above at once, they trump the thing they are meant to be curing by making me sick to the stomach the moment I pop the first luminous coloured coated capsule into my trembling mouth (almost went Mills and Boon then guys with the imagery #lol). But the cruelest thing about antibiotics is not the unfading nausea, but the fact that they don’t make you actually throw-up – here we go, I hear you all sigh, we knew she was Bulimic… But let me try to put it to you this way. Think of anytime that you have been horrendously hung-over and your stomach is tossing and flipping like a dingy lost in a massive storm at sea (think green and sick bags) you always reach that point where you think ‘I just need to be sick, I will feel better once I’m sick‘ – and sometimes you can’t…so it just sits on your stomach like a rock for the rest of the day, meaning you can’t eat or sleep or even smell food….THAT’S WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR ME ON ANTIBIOTICS!! I hope you understand what I mean now.

So today I dragged myself to the doctors to get my dressing changed on my ileostomy scar, which despite it being eight weeks and

Me & Archie too weak to get out of bed

two days since the dreaded op is still leaking and oozing horrible puss – basically it is just been stubborn and refusing to heal the right way. Let’s put it this way, my skin is trying to be radical, waving a placard and screaming I will heal, but not the way YOU THE MAN want me to!!! Instead I will heal from the outside and then spit through causing as much pain and taking as long as possible just to annoy you ๐Ÿ™‚ I can almost hear it chuckling insanely as it rashes over and over granulates (oh get me – a medical term).

But despite my concern that the scar has gone all red, gooey and pussy, from the weird heat we are having in England at the moment (we are never satisfied with our weather are we?) and is now covered in red and brown eczema that is soooooo itchy it is a physical and mental effort not to scratch the dressings โ€“ I sometimes place my handbag close by just so it will rub against it and give it a cheeky scratch every so often as I walk to the coffee shop (I know that’s soooo naughty of me, and it won’t heal, but it just feels so damn good!) โ€“ the nurse said it seemed fine and put some iodine on it to stop any potential mastermind evil infection sneaking its way into my body and causing havoc.

HMMM bad spelling at Docs - should I be worried about other skills?

HMMM bad spelling at Docs – should I be worried about other skills?

Anyway, anyway, anyway my biggest concern and what led to me thrusting my bare naked bum in the poor bewildered nurse’s face, was a very sore lump on my butt that has developed over the past few days making it painful for me to sit on the loo or basically sit down anywhere at all. Before you all laugh, I don’t have piles – I have to add piles are no laughing matter, they are very painful and, yes (#snigger), I have had them many times before. As I told this poor woman about this lump, which has left me perching on the end of seats and tentatively sitting down, hovering above couches and benches like you do when you’re preparing for your bare flesh to hit boiling bath water (ouch!!), I could see her face gradually changing from the kind reassuring smile when she was changing my dressing to a stretched evil grimace. I swear I could honestly see her thinking ‘Oh no not another pimply bum I’m going to have to stick my finger in…Yuck!’ (obviously she didn’t say that, but, quite frankly, she didn’t have to).

So here’s the image. Me lying in the nurse’s chair with my girly knickers (with pretty stars on) pulled down around my knees and bum pointed unceremoniously in the air, with this poor middle-aged woman prodding my bum and me pointing into my bottom saying ‘I can feel it there, what is it?‘ โ€“ I have to explain here that because of Winnie and Oscar I can’t see the area down there…I mean it is hard enough to look at your underneath in the mirror anyway (which guys will know if you are checking yourself, which you should be) without two bags swinging in the way all the time (yes I know that sounds rude!) โ€“ and her going mmm ahhh in a ‘I don’t know what it is’ kind of way.

On the nurse’s table moments before sticking my butt in the air

This was one of those moments, which like on a night out when you suddenly realise you might have pulled, that you wish you had nicer underwear on…but never mind, that was the least of my worries as a second later the nurse started squeezing at the lump inside my bum cheeks so hard that I start squealing in pain – yes squealing like a little piggy. She squeezed and she squeezed saying ‘Are you ok? Can you feel that? Does that Hurt’ – I squealed something like ‘yes it hurts, I’m ok don’t worry’, but in my head I was shouting OF COURSE IT BLOODY HURTS YOU ARE SQUEEZING MY BUM OFF!!! Eventually, after what seemed like a year and some puss coming out of the lump later, she declared it was a small cyst, caused by the plastic enema I have been shoving up my bottom to calm down the remaining part of my colon and that I would need antibiotics.

