Tag: healthylifestyle

Crohns update – 9 months Post-Op

Processed with VSCO with c7 presetYou’ll have to excuse the completely unrelated photo, inbetween looking like a homeless woman and having the baby kicking around like they are stuck in some sort of prison, I didn’t manage to get a good photo showcasing my 9 months post op stomach.

I don’t quite know where to start, because the outcome is fairly obvious – I’m pregnant, therefore the surgery was a great success.

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetThe intial first weeks following surgery, as you know, were extremely difficult. I was unable to walk properly for at least a month and was relying on people to take care of me. I lived in my pjs (so nothing has changed really) and just kept hoping that each day id wake up and be able to do a little bit more.

A lot of people have wondered the most obvious question, what was your first shit like after surgery? I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it was how I imagine child birth will be like and I still have Vietnam flashbacks of the trauma. But despite the gas masks needed and watching the cleaners go in like the monsters in monsters inc when they bring back a childs item and have to be quarantined, things only got better.

6 weeks after surgery me and john travelled to crete. I was extremely nervous flying because all previous flights have been a nightmare fuelled with anxiety and holding in a fart that may or may not be a shit alongside my vomiting. But both flights there and back were relaxing and amazingly non eventful, there was no sickness and no anxiety in spite of the fact I thought I was gonna have a blood clot and die before I made it to sunny Greece (6 weeks is the minimum you are able to travel after major surgery *unless it is avoidable* because of risks of blood clots due to the pressure).

September came around and from what I can recall I don’t think I even thought about my surgery or my crohns. I was still struggling after a large meal however, needing to rush for diarrhoea exactly 30 minutes from ingestion (like clockwork) and had a mediocre pain. But instead of an on going flare up, it would be 5 minutes of intense flaring and then gone for the rest of the day/night. I got back into a normal routine, and Processed with VSCO with c7 presetwe were now officially settled into our new home to start the rest of our lives.

With the positive changes of my body, being able to get through days/weeks/months without vomiting and being able to eat without any consequences, my anxiety had completely disappeared and my mind was so positive, enjoying every minute of health. A lot of changes were made because of how one surgery gave me the opportunity to live a life without crippling fatigue, daily naps and morning sickness.

Nights were fuelled with alcohol, good food and the friends that have stuck by me throughout all my life changes. It’s a difficult thing going from an ‘ill person’ to a ‘healthy person’ because its not just your body that changes, your mind and your outlook changes aswell. What I’ve found has come from that, is friends that were there when you were ill seem to be non existent now you have a life of your own, now you are independent and are able to look back at your choices and decisions and see what is really the right thing for you to do in life, seem to put out others.

A little like Munchausen syndrome, you come to realise that without even knowing it people around you influence your illness in multiple ways and only when you escape the cloud of ‘being ill’ or being the friend ‘with a disease’ you find the friends that are willing to carry you on in your ‘new life.’ Some people won’t understand the changes you make in your life and why you make them, they don’t understand how something that seemed so comfortable and secure, something that seemed like a great environment and relationship can suddenly…not be.

They’ve known you having fun in a world where you are ill, where your life is built around being ill and the consequences that that illness carries. When you suddenly become healthy and your mindset is completely different you start to completely change, you change the way you enjoy your life, because it’s suddenly so healthy, long and Processed with VSCO with c9 presetfulfilled and things that once made you happy when life didn’t seem so full, now become burdens, they are reminders of your ‘old life.’ The things that once seemed good for you, in hindsight, only unknowingly influenced your illness. Whether that be mental or physical.

That is the part of following the light at the end of the tunnel that you don’t know. You’ve always seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but what about when you get there and you are ‘on the other side?’ It really is a whole new world, a whole new you.

New body.

New mind.

New outlook.

New values.

New opinions.

The hard part is accepting some people and some things aren’t meant to be in your new life, not out of anger, hatred, spite or anything negative but purely because they don’t understand the complete transformation your life has taken. The same as you find new things, make new friendships and find completely new joys in life.

