Can fashion and comfort combine for ostomates?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been quite brave with dresses since getting Tomas but I am always checking and patting that area. I suppose I feel blessed with having an ” outie” for a stoma in that my peristomal skin is reasonably good, but the downside is that you can see the telltale lump under my clothes ( or maybe I can but others can’t, but I think they can)

There are many people asking what they can wear that is not just baggy trousers and saggy tops, so I am going to find out. I already have a page about the subject  HOW TO FEEL GOOD IN CLOTHES

But this is how I feel, and not necessarily how everyone feels.  I now think I need to look into this subject a bit more. Many ostomates feel self conscious when going out for a posh night out in their glad rags, and we check ourselves in the mirror at every angle, but of course we all know that our silhouette can change during the night, so a flimsy wispy dress is a no no for many but the very daring.

There are some wonderful lingerie and underwear now for ostomates, some are very well known now and do well, for example VANILLA BLUSH 

(I have noticed that Vanilla Flush do a lovely lounge wear bottoms and I am a bit tempted to get them, and they are also available for men)

But I would love to see more clothing lines. I know that a lot of high street clothing can be worn by us but it would be nice to see things such as body con dresses and jumpsuits that are made with us in mind. Most jumpsuits show the outline of the bag or if you wear a band, you can see that through the material. The materiel needs to be thicker but still lightweight . Same for tight ish dresses. I wear high waisted jeans that are as soft as possible but must admit that the band can still drag my bag downwards, which is uncomfortable and leads to itching. I usually end up with leggings because they are the most comfortable thing I own. Crossover tops/ dresses, belts and patterns all help to hide lumps and bumps that we don’t want on show.

The good news is that the ideas are starting. I went to the Purple Wings charity ball and conference this year and there was a new product there, that was exciting.

I AM DENIM is the new jean for ostomates. They are low cut but have a waistband that hides everything else, wonderful. Just the fact that there are people out there that care and are willing to design and try warms my heart. They are dearer that the average pair of jeans but the way they are made and the added benefits mean that the production costs , I expect, are more.

But that can’t be it can it? well I have been scanning the world wide web and found some fairly obscure companies that seem to think we all want high  waisted  elastic polyester trousers and old fashioned knitted tops, or underwear ( not knitted underwear ) and we are all over 70yrs old ,hmmmm it all seems like hard work. As a rule I think we can wear most things but I have definitely tried on a few things and been very disappointed. Not sure what the answer is, just to find what works for us all I suppose. We all assume our bags can be seen, but in reality is it just our insecurities ?

We need more designers so if any of the clothing companies are reading this, you have a niche market waiting…………….

If anyone has any useful information regarding clothing, not necessarily made for ostomates, but maybe an item of clothing that has made them feel fabulous, let me know and I will add it to my page. Does it camouflage the outline? Is it comfortable? Is it patterned or plain?

A stoma’s life by Tomas the stoma

I woke up on a human

She didn’t seem that pleased

I caused her lots of problems

Especially when she sneezed.

I showed her my annoyance

That I was also taken from

The place that I was happy

Connected to her bum.

 

We decided on a truce from then

We would both do our bit,

She would do the cleaning

And I would do the shit.

 

 

She cleans me very carefully

With different creams and sprays

If she does it properly

My bag will last for days.

I can’t help being naughty though

Especially when she sleeps

I will fill the bag with lots of crap

And that is when it seeps.

 

She jumps up out of bed and shouts

“You’re such a bleep bleep bleep,

You have done this once too often

And disturbed my beauty sleep”

I decided to be nice for once

And stopped my messy play,

I was very tired myself of course

I’d had a busy day.

 

She eats things that turn runny

And things that can be red

She eats things that are smelly

And wonders why I shit the bed.

 

There are times though , that she likes me

When I act all sweet and cute

She will let me in the shower

In nothing but my birthday suit.

I relish in the freedom

I love the clean fresh smell,

The foamy soft light bubbles

Make me poo and fart so well.

 

I know she doesn’t mind this

As long as I keep it zipped

When she steps outside the shower

I am meant to stay tight lipped

No pooping on the towel

No pooping on the floor,

I’m to keep my side of the bargain

And not spray up the door.

 

Then she will keep me in the open

And let me play outside,

While she finishes her ablutions

I stay quiet on her side.