Which is what leads me to gulping down this horrid blue sugar-coated tablet knowing, beyond any doubt, that I will wake up tomorrow as sick as a dog with a massive warty cyst on my bottom bright red and shining like a beacon on a rocky bay. ( I know what an anti-climax to a very long rambling story!)

Anyway the other night when I couldn’t sleep I vblogged another Ostomy Hour – I hope you LOVE IT and will tell all your friends about it ๐Ÿ™‚ PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE WITH MARSHMALLOWS ON TOP. It’s about the online IBD community and the amazing support just everyday people are giving others by sharing their stories on the interweb.

Since I have had my ostomy I have found so many brave Crohns and IBD sufferers who are selflessly putting themselves out there, basically having the balls to tell every little thing about their life in order to help others (in my vblog above I talk about when I did a tell-all article in the Evening Chronicle and the crazily large pic of me they used on the front grimacing like a maniac). They post every little hicup, embarrassing moment and gory detail about their symptoms, the illness and the way they cope living while being constantly attacked by IBD…it is just so refreshing to hear people being so blatently honest and revealing the unglossed ‘real’ version of how IBD sufferers cope every day – stripped bare with no regard to what people might think of them or what impact telling their stories might have on their own reputations or their careers.

So, thank you to all those brave IBD and Ostomy bloggers and tweeters….from my very heart you are amazing (I am not talking about me here before you think HOW BIG HEADED). Please carry on sharing your story so that we can rid the world of the shameful stigma attached to IBD.

If you want to read my story from the Evening Chronicle go to:

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/health/secret-shame-crohns-disease-nearly-1417593 ย  ย  ย 

or click on the image below:

EEEK every Geordie recognised me :)

EEEK every Geordie recognised me ๐Ÿ™‚

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Me & Winnie disagree with vino & bounce along close to Jessie J and our brave Dad…


So I’m exhausted today ๐Ÿ˜ฆ let’s just say that I had far too much fun this weekend, which if you have IBD

(which includes Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis) is a recipe for disaster. Even before I had Winnie attached to my poor tummy I always found that my crazy Crohns or Colitis liked to pop up at the most inconvenient of times. Let’s put it this way….I would be feeling just slightly like a normal human being for a few days and would have just tried to live a little, go out, let my (very short) hair down and act like a normal 20 something-year-old when BOOM my illness would rear its ugly head in a kind of Peek-a-Boo “Here’s Johnny” way.

So yesterday was Father’s Day and I wanted to do a short V Blog to tell you about how amazing my Dad, and my family are and how important they have been in my journey through this illness. I love you DAD!!

So this weekend my poor, and extremely understanding boyfriend (I suppose you could call him my “better” half) decided to host a BBQ at his stunning house in the Cheshire countryside. His house is what we in the Ghetto call “something else” or “Mega Dope” (I’m sooo down with the kids). It is far too big, with massive gardens, and when you stay over you wake up to the sounds of cows mooing and birdies singing….it is paradise just miles from the city ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it there!!! But Friday was the first time I have stayed there since my operation, and as a lady I had to take just about everything but the kitchen sink with me so that I could survive just two days! Well it is hard looking this good all the time #bigheaded

Anyway, anyway, anyway. On Friday night I made us both a healthy tea of pasta and veggie sausages and goat’s cheese. Which was YUM! Then we watched The Following, which, if you haven’t seen it is AWESOME, but terrifying, and being a proper wuss I spent half the time hiding behind a cushion and smudging my freshly painted nails by gripping my boyfriend’s hands so tight.

THE DRESS - I would never have worn this b4 Winnie - she is so much more cool than me

THE DRESS – I would never have worn this b4 Winnie – she is so much more cool than me

Then on Saturday the real fun began. We woke up to typical British horror weather, as you always do in England when you haveย an event planned that requires spending any time outdoors! I got dressed up in festival style clothes (no rain was going to stop me and Winnie wearing our new extra colourful maxi dress) and made massive amounts of healthy pasta salad to counteract the enormous amount of fatty meat he had purchased for the grill. Then I basically let him get on with it!

