Tag: medicine

Introducing…Mind A Moment

Maddie 1

I feel weird introducing myself as the creator of Mind A Moment because, although I am, it feels much too formal and like there isn’t really much to introduce.

My blog was born amongst the chaos of dropping out of university after my first year. I had always loved writing and had shown a real passion for it ever since childhood but had never had anything to write about. Ironically, being so lost in life gave me some much needed direction in my writing. My first ever post  did really well, being shared by hundreds of young people who also felt confused about their future. This gave me the confidence to make my blog a regular thing.

I had wanted to start a blog since I was about 13 before blogging was ‘cool’ so all the positive feedback I was getting helped me to forget about the few people who might be laughing at me. I had written about something that nobody else seemed to be talking about and I had messages from so many people praising me for how relatable my post had been. Riding the wave, I scribbled down more things that I wanted to write about and began regularly posting about another taboo: mental health.

I think I always knew I wanted to discuss mental health on my blog because when coming up with a name for it, I wanted something that related to slowing down and taking a moment out of our busy lives. To me, Mind A Moment means mindfulness, a technique that really helped me during some of my darkest moments.

maddie 2

Fast forward to now, my content has developed with me. I still talk about mental health but in a much broader context. I discuss my (un)luckiness in love, friendship and spiritual healing in a way that I feel hasn’t really been approached before. And through my journey of recovery and self love, my blog has been a creative outlet for me that I am sharing with the internet. My goal has always been to inspire people, to open their eyes and to let them know that they aren’t alone and I hope that I will always continue to do this.

If you like the sound of any of this or want to know more then head over to Mind A Moment or follow me on Instagram

Maddies Blog, Mind a Moment:

maddie 5

Maddie’s Instagram:

 

To read the previous Introducing… article featuring Our Beautiful Chaos, Click here

 

[Written by Mind a Moment | Edited & Published by Dawson.xo | Photos by Mind a Moment, Maddie Jennings | Subject to copyright]

Advertisements

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

What I Actually Do – Day in the life of a Crohnie

Last week when I was having my 10am trip to the sick bowl, I was watching an interview, or rather a ‘debate’ on This Morning involving two women. One woman was a full time stay at home mom and the other a 9 – 5 working mother, and as much as I applaud the efforts of the working mom she caused a lot of uproar with branding the other as ‘lazy’ and questioning what exactly stay at home mom’s do.
This is a close debate to me because very often some ignorant person slides into my dm’s to ask me exactly ‘what I do?’ and yes I am a self proclaimed lazy arse, but I also work hard and do not do “nothing.” After talking to a lot of other Crohn’s sufferers I find myself telling them to not feel guilty about doing nothing or achieving nothing more than a 6 hour nap on a day they aren’t feeling great and yet I feel myself having to justify what exactly I do still.


