Night out with my ostomy – tricky leaks, revolting loos and challenge number 30


It’s official…I just can’t party like I used to. I just don’t bounce back anymore. The days where I used to stay up all night bouncing around clubs, swigging back cocktails and playing drinking games before heading to lectures at 9am after a couple of hours kip then heading back out for another late-night session, are well and truly behind me.

First night out with the girls since op!

First night out with the girls since It’s official I’m getting old.

More than 48 hours have passed since I dragged myself into bed with tired eyes, tired feet and an even heavier head than usual after getting in from an awesome yet crazy night out with the girls, and I still feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. I just don’t seem to recover the way I used to, which would be fine, but I really didn’t drink nearly enough to warrant this kind of three-day hangover. And to make matters even worse Winnie (my stoma) has decided that she officially hates me (I think it has to do with all the dancing, sugar and possibly lifting my mates off the slippy dance floor) so much that she keeps having sneaky leaks totally ruining any clothing, bedding or flooring that is unfortunate enough to be close by at the time.

Saturday night was Rhian’s 30th birthday bash. And what a bash it was. Chips and champers at my old house (Ri and me lived together) before getting into a massive limo, which just needed P Diddy dressed in a fur coat to make it into pimp my ride, and heading for a night out in Liverpool. This was my first big night out since my op, and I was excited and I have to admit rather frightened by the prospect of subjecting Winnie (who has been leaking a lot recently) to heaving crowds of drunks, dirty toilets in clubs and my insane style of dancing. As we climbed into the limo I fell back into clutching my stomach protectively, as if trying to shield Winnie from any dangers the outside world might present, because you never know when someone’s going to charge at you or punch you in the stomach right?

A NIGHT OUT IN LIVERPOOL IS PART OF CHALLENGE #NO 30 – the VERDICT…AWESOME, BUSY, LOTS OF VARIETY, BUT NOT AS GOOD AS NEWCASTLE AND APPALLED THAT THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TOILETS AFTER 2AM (well not where we where, before my op – with IBD – this would have ruined my evening) 

PIMP MY RIDE!! I don't always travel in this much style btw

PIMP MY RIDE!! I don’t always travel in this much style btw

At start of evening I couldn’t keep my hand away from Winnie. As the crowds got bigger and the people around me got drunker and drunker, with crowds of girls tottering in their sky-high heels, I became more and more anxious about Winnie getting hurt. I could just imagine me flat-out on the floor, with some drunkard sprawled across me, legs flailing everywhere, with all their weight squashing Winnie into the dance floor. I could also imagine the inevitable trip to Liverpool’s A&E department, and I have to say I was determined not to add it to my list of A&E’s I have visited.

I'll have a water, waiting for the limo

I’ll have a water, waiting for the limo

Having had some champers in the house and limo when we got to Liverpool I decided to grab my second glass of water for the evening. The bar tender looked at me like I’d walked into his club, squatted down and done a number 2 on the floor when I asked him for the free shot we had been promised by the scouts outside with a glass of water. He looked revolted. How dare someone ask for H2O – I honestly thought he was going to jump on the bar and start shouting H20 HELL NO again and again Cayote Ugly style. He responded by telling me that you had to buy a drink to get the shot, but something about the look on my face must have shushed him into submission, and he handed me a tap of the worst tasting tap water I have ever drunk.

While the others drank and danced I weaved my way through packed crowds shielding Winnie with my hand of steel in search of the toilets so that I could check that she was behaving herself. It was only about 10.30pm and the scene in the toilets could only be described as carnage. The toilets were so poorly lit it was like trying to check my bag in a power cut. But even the bad lighting couldn’t disguise how revolting the place was. I don’t know what had been going on in those toilets, but it was like a chimp had gone mental throwing toilet roll all over the place, leaving used tampons, tissues and god knows what else strewn all over the floor. The result of this disgusting childishness was that although Winnie was full there was NO toilet roll in site, so despite the slight leakage and the impending explosion there was no way I could change her, and even if there had been, with the piss on the floor and disgustingness all around me there was NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I was about to play around with an open wound and a protruding organ in this loo…that was unless I wanted to end up in hospital on a drip for the rest of my Summer. Instead I fumbled around in the dark, using parts of a spare wound dressing to secure the edge of my bag, while drunk women banged on the door and shouted for me to hurry up…ARGH!! (I felt a little bit like a Blue Peter presenter making Tracy Island out of sticky back tape and toilet rolls, but under a lot more pressure).

