30 January 2014

Nothing is permanent...

My first and foremost reason for starting my blog was to document my journey with Ulcerative Colitis. Not only have I been blogging about the highs but today I shall be blogging about the lows. Today is going down as a bad day. Those with Crohn's, Colitis, IBD or any other illness will know that there are 'down days'. My health is no better or worse than it has been currently. Which in some respects is a good thing. So why the bad day?

I'm feeling sad, even thrown in a little tear or two. Which is rare as I am so often a happy and excitable person. I'm never unhappy for long as I tend to get fed up of sulking ha! Why am I sad? Because I am fed up. I'm now fed up of being unwell, it's only getting harder with time.
I'm frustrated at such little progress that's being made. I've now been poorly for 4 years and it doesn't get any easier. I keep telling myself to 'hang on in there' and that a cure is hopefully forever one day closer. People are still so unaware of these illnesses, unaware of the real desperation some feel. It effects what you eat, how you sleep and how you interact with people. There is never an off switch no matter how hard you try.
I am playing my part in trying to raise awareness, to stand up and hope people hear my plea. My hopes for the future are to get funding, to enhance the rate of research so that one day 'one day' so many of those who suffer will no longer need to suffer any more.

Of course I still find the days where I laugh and smile but it's getting hard. Ulcertive Colitis, Crohn's Disease, IBD never go away, there are times (for the lucky ones) when symptoms maybe ease but it is always at the back of your mind. I still don't think it has sunk in yet that I have a 'life long condition'. I often find myself thinking 'why me' it's so unfair, as it is not down to my own actions as to why I'm ill. I haven't drank in excess, I'm not a smoker, I've never done drugs but yet I'm lumbered with this life long illness. I'm simply waiting for the day my life will go back to 'normal'. I know that won't happen, not anytime soon but I continue to hope.

Over the last few months I have isolated myself from work, friends and family. I miss my social life and feel like friends are simply 'putting up' with me. It's hard to always turn down invitations because you are tired or in pain or just unable to attend.

I'm morning the loss of my care free existence. I keep thinking how unfair it is. There are illnesses that allow you to get on with your life as close to 'normal' as before. With Ulcerative Colitis this is impossible, it takes over and effects every part of your entire life. It is so hard not to let it become 'who you are'. I know how I'm currently feeling won't last, but I feel it important to document that the road with a life long illness is tough.

When I first started my blog I was feeling really low and hopeless. Things have very much improved since then, my condition is 'stable' and the support I get is GREAT! Today is simply going down as a 'bad day'.

29 January 2014

From me...to you!

It is about time I said a little 'thank you'.
My beloved new blog is now about 40 days old. I would never have wondered when I started that I would have so much to blog about. I could continue blogging for years to come but it would mean nothing without YOU.

Yes you! My readers. I really appreciate every single one of you taking the time out to read my posts. If you are new and here for the first time then WELCOME. I do hope you will stop by another time.

To those I hold a little more dear to me, my avid followers. Those of you who continue to support me by returning to read post after post. If I have shared anything worth while or a post that has resonated with someone then I have achieved something! Maybe you have learnt something new along the way?

My Google Plus followers count is now 50+ which I am so pleased about! My Bloglovin count is currently at 100+ strong, which I am thrilled about. Still working on my Twitter followers, they seem to be a tough crowd. To each and every single one of you THANK YOU!

The people I adore most are those who comment. Who knew it would be so difficult to get people to jot down what they thought at the end of my posts?! Seems more tricky than I thought. If people didn't leave comments how would I know if what I was blogging about hits a nerve or helps someone. Am I blogging about the right things? Do you have any questions on a topic I have raised?

I would like to give a special thank you to a handful of names that have supported me from the start. Who always +1 my posts, share and most of all COMMENT. I say it every time but your support is so important.
Michael Wyatt, Kelsie Linfoot, Stephen Dempster, Frank Garufi jr, Vegan Ostomy, and Michael Groves.
Sorry if I have left anyone out!

Please continue your support by spreading the word. Follow me yourself, share, comment and tell your friends to give me a cheeky 'follow' too, pretty please!!
Without each and every single one of you my blog means nothing. So THANK YOU!! 

Musical loos...

I've been meaning to 'compose' this post for a while, I've just been rushing around like crazy and not had the free time to write it. At last I am finally writing it wahey! This post is over-due, loooong over due.... like 15 years over-due!! I suffered with this problem as early as secondary school, it wasn't something I spoke about or even really thought about mentioning. If you are a little prudent then I should warn you my post is a little on the sensitive side but something I feel needs talking about.
What is this troublesome bother I am referring to?

