Over the last few years, I have been a regular inpatient at Bournemouth hospital. In 2016 I spent 7 months all together as an inpatient and last year I was admitted 6 times. Thankfully my admissions are reducing but I am prone to sepsis which can come out of the blue and involves a prompt visit to my local A&E and an admission.
Welcome to the second instalment of #UroStories Series. Chris' story last week went down really well and today I am excited to introduce a lovely lady Sue Cavanagh from Norfolk who will share her story. Take it away, Sue!
I am so excited that Steve and I can officially talk about this product. Steve trialled this last summer and loved it. He was then asked to do a testimonial video in October. He mentioned to the team that I wanted to trial the product, since I have a hernia and prolapse, and they sent some samples out to me in December. We were then asked if we wanted to do a lifestyle shoot in Gran Canaria about how we met, our story and the new product. The experience was amazing, we loved every minute of it and it was the first time we have been abroad since our surgery. Hopefully, the film will be out soon.
I am excited to announce the start of my #UroStories (Urostomy Stories). I have wanted to do this for such a long time and finally I have got round to it. I am so overwhelmed with the response to my post asking for urostomates to fill my questionnaire to be presented in this series. I had more than 56 people interested which means this series should last a year on a weekly basis every Monday.
The first person I would like to introduce is an awesome guy who is actually a Double Bagger called Chris Livett and he has just started a blog called 2bags-NoButt (loving the name). Chris is 41 years old and lives in Bebington, Wirral, so take it away Chris:
It is no secret that since July last year I have done a LOT of travelling. Mainly to see my lovely man Steve who lives in Birmingham but also for stoma-related events and work. Most of my travelling involves going on the train because I cannot drive but I remember for years I used to worry about having a leak and emptying my stomas using the train toilet. This held me back from travelling for a very long time but since the Purple Wings ball last July I have been gently pushed into travelling more.
It can be really nerve-wracking travelling by train for the first time after ostomy surgery. When I looked for specific articles about this I couldn’t find much, so I thought I would share 10 tips to make travelling by train with an ostomy a little bit easier.
This is my 3rd post for my monthly series #SelfHelpBookReview. I cannot believe it is March already. I am so glad I started this series because it is giving me the motivation to read again and to actually finish reading the books which I struggled with last year.
So for this month’s review, I have picked a controversial book: “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay.
I have always struggled with confidence, in particular, trusting my gut instinct and trusting decisions I have made. I can see how much this has held me back so on the 4th February 2018 I took part in a 30-day course called ‘Confidence for Success’ by the amazing life coach Emma Dawson.
Last year on Facebook Emma’s sponsored advertisement popped up on my page and I was intrigued. So I liked Emma’s Facebook Page and I joined her Facebook group "Bring Your Dreams to Life" I found the group was very inspiring and I loved Emma’s live chats. I quickly realised regarding my blog and the advocating I do that sometimes I lack confidence and doubt myself. When Emma advertised this course something spoke to me and I decided to enrol to build and nurture my confidence.
Last week I wrote a post about ‘Body Confidence with a Stoma' talking about my experience of this and sharing the results of the poll I produced a few weeks ago. 59% of the 260 ostomates that took part said they had low body confidence with their stoma. This surprised me so I thought I would write a post sharing some tips that helped me improve my body confidence.
I would like to say that this does not happen overnight and I had to actively work on this part of myself. I was fed up of hating my body and how this low self-esteem seeped into every area of my life. Self-esteem describes how we think and feel about ourselves, and usually refers to the value we place on ourselves as a person. Unpleasant or stressful experiences can lower our self-esteem and positive experiences and achievements can help improve it.
One of the biggest challenges new ostomates face after surgery is dealing with an altered body image that can affect your confidence.
Having an ostomy is life-changing surgery, however, it does not need to stop you from living your life. It takes time to adapt and adjust to your stoma and different ostomates will be at different stages in this process. Some may have accepted it straight away and continue doing what they did before surgery but others may take a little while to find their confidence to do the things they did before.
