The “What is a Stoma?” Series

Welcome to Part IV in my new blog series on “What is a Stoma?”  This instalment covers the ostomy appliances, their accessories, how to obtain your prescription and your options for getting hold of your supplies. There are some differences in appliances depending on your type of stoma and some instances when it might be different, but otherwise this advice and information is for all types of stomas.  This is information for those living in the UK. Some differences may occur in Northern Ireland and depending on your location in the UK with prescription services, and some items aren’t yet […]

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The “What is a Stoma?” Series

Welcome to Part III in my new blog series on “What is a Stoma?”  This instalment covers the question of what exactly having a stoma feels like, possible diet & lifestyle changes, potential complications and considerations of living with a stoma and where to get access to support & advice for coping with having a stoma. The information below I have complied from various sources including current ostomates of all types. I hope that this show the wide variation in how each type of stoma is dealt with; not only medically but on a personal & emotional level too.  This […]

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Why I’m Keeping my Stoma Bag | World Ostomy Day 2017

Today is World Ostomy Day and I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now. I’ve spoken about why and how I came to have my ostomy quite abit – you can read more under the category ‘ostomy‘ – but recently, I’ve been considered what would happen if I went permanent. You see, my ostomy is technically and surgically temporary. Which means I have my rectum and anus still intact. Part of this is because when I lost my colon to my disease – it literally ate it from the inside out in the Summer of 2016 – I […]

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The “What is a Stoma?” Series

Welcome to Part II in my new blog series on “What is a Stoma?”  This instalment covers the Digestive System 101, why and when stomas are needed as well as how they are formed surgically. Hopefully this gives you some insight into the many different reasons why stomas come to be, a basic but solid understand in the digestive system before I talk surgery!  This is not an extensive list of why, when and how stomas are created but that of the most common. Comments are welcomed, enjoy! xox Why Stomas are Needed The Digestive System Above is a diagram […]

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The “What is a Stoma?” Series

Welcome to my new blog series on “What is a Stoma?” This is aimed as providing educational information about why, how and when ostomies are formed; dispelling common mistakes and myths surrounding them, giving advice on how to manage the basics of a stoma, navigating ostomy supplies as well as exploring not only physical landscape of living with a stoma but the mental challenges too. Over the next five Tuesdays, I will be sharing the information I have gathered and produced in a simple and understandable manner. I currently live with a stoma and have done for a little over […]

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Happy Stomaversary!

What I’ve Achieved in Twelve Months with my Ostomy   Well, me and Priscilla have been belly buddies for a whole year today. It feels like such a long time but it also feels like nothing, like I’ve clicked my fingers and here we are. But what have I done in these twelve months since that fateful day of ostomy surgery?   I survived another surgery! That would make two in three months. My hospital stay would come in at a total of 22 days. Most of my days were good but these were all post op. I changed my […]

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The What and Why: Vitamin B12

Teeny tiny vials of energy It was when I was in the throes of being assessed for surgery, we discovered that removal of my terminal ileum – my first surgery; right hemicolectomy – would mean I would need Vitamin B12 injection following my recovery. What is Vitamin B12? It is an important vitamin needed in the body to help keep your nervous system healthy. It is what helps create new cells within your body, for not only growth and repair but for general maintenance. Whilst it is produced in the liver, it is absorbed in the small intestine. B12 is […]

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When Does Having an Ostomy Feel “Normal”?

I am a firm believer in self confidence. Feeling sure of yourself and who you are is a big part of feeling good about life. But do you know what makes self confidence difficult? An incurable chronic illness. And all the things that come with it. What I struggled with was, after almost five years of living with Crohn’s Disease, I needed to have my colon removed and an ileostomy formed. The whole process of how it was going to change my body played on my mind a lot in those days leading up to surgery in August 2016. How […]

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Life Lately | Struggling in The Heat

Guys, Summer is not my friend Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy summer but I like to be inside enjoying it. I hate being too hot and just prefer to be cool instead of roasting myself in the sun like a chestnut. I’ve felt this way for all of my teenager years, into adulthood and it’s been a struggle to have a good summer. Working also added some drama to this too, unbearable traveling to and from work, both on public transport and driving, I just always long for the Autumn around about July. What had made my dislike […]

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The Reminder that I’m Not Normal