November comes around and surgery legit is a distant memory, I have no symptoms of my Crohns and I have no reason to even think about it. I’m enjoying everything.

However, towards the end of November I began to get very ill, I was being sick every morning again and was tired 24/7. My health was short lived, I thought. Untill I decided id tempt fate and piss on a little stick, yknow for the fun of it. Three tests later, three positives later and 6 lines later, it wasn’t my Crohns returning with a vengeance, it was a new living being sucking the life out of me.

I had surgery to give my body the chance to carry a child, with a limited time for fertility Processed with VSCO with c8 presetit was dire to go ahead with having my bowel resection if I was going to be able to get past that dreaded first trimester. The doctors had determined my Crohns was the reason for my miscarriages and so when the first trimester came and went, that was the ultimate acknowledgment that told me everything I have endured, was worth it, it worked.

Surgery was the best decision I have ever made.

Anyone who thinks surgery is a scary thing, is the last resort and the worst outcome possible, it was the BEST decision I ever made. (Although perhaps second to dumping some ugly drug addict when I was 19, haha)

I am now 22 weeks pregnant, entering my third trimester and I was warned my crohns will most likely make an appearance, and it has. From 18 weeks till now my crohns has reared its ugly head, but unlike anything pre-surgery it is manageable and non-threatening. The flares come and go, and although I have a few accidents here and there it is nothing compared to pre-surgery days.

Crohns is incurable, it will always be in my body, inbedded in my DNA and therefore it is expected to have some good and some bad days. It is expected to have flare ups and suffer still even though the severely diseased bowel has gone. But for now, I am having a baby and that is all I want. I may be ill again once she is born, but that’s okay because she’s here and my body allowed me to grow her.

Life is great, my health is great (most of the time) and for 9 months post op, I’d say there’s nothing I could possibly say, nothing that could possibly happen, that would make me think that having surgery was a bad decision. (Even though I went bat shit crazy during).

 

xoxo

Advertisements

Introducing…Our Beautiful Chaos

manda 3

Let me introduce myself, my name is Manda and I’m a mummy to two boys and wife to Phil. I’m known on Instagram as our beautiful chaos. We are currently renovating out forever home which is what made me start my blog … interior design has always been my passion, even as a little girl I remember helping my mum arrange and decorate our home. I would spend hours rearranging my bedroom and making houses for my dolls out of anything I could get my hands on. I’ve always been more creative than academic, I sketch and paint and love designing things. I also love upcycling things for our home, I love natural materials so our home is full of branches, plants and rocks that I have sourced on our adventures and made home worthy. I have a hippy soul and I’m very in tune with my spiritual side.

Starting my blog was an outlet for my creative side, for my love of interior … that’s what it started with anyway …

My childhood was conflicted, on one hand I had a gorgeous family unit, my mum is and always has been my hero. Myself, my mum and my sister are known as the A team we have always been so close. Unfortunately, I had to grow up very fast and experienced another side to my childhood, I am still not ready to tell the world exactly what I went through but I suffered abuse as a child and then fell into a dangerous relationship and was physically, mentally and emotionally abused. I have also lost two babies, which I found to be the most traumatic experiences of my life.

One day I got brave and I wrote a blog post about myself and what I had been through, it was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve done. To put myself out into the world was terrifying but it also set a little bit of me free. Since that blog post I’ve posted a lot about domestic violence, mental health and everything in between. It’s become my therapy and my release. I’ve wrote about things people who know me didn’t even know, it’s helped me so much. Then came the messages from people, they flooded in telling me how they had connected to the blogs, telling me what they had been through and saying how much the blogs had helped them. I can’t express how thankful I am that I have this platform to help others going through what I have been through.

And so, our beautiful chaos is now just that … it’s my life, all of it … motherhood, interiors, mental health, it’s the real raw me.