As part of my monthly #SelfHelpBookReview series for October, I have read ‘The Untethered Soul – The Journey Beyond Yourself’ by Micheal A. Singer
I had read great things about this book and I was curious to see if it was as good as I had heard. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed and it has definitely added to my understanding of spirituality.
On Monday 12th February I had to have a flexible sigmoidoscopy on my remaining rectum and sigmoid colon. To say I was nervous is a total understatement...I was petrified! I remember having this procedure done before my ileostomy about 7/8 years ago but this still felt like the 'unknown' to me. I thought I would share my experience of having a flexible sigmoidoscopy talking about the preparation and what happened on that day for anybody else who may be in a similar position and face their first 'scope' since their stoma.
This year my theme for 2018 was ‘Stepping out of my Comfort Zone’ and I have to say I have started this off in style!
Many of you may have seen over my social media platforms that on the 22nd January Steve and I flew out to Gran Canaria for 5 days doing a lifestyle video shoot with Coloplast (sorry to be super secretive but all will be revealed soon).
I am a big believer that the universe works in magnificent ways and things happen for a reason; let alone that people enter your life for a reason. I very much feel this way with Steve and that our stoma bags found us love, but also I needed this little push to step out of my comfort zone and finally go abroad again.
I originally wrote this for my website last year. However in aid of Rare Disease Day on the 28th February this year I have decided to post this on my blog. Since my stomas were not due to IBD or cancer; I often felt on the outskirts, alone and unwanted. That all changed when I found the online stoma community – a community that was warm and welcoming regardless of how I came to have Bob and Squirt.
Throughout my life I have been told that I am a bit airy-fairy very much skipping through life then...oh look it’s a unicorn.
I don’t always pay attention to my body which with 2 stomas and other complications can be problematic sometimes. On Tuesday 9th January I had no choice but to listen...my ileostomy had stopped working and the pain was out of this world.
For the last few months I have slowly been reading an awesome and inspiring book... 'It Takes Guts" by Evelyne Brink – a story of love, hope and a missing bowel. Before I start I would like to say thank you to my landlord's wife Alexandra for sending me this book and connecting me on this path with Evelyne and Tuffel :)
It never ceases to amaze me how the universe continues to work in mysterious ways. Never in a million years would I have ever taken part in a lingerie photo shoot before my ostomy surgeries. I just did not have the confidence in myself or my body to bare all even before I got ill.
I remember in school a girl in my year won a modelling competition and began to have a career in modelling, As a very geeky, lanky, braces and glasses kind of gal I secretly dreamed in another life (and another body) that I would have loved to have at least one opportunity to take part in a photo shoot and experience being a model for a day. However, I resigned early on that this would never be my path and I quickly forgot about that dream.
It is New Year's Eve and I thought I would reflect on 2017 and what it has brought me...
It is hard to put into words how much happier I have been compared to last year. 2016 was extremely difficult both mentally and physically and involved 7 months of the year as an inpatient in Bournemouth Hospital. Last year I roughly had 6 refashion surgeries (8 in a year and a half) for my prolapsed ileostomy that resulted in complications every time. I had sepsis numerous times as well with one time involving a cardiac arrest which added to my time in the hospital.
Hi, I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas!
I cannot believe that this time last year all this was a pipe dream and my blog wasn't even launched yet! So much has happened this year and I have met such awesome, inspiring people on my journey that I am proud to call my friends. A lot of these posts were inspired by you guys and by my own experiences so thank you for contributing :) I have always said If one person can find some identification and hope in my posts then I have done my job.
Hi everybody, I thought I would post a quick 'Merry Christmas' for everybody today before the mad rush over the weekend!
This time of year is the perfect time to reflect and show some appreciation. Christmas is a time of giving, I want to give my love to everyone and say I am truly grateful for all of my readers, family, and friends that have and continued to support me in my journey. Honestly, I could never have done this without you all.
The NHS was created on the 5th July 1948 out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. In many ways, it has been a victim of its own success. Improvements in treating disease and illnesses have helped to create an ageing population which means more people than ever need its services.
This, therefore, consequently has put the NHS in financial crisis and is under pressure to reduce its spending deficit by £30 billion in 2020 (NHS England 2014)
One of the areas that have been targeted to try and cut back spending are prescriptions.