When I was younger I hated, HATED using public bathrooms. I was a young child which shouldn't even have troubles at such a young age, but I hated to go when people were around. When I was at school I used to cross my legs until I got home or try and time it so that no one was around. I guess I had 'stage fright' about going at public restrooms, now that I'm older its still kind of awkward knowing people are squatting beside you! In work, is it inappropriate to shout a little 'hiya!'

Now 15 years have past and my troublesome bother has somewhat evolved. Jeez lucky me ey! I now have Ulcerative Colitis and one aspect of this illness means that I need to run back and forth to and from the bathroom a little more than the 'normal kids' do.

Trouble is, those of us who are tackling Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis are so determined to live a 'normal' existence that staying at home every day for the rest of our lives simply isn't possible/ viable. These strong warriors are out there right now trying to simply get on with their lives. We work, we shop, we socialize. Here is the tricky bit. There are times in life whether you want to or not, if you have one of these conditions your body is kindly going to tell you that you need to go; in public or not.
I'm sure we would all love the luxury to only use our own bathrooms at home. Some just don't have that luxury. Which brings me onto my question....

Why isn't it standard practise to have music in all public loos?! 

It's a simple question right? I don't know why we are in the year 2014 and this is still an issue that has not been tackled. It would save a hell of a lot of trouble/ embarrassment. Firstly to those of us who have Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD but secondly to all of those who are just too shy to use public bathrooms. It would just go a small way to making life a little bit easier don't you think?!

Please let me know in the comments if you agree with me. I know of only one well know restaurant in the U.K that attempts (badly) to teach you Italian whilst you pee. Only one. Let me know if this is something you agree with, should we start a pertition to get music playing in all public loos? Is this already something that is standard in your part of the world? Do you have a better suggestion to save our blushes? Let me know, I love hearing off you all! x

26 January 2014

Big Garden Bird Watch!

All I've been talking about for the past week has been the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch! I have tried valiantly to get everyone to take part. I hope some of you did, I've had a great time!!Right then, I had best
tell you how I got on...

Attempt one was Saturday 25th January. As usual the Welsh weather didn't let us down. It was rainy and for those of you who aren't familiar with Wales .... IT ALWAYS RAINS!!! Like always. There is no getting away from the damp soggy weather here in sunny Wales. So unless the birds/ wildlife had a good pair of wellingtons and a coat, they were staying tucked up nice and warm. Not only was it torrential rain but it was also super duper windy!

Result - total disaster!

Onto attempt two.
The weather today Sunday 26th January was looking a little off. I woke to hear the rain on the window so decided to have a sneaky lay-in until it started to brighten up a little later on. I snuggled in the warm with my trusted side-kik (Fergie) watching from a safe distance. It was a slow start but eventually the birds started arriving! I was pleased to see the usual folk showed up so that I at least had something to count. By the end of my hour of bird watching I had a decent number to write down.

The usual suspects : Robin - 2, Great tit - 1, Blue tit -3, Magpie - 6, Starling - 1, Collard Dove - 2, Wood Pigeon - 1, Nuthatch - 2, Jackdaw - 15, Black bird - 4, + 1 greedy Squirrel.

Star attractions : For only the third time (this week only) I saw a Jay and for the first time ever a Song Thrush!

There were one or two others but I am still trawling through a couple of bird books to try and name the little buggers! The small birds move at super sonic speed that it is almost impossible to keep up.
Once I can name all of my visitors I shall be jotting them down on the form provided by the RSBP (or you can input the results online but I think it is a little slow due to everyone trying to visit) and then I shall be posting it back. By the sound of those talking on Twitter it seems most people have had a wash out but I'm sure everyone who took part has had a ball! I know I have. :D

22 January 2014

Find your meaning...

What does this little purple ribbon mean to you?

The humble purple ribbon has, over time come to represent and raise awareness of many different causes. Some of these are Alzheimer's Disease, Epilepsy, Lupus and Domestic Violence to name but a few. I however, would like to bring to your attention that for many whom are tackling an illness on a daily basis this humble purple ribbon has come to represent the struggle some face with
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Never known what this purple ribbon represents? I am not ashamed to say that until not so long ago I too was totally unaware of its meaning. Maybe it is something I should have known, or maybe there should be more awareness or perhaps we need to shout it from the rooftops. Show everyone what this purple ribbon represents. 