Just when she thinks she’s done it

And got me under some restrain,

I do what I do best of course

And we fall out once again.

 

 

Trying to control high anxiety-#WorldOstomyDay2018

It is #WorldOstomyDay so I thought I would write about something that affects many IBD and stoma patients, which is anxiety and / or depresssion. It is a taboo subject that needs more exposure so instead of telling my stoma story I thought I would share this important message instead.

 

Knowing you are booked in for surgery is a scary time, no matter what surgery or how many you have had previously. The nearer it gets, the more nervous I am. I have had other scarier surgeries where I was extremely ill, but it doesn’t matter, to me this next one is just the same. One of my worries about surgery is getting through the anaesthetic, I always think that maybe I have developed a heart complaint since last time and I might not make it. I know it is probably irrational ( notice I say probably, another one of my things is if I think it will go ok , I jinx it) It doesn’t matter that I have a pre op, that just makes me think they missed something.

 

I have high anxiety levels, when I had counselling they said it was very high. I have lived with anxiety for years and had panic attacks if I was in a situation my mind couldn’t cope with. Luckily with meds the panic attacks are much less severe ( I used to actually be sick and that caused more panic when I was going anywhere in case I was sick). This seemed to all start when the ulcerative colitis started, I would panic incase I needed the toilet when out, or if I started with a flare I would worry how ill I could become, as my first few flares were terrible and I was in hospital for ages, and being in my early twenties and never having been in a hospital before, I found it very overwhelming and scary. I thought I would die. They didn’t know what was wrong for a while and it was awful, so I am sure that is why I became the way I did. It ended up that if I was going anywhere away from my normal life, the panic would set it. I went to see We Will Rock You in London with some friends and remember sitting there in this big theatre feeling very sick indeed and looking around searching for toilets. I got through the first half but in the interval we all went outside for a drink and a break, I just burst out crying saying I couldn’t go back inside the theatre bit. I insisted I would be ok in the bar on my own and waited there for them. I rang my sister and told her what was happening . She wanted to come and fetch me ( she lived in London at the time) but I decided not to as my stuff was at the hotel. It was weird that I felt slightly safer in a very quiet bar than go back into that theatre again.

The panic feeling lasted all through the night and all the next day, and it wasn’t until I got home that I felt better. This has happened to me many times and I would even turn down some invites away because I just couldn’t control the attacks.

I remember taking a plastic bag out with me on the simplest of nights out, just in case, and the counsellor said I was using it as a crutch and I needed to stop taking one out otherwise I wouldn’t get better. I totally understood the reasoning and gradually, along with meds ( although I think the meds did most of it) I improved dramatically. The only problem is I don’t ever want to come off them incase it returns, a vicious cycle. I have had to increase them occasionally since my initial surgery as depression sneaked in and I went through a very dark time in the hospital. You can feel yourself slipping, I have never had it before but you can feel it coming like a dark cloud and don’t know how to stop it. I couldn’t stop crying either and I wasn’t the only one on the ward to feel like this at times. I am glad that I am ok now, and I understand how easily depression takes over. It doesn’t make you a weak person, it means you are going through something that you need help with at that time.

The kind of surgery that I have had is traumatic and has big implications on body image, anyone who has had a major surgery, especially one where your body has been altered ( and I don’t mean cosmetic ) is a candidate for mental health issues and needs all the support they can get. I do think that we should get some form of counselling BEFORE the surgery and after. I know if it is an emergency then that can’t happen, but in my case I was an emergency, but knew stoma surgery could be a possibility the weeks leading up to it, and the doctor must have known that too, but it ended up being a very quick chat with a stoma nurse whilst I was on the ward ready for surgery the next morning

These are life changing surgeries and more pre care needs to be done to help patients come to terms with what will happen to them.  I also feel that having IBD is life changing and more needs to be done to support those with these hideous diseases. I have been there and it’s not pretty. Helping the patients make the decision for stoma surgery is a must, you really don’t know if you are making the right choice to have one or not. If you had asked me if I would have had surgery sooner, the answer is a resounding “YES”. I was left to become so ill that the surgery became an emergency and the decision was taken from me.

 

The colorectal nurse, a rare breed indeed, National Nurses Week

Seeing as it is National Nurses Week I decided to write a post about the amazing colorectal nurses who cared for me for many many weeks on the colorectal ward E14 at the Queens Medical centre, Nottingham.