Some of the night's shenanigans

Some of the night’s shenanigans

I have to say that I was amazed that after that hasty patch-up job my bag survived the night, but it did. And the toilet situation improved. Luckily the rest of the club’s had those women in who try to sell you lollipops and squirts of perfume. Yes, they annoyingly shout unintelligible things like market stall traders while your on the loo, making me jump while I was trying to empty my ostomy bag, but at least they keep the toilets clean and make sure there is an endless supply of loo roll – so I worship them!

The rest of the evening saw me advance from tentative shuffling to full on dancing the night away. Ok I restrained myself from doing any ‘how low can you go’ or the bumping and grinding some of the people in the club were doing for fear of having a massive hernia, but I got involved. I also spent a lot of the time searching for members of our party who just didn’t want to stay in the club, and picking my mates up off the dance floor, which quickly became a health and safety hazard…think skid pan covered in alcohol verses six-inch high heels.

I didn’t get in until around 4.30am after standing in the roughest taxi queues in the world in Chester. I know Chester. I’ve stood in some rough queues but this was dreadful, I find it hard to entertain extremely drunk people most of the time, but when it’s 4am and you’re stone cold sober and your bones hurt you’re so tired…let’s just say I was a little irritable, and that there was no better feeling than kicking off my high-heels and crawling into my trusty bed – that was until my feet cramped up into claws!!

The morning after the night before - urgh

The morning after the night before – urgh

I had a heck of a good time, and it was amazing to spend time with one of my bestest mates in the whole world, who has helped me through so much with this god awful illness over the years…but I am paying for it. Two days after the night out my stomach still feels like its been butted by a bull, which might have something to do with the dancing, but I think is mostly from the effort of picking people up off the floor. Winnie is in overdrive, and because I’ve only got small bags she keeps catching me by surprise and very sneakily destroying any underwear, bedding, flooring that might be near her when she decided to have a minor explosion. I don’t know why it’s happening, but she is really not very happy at all, and in turn it is making my skin and me fairly unhappy.

So I have no energy, an overproductive ostomy, and feet like claws. But was it worth it? Hell YEH!!!

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The great ‘stoma’ escape & the never ending leak


This morning Winnie (my temperamental stoma) decided she’d had enough of being

My new padding for ileostomy scar lasted the whole of five hours before falling off

My new padding for ileostomy scar lasted the whole of five hours before falling off

covered up and trapped in her bag and decided to make a break for freedom. At the time I was happily soaping up in the shower, desperately trying to avoid the red raw skin which surrounds my ileostomy op scar and mucus fistula bag, but none the less enjoying the refreshing feeling of washing off the night’s grime in a nice warm shower.In my slightly hungover haze (a few glasses of wine at Andy’s neighbour’s) I was blissfully unaware  that as the hot water poured down over my ostomy bag the flange (horrid word) was gradually breaking away from my skin.

Suddenly all I felt was this heavy feeling and then the bag starting to peel away from my skin. Water poured onto my stoma, who out of fright of the weight, warmth and speed of the water, started to shrink inwards in the fashion of a startled turtle popping its head back into its shell, while I scrambled to hold onto the ostomy bag which was rapidly filling with water and becoming heavier and more water-logged with every passing second.

It was the most stressful shower I have ever experienced. Ok, that’s if you don’t count the handful of showers (if you can call them that) I was subjected to in the days following my ileostomy operation, where I was dragged to the assisted bathroom by a poor and unsuspecting student nurse before being pretty much physically forced to strip down to my birthday suit, before being popped on a plastic garden chair and hosed down at arm’s length. This would be the first time someone other than my nurse or surgeon saw my ostomy bag. To say I felt humiliated as the rather young and pretty nurse soaped my back and gave me shower gel for my ‘intimate’ parts while she prattled on about reality tv and student housing in an attempt to put both me and her at ease would be a severe understatement…I think the word traumatised is more fitting. 