I sit in the bathroom, looking straight ahead to my ostomy bags and accessories. I smell the clinical, medical appliance nature of them, but they don’t look medical. I know the feel of my bag, the crinkle of the fabric again my waistband. The grey colour that disappears under my clothes, concealing my medical condition.  An ileostomy. My stoma. Pricilla, the drama queen, coming shockingly into my life 10 months ago. I feel my bags staring back at me. I feel the weight of the bag that sit against my skin. I feel the heavy output inside, the movement of […]

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Your Period with an Ostomy

It’s something that happens all of us ladies, but is it something you consider discussing when you get diagnosed with a chronic illness? It certainly wasn’t high on my priority list with my specialist and IBD nurse at the beginning of my #adventureswithachronicillness A little medical history on me: I was diagnosed with PCOS – polycystic ovary syndrome – when I was 16. My IBD diagnosis happened seven years later in 2011. My PCOS was controlled mostly by birth control of which I tried many before a oral contraceptive settled my symptoms down. My periods were light and pretty painless. […]

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Meal Planning – June 5th

I’ve had a couple of weeks without meal prepping or planning and guess what happened?  I had no end of stoma problems. The extreme heat didn’t help but I’ve been lazy and neglectful of my food and preparing it. Also add in that, I’ve had two weeks back to back of visitors or visiting home, so my lack of prepping has been down to having no time to do it. This weekend I set myself some time to just get on with all those little things that needed doing –  laundry, doing some baking, slow cooking time as well as […]

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Waking Up with a Stoma

I had been through recovery before, knew that the groggy fog of the anaesthetic would eventually lift. But this time around I felt utter relief. I was confident this time that this was going to be a new life for me. I felt around under my hospital gown for the scar, for the bag. The scar felt huge and like I had been ripped apart inside but in reality it was neatly glued together, all seven inches of it. The bag sat on my right hand side; I proudly touched it, flinching slightly at pain, feeling the outline gently, hearing […]

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Meal Planning – May 15th

This week the prep I did last weekend helped a lot, just like I knew it would be. And surprisingly I managed to stick to the plan I laid out of myself here. This weekend has been slightly different because I have a week that involved some evenings being away from ‘home’: I have a important doctors appointment – transferring my IBD and ostomy care, big scary step! – and I’m in London for an BDRF event too. This means, I haven’t prepped this weekend, I’ve chosen to relax instead. I feel slightly guilty for this because my weekends usually […]

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Happy Surgery-iversary…?

May 12th. It is forever etched into my brain. We’d been able to control, for the most part, my disease with medications and ‘diet’ for the five years prior to that. But, somewhat inevitably, it came down to needing a clinical trial or surgery. I opted for surgery but debated the toss for weeks after choosing. I was going to need testing to predict the type of operation I would need and I still went back and forth throughout all that testing. But once we had a plan, I was keen to move forward. The pain, the nausea, the inability […]

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Meal Planning – May 8th

It sure has been a while eh? Well, I had many weeks where I was just feeling so uninspired to actually blog about my meal planning and prep for a few reasons: I was trying to rid my house of older food that had been neglected in the freezer I was doing my best to eat well but frugal I have a new job and relocated for it so packing and moving took priority! Now that has all passed, I am in a new routine in which meal planning and meal prepping have a leading role in my downtime away from […]

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Grateful for my Struggle

“In order for me to get here, I had to go there.”   I’ve never really sat down and thought about what having a chronic illness actually means. It means a great deal of things to different people, so there is no one true answer to what having  IBD actually is like. The wide spectrum of symptoms, side effects and general wellbeing leads us down very individual paths. My path has been around since September of 2011. But I’m sure there was a few bricks being laid in the months and even years before that fateful month. My problems were […]

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Advice: How to Solve Peristomal Skin Issues

If you’re a Stoma Owner, you’ve probably – at some point in time – had some sort of skin issue since your ostomy surgery. Below are potential issues, from most to least common. Identifying what has caused the problem is the best way to find a solution. 1. Change of stoma size This is important to note in the weeks after your surgery. As the intestine calms down, the size of your stoma goes down too. This means the template you use to cut your ostomy bag will change too. Recommended gap between stoma and your bag should be 1/8” […]

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Learning to Not Sweat the Small Stuff

I am constantly reminded that my life is different. I look back in time, to years gone by and remember just what I’ve been through. Things are different. So much has changed. Not only is my own life different but I am different too. I’m learning to not let the small things bother me as much as they used to. I have had to accept this since I was diagnosed – a chronic illness forces you to take care of yourself, in ways you wouldn’t have before. You become more careful and calculated, abit cautious from keeping onto of your […]

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