#ThisNurse

They were all totally awesome and caring but a few of them went above and beyond. One nurse in particular was so kind all the time but I remember if I was upset which was often, and she was on duty, she would come and kiss my forehead. This was such a nice gesture that I would like to thank her for making me feel so cared for. She had the softest lips too so it really made you feel better. ( it probably sounds more weird than it actually was lol).

They would help me with my depression and chat to me when possible. They clubbed together and bought me a cuddly toy and a card for mine and my husbands anniversary, as I was very poorly on that day. If they saw me walking only a few yards, they would make me feel like I had walked a mile. The sisters on the ward were not like Hattie Jacques as you would imagine, but lovely knowledgable people who knew when I  needed to do certain things even if I really couldn’t face it, to letting me off now and again when I was at my worst.

I remember my appetite was non existent for many weeks and I was so scared of not ever getting it back, my family would be worried and try and force me to eat more which of course didn’t work. The nurses would tell me that if I only ate a very small amount, it would be helping and try not to worry about it, that it would improve over time. The more I stress about it the worse it would be, so I tried not to worry, as it happens I did need to be NG tube fed eventually, but the nurses were always calm so they helped in many ways over the food issue. Of course ,they were right and my appetite eventually returned with a vengeance.

They cleaned and packed my wounds daily, gently and caring. They washed me and changed my soiled clothes, never making me feel like I was to blame.

They spent time with me, time they didn’t really have.

Considering their job work load and the type of ward they work on ( all poo and bowels) they are angels. They care for some of the most ill patients as their chosen field,  in colorectal, they have to be a special person to choose that calling.

From the healthcare workers to the sisters, you are one in a million.

You are never “Just a nurse”

 

Surgery next week eek eek

Surgery for the perineal sinus is nearly here. Am slightly apprehensive but more excited to get it done. It has been such a long wait ( over a year) that I can hardly remember using knickers without having to use pads. I will then have a month before I go away with the girl friends. I know these sinus tracts can come back and I shall just have to be super confident that mine won’t,  I don’t relish the flap surgery but will still have that over the leaking any day of the week. The surgeon will open up the proctectomy scar and perform a sinus excision and will also explore the area for other issues that may be there, such as suspected fistula and also a cyst, the cyst showed up on the MRI, I will then be sewn shut again as before.

I had my pre op last week which seemed to go ok, they checked my heart and lungs, and asked lots of questions then did a blood test, which I haven’t heard anything so assume it was ok. I am a born worrier though and have had a cough and allergy symptoms for months, but the GP assures me it’s chronic sinusitis so I will have to stop thinking I have every other disease known to man. Fingers crossed I don’t get cancelled.

I have been on a diet and resumed low level keep fit ( 10 minutes most days on a rower, I know its not much but it is something lol) I haven’t had chocolate, cakes etc for ages and cannot quite believe it as I am a known chocaholic and lazy bugger. I am hoping it will help me survive general anaesthetic ( I am also a tiny bit hypochondriac when it comes to being put to sleep ).

Not looking forward to getting up at the crack of dawn either, there for 7am ?????.

I am an inpatient but unsure how long for , but hoping it is ward E14 because they are lovely , and know me from my long stay previously so will be great to see them, then it’s home to recover ( on my side 😉  )

Not all stomas look the same- not all scars are the same-not all stories are the same.

WARNING PHOTOS OF SCARS, STOMAS, AND WOUNDS

 

I decided to ask my lovely stoma people if anyone would be willing to show their stomas or reversal/ surgery scars on a blog page, so that I could show that no two stomas are the same and that not all scars are the same either. Many people who have had this type of surgery worry that something is wrong when they see a picture of a stoma, and theirs is not the same.

I felt the same when I was shown a booklet the day before surgery that showed a cute little rosebud stoma on a perfectly clear tummy. This was one of the images.

In reality it is nothing like this. There may be a few lucky people with one similar but I have yet to meet one. The nearest I have come across and I might say, very jealous of, is this one…

How neat is that? unfortunately for this lovely lady, she eventually had to have a different kind of stoma, a loop ileostomy which is a “Demon” she said. Her scar healed well.

This lady had an original ileostomy that was very sore as it dipped into the skin, but had a new one placed which is much better. One that dips or is flush with the skin can cause major skin irritation and is very difficult to treat.