Red raw skin halfway through dressing emergency after leak

Red raw skin halfway through dressing emergency after leak

I don’t think I will forget the poor shaking nurse who was made to take on this task on her face day on-the-job. As she helped me remove my hospital gown (that I was still in even though it was days after the operation) and revealed my bony skeleton, which was scarred like a drug addict from the amount of nurses and doctors who had taken my exhausted state as an opportunity to use me as a human pin cushion, I saw her face actually freeze into a transfixed look of horror and disgust. I was actually appalled for her, it was like I’d witnessed the moment that she realised she would have to do this to other people (both older, wrinklier, and with various scars and bits of machinery and stomas hanging out of them) for the rest of her life, and she’d just realised that this wasn’t what she’d signed up for. But her fleeting revulsion aside, she handled the situation miraculously well and she managed to do a really good job in the end washing away days of blood, dirt and god knows what else…and surprisingly she quickly became my favourite nurse and I like to think I became her favourite patient, as we shared stories of student days and nights out in Chester.  

I have to admit that I had a feeling Winnie was going to try to make a bid for freedom today. To date she has had several failed escape attempts, which have been foiled at the last second by myself, who acting like a watchful prison guard has spotted every attempt Winnie has made to scale her prison cell at the very last second almost by chance as my inner warning alarm has triggered and I have checked on my bag just as the adhesive has started to break free. This hasn’t meant that she hasn’t enjoyed a few leaks. In fact over the past couple of days there have been more leaks than I have cared to keep count of. So far I have mostly been lucky and these have happened in the safety of my own home where I have enjoyed the liberty of having my changes and supplies as well as my own clean bathroom to plug the cheeky rascal before things have got out of hand. I like to think that I’m handling it well but to tell you the truth I’m living in constant fear of my first public leak and for that reason I am avoiding white clothing or (I know this is going a bit too far) standing on white carpets for fear of a poo related incident. 

Having a lovely time out with boyfriend unaware of impending leak

Having a lovely time out with boyfriend unaware of impending leak

The reason for these leaks, which seem to come at least twice a day, appears to be that the flange puckers every single time I try to sit down, crouch, cross my legs. You see my skin is now so raw – as my picky body has an allergic reaction to each and every ostomy product going – it looks like I have set fire to it and let it burn off (my stoma nurse says I look like a burn victim) and the bags are simply refusing to stick to the shiny surface. I’ve tried different makes of bags; bags infused with honey, seaweed; bags which are like sink plungers sucking on your skin; small bags; big bags, but nothing will stay on for more than a few hours, or will stay only if I use meters of tape in an attempt to secure the gaps, but either way the poo will gradually make its way through anything I try to put in its way. And if it’s not the bag it’s the wound dressing leaking, or the fistula bag exploding as it fills up with water in the shower. 

To tell you the truth I’m sick of it all. My skin is so itchy from leaks and allergic reactions I must look like a withdrawing crack addict as I lie in bed holding my hands inches from my chest willing myself not to itch. I feel like taping oven mitts to my hands to stop myself having a cheeky scratch, as I know if I start I won’t stop until I’ve scratched away my whole stomach and look like something from Alien. In fact when the nurse was wrapping my wound up in swathes of bandages, leaving me looking like Michelin Man, she commented on the way my feet twitched uncontrollably as my body fought the overwhelming instinct to scratch scratch scratch. 

So if any of you out there have any advice at all please please please comment below. I really need help before I give into the devil sitting on my shoulder who is constantly waving his pitch fork and whispering “come on…itch it…go on, you know you want to!” HELP!!!

Adventure holiday drama and a very unexpected birthday present


I’m back in one piece!! I know it’s a miracle but I have officially made it home from my

Caution squirrels me and Winnie are loose

Caution squirrels me and Winnie are loose

girly adventure holiday without any injuries, scrapes or even bumps. Even Winnie, despite threatening to kick off constantly, was extremely well-behaved and didn’t even kick off when I managed to swallow a few pieces of sweetcorn by mistake while trying to fish them all out of a very ill-chosen salad.

Ok, so maybe that’s not true…let’s just say that’s what I would have liked to have written at the start of this blog. What I’m missing out is that me and my friends raced back from our trip to Centre Parcs after two rather frightening metal looking hoops burst through the opening of my fistula, causing me to suffer a major breakdown and sway in and out of consciousness as I tried determine what weird and wonderful surgical piece of equipment the surgeons had left in my body was trying to break its way out by bursting out of my skin.