So first off I’m going to state that I don’t feel I have to justify myself but there are a lot of you who are non-maliciously, genuinely interested in what a week is like for myself as a Crohn’s sufferer, work from home, M.E diagnosed, pregnant, student.
Already, my illnesses are a type of job, they are something I live with everyday and they can determine the path I go down in my life. A year and a half ago I gave up work to focus on my health and have not returned to a career since, and I do not regret that, nor do I feel like I am lazy or a ‘doll scrounger’ because of my choice to focus on being mentally and physically well over the 9-5 grind. I work hard to do normal tasks some days, sometimes getting dressed is an exhausting task or even a walk with Luna (despite the fact she’s pop-eye on a leash) can tire me out for the entire day and with the build up of my exhaustion comes a flare up, with a flare up comes a debilitating change in life, days in hospital and watching loved ones suffer the thought of what will happen to me this time. So when I say I do not work full time or have a ‘proper career’ I am not ashamed or feel guilty for being a stay at home person and any other chronic illness sufferer should not feel guilty that they too cannot work or cannot pay into the state like many other people in society can and do.
With that said this is what an AVERAGE day (there are obviously days I lie around in a vegetative state with one arm round my sick bowl and the other in a pic n mix tub watching Netflix) looks like for me.0001
I wake up when my natural body clock wakes me up, because if I don’t, boy do I know about it. On the days I have to set an alarm I fight a battle of morning sickness and body fatigue as my digestive system hasn’t clocked in yet, my body has awoken before my functions have and so they work at dysfunctional time differences. So majority of the time I let myself wake up naturally to avoid any premature trips to the toilet and alleviate the chances of a midday nap. I go down to luna, who has already attempted her prison breaks and escapology routines in which she somehow manages to escape her cage even with cable ties and a padlock on (I don’t even know how she does it but I can earn big bucks from her skills, Houdini is shaking in his grave). Feed her some goop whilst trying not to gag and then have a cup of tea, or on a bad sickness day, a cup of boiled water (wild, I know) and then run to the toilet and sick it all back up again…
“Welcome to the second trimester” they said… “Morning sickness will be going now” they said…
Well my stomach and my toilet disagree. So once ive gotten my vomiting out the way I go get dressed, which I think is the actual hardest part of the day. It’s the part where you mentally make the decision that your day is beginning and you mean business, despite feeling like its time to go back to bed already.
0003If it’s a work from home kinda day, then ill be lucky to be arsed to do my makeup cause that is commitment usually only saved for leaving the house. Joggers on, messy bun (that looks more like a sparse turd on my head because my hair is too thin to do a proper messy bun) and eyebrow-less. Our post lady (despite being half blind and unable to tell what number our house actually is) delivers my ‘blogger mail’ (again this is NOT something that happens EVERYDAY) with the same astonished expression that Michael Jackson really hasn’t died and is living at number 11 in her home town when I greet her. I spend a couple hours doing the house work and talking to the dog like a mad woman who has had no human contact in years whilst debuting my new album at top volume and a well-choreographed cordless vacuum dance to accompany it. Then by lunch time I have finished boring mundane chores and sit down to go through my emails. I argue with a few collaborators about how I deserve to be paid for advertising their brand or products and write up briefs or ‘pitches’ to them with my set fee in the hope they accept and delete all the spam about how I need a penis enlargement for my non-existent dick. Then if I have Instagram or blogging jobs to do I try to do them whilst its still light outside, setting up the brands product in some shitty layout and blab on about what I think of them in painstakingly unnecessary detail that the company are happy with. Although this proves to be a lot harder than anticipated because there are only so many flat lays or backgrounds I can use for variety within the four walls of my house (and yknow, eyebrows off means I ain’t leaving the house unless for emergencies).
If I don’t have any blogging or insta jobs to complete then I log onto my student account and do some of my uni work, or rather, I pretend im doing uni work but actually got side tracked by the latest serial killer documentary that I have on in the background and then come deadline day I cry into my laptop until ive finished and then repeat the whole cycle again come next assignment. The great thing about Open uni is its so flexible, if im having an ‘ill’ day, where I don’t get anything done, I’m not reprimanded or lectured, instead offered extra support should I want it. You get out exactly what you put in, and there’s no in-between. If I only do an hour a week of uni then I’m not in trouble for missing online lectures or activities, I just notice a decrease on my own ability come the next marked assignment. You are given your assignment due dates for the whole year when you start so there isn’t really any excuse as to why I could miss my August 2018 deadline because I knew it was coming from October 2017. Still, im a pro at leaving it to the last minute.
When I’ve finished work there is usually only an hour or so before john gets back from 0004work so I usually just chill, watch some shitty American tv show and sleep because by now im exhausted. Im exhausted every hour of the day thanks to Crohn’s but when my tasks are done that’s when I reward myself with a nap (it’s the best part of everyday). When john gets home and ive awoken like someone having a nightmare in a horror film, wondering what year it is and where ive been for the last decade, we take luna out for a run. She has developed a keen talent of finding any way possible to get into the River Trent and swims around for a little bit providing the current isn’t strong. If the current is strong, I turn into a crazed mother running after her screaming like she’s the kittens in the ‘Aristocats’ about to be swept away but she never is because y’know, shes a dog, shes a good swimmer. When ive finished having heart palpitations and accusing john of not caring or getting in the river after her, we head home and argue about what we want for tea. The system is fairly simple, ‘Did we have pasta yesterday?’ ‘No?’ ‘Pasta it is’. If the answer is yes its, ‘Okay think of something today and we’ll have pasta tomorrow’. I cook tea and we watch some shit tv before retiring like an old age pensioner to bed at like 10pm where I kid myself into thinking im going to finish my book tonight but instead end up falling asleep to family guy.
Like I said previously, days differ, sometimes I meet up with friends for a drink, sometimes I have to go to venues for various things, sometimes I am at doctors or hospital appointments or tests, some days I check up on the Etsy shop (full feature coming soon) and some days I do absolutely nothing.
So yeah, I do do ‘nothing’ but I don’t do ‘nothing’ at the same time and I’m not ashamed to not have a full time proper job. Of course on a bad day I think badly of myself, chastise myself for not being stronger or having the motivation to push through and get a 9-5 job and feel guilty that some people don’t have the choice but to work. But everybody has their own guilt battles, mom guilt, breaking a diet guilt, work guilt, not going to the gym guilt, spending money on irrelevant things guilt. It’s a natural part of mental health to feel guilty for things we have or do that we know others may not be as fortunate, but it doesn’t mean we are in the wrong. If you have a chronic illness and cannot work, if you are mentally effected by work or if ‘work’ is deteriorating your own health, there is no shame and nothing wrong with taking the back step. It doesn’t make you ‘lazy’ or a ‘doll scrounger’ or a ‘freeloader.’
In July I will be adding to my list of jobs, I will be a full time stay-at-home mom, and I have no shame in being just that. My life aspiration was to be a mother. So I am proud to be able to achieve that and focus all my energy into being the best full time mom.

