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This Girl Can....

A while ago I was sent a link to the application form to become an ambassador for the This Girl Can Suffolk campaign. I applied and was successful! The role of the 61 ambassadors is to help encourage and motivate other women to take small steps and overcome the barriers to become more active! I have always loved sport but as a working mum it is easy to fill the small amount of time that is available and exercise is often the thing that has to give....
So my pledge as an ambassador is to try to find ways of making exercise part of my daily routine so that I don't miss out! Whether that is walking the dog, cycling the school run, walking up stairs instead of taking the lift, running back from the school run, or doing a HIIT session after everyone's in bed to making the most of organised free sessions like parkrun or great run local!
I have free use of the fitness suite at work which I never use so I am going to regain some work life balance and use it at least once a week! Me ti…

World IBD Day 2017

Tomorrow is World IBD Day... it is the 5th that I have celebrated. Tomorrow I will be wearing purple in honour of the day.
Prior to 2012 I had no idea about World IBD Day indeed I didn't know what an IBD was and I certain didn't know what an ostomy was!

In honour of my 5th World IBD Day here are 5 thoughts to share...

1) Having an IBD IS HORRIBLE. It is debilitating, life changing, life limiting and exhausting. At my worst I had very little life. I couldn't go out with my family, I couldn't do things with my daughter or my husband.
2) Going to the toilet up to 30 or 40 times a day IS NOT normal! It is not the same as having a dodgy curry! It is exhausting. And time consuming!
3) The medical profession can be both brilliant ... they saved my life...but also awful at diagnosing IBD. It is much easier to diagnose IBS than IBD. Being told for years that I had IBS probably nearly killed me.
4) There is no cure for IBD... research is finding answers slowly, but it is a cause…

Water water everywhere....

I've been really struggling with my hydration over the last couple of weeks. I'm not really sure why. Hydration is always an issue for people with an ileostomy... the colon is the part of the body that is responsible for absorbing most of the water that we need. With no colon it is much harder for my body to absorb water so I am really conscious about drinking water and using rehydration tablets.
I do a reasonable amount of activity.... running, gym, dog walking and we travel quite a lot too. I often feel thirsty but rarely have struggled the way I have over the last few weeks. It has been really noticeable when I go for even a short time without drink... I quickly feel tired, headachy and sluggish.

I am really struggling to get back to normal hydration. At the moment I have constant dry lips, headache and I feel tired. I am drinking well over 2 l of water a day and hydration salts daily.

I am hoping that this is just a spell and that it's linked to being tired and having …

Let's talk about poo

It's another World IBD Day .... Another day to help raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the first time in four years that I have been free from hospital visits. I had a total proctectomy last year and finally got signed off from the hospital. I am officially IBD FREE ...there is no more diseased and ill sections of my body left!

However events like this are hugely important. Increasing numbers of people are being diagnosed or tested for forms of IBD, but diagnosis is a long slow process, often resulting in people becoming seriously ill before they get a final diagnosis. IBD is life threatening, there is no cure. It is a debilitating condition that severely impacts on quality of life.

When I was at my illness it was difficult to go out, to go to work, to look after my little girl ... I lived with a constant fear of having to be near a toilet ... And I mean NEAR a toilet .. Like seconds away. If I needed to go I needed to get to the toilet instantly. And I certainly co…

Thoughts on World Ostomy Day!

Today is World Ostomy Day. Most people won't know this or even care and if I'm honest I didn't up until 3 1/2 years ago when my Ostomy saved my life!  That's pretty much the long and short of it... If an amazing surgeon hadn't taken out my colon and formed an opening with my ileum on my stomach I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be watching my daughter swim. I wouldn't be able to go out for a curry with friends. I wouldn't be able to run.
Before I was given my ileostomy I honestly didn't know much about them. I guess the concept of pooing into a bag on my stomach was pretty grim. It certainly freaked me out when the surgeon came in and told me that they were considering removing my colon... But you can't live without a colon! Actually you can... Very well...and a whole load better than I could live with my diseased colon.

So ... What do I want you to know today?
1) My Ostomy is the single most important reason that I am here today!
2) I look lik…

World IBD Day 2015.....raising awareness

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This was my #ccuk story that I shared in 2014 for World IBD day. I shared it with my immediate colleagues at work as part of a cake sale that I held in our work room. This year, with whole buildings going purple and, alongside a colleague we upped the awareness raising stakes. We organised a college wide bake sale and invited staff and students to #gopurple!

As part of the promotion of our bake sale I sent an email out to all staff in the building with a link to some earlier blog posts. I hoped staff would read these and understand why World IBD Day is so important and why we need to raise awareness of both Crohn's and Colitis!

I know people followed the links and read the posts....I can monitor the traffic on my blog and it was great, if not slightly terrifying to know that potentially everyone I work in the same building as knew that I have a Stoma and an ostomy bag!

But that is how we are going to raise awareness , not by hiding but by putting ourselves and our stories out the…

A Tale of Two Stories

I am currently at home, lying on my bed, unable to sit or stay in any position for too long as I recover from my proctectomy.....or in lay man's terms...the excision of my rectal stump. I have to say the current state of my arse or lack of it is one of the most painful things I have experienced! However I'm fine and will recover well! This, along with my previous op when I was given my ileostomy are direct consequences of Ulcerative Colitis.
Being at home has allowed me the joys of watching daytime TV and to surf the net finding interesting stories. Last week I came across a fabulous open letter from Sam Cleasby's blog http://sobadass.me. Sam's comments and experiences reminded me of my own experiences using accessible toilets! Sam's letter went viral and yesterday she appeared on BBC Breakfast.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31636415

The interview that Sam gave and the way the BBC approached this topic was excellent... Professional, sympathetic and informative. A…