Anyway the BBQ was going well, my boy was enjoying being the MAN of the house, you know being in charge of burning the meat ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€“ me man, me fire, me meat, me burn โ€“ and I basically carried things backwards and forwards and played being the hostess. We had a bit of rain which came after most people had arrived and the skies finally opened after the CLOUD OF DOOM finally shed its load after threatening to do so all day. It meant that around 10 adults decided to cram themselves into a very small Wendy house – amazing to say the least ๐Ÿ™‚

So, after not drinking for around three months, I shunned alcohol all day despite people asking me again, and again, if I wanted a drink. I was even fairly careful with the fizzy pop, being aware that one sip too much would mean a whole day of Winnie flying into a paddy and blowing up with hot air in a fit of rage. But in the evening I decided to have my first sip of wine, and, guess what, I DIDN’T LIKE IT!!! For the people reading this that know me (which is probably all of you out of kindness to me) you will know that I love a good glass of Sauvignonย Blanc โ€“ or two, or three (obviously I’m not an alcoholic but I may have a bottle or litre or two hidden under the sink #joke). So me not liking any wine is, quite frankly, extremely weird. I must have managed to have a drink at around 10pm, and only had about a medium glass…..I was WASTED ๐Ÿ˜ฆ which I suppose is great if you want a really cheap night out, but I just wanted to chill out and now I felt like I was going to fall asleep dribbling in a heap on the floor!!!

That was all I had…well, ok, that’s a lie…I may of had one tinie little gin, which I regretted the moment I put it to my lips and decided i didn’t want it (it was the gin that done her in…how true, how true). So I set about tidying up while the others played Pictionary in the living room and headed to bed having eaten only around half a sausage and a handful of pasta twirls. Everyone else was pretty drunk – I mean when I woke up the next day the house had been drunk so dry even a cactus would have died after weeks in the desert – which made it even more infuriating that I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a bus and everyone else was fine. I mean how unfair #wtf!!!

The morning after - trying to finish this really dreadful book (comment comment comment)

The morning after – trying to finish this really dreadful book (comment comment comment)

I probably felt as bad as I did the time at University that the Cheerleaders (yes queue laughter, me, Rachel, who can’t sing or put one leg in front of the other was a cheerleader) and American Footballers all put money together for me to drink a dirty pint made up of around 20, or it could even have been 30 (yes I was that popular) shots of black sambuca. Think banging headache, red-eye, hair all over the place, stomach cramps, nausea and dry mouth โ€“ it must have been a real special moment to wakeup next to me that day โ€“ mmm sexy!!!

Also I suddenly remembered that I had to finish Stephen Fry’s autobiography by the end of the day or I would break the “Read a Book a Week” part of my 101 challenges and have to start all over again. Which, I must stress, was not going to happen. So, with a gang of bleary eyed and far too enthusiastic guys in the house, I attempted to race through the remaining 200 pages of the book, which by now had become boring and tedious like all self-imposed chores (like ironing and hovering) eventually do when you are forced to do them…..

OH I FORGOT THE MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF THE WHOLE WEEKEND!!! During the BBQ I had to empty Winnie a few times, and to do this I have a special (well a clothes line) peg to well peg up my dress so that I don’t make any mess. So I had done that, and around 2 hours later I needed to empty her again (which is almost a record amount of time for Winnie). I think you may have guessed it…I got to the loo and couldn’t find the peg so decided to just hold my dress out of the way…that’s when I discovered I had been sat chatting to all mine, and my bf’s friends for the past two hours with a pink peg clipped to the side of my dress!!!! Humiliating!!!

ยฃ5 bag of sweets – and they didn’t help

Later in the day, after I went back to bed for a few hours to try to sleep it off, which, well you’ll see from the pictures, ย didn’t work. Me, Andy and Winnie went to Chester – errrr – Rocks!!! (I say err cause there is not much that Rocks about it I’m afraid – it is more of a pop thing, which I can’t say I mind, being a little teenie bopper – this does NOT mean that I hit Teens over the head with a mallet – at heart I love pop music)…. We saw Charlie Brown (?), some girl off the X Factor called Amelia and Lawson (some boy band I said I had never heard of but secretly love them)!!! I bought a bag of sweets to try to thicken up Winnie’s output as she had massively disagreed with the sip of alcohol and was stropping around like a moody teenager filling up with hot air and yucky poop โ€“ and it was the most expensive medicine I ever had costing me ยฃ5 for a bag of sweets. THANKS CHESTER RACECOURSE FOR NOT LETTING US TAKE OUR OWN FOOD AND DRINK!!!! ARGH!!!

I’m going to let you all into a secret now โ€“ I LOVE Jessie J!!! I don ‘t know why so many people don’t, I mean when I said I wanted to see her to some of my mates they were like “oh no…why?”, but she is fantastic. I love that she is unique and she doesn’t take any shit…I mean she doesn’t care what people think at all, does she ๐Ÿ™‚ I got all excited when she got on stage and I started dancing like a freak!!! I even saw some parents looking at me with horror and even (you’ll laugh at this) move their children slowly away from me thinking I was a drugged-up Nutter!!! I think the people with me, Andy included, were totally humilated….there was never a better time to think “move away…we’re not with her…we don’t even know her”!!