If I can help just one person I know my fight, my pain and my past wasn’t in vain. I’m now happier than I ever thought possible, I have daily adventures with my boys … I’m a mum trying to do this thing called motherhood, sometimes I smash it, sometimes I fall flat on the pile of washing I’ve not done but every second I adore it.

I’d love you to join in my journey, if you want to read more about the crazy life that is our beautiful chaos please come for a read, follow, message … I would love to get to know you too.

Manda xx

Instagram – ourbeautifulchaos__

 

Blog – ourbeautifulchaos.blog

manda 5

 

To read the previous Introducing… article featuring Trust Your Gut Click here.

 

[Written by Our Beautiful Chaos | Edited & Published by Dawson.xo | Photos by Our Beautiful Chaos | Subject to copyright]

‘Not Social Media Perfect’

I’ve been trying to start a post for about a week now but I’m so easily distracted by the stupidest things I’ve somehow found hours past and yet no post written. I didn’t want ‘blogging’ to be a chore but as my Instagram and blog have progressed, it has become more of a business/money opportunity (which I am grateful for don’t get me wrong) and thus the hobby has turned into more of a job and well, we all know how shit I am at actually sticking at jobs…

However, 2017 offered me the amazing opportunity to turn my Instagram and blog into a small business and with that I have learned just how difficult it is to live in this ‘blogosphere, perfect lifestyle.’ I am pleased to have developed into the place I am now and hope I can continue to do what I enjoy doing, but I have to acknowledge and take my hat off to every other ‘blogger’ out there. Keeping up the ‘perfect social media life’ is more of a job than you expect it to be. You think it all sunshine and happiness, waking up to the perfect latte with an aesthetically pleasing pattern on the top and a bunch of flowers to place beside for a ‘just woke up’ Instagram shot. Followed by a brand-new delivery of clothing to wear for your ‘ootd’ and then a trip around the town snapping various locations and overpriced meals before you settle back down in some fluffy bed socks to post all about your amazing day on your brand new apple mac.  

Well in reality, it’s winter in England, and you know what that means? It means a disturbing lack of natural light followed by rain, rain, horrific wind and more rain. Any chance of a vibrant picture is a lot harder to recreate when you’re an amateur and mother nature doesn’t want you to go outside. As for the coffee, if I want it, I gotta make it myself so any attempt at a delicate latte art ends up looking like a mushed up version of luna’s turds, not to mention coffee gives me the shits anyway. And receiving promo products everyday? Nope, if you want something you gotta wait for days until you’re lucky enough to be noticed and then you have to spend a further week negotiating with them how you deserve more than a 10ml tester in return for a whole advertising package. The perfect social media life doesn’t exist, I for one wouldn’t class myself as a serious blogger, i don’t own an expensive DSLR, nor do I go location searching in a party outfit to get a good fashion shot and then spend another 5 hours editing it on photoshop because I cant deal with the bags under my eyes. But a lot of your favourite bloggers do. Turning a blog or an Instagram into a business is hard work, the whole con of making money on social media is the concept of illusion. Trying to make your life look amazing is the hardest job of all because nobody is perfect. I for one, am one of the laziest people I know, it is my biggest downfall and do you know how hard it is to complete a job when you’re lazy af? No, but seriously, if you like someone’s Instagram, or their blog post, whether they are a high flying social media star or they post every month as part of a hobby, let them know you like it, let them know you support their work because it is just like any other job, it takes hard work and a lot of effort to achieve the final ‘product’ that you see.

This all sounds like im complaining about it, which I’m not trying to do because I love where I am right now. I love that I am able to pick and chose my work and still have time to binge watch Netflix or that I can work as hard or as little as I like in-between napping like a god. But the first part of wanting to be a ‘blogger’ is stepping back and accepting that it is all an illusion, it is all fake and at the end of the day it is just work and work most commonly turns boring in the end.