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

*As you may have noticed some of the photography is 100% better than any of my own, including the main header photo. These photos were taken and are owned by HND Photography student, Hayley Leaver. Click on any of her photos (Watermarked) to check out more of her work and show support. More of her images will be featured in upcoming posts.

xx

 

To check out my previous post Click here

My Instagram

Hayleys Instagram

 

3 Weeks Post op & PTSD

*Disclaimer – There are post-surgery images that may offend some people. 

It took a lot of effort to bother turning on the computer today and to be honest my main reason was because my phone ran out of battery mid conspiracy theory video and I needed to know whether Justin Bieber really is a lizard ruling the world……

Anyway, I’ve had three weeks off and exhausted all of Taylor Swift’s old school albums since she finally just joined Spotify again whilst feeling sorry for myself, so figured this post was long overdue. I’m doing IMG_20170711_104944_790okay, there isn’t really a word better than ‘okay’ to describe it. I am in pain and discomfort but it’s not horrific anymore, it’s more a nagging pain in my right side and bruised ribs. My pelvis is very bruised where the surgeon had his hands inside and moved a lot around and that is probably the worst pain, it stops me from walking, moving around and going to the toilet at all. But again, it’s getting better each day and every day I’m able to walk a little further and stand a bit straighter.

So now you all know I’m alive and doing better I’ll explain the traumatic experience that was my surgery. The surgery itself was fine, I got into my paper pants and sexy green stockings and whilst putting in my cannula and other bits and pieces I was chatting away with the anaesthetist about how I’ve watched the film “Awake” too many times and I’m petrified of waking up mid surgery. That was the last thing I remember.

I woke up in another room and literally the moment I gasped in air the most horrific pain hit me across my chest and my stomach, I began screaming and crying and was basically inconsolable. I had had an epidural put through my spine and the anaesthetist came back to check it was working as I wasn’t supposed to be in pain. Now imma cut a long story short but basically what had happened is an epidural (commonly used for giving birth) is supposed to numb the lower part of your body so you can’t feel anything. It is a needle that is put through your spine and a single mm out can cause issues. What had happened was the epidural was instead numbing up my body, meaning as time went on my chest was becoming numb, my lungs and my throat were becoming numb and so I couldn’t physically breathe. Meanwhile my stomach, incision and all the lower parts of my body were killing still and I could feel everything. I would describe it as suffocating whilst someone is ripping tendons, veins, intestines, anything attached out of your stomach. I think I broke the nurses hand because I was like a creepy psycho grabbing her like “DON’T LEAVE ME!” I’ve never seen such terror in her eyes.