Jessie J – “Its ok not to be Ok” good for you!!

I mean she was incredible, and all round entertainer who even said some truly from the heart things to the teenagers in the audience that I thought were just inspirational. She said it was ok to be who you wanted to be and to not worry what people thought or what people wanted you to be – that it was ok, not to be ok, and to cry and to feel like crap and to want to not do things people want you to do. I guess that struck home with me and what I am going through at the moment….I know I come across as happy-go-lucky, but behind my smile I can be seriously messed-up at times, this illness can seriously mess you up โ€“ I mean it’s draining emotionally as well as physically โ€“ but without all this pain I would never have become the person I am today for better or for worse!! Sometimes with Crohns, with a Winnie, I think it has to be ok not to be ok….I think It’s ok for us to breakdown, to feel and look like shit, to just want to curl up in a ball and cry, to hurt, to feel pain โ€“ just as long as at the end of it you pull yourself together and realise I WILL BE OK!!! I will not let this illness, this stroppy Winnie and this crap get me down…I AM STRONG, I RULE THIS ILLNESS IT DOES NOT RULE ME…

So with all that gibber jabber going round in my head Jessie (that’s how close we are….perhaps I should call her J) started singing my favourite song Who You Are. And, I am not ashamed to say actual tears started pouring down my face as she sang “tears don’t mean you’re loosing, everybodys brusing, just be true to who you are”. I think I just couldn’t believe that after all the pain, blood, poop, near death, stress and well years of not being ok with this horrible thing, with this crappy crappy illness, I was stood in a field with amazing friends, and an amazing man, and listening to a live music concert of a mega superstar telling me that ‘it’s ok not to be ok”…..when Andy asked me why I was crying I said “I am just so happy”…and that guys is the truth!

We finally got home after almost getting crushed by heaving crowds trying to get out of the tiniest exit in the world…God knows why they didn’t open the gates. I eventually was allowed through the gates by saying I was being bashed to death in the crush and had had surgery…the security guard didn’t look like he was having any of it and I almost had to show him Winnie and Oscar, but believed me when he saw how bent double I was -PHEW!

Anyway, this has been really long….so enjoy watching a really silly video of me dancing to Lawson at Chester Racecourse….the shame!!! (I looked like a freak, back away from the crazy woman kids). I call it the IBD Freedom dance!!!

 

#No.90 I drink my first cup of tea in 25 years – I’m not kidding!!


Image

My first cup of tea in 25-years!! I am terrified at the thought of having to drink a whole cup let alone a whole bloody teapot – even if it is so cute I could eat it!!

So after 25-years of avoiding the coffee and tea round at work and being the predictable “none for me thanks” every time anyone asked if I wanted a brew or a cuppa in the office I decided it was time I drank my first full cup of tea.

Ok, before you ask, yes I am English, yes I live in England, and yes I was born in Burnley not far from Manchester where famously Coronation Street stylie everyone says “I’ll put the kettle on then” or “how’s about a nice cuppa chuck” every time there is anything from a massacre to a lottery win – but I have never, I SWEAR HAVE NEVER drunk an entire cup of tea.

*when I say tea I mean real tea – builder’s tea, Earl grey that sort of thing not girly flavoured tea …

I actually think the nearest I have got is a thimble full of canteen style tea, which I am sorry fellow journos one of you made for me in our oh so special and sacred newsroom kitchen – I am afraid it tasted to me like a cross between gone off fruit and curdled milk and…well nothing!! I drank a sip and made that face…you know that shudder face that people make when they swallow something that is just well PUKE!!!

I guess I have never really been a hot drink person until the past few years. As a kid I didn’t even like hot chocolate – I know odd kid ( I didn’t even like the Simpsons). I still won’t drink kitchen made coffee, only soya lattes with froth and yummy gingerbread, vanilla or caramel syrups, and hot Vimto ๐Ÿ™‚ the drink of the gods :)and I will have hot choc but only in a certain mug with mini marshmallows!!!

I am officially a HOT DRINK SNOB…. I like coffee because you get to make a choice every single day. No matter how shit your day is you can walk into Starbucks (not any more they scam us tax payers – but I can throw out my morals for a good caramel soy frap at half price) and make a massive decision which if you get wrong can seriously change your day into a living nightmare – I mean the wrong coffee, such as straying from your sturdy and reliable latte to say a macchiato can be the final straw that tips you over the edge into THIS IS THE WORSE DAY EVER, I WANT TO QUIT, I HATE MY LIFE!!! But the right can be an AHH moment of pure bliss with the foam and the heat blasting your troubles away.

