Life Lately | Getting My Career ‘On’

Learning something new filled me with so much excitement!

There is no fear in me, not these days.

Of course, I still get nervous and anxious but I do not fear the unknown. Given my recent past, I see no real reason to be scared.

This past month I’ve been in training with my new job. I am working in a medical field and I bloody love it. It is ostomy related but despite the fact I actually have one, stomas and all medical things fill me with excitement; it sort of makes me wish I’d become a doctor. But, I might never have enjoyed as much as I would have done if I wasn’t an IBD patient.

After being off work for so long due to Crohn’s flare ups, surgery and then ostomy surgery & recovery, I knew I was going to be out of practice. And I am! I am feeling exhausted and it’s not a bad thing, its just a different thing. It’s the first time I am wearing smart clothes with my ostomy, first time I’m travelling to and from work with my ostomy, having to be aware of managing that whilst away from home; my comfort zone of the last 6 months. It’s lots of changes that are draining me of energy. But I take this a good sign! That it’s not from being scared, of regret and from pain.

I find my natural personality coming out, that slightly competitive edge I’ve always had and that thirst for knowledge. Not only for myself personally but just the believe that knowledge is power. I just find the advances, the technology, innovation and ability products have to change lives as just amazing. There is no other word to describe it: it is all just so amazing.

And with that amazement comes my own desire to progress. To make something of myself here. Because, where as in other roles and companies I’ve felt just like a person who does something for the business, I feel more than my job. Who I am is important. And when I feel important, I do more. I push myself. I get ambitious.

So when I read this blog post this morning I sat there and just went YES because this is how you get on in life. You find a passion, you find your network, you work hard and you achieve.

Identify your passion

Check – I never anticipated where my passion would lie. But now it’s here, I don’t know what I did before it…! Life works in mysterious ways.

Network, network, network!

Check – my passion led me to network and source my job.

Set yourself goals

I have some very specific goals and some that are just an idea; but I am open to opportunities, all of them.

Take risks

Without that ‘fear’, those butterflies in my stomach, risks come in the form of making the decisions to push myself, to not get too comfortable too early on.

Do it for you

This is so fundamental. Anything you do in life should be for yourself. You don’t need to please anyone else or expect anyone else to decide for you. Only you know your limits and strengths. Work with them.

And this is exactly what I did. I made a choice, a leap of faith in not only myself but my body, to take up a great opportunity. Not once since I accepted my job have I thought this is going to be too much or I just can’t do this, I won’t be able to do it because I just don’t feel that way.

I decided to go for it; wholeheartedly. I am – hopefully – not relying on my own personal experience and knowledge of ostomies to put me ‘top’ or ‘ahead’. I just want to succeed. And I’ve never felt like that. Take away the specific job I am doing, the company I am doing it for, you are still left with me; and who I actual am. I now want to succeed and show myself and others that having an chronic illness, having an ostomy, being female, being young is not a disadvantage. I will work hard to prove myself and to reduce whatever stigma or stereotyping there is. I am on a mission.

Knowing Your Limits

They say in order to grow you should be testing your limits, pushing yourself forward, outside of your comfort zone. But what is there to be said for knowing your limits? For me, limits have been a tricky business these last couple of years. I couldn’t ignore my diagnosis of my chronic illness, but I didn’t want it to hold me back either. So, I would test just how far I could go without it rolling out a huge STOP sign in the way of my plans. And whilst I was on medication; that was sometimes higher than at other […]

Continue Reading

May 2017

May. Well, it’s only gone and flown by. I moved for my job at the start on the month. That was a stressful and emotional upheaval of many things but considering how weepy I did get when I left for university and then when I moved to Canada, this was good. It felt good because I knew I was coming somewhere to put down roots. I was excited and anticipating great things to happen here. It has been a good month of learning so many new things for job role, navigating a new city, exploring my own limits and strengths […]

Continue Reading

Life Lately | Stuck, Confused or Lost?