"It's more than a ribbon, it's a movement."
- IBD and Ostomy Awareness.

This ribbon has come to mean a lot more than just representing Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. It is anything but a humble purple ribbon. For me, having lived for a few years with Ulcerative Colitis it has a vast meaning. Some who have it or know a loved one tackling these illnesses may feel this ribbon for them represents sadness, loss, despair, pain, suffering, anxiety or depression. I can relate, I have been through many of these emotions myself. Chronic illness is a hard thing to deal with. Seeing others in pain and not being able to comfort them must be so hard.... 

I also see another side of this ribbon, I see it represents a community that is filled with strong, courageous people. The kind of people who's legacy others talk about. Through the illness I have found strength, bravery and determination. I am filled with hope, happiness and love. A new start, a new chapter and unity. 
I see UNITY. x

Tell a friend, a relative, tell the people in your school or workplace. 
"Do you know what the purple ribbon represents?" Start conversations, spark debate. Jump up and down screaming and shouting, just get the word out there!

Wonder Woman I am not..

As some of you may or may not have noticed I have recently celebrated my 26th birthday. Wahey!! So full up on birthday cheer I thought I would be clever and stuff myself with a pizza from well known pizza franchise. Nom nom.

Having Ulcerative Colitis and knowing I should avoid doughy pizza I ordered one anyway!!
I knew it would not end well, but I ate it regardless because I was determined to have a good time. I had convinced myself that as it was my birthday I was some kind of super hero.

Wonder Woman I am not...

Today I am in pain and I feel horrible. I don't fully regret it because it was totally yummy, but is it fair to have this pain simply because I pigged out on pizza?! I was aware it was one of my 'trigger' foods (one that makes my Ulcerative Colitis worse) but gluten free pizza is just not the same. Therefor it was a treat.

I, like I'm sure others of you... have become pretty good at hiding when I'm not feeling great. I don't bother grumbling to family members any more because I feel like they have heard enough. This evening I could no longer stifle a happy smile as the only way I could make myself feel better was to double up in half and shuffle around the house like a plonker.
It's back to bed for me to rest and chill out! Good thing I never went on an all night drinking session then isn't it?

Sometimes I feel like I simply want to curl up and hide! Like this guy ....

21 January 2014

Fergie the cat

Some of you have asked to see a little more about my best friend Fergie (the cat) so I thought I would create a little post all about her. In all honesty it is refreshing to create a post that is about someone else rather than myself for a change ha!

Here she is... my best friend! Fergie doesn't care less that I run back and forth from the bathroom all day because of my Ulcerative Colitis. She is always around for cuddles when I'm in pain. She shows no interest in my emotional breakdown or when my blood boils cause I am having a bad day and can't get myself together. She doesn't care that I spend way more time at home than I should.
She is simply there for me. She makes me laugh, smile and is a reminder that life is precious. 

You can have all the luxury's in the world but you will never truly know life until you find a best friend!

A couple of the basics:

Fergie is a little over 6 years old.
The name came about as names were placed in a hat and my first choice was drawn. I guess shes lucky as my alternative was Tequila Haha.
A 'Tortoiseshell' which means she is white, black and brown. Don't ask me why it is called tortoiseshell, I don't think she looks much like a tortoise but hey!
She has lived in our house since she was a couple of weeks old and arrived in a cardboard box.
She is both an indoor and outdoor cat.
Lastly I should mention she is on a diet!

As I type she is snuggled up on her purple spotted bed with one eye open watching my fingers type thinking 'what is she up to'.

She sleeps curled up in her bed at the bottom left corner of my bed (I knew there was a reason I bought a double bed, I think it was to have more space... not to share it with a cat but there you go)

She wakes me up super early like 6 am sometimes we have a lay in until
8 am for breakfast and some fresh air. Anyone who does not own a cat will think we are crazy but ignoring a hungry cat is impossible. Fergie will pull on the bed sheets or stand on my head and if all that fails she walks on my dresser and knocks everything over.After a bit of play its usually back to bed for hours of sleep then she reawakens around 5 pm for a cheeky prowl around the neighborhood. Well really she only goes for a nose around the local gardens before returning to the comfort/ safety of her own home.
Time for another playtime, clears a bowl of food then runs up to bed before me around 10 pm. Where she will stay, snuggled up and snoring until 6 am the next morning!