2017-07-12 04.26.31 1As time had passed they turned off the epidural but left it attached in my back and put me on a morphine pump along with random other things by drip but I didn’t really care at this point. Around 6 hours had past and my mom and john got to come and see me so I naturally felt a little more relaxed. But Day two, when my family came to visit I vaguely remember, everything was spinning and colourful and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. Things were happening around me that weren’t actually happening and I was sort of in a dream state back at home, I was post op and everything was just normal. Someone was holding my hand tightly and then I don’t really know how to explain it, but you know in a film if someone is having a vision or a hallucination and then someone wakes them from it, it’s kind of like a whirlwind multicoloured tunnel dragging them back into reality like really dramatically? Well basically that happened, it felt how I imagine someone feels when their lungs stop working and they use those defibrillator things to jolt them back to life (very scientific I know, haha). Suddenly I was again in this excruciating pain and there was loads of people around me, they were calling my name and shaking my head and I didn’t recognise a single one of them. I felt panicked and was quite literally terrified, I started crying and screaming. John was holding my hand trying to calm me but I didn’t recognise him at all, I didn’t recognise my mom or my dad, all these people were just talking but I was so scared I couldn’t speak. After a few minutes I began to recognise them but I was thinking how did I get back into the hospital? Then realised I was still in a dream. Now I’ve watched inception countless times and lucid dreaming isn’t something I’m not familiar with in real life anyway, so I was like right I’ve got to wake up. The only way to wake up is to die in my head at this point, so I was thinking I can’t kill myself because all these people are holding me so how am I going to wake up? I was crying and panicking and kept saying to people that I’m in a dream and I need to wake up, can you help me wake up. I was looking at my hands and my body and it wasn’t real, it wasn’t really there, things were changing around me which solidified the idea I was in a dream even though everyone kept telling me I wasn’t. I just thought2017-06-23 03.32.56 1 they were tricking me. But after about half an hour of being in pain and conscious I realised that this was actually reality, I mean I still believe I was in a dream but I accepted that it wasn’t. What had basically happened was I had been administered too much morphine and had overdosed. I was not breathing normally and was unresponsive so they gave me an injection that reverses morphine’s effects and jolts you back into consciousness. Literally. So I was having a really fucking bad trip. But thankfully after that things began to go smoother.

It had been a week and not much was happening, I lost days and can’t remember much. There were moments of excruciating pain and then pain free moments, over time I had my catheter removed and started having physiotherapy to get me out of bed. Things were not the greatest but not as bad as they had been. The day staff were lovely and comforting, trying to get me to eat by offering me anything I wanted and spending free time talking to me so I didn’t feel anxious or lonely when I didn’t have visitors. I was high on pretty much anything I could be prescribed for the week but things were improving.

Until day 9 when I woke up and I could hear someone talking, I hadn’t slept properly in 8 days and the voice was really loud, I responded but nothing. It didn’t take me long to realise that the voice wasn’t really there. I started seeing dark shadows moving across the room and having this overwhelming screaming inside my head that kept telling me to run out of the hospital. Again, to cut a long story short my mental health was not in a good place, but I recognised this and talked (more like hiccupped between sobs) to the nurse and asked to see a mental health doctor because something wasn’t right. They decided to take me off the morphine machine as it was giving me these hallucinations and said I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from my surgery and the first few days in the hospital.  

On day 10 I told myself I will get out of bed, get showered and dressed and smile like a creepy Cheshire cat, move around so it looks like I’ve miraculously been healed by an unknown force and convince my surgeon/doctor that I was ready to go home. Well, it worked nonetheless, I felt the last part of recovery was better for me at home and I felt that staying was only making me worse. I felt like I was being held there against my will and just needed to get out anyway possible.

We finally got home at 5:30pm after waiting a ridiculous amount of time for someone to give me a bloody pack of AirBrush_20170709133721tramadol and after proper milking it me and john got to stay the week in the bedroom with the on suite. Untill now when I’ve been evicted back into the conservatory living the life of dog hairs, suffocating heat and day light at midnight.

The past few weeks have been very tough, both physically and mentally, I want to be able to get up and do something, I want to start feeling better and having fun and feeling happy again but in time life will get back to normal and I’ll have a bad ass scar to show off when I’m drunk and living life like a normal person not being worried about having a flare up.

I apologise that this has been quite a depressing post, I skipped through it fairly quickly considering I was in there for 10 days but it was already depressing enough so didn’t think I’d give you every gory detail, like when my first bowel movement was and what a traumatic experience that was alone! (Genuinely felt sorry for the next person using the toilet, I probably killed off some old woman). Each day I’m getting better and I have loads of exciting things to look forward to that I’ll be able to share with all of you!

Also thank you to every one of you that has messaged, I haven’t even managed to reply to some of you but I will get round to it I promise! Thank you to everyone that came and IMG_20170704_113127_617visited and thank you to everyone who has sent me gifts! Thank you to all of the staff that looked after me even when I was losing my marbles. Thank you to my family for looking after me each and every day, even when I milk it to get an extra cup of tea or bar of chocolate and especially shout out to Alex that for the first time in her entire life has got up and made me some food. I feel like Zante has really taught her some life lessons, haha. Most importantly thank you to Dr Fallis, my surgeon who has given me the chance at a whole new, happy life! (I feel like I’m writing a fucking acceptance speech for a Grammy award or something, sorry for my cringe).

My next post will be more happy and upbeat, but at the minute posts will be a little inconsistent as I’m still in and out of getting high on tramadol and binging on Netflix.

xoxo

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