It’s difficult when you have to be a ‘team player’ and ‘independent’ too How many jobs have I applied for when this phrase is used time and time again? It is of course a valid and acceptable quality for most candidates. Prove it, get the job, work hard and this is like second nature. But what happened when you haven’t worked in over a year and your independency is higher than being a team player? Mostly, I am out of practice. I can’t be a team player when I am blogging: that is for me and only me, I organised and motivate myself […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Diagnosis: How I Feel Five Years On…

A casual Twitter conversation launched me right into this; right back to the moment when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease: How much from the day I was diagnosed with IBD do I remember? I remember the fear. The unknown factor. I remember the hospital trolley I lay on whilst I wanted for my scope. I remember the pain I was in, the unbearable agony my stomach was giving me; that was no longer just the nerves of being in hospital, alone. I remember the clinical setting, the clean smell of hospital and the idle chatter of the endoscopy nurses. […]

Continue Reading

Doing Long Distance

A couple of weeks ago, I started a new job. And not just any job; one I was so damn excited to get and actually start. But it meant moving away from home. That was a messy feeling in my head for weeks, which included moving all my patient care for my IBD and stoma as well as packing and getting my head around being away from home. I haven’t done that since I lived at university and my year abroad in Canada. Both those times fill me with great memories so I have high hopes that this big move […]

Continue Reading

Being Medication Free: It’s Effects on My Body

Let me begin by stating some facts: Since I was diagnosed in 2011, I have had only two short spells when I did not take any medication for my condition. Those two periods of time were only a couple of weeks long in each case. I have tried all the conventional medications for my Crohn’s disease – meaning I have not taking any experimental or trial drugs to help my condition. My last method of controlling my disease was surgery. Let it be known that I do think that medications can help IBD. There has been many years of information, […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

That First Week or So…

Feeling all those emotions Most of them good; still some of them are ‘bad’. I started at my new job last week. I have six weeks of training to complete until I am a fully fledge member of the team but already I really enjoy what I am learning and am eager to put it into practice. It has been 15 months since I last worked or was employed. Employment for me had always been something I did; instead of enjoying it, having a passion for. Don’t get me wrong, I know I needed to work and feel normal when […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

April 2017

Yet again, the month has flown past. There has been lots of change this month. I’ve spent a significant amount of time finding a place to rent in my new city for my new job and getting myself organised and sorted for the end of April. I’ve had all of the month to get packed and my head around the fact I am going back to work. If it hasn’t been for this particular job I am going to do, I would not have moved. But some of the allure of my job, is the fact that I have to […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

Life Lately | The Big Move

The heat is on, so to speak. It is a week until I move. One week, a whole seven days and packing is hitting me like a brick. When did I accumulate so much stuff? It is giving me all the anxiety and stress I was hoping to avoid by being proactive these last couple weeks. But delays in finding a place to rent meant I had one week less to get sorted. Admittedly, it has been going well and I have every confidence that next weekend will go smoothly. But, let’s talk about what’s actually happening. For the first […]

Continue Reading

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” […]

Continue Reading

The Last Year of My 20’s

  It’s here. The final year of me being in my twenties. The last couple years, I’ve hardly noticed the age I am. Mostly because my age hasn’t really been on my mind or if it has it because people don’t quite believe my actual age when I tell them. Being sick since I was 22 meant that my birthdays weren’t really celebrated like the used to be. I didn’t go out drinking or clubbing like I did in my university years, I felt too unwell to do that or I didn’t want to risk being sick afterwards. And as […]

Continue Reading

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 […]

Continue Reading

The 29th Year

I’ve eaten a lot of cake this weekend. And it was birthday cake too! And I’m sure it’s not the sugar high I’m on, but this has been one hell of a year. Despite being very aware of the fact that this is the last year of my twenties, I want to celebrate all the good – and the bad – things that have happened whilst I was twenty-eight. Hopefully, this is all in chronological order! Quick prelude: My Vedolizumab cycle had failed. I met my kick ass, adorable as hell surgeon. He advised a resection would be the best way to go forward. […]

Continue Reading

Life Lately | Getting a Health MOT

Guys, lets talk about looking after yourself. I know that this might be easy for me to say – couple of months into remission with my Crohn’s, preparing for a new and exciting job, coping well with my stoma – but looking after yourself is important. So important. Actively being present and finding out what works best for you. I am somewhat more able to do this now because I am not unwell. For me, this now means getting my Vitamin B12 and changing my contraceptive.   Since my first surgery, I’ve known I need to have my B12 checked. […]

Continue Reading