Favourite place in the house - The upstairs window sill watching the world go by.
Favourite past time - Snoring! Yes my cat snores.
Favourite toys - Cardboard boxes, cotton buds/Q-tips, my legs if shes feeling cheeky?
Peculiar habits - Likes to be dried with paper towels when she comes in from the rain. I think it saves her hours of grooming ha.
Dislikes - Not too fussy on being brushed and avoids all visitors at all cost.

Attributions - Grumpy, cheeky, playful, loving.
She has her own ground rules, she chooses when she wants affection. Not a lap cat, shes too independent for that. A little grumpy.

If anyone owns a cat you will know there are instances when they break stuff or behave mischievously and get on your nerves but you only have to glance at them sleeping and you melt. Did I think you could get so attached to a cat? No. Am I that attached to my cat? YES!
All sins forgotten :D

Please leave your thoughts/ feelings in the comment box bellow. I love hearing your feedback!

16 January 2014

Do something a little different...

The RSPB is the U.K's largest nature conservation charity. They do wonderful work trying to protect and preserve our birds and wildlife. Next weekend 25th - 26th January 2014 they are asking for our help...

Will you be taking part in this years 'Big Garden Birdwatch'? For one hour of the day over the next weekend they would like you to count the number of local birds that visit your garden. Then just upload your results to their website. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

It really couldn't be any simpler. Get the kids involved by making your own bird feeders. Run out, place some food for the bird, nuts/ seeds and watch them flock.

If you are not in the Uk, I think you should still participate. At this time of year with the bitterly cold weather the bird population needs all the help it can get. Grab a cuppa, sit back and let's compare the array of wildlife that is out there. I am sure the birds local to our gardens here in the UK will be far different to those that visit you bloggers from America, Canada and further afield.

Some of the usual suspects that can be found in my garden are...
Nuthatch, House Sparrow, Blue Tit & a Robin. There are a few more like a Blackbird and Starling that visit but those are pretty much black/dark in colour so I opted to share the more colourful ones with you.

I hope everyone will get involved, it would be wonderful to see the diversity. Who can get the rarest spot I wonder? I have been out to buy all kinds of nuts and seeds in the hope of attracting some new comers. I will of course be watching from the warmth of my upstairs window, with binoculars in hand as some of these birds can be tiny. One blink and you have missed them.

So get yourselves ready, put the date in your diary and enjoy an hour of bird watching.

-- Spend one hour of your choice counting.
-- Record the highest number of species you see at the same time, to avoid counting the same bird twice. (4 Robins at the food, so 4 is the number you record. Not 4 Robins now, 2 more ten minutes later = 6)
-- Don't forget to submit your results at https://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
-- Have fun!

Not to fret, my best mate Fergie will be tucked up indoors...probably sleeping like usual so that no birds end up becoming lunch!!

15 January 2014

Thoughts of a new blogger...

I have now been blogging for a couple of weeks, which I feel is the perfect time to express how I have taken to blogging. Here are my thoughts as a new blogger..

Why I started my blog - In all honesty I had never considered starting a blog, for the simple reason I didn't think I had a topic to cover. There are sooo many fashion and beauty blogs out there that I felt the world wouldn't need yet another one.

My inspiration came from a wonderful guy named Michael Wyatt (huge props to him woohoo!). Michael started his own blog to document his recovery after surgery for Ulcerative Colitis - http://ibdsurvivor.blogspot.co.uk. He posted on a forum for those suffering with Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis about his new blog and I thought he was really brave. Up until then I had kept most of my thoughts and feelings about my own journey with Ulcerative Colitis to myself. Seeing Michael speaking/ sharing his journey so openly and in such an honest way inspired me to start blogging about my own very different journey with the illness.

So here we are 'Colitis and ME'.
What I thought it would be like - To be honest I hadn't given it too much thought, I sort of just 'went for it'! I am making it up as I go. Hmm maybe I should really have given this a bit more thought haha.

How have I found it? - As a whole, I am really enjoying myself! I find the writing pretty easy, I tend to just woffle on anyway and can talk for hours. What I am finding more tricky is trying to figure out what all the features of Blogger and Google+ do. Though I feel I am getting better with time.
The feedback and support I have had has been wonderful. I have found such a huge support network with the Corhn's, Colitis and IBD members. Though I am conscious about the wider audience that I hope I can attract to my blog, for the main reason I wanted to blog was to raise awareness of the illnesses.
Yes I have Ulcerative Colitis but I am also ME. There is a lot more too me, I am not defined by my illness. Hopefully there is a bit for everyone.
On the down side, I wish more of you cheeky monkeys would join in. I can see my visitor counter rising though many don't leave any comments.