This selection was from someone who had a bowel resection in the beginning, theses are the scars, then a stoma. Her scar healed really well.

This following image is of a stoma, but also a fistula where they were not able to close the incision. This person will be having surgery in April to close the fistula and have a reversal , so no more stoma.

The following selection is from a woman’s first stoma which was a loop ileostomy. When this was taken down it was by the drawstring method and then the resulting scar which I think is very neat. The patient then had a j pouch but eventually that failed, so she had a new ileostomy which was very recessed and eventually was taken down again and the j pouch revised.

A stoma now, that has a scar next to it from repeated peristomal abscess / ulcer. It just goes to show that not all scars are the same.

Again a wound that is dressed, caused by an abscess due to hidradentis supparativa ( I had never heard of it either, its an auto immune disease that causes abscesses mainly on and under the breasts, under arm and groin ). With scar running down the middle from ileo surgery.

When they did the barbie butt surgery with this next patient they opened up the original abdomen scar.

The following few pictures are of an end ileostomy and a scar from a mucus fistula on the right . ( where the end of the rectum that has been kept and bought through the abdomen so that the mucus can be collected into a smaller pouch whilst it heals.) The rectum still produces mucus fluids even though it isn’t connected to anything.

A Crohns patient had a temporary ileostomy formed and a loop colostomy made permanent. this a scar that is only three weeks old.

All these lovely people were happy to help me raise awareness of all things stoma, and are very brave with their stories. For most of them, this has been a difficult time with many hurdles, but they have all come through in the end.

Thank you to each one of you who were kind enough to share their surgeries with us.

 

 

 

Still waiting………….What has happened to our NHS?

 

Ok, so over a year ago I had my bottom removed, my rectum and anus to be exact, and sewn shut. I thought ” Great I can start to recover and get on with my life”, how wrong was I.

A month or so later I noticed some fluid coming out of the wound. I got my poor husband to take a look ( he gets all the good jobs) and low and behold I have a neat little hole. I went to see my GP who took a swab and said I had an infection. I was given antibiotics and things improved for about three days. It came back with a vengeance. I was due to see my surgeon anyway and he said it was a sinus tract. He wanted to leave it for a bit as they can sometimes heal themselves. A few months later I was still in distress with the fluid and pus coming out so my surgeon said he would do an MRI to see the wound and how the sinus was situated inside. I again has to wait a few months for the MRI and again to see the surgeon for the results.

The result was that the sinus seemed to have a cyst at the top near the bottom of my spine and he wasn’t sure if it was connected to the sinus. He needed to ask some colleagues opinion and get back to me. The surgery would either be a simple laying open of the sinus tract which can sometimes return though, or a bigger operation to fill in the dead space left in my pelvis which is causing the leakage and some sort of flap surgery where a plastic surgeon would be involved.

I waited more weeks and rang a few times for an update. Eventually the secretary said he wanted to see me in clinic again to discuss. I then had to wait a few months for that appointment which was just over a year later from the proctectomy in which I have this continuous leak with discomfort and often leakage through clothes. It has been a complete nightmare especially when I am out of the house either socialising or at work. I have leaked bloody fluid at a party and my wonderful friends had to strip me in the toilet and rinse my clothes and dry it under a hand dryer. I was close to going home but didn’t. I leaked at a restaurant on holiday in Spain and leaked through my shorts, and again needed help to tidy myself up. This is all with panty liners on too. What is going on here? because I am now a minor surgery in comparison I am deemed well enough to suffer. I now sometimes wear “nappy” pants which is demoralising enough. I get through lots of panty liners which is costing me money as I have not been offered an alternative.

Yes this is a moaning blog post, I feel I have to moan to keep sane. People need to see what is happening to their neighbours, friends and family.

I don’t blame the NHS per say, I blame the government for allowing this to happen. My surgeon is so busy that he is back logged with surgeries. The 18 week NHS deadline is a farce. What happens when you are not seen within the deadline ? nothing at all. I can’t afford to be off work because I need those weeks to recover from surgery. I pick up every bug going because I have the sinus and it is tiring. I have very low Vitamin D and borderline iron deficiency, which I am convinced will improve once I am done with surgeries.