I get great satisfaction in saying a TALL, SOYA, SUGAR FREE VANILLA, LATTE, EXTRA HOT, WITH ONE SHOT OF COFFEE please, when I order my coffee – it may just be the single most complicated thing I do on an almost daily basis. But it never lets me down!!!

But now because of this challenge and because of Winnie my poo bag I am having to throw my milky, dreamy, hug in a mug aside and dabble in the world of tea – something that most people do on a scarily hourly basis. I knew I was going to hate it – but these challenges are not meant to be easy and I was determined not to stop until I had drunk every last horrific dreg – I guess I hadn’t counted on the fact they would give me a bloody vat of the pale brown liquid!

So my tea loving friend Becca (who really loves tea) vowed to help me conquer this challenge. Let me make one thing clear I am not a tea phobic, I have drunk peppermint tea in hospital to try to stop Winnie from farting and spluttering and me burping like Homer Simpson after 20 doughnuts and a crate of Duff!! And some fruit teas – well kinda!! At home my tea bags linger at the back of the cupboard waiting in anticipation for a builder or electrician to be offered a sacred cup of my flats forbidden drink.

We ended up at the Mad Hatters Tea Room – which if you haven’t been – DO!!! It is Alice in Wonderland in a cafe, so pretty and slightly insane. While waiting for Becca I was literally perspiring (and not from the heat) from the array of different teas on offer at the cafe. I seriously thought there would have just been one type called TEA – but no there was about 10 different ones.

We sat down and Becca and the very nice waiter who was genuinely amused and I think a little concerned when he heard I had NEVER drunk a cup of tea….I think he genuinely thought I was a crazy person!!! He might have been a little freaked out!

I chose the Rose Petal Tea – which is described as “our own blend of black tea infused with the elegant scent and taste of whole dried rose petals” – mmm!!! the anticipation was very literally killing me!!

As we chatted the tea arrived….imagine my horror when it came in a very cute teapot with a strainer (which could have been from Mars by the way I looked at it) and a dainty flowery cup. I had been prepared for a cup of tea not to try to force down a who teapot!

Seriously, my friend had to explain what I had to do. I poured the tea through the strainer and took a sip…and you know what, it wasn’t that bad…I mean I wouldn’t rave about it and I’m not about to start inhaling tea through my sinuses but it was managable…and with us chatting and laughing I managed to rather enjoy the experience.

That was until I absent mindedly decided to pour myself another cup, and, yes you have guessed it, forgot to use the strainer! ROOKY mistake!! Then cause i was laughing so much and was so embarrassed (and this is someone who has told the whole world she has a bag of poo on her stomach) that I couldn’t bear to ask the waiter for a new cup, I precariously tried to pour the leaves back into the teapot…I did quite well but obviously made a mess!

The second cup reminded me why this was a challenge – It was like drinking acidic skunks piss – I struggled and politely smiled over the rim of the cup but I think it was obvious to the whole tea room, not just Becca, that this experience (the tea not the chatter I mean, to make that clear) was actually painful to me – I must have looked like I was constipated!!

I tried to make it nicer by adding a sugar cube – which I also admitted was a first, i don’t recall ever adding a sugar cube to anything (I’m actually starting to realise how sheltered my first 25 years have been!!) in my life. This was a BIG MISTAKE – it was REVOLTING – but in all fairness I managed half of the cup – forcing it down in pained gulps with a grimace which would probably have scared young children half to death.

SO I did it – mostly thanks to Becca. And I exceeded my own expectations by drinking 3/4 of a little teapot, far more than the cup that I had challenged myself to drink for this blog.

Horray one down 100 to go. Except Winnie is not enjoying the tea, it seems my choice gives acid reflex mmm lovely!! And I can feel an overdrive in the bag section stirring, thank god I am sleeping alone tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ I know too much info, but being blatantly honest I am a Coffee girl through and through – sorry guys tea just isn’t for me.

I hope the tea bags understand and don’t get upset, but I’m afraid you will be staying tucked away from the light of day along with the Five Spice I bought when I was going to make an exotic dish at uni but couldn’t be arsed and then my illness stopped me ever eating anything hotter than a sprinkle of pepper again, until a builder says yes to the worse cuppa he will ever drink in his life.

ONE DOWN 100 TO GO – WEDNESDAY is LIFE DRAWING – GOD HELP ME AND MY TEMPERAMENTAL OSTOMY BAG!!!