How do I feel I am doing? - Average? I'm still trying to see what topics are most engaging with everyone. I don't think I have yet insulted anyone which is always a plus and I would like to say I feel I have made new online friends which is a huge bonus.

What does the future hold? - I don't know, hopefully more blogging! That's if my readers want to read more of my woffle. Who knows what the future will bring but I know that when I started my blog I was incredibly miserable and was finding it tough to deal with my Ulcerative Colitis. I had hit a brick wall and was finding it tough, but engaging with people through my blog is not only a distraction it is also a comfort to know I have your support. However, what I do know... is that it's time for a nice hot bath.

13 January 2014

Organ donation...

Organ donation - by far the biggest and probably most conversational topic I have covered yet. I feel it is important to raise discussion on topics that are maybe hard to cover but worth discussing. Some may not agree with my views and will have a completely different standing from my own and that is perfectly normal. That is the reason I am hoping to spark debate. I think organ donation is a key question to ask in life, maybe you haven't given it much thought in the past? Some people may know straight off what path they are going to take, others may still be undecided.

There are times when the question of organ donation resurfaces in my mind, I am not certain where I stand with my personal decision. I suspect many people think it is a simple question, and I know we are encouraged to become an organ donor. 'It is the right thing to do'.
This post is a little longer than usual but please continue reading, it is an important issue to raise/discuss.

I feel I am a good person with a good heart. It is in my nature to help others. However I feel uneasy about giving my organs away. 'You won't need them when it is time to donate' and in common sense you are right, there will come a time (hopefully in old age) when I won't be around to need my organs. Do I want someone else to have them? If it was anything else we were discussing i'm sure I would say of course you can have them, anything to help someone in desperate need. So why do I feel unsure about sharing my organs with somebody in need? It is something that doesn't lay easy with me, i'm not sure why. I know what people presume 'the right thing' to do is but that doesn't make my choice any easier.
It is a big choice to make in life.

Sadly everyone has felt the grief and sadness of loosing someone dear. It never gets easier. Loosing a loved one is one of the worst times in life. Not so long ago I lost a colleague who was battling her own journey with Ulcerative Colitis. Through complications with her treatment she ended up becoming very unwell and was put onto the transplant list as she had liver failure. I have seen first hand the agony of 'waiting' for a suitable organ to become available. It is far too easy for me to sit here and say 'why is the wait for an organ so long' and that is hypocritical of me. In future there will be a person just like her who will be questioning why I couldn't help them. After a long wait she eventually got her liver transplant but sadly lost her battle due to a blood clot. There is comfort in knowing she had a healthier 3 months before her passing. A huge number of people turned out for her funeral, her spirit touched so many people she came into contact with.

From a U.K. stance - Wales currently has an 'opt-in' system. You sign up to the donor register that gives permission to use your organs once you pass away. This system is due to change I believe on the 1st December 2015 and will become an 'opt-out' system. After this date it will be presumed that you have given consent to use your organs unless you state you do not wish this. I believe this is in order to raise the number of available organs and cut down on the number of people who 'don't get around to signing up'.

Another reason I raise this issue of donation is because I have had first hand experience of a slightly different topic, 'blood donation'.
During August 2009, I was admitted to hospital because I had left my Ulcerative Colitis untreated for over a year. It was the start of my illness and I had no idea why I was running back and forth to the bathroom all day and night. I simply ignored all symptoms, refused to discuss it, shoved my head under the duvet and convinced myself I was going to die. After a whole year of leaving my illness I found the courage to check myself into hospital. During the next fortnight I had so many different tests, drugs, scans, infusions. I was a wreck! My body had almost shut down on me, I was 6 stone in weight all bones. My hair was falling out and I became Anemic as there was no goodness left in my body. I won't sugar coat it, I went through hell! I was pumped so full of drugs and was so emotionally beat that I was away with the fairies. Naively and without hardly any consultation I was given a blood transfusion. It was the hardest thing for me to accept, having someone else's blood now coursing through my body. It is hard to get your head around it. I will forever be indebted to the loving and kind person who took the time to donate blood, for without them I don't know if I would be here.

My question is, why do I feel differently to blood donation than organ donation? Some may argue that it is exactly the same thing. Would I share blood, I think I would (although now I have had a transfusion I am not eligible). Would I share bone marrow or other procedures, I think if possible I would. So why then do I hit a brick wall when it comes to my organs?