ME in A&E unhappily waiting to find out what is sticking out of fistula

ME in A&E unhappily waiting to find out what is sticking out of fistula

The trip – which had been filled with fun, laughter, adventure and gossip, and seen me sweating like a pig as I furiously pedaled up steep hills determined to get to the top despite my ostomy bag hitting my legs (my bike was a little too small) and shouting back at my mate who had given up and got off to walk “beaten by a post-op patient” (which I’ve just realised made me sound like I’d just had sex change surgery) – ended with me dressed in a rather trendy hospital gown, demanding IV paracetamol and shaking with fright and pain as I was systematically ignored by everyone in A&E despite the very real fear that whatever the ‘wires’ were could have perforated my remaining (and potentially healthy) bowel.

It actually took four hours for anyone to ask to look at my abdomen, and when they did they could see exactly what I had been trying to tell them for the past few hours (in between falling in and out of consciousness) – and they quickly admitted I did indeed have some sort of foreign object sticking out of my stomach. I felt like saying NEVER!!! In fact the nervous junior doctor who eventually plucked-up enough courage to ask me to lift up my gown (ohh la la) and take a look, struggled to see the metal glinting under my fistula bag, but when he did see it he seemed shocked, before admitting he “didn’t know what he was doing” (a worrying yet refreshingly honest attitude) and ambling off to get someone else who I trusted and recognised to have a good poke around.

So after four hours of stressing out, pain and worrying in A&E, the surgical nurse at last

EWH very red skin and you can just about see the loop at the bottom of the pic

EWH very red skin and you can just about see the loop at the bottom of the pic

took to my stomach with a pair of scissors and snipped away at the loops (which had got even bigger in the time I had been waiting). This was uncomfortable, but by no means painful, but I am ashamed to admit that I caused a bit of a fuss, firstly, rather childishly telling him NOT TO TOUCH ME, but then, after a reassuring explanation that he wasn’t about to pull meters of this stuff out of my body, I gave in , screwed up my eyes and let him get to work trimming my wires! It took him the whole of five seconds, and when they were taken out I took a look at what he had removed, and they were really long pieces of plastic – no wonder I had been in so much pain.

Anyway to get the record straight I had it explained to me that this was not a surgical error, I was not seeing bits of plastic the surgeons had absent-mindedly left in my body following the operation as they rushed to get to the pub on time. These were stitches which had been used to pin down my remaining colon (or rectal stump) which broke away months ago as my colon went crashing through my stomach wall (creating Oscar) and had been trying to work their way out of my body for God knows how long. The stitches were meant to dissolve naturally but, well, had been being stubborn and had decided not to! Instead, my body’s typically dramatic fashion, they decided to burst out of stomach, causing me to dissolve into a blithering wreck of panic as my mind tried to comprehend the possibility of further surgery.

She's got wires coming out of her skin

Well it seems this is all fairly normal following a massive operation like this, but how was I to know that? No one had warned me this might happen. Just like no one warned me that my stitches might burst sending mucus gushing out of my stomach. No one warned me, so when I woke up that morning and spotted the very sturdy and alien loops protruding out of my fistula I thought something had gone massively wrong and that I was going to die! So it was panic stations all round….all I can say is it is a good job we were leaving Centre Parcs that day and this ridiculous complication didn’t cut our girly holiday short.

Just a shame it had to happen on one of my best friend’s birthdays.

Picture this…you’re having a lovely lie in on the morning of your birthday. So far you have had a fun but exhausting weekend, raft building, cycling and playing board games. And last night you spent playing shrades and opening presents from your friends in the chalet in the middle of the forest, before tumbling into bed in the early hours of the morning. Next thing you know a crazy-haired person dressed in a towel shakes you from your sleep, tears pouring down her face, saying “something’s wrong, something’s wrong”. Before proceeding to flash her boobs at you, while showing you a red raw surgery scar and a fistula, making you peer into the gooey mess to confirm there is indeed part of a builders work yard sticking out of her stomach, and that she isn’t going insane – NOT THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT I’VE EVER GIVEN SOMEONE.

