Holidays, surgery and more

Woosh. It has been a very busy couple of months! Work has been hectic and I have just returned from a week long holiday in Crete. I had quite a few fears about going away on holiday. Would Boris be able to cope with the food? Could I go in the sea and pool? Would the overwhelming heat be awful with a bag and belt? Turns out I had very little to be worried about. Life with a stoma on holiday is really not as bad as I thought.

Once I had got over the first esteem issue of taking my top off I was ok. My poop sack wasn’t flopping around all over the place as I had a hi tech black activity belt which not only completely covers the ostomy bag but also holds it firmly in place with a convenient zip to release the waste. I had heard it was water proof which it most definitely wasn’t but it was definitely better than having no protection at all. I now wear it all day every day so that I can be more confident in my movements and be safe in the knowledge that if I do get knocked into it shouldn’t be too awkward.

And despite all my holiday concerns, no one looked at me differently, or pointed and laughed, or beat my in a bully circle. In fact, someone who knew I had an ostomy bag thought I was just wearing a bum bag. He actually forgot. There was 17 of us together in the hotel as it was for a wedding and at the beginning some of them knew and some of them didn’t. By the end of it they all knew and I had some good chats and received a lot of well wishes for the upcoming surgery.

Which brings me on to the J Pouch creation. It is all booked in for July 10th. I have had the pre assessment and have been told that even though the surgery may be longer that the first the recovery will be very similar. This unfortunately means another 6-8 weeks off work, lots of box sets and learning how to eat again. I guess the positives are that I know what to expect in terms of pain and I think I know the basic new stoma guidelines. I will have to start all over again in terms of eating, hopefully Boris Mark II will be just as versatile as his predecessor who has so far managed to take anything I have stuffed in my mouth.

I am definitely ready for it and I think Boris is too. He goes through stages of pain and discomfort. The skin around is quite temperamental and at times can have no issues and at other times be really painful and raw. As I have done less and less exercise and eaten a lot more my belly has got a lot bigger which I don’t think Boris has enjoyed.

I now have just under 3 weeks to try and do a bit of exercise and eat better to get into a nicer shape. The festivities of a week long Cretan wedding have left me feeling quite porky. Being unable to enjoy cycling due to the discomfort caused by my massive stoma I decided to go for a run. Despite being massively unfit it was a lot more productive than on the bike. With my belt there was no pain, discomfort or unwanted crushing. I will be going for my second in a couple of hours and hopefully will last a bit longer than my pitiful 15 minutes on Wednesday. I need to be strong and smoke free before my surgery just in case any complications arise. I can’t really face going back to how I felt in December/January. Although I think I was so weak that time because I was ill, had 2 surgeries and didn’t eat anything for 2 weeks. Surely this time will be easier? Lets hope my remaining bowel doesn’t try to twist again.

Anyway, I have been able to forget about UC and being ill for the last month or so which has been an absolute miracle considering how much it impacted my life before. This has definitely resulted in less posts on here which will no doubt increase as surgery beckons and I am reminded of my disease. Also, after having watched Rachel’s interview on BBC Breakfast and seen the backlash and viral coverage that IBD received it gave me the impetus to write again. To spread the word in the hope that one day there will be an actual cure rather than just chopping out the colon. Or maybe just so people are aware of IBD and the vague knowledge that currently exists surrounding it. Or maybe just to make sure that people know that this wasn’t caused by junk food. Food has never made any positive or negative impact on me. There are many known and unknown causes and until proven people should not be spouting their mouth off. I didn’t do this to myself!!



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