So with that said, I intend to start a whole new series, thanks to a fellow blogger, Maddie, who writes and owns Mind A Moment Blog, she encouraged me when I was feeling like I didn’t have much more to give because my life isn’t social media perfect. This series is going to be ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ because I make good content when i’m not massively faking it, when I’m being my lazy self and living a great but ridiculously normal lifestyle. Maddie reminded me to focus on the things I have actually achieved at 22 and how I should be proud to share them with you, not the perfect make up deals or the incredibly fake advertisements which you mainly see on my Instagram because that is my job. Is anybody actually their job? Your job is only one persona and in this new series ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ I will be sharing (when I want to – not forcing anything) tips for real life, share my stories of my boring normalities and take you on a (probably dull) journey from Chloe Dawson, teenager, who started social media in her box room at her parents, to Chloe Dawson, adult, who now earns money on social media, has a mortgage and is starting a family but in the most unglamorous truthful way it is, in its entirety.

My Upcoming Surgery

I’ve been inundated with messages from people asking about my surgery which is so lovely so I’m going to do a little explanation of what this entails.

Basically, after years and years of tablets, infusions, injections, steroids, enemas, suppositories (you name anything for your bottom end and I’ve had it) and not to mention countless doctors, I am going down the surgical route. This means that either by keyhole or literally a slit straight down the stomach –colon I wont find out until on the table (well, me personally will find out when im awake obvs otherwise that would be terrifying) – and will be taking out 20cm of intestine, part of my colon, parts of other random bits and pieces that are too damaged and a hell of a lot of scar tissue.

The small bowel (or small intestine) is where my Crohns is most active, it is commonly used for the breaking down and absorption of nutrients but because of my Crohns, this is severely damaged and not a lot is really happening in there and so it clogs up, gets damaged and creates other ways to breakdown everything – I think, its hard to follow because each doctor says a different thing.

I have multiple fistulas in my small bowel also, which are kind of like little alleyways. The intestine coils fistularound like a weird fat worm but when a fistula is formed instead of finding its way around the intestine normally, flowing around the corners, it creates holes in the intestines walls and makes a short-cut to pass through.

The bowel resection I will be having is the removal of the diseased intestines and colon and then if there is enough healthy intestine that has not been attacked by my Crohns yet, the ends of all the little bits will be stitched or stapled back together. This is most likely what I will be having this time round. I say this time as it is unlikely I will not need further surgery because Crohns disease is a life long disease and cannot be treated, no matter how much of the disease you can surgically take out the disease will still be there lurking to take another bit later on.

However, when you do not have any healthy gut left, this is when the surgeon will create an opening called a stoma which is a hole through the skin of your stomach. The small intestine is then attached to the outer wall of your stomach (the stoma) and a bag is fitted so that any stool will pass into the bag, known as an ileostomy. This can be permanent or semi-permanent. Yes, that does literally mean that instead of winding down your intestine and lying in your stomach to be passed out of your arsehole it will come out of your intestine directly – no bumhole is damaged in this process.

So yes, that’s basically a simplified explanation of what I’m having. I’m thankful enough that I have my partner john who suffers with the other form of IBD, colitis, and he himself has had numerous surgeries. Although they did it in Spain and his interpreter was in the bed next to him with pneumonia so he couldn’t understand a word of what was happening, to which I’m fairly confident they stole his kidneys or intestines and sold them on the black market. So he understands and supports me through the process and we can both have mashed up looking stomachs together (as I know a lot of you with Crohns are worried about how your body will look post-surgery). He will argue with me till he’s blue in the face that he has a belly button but I can tell you he does not and his favourite thing to do when he’s had a drink is get his scars out and tell people he was attacked by a shark.

Also people have asked me why I have decided to do this now, to which the answer is, as I have been trying to have children for the past year or so, I have been unsuccessful and have miscarried twice. I have since found out that my Crohns has been too active and caused too much damage that my body was unable to keep the baby alive and growing normally. So after this surgery, not only will I be a hell of a lot better with my health but I may be able to carry children and have a normal pregnancy as well, which is my goal for the future.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to know more on the surgery or if you’re having it yourself and need some support.

*Diagrams from other sources

before