Hats off to my friend, she stayed incredibly calm. She even managed to calm me down

Measuring myself at Centre Parcs

Measuring myself at Centre Parcs

enough to ring everyone that needed ringing (hospital, boyfriend, parents etc) and get the whole chalet packed up and ready to go. Before I told her I remember standing in the bathroom on the verge of a complete emotional breakdown trying to figure out what to do. I needed help, but who to ask. I didn’t want to wake her as it was her birthday, but the other person I thought of telling was all the way upstairs and I didn’t know her as well as I did my best friend. I honestly considered not saying anything, until I mistakenly knocked the wires as I pulled up the towel sending shooting pain through my abdomen and almost knocking myself to the ground as pain and nausea took over.

The journey home was a mishmash of memories, laughter and trying not to fall asleep. I was, and I think the people in the car were too, totally petrified that this could be something serious. I was honestly thanking my lucky stars that I had enjoyed myself, cycling, gossiping and even drinking a few glasses of wine, before I would be imprisoned back in the hospital. During the car journey back I had to stop myself from blubbering and shouting as the very real possibility that I would once again be back under the surgeon’s knife and confined to a hospital bed for another month or so flashed into my mind. I tried not to let it show (but I think it was totally obvious) that I was totally petrified.

Today I feel exhausted yet happy. Home from A&E and unpacked from my trip all I can think is how lucky I was to have someone so calm to help me in my moment of need. Just the day before one of our other friends had managed to miss a step in the apartment and sprain her ankle – this was after avoiding any injury whatsoever whilst swimming through a lake filled with waist-high weeds while trying to beat a family to build and race the best raft – and she, once again, was a picture of calm amongst chaos and confusion.

I just hope I didn’t ruin her birthday, but, I guess, it’s not one she’s ever likely to forget.

The girls raft building

The girls raft building

The holiday itself was just what I needed. Ok, it was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me, seeing me squealing with excitement as we got nearer the holiday resort in the car, then sobbing in the supermarket as the pain and fatigue from the car journey kicked-in, then excitedly racing around the forest on my bike before having a nervous break-down in the bathroom of a restaurant as my crab salad reappeared in the toilet bowl, appearing to multiply in the process. I’m not entirely sure why I felt so happy one minute and then so gutted and down-in-the-dumps the next. I think I found it hard to stand and watch while the others swam, went on water slides and raced around building rafts while I sat at the side holding keys and inhalers and proudly taking photos like a mum waiting for her kids at Alton Towers. I think it upset me that I couldn’t fully join in with the activities due to my never-ending open wound and fistula, which I was told by the surgeon that I mustn’t submerge in water. I think I was envious of the swimming costumes and bikinis and the never-ending bottom-less stomachs of my mates, who seemed to be able to eat and eat and eat, unlike myself who was sick the moment I ate more than two marshmallows after tea.

First day...drying feet after not going in the pool!!!

First day…drying feet after not going in the pool!!!

I’m painting a negative image of this aren’t I…I’m just trying to be honest. But these moments where fleeting compared to how happy I felt for the majority of the trip. I loved the feeling of total freedom as I free wheeled down steep hills ringing my bell to get pedestrians to move out-of-the-way, dressing in our onsies and playing board games into the early hours of the morning, and simply being around other people and having a truly amazing time while not feeling like ‘the ill person’ all the time.

I do think, however, that I need to go back to work pretty sharpish. At the moment all I have to talk about is me and Winnie… which I’m sure is fine for a little while, but no doubt it has to get boring pretty quickly.

Oh, and did I mention I wore a ONSIE in front of everyone!!! So that’s another challenge done and dusted!!! It was the comfiest thing ever, however a warning to everyone, DO NOT FALL ASLEEP IN ONE, you will boil to death!!!

In our onsies - challenge complete

In our onsies – challenge complete

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


So I’m exhausted today 😦 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 🙂 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 have 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 🙂 – me man, me fire, me meat, me burn – 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 🙂

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 Sauvignon Blanc – 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 😦 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 – it must have been a real special moment to wakeup next to me that day – 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!!!

£5 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,  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 – and it was the most expensive medicine I ever had costing me £5 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 – 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 🙂 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 – I mean it’s draining emotionally as well as physically – 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 – 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!!!