I feel left in limbo for a year with no date yet for my surgery, I am struggling to cope with it all now and can’t plan my life. I have made the mistake of believing the NHS dateline and booked an paid for a holiday with my friends in plenty of time to recover, or so I thought….. alas it looks like I might not make the holiday after all. I can see my beloved NHS taking a turn for the worse this time, and it truly breaks my heart.

I was in this predicament in the first place because there were no beds, and I was pushed to one side. It isn’t just me, it is many people playing the waiting game………..and that game is in extra time.

12 days of surgery- a bit of fun

12 DAYS OF SURGERY

 

On the first day of surgery my surgeon gave to me…. a stoma totally new to me.

On the second day of surgery my surgeon gave to me… 2 invasive tubes, and a stoma totally new to me.

On the third day of surgery my surgeon gave to me..3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the fourth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me….4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls , 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the fifth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me… 5 sore rings…………………4 toilet runs  , 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes, and a stoma totally new to me.

On the sixth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me…6 needles stabbing , 5 sore rings………………4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the seventh day of surgery my surgeon gave to me…7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing , 5 sore rings……………….4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the eighth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me….8 nurses wilting , 7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing, 5 sore rings………………4 toilet runs , 3 sick bowls  , 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the ninth day of surgery a surgeon gave to me…9 doctors frowning, 8 nurses wilting, 7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing, 5 sore rings……………..4 toilet runs , 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the tenth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me….10 patients puking, 9 doctors frowning, 8 nurses wilting, 7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing, 5 sore rings………….. 4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the eleventh day of surgery my surgeon gave to me…11 latex probings, 10 patients puking, 9 doctors frowning, 8 nurses wilting, 7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing, 5 sore rings…………..4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls, 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

On the twelfth day of surgery my surgeon gave to me… 12 drip tubes bleeping, 11 latex probings, 10 patients puking, 9 doctors frowning, 8 nurses wilting, 7 night lights glaring, 6 needles stabbing, 5 sore rings…………….. 4 toilet runs, 3 sick bowls  , 2 invasive tubes and a stoma totally new to me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

The NG tube (nasogastric)

Years ago when I was hospitalised with my first ever flare of ulcerative colitis I was constantly being sick. The pain was awful and that was the culprit of the vomiting. The sickness got so bad that I was threatened with the dreaded NG tube.

Even at that age (20) I knew I wouldn’t like that at all and refused profusely after hearing another patient gagging and spluttering behind the curtain when having theirs put in, they couldn’t do it. I know a lot of people are scared of having this done, it seems very alien and frightening.

I had the NG tube fitted whilst I was under general anaesthic at the time of my stoma surgery, so I was spared the spluttering and gagging ( and so were the doctors). I remember waking up in the high dependency unit feeling like I had been run over by a train. The worst thing for me initially was the NG tube, it gave me such a sore throat and when I tried to speak it moved a bit in my throat and was such a weird sensation. They used to attach a see through bag to the end and you could see the bile etc collecting into it, that was enough to make anyone feel sick. I was so happy when they finally said I could have it removed, the nurse told me to take a deep breath in then breathe out slowly while she pulled it out, this wasn’t overly pleasant but was over with fairly quickly.

I was in hospital quite a few weeks and was still very malnourished, I was not eating well at all because of the pelvic infection and had lost over two stone. I wasn’t surprised when my dietician said I should really consider a feeding tube to help me get the goodness and calories I needed. I said no a few times because I was scared but also felt very embarrassed when I think of all the young children going through this. I can guarantee that they are much braver than the likes of me.

A few days later my stoma nurse came to see me, I always got on very well with her so when she said it would be in my very best interests to have the feeding tube. I was feeling brave so said yes but only if they could get someone there and then before I changed my mind. These tubes are slightly narrower than the ones for sickness but to me they still looked like a hose pipe. I had some water next to me and when the doctor started to insert the tube I just drank and drank. All was going swimmingly until I ran out of water. I panicked, grabbed the tube and pulled it out. Doh

The doctor had almost finished too , oops. I said can we try again and I got a bigger drink to gulp down. This time it worked, I only gagged a very small amount when the tube was going past a certain known spot, this is called the oropharynx. They then send you for an xray to check it is in the right place as they can then remove the guide wire that is running through the NG tube.

 

This pic is the feeding tube, the top pic is the one I had during surgery. There are other ways to feed patients , intravenously is one that is used a lot for IBD. It is called a PICC line ( peripherally inserted central catheter) and tends to be used when someone needs help with meds or feeding over a long period of time.

 

Before they hooked me up to “dinner” the tube was flushed through, I was fed throughout the night and was fascinated when the fluid followed the tube and down into my nose, it was quite cold when in went through the throat, very strange.  I was fed this way every night for a few weeks until one morning I felt unwell and was sick. The tube came up into my mouth, I shouted the nurse who told me not to panic and to pull the tube out. I was flailing about trying to pull it out through my mouth and of course it wouldn’t come out because it was taped to my nose. I realised and pulled it out through my nose. Phew I wouldn’t want to repeat that in a hurry.

I was lucky that I didn’t need to have it again, I was reprieved. I made sure they saw me eating as much as I could ( this wasn’t much but they said I was getting enough now to put some weight back on.)

All I can say is that if I can do it, anyone can.

 

How my ulcerative colitis started

I remember always having some sickness and bowel issues as a child. I would often be very very constipated and be sitting on the toilet for hours until I had seat marks embedded into my legs. I also had sickness bouts every few months, they would come on for a few hours and then I would be right as rain again.

Thinking back, this could have had something to do with the diagnosis of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) many years later.

I am also very sure that a stressful situation started my first proper flare. I was going to see my sister in London the next day, but stupidly went out the night before with my purse in my handbag, in the purse was just over a hundred pounds and my train tickets, bank cards , photos and other special things.

I went to the busy bar to get a drink with my two friends and when I went to get my purse out it had gone and my bag was wide open. A wave of mixed emotions followed. I was so upset and angry and just didn’t know what to do. We went outside and there were some policemen who helped me to call the bank and cancel my card, they said I was the fourth person that hour.

I went home upset all night and my dad sorted out more train tickets ( we did eventually get the money back from them for the original ones) and I still went to London. I started to feel generally not myself, I got loose stools and when I looked in the mirror I thought my eyes looked sunken and dark.

I got home a few days later and things deteriorated from there. I started to be sick , I had an awful pain where my appendix was and I was struggling to make it in time to the toilet. The doctor came out and said he thought I had appendicitis and needed to go to hospital.  ( This is not uncommon , it can mimic appendicitis) I had never ever been in hospital let alone had any surgery so was petrified. I got there and the doctor examined me. He said because of the diarrhoea he didn’t think it was my appendix and they would do a few tests and I would be admitted. The sickness, pain and diarrhoea were terrible and I thought I was dying. It was taking a while for a diagnosis and I had to have many tests. I was bleeding a lot too which was scary and I just thought ” I have cancer”. I was on a drip and often needed the toilet urgently which would cause accidents as I couldn’t get there quickly enough with the stand and drip in tow. It felt degrading and humiliating, although no nurse ever minded, I minded, I was a young woman who shouldn’t be soiling herself and need looking after.

I was put on intravenous steroids and fluids and couldn’t eat with the sickness. I was advised I might need a naso gastric tube to stop me being sick and I refused I was so scared. I was started on Olsalazine but remember at the time I wasn’t advised that I should be taking it indefinitely, so when those were finished I didnt’ get anymore and became ill again.

I started to respond to the meds and they also told me I have IBD but they were not sure if it was Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis. ( They never really knew at all because they called it indeterminate colitis after that as it could be Crohns disease even now ) I spent some years in and out of hospital with this awful disease, with many people not understanding how severely ill you can be with it. Many think that IBS is similar but I can safely say they are nothing alike. When I am in remission I have IBS so that will tell you something about it. IBD can kill you as I nearly found out last year. I am in no way saying IBS isn’t horrible, but it is not IBD.

My life was not how I imagined it should be, the illness was ruining my life, I was having flares at times when I should be well, for example when I was about to have my babies I would flare, and those flares lasted for a good few weeks after the birth. Most christmas’ were the same and I remember missing one Christmas day with my family and being stuck in bed. I was in hospital when my children were very small which was awful. Going for meals would sometimes end with me going home early because I would feel unwell.

I do think that although the surgery for me and my family was very traumatic, I can go out and enjoy my life now more than I ever could before. I have my off days but if I really think about it, it is nothing compared to the off days with an UC flare.