Where do you stand?
Are you signed up? Have you been meaning to sign up and haven't yet got around to it? If you agree with it, why not sign up today? What have your loved ones chosen to do? Are they pro/against donation? Have you discussed it as a family?

I asked friends for their opinions. One said 'I would donate to my own family, maybe certain friends'.
Another is fully in favour of donating and has already signed up.
Me? I still do not know. For now I would like to hold onto mine though I may come to a different decision in later life.

As always I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I am aware many will disagree with each other. I hope to have a grown up discussion on a topic which I believe goes further than just asking what is 'right' or 'wrong'.

9 January 2014

Blogging space...

This is my blogging space....

Admittedly it is A LOT cleaner than usual. There is usually a lot of odds and ends flying around and a layer of dust but for the benefit of my blog I gave it a quick tidy. I'm a bit of a night owl so stay up rather late blogging, I simply don't understand you early morning people. I have attempted to wake early but you simply get a happier and more respondent 'me' in the evening/night time. I love nothing better than a cup of tea at my side, two sugars please! The cat does her best to keep me company, usually just takes up all of the room on my bed and I blog facing the wall as I am far too easily distracted, if I faced a window I would achieve nothing. 

Now for your participation.... I hope you will all join in.

*Take a snapshot of your blogging space as I would love to see them.*
I mean what else do you have to do apart from the ironing, cleaning, work, revision or picking the kids up from school?
Send them to me on Google+ and I shall add them to the bottom of my post. Please join in or I may end up looking a little silly having no responses HA! Is your blog space cleaner than mine? Are you brave enough to show the world your blogging mess?!
I can't wait to see where you blog from :)

**Photos of your blogging spaces**

Michael sweetly apologised for the 'mess'. A busy guy hard at work I can assure you...
His blog is: HERE

Meanwhile Stephen assures me that his blogging space is "a thing of singular beauty and breathtaking to behold" He is said to blog using a Samsung Chromebook, a mobile wi-fi connection, a Philips digital audio recorder and a HUGE mug of tea, all perched on a laptop tray. You shall have to imagine him until he gets around to posting a photo! *update* The following photo may go some ways as to explaining why Stephen finds it so difficult to keep up to date with the online community. No, your eyes are not deceiving you.
Find him: HERE

Kelsie is another laid back blogger. In her own words..."Enjoying the lazyboy laptop experience"
A great blog: HERE

Here is Vegan Ostomy's blogging space: He says the key for him is "keeping it minimal" and that the laptop is a big step up from what he is used to, after months of using a smartphone or a tablet. Nice to see you going up in the world :)
Find out more: HERE

Catherine has kindly agreed for me to include her blogging space in with my post. Looking very comfortably there Catherine with a cheeky glass on wine!
Her blog is: HERE

Kerry was also cornered by me and asked if she would participate in my 'blogging space' post. Writing a fashion and art blog I shouldn't have been surprised to receive such a beautiful blogging space photo.
So here is where she blogs from and you can find her: HERE

8 January 2014

Feeling lucky.

I am aware that from time to time I tend to grumble. I grumble because I feel frustrated and angry that my Ulcerative Colitis is somewhat holding me back from life. I shouldn't grumble though as I feel I am somewhat one of the lucky ones...

Since finding the online Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBD community I've had the privilege of reading other peoples stories of living with these conditions. I am by far amazed by what some have gone through and have still to face. The resilience and bravery you all show day in day out is like nothing I have seen.

I can see I am one of the 'lucky ones'. I say this as I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in August 2009 ...and I still have all of my insides. I have had my eyes opened as to how many of you lovely people have had these illnesses for less time than I and yet you are further along the trail than I am. Knowing this does make me feel I have been somewhat spared in terms of pain but I now face the realization of 'how long will my happy existence rein'.

I don't know what on earth I am doing differently than you all to keep my Ulcerative Colitis at bay but I wish I did so that I could share it with you. No comfort to those of you who have already been through so much I know. I hope you wont read this post and feel resentment, I am aware of how 'lucky' I have been. I find comfort in knowing if my illness worsens I will have the support and understanding of such a great online community.

Those of you who have had/have your big surgerys are incredibly strong, inspirational and amazing. You are a group of people who have learnt how to deal with the worst in life and still you all battle through.

Please know that you are the people I cherish, admire and look up to, you have earnt your place in life and are the kind of people who will change the world for the better. You rock!

6 January 2014

Spring cleaning...in January?

My excuse for being so elusive these last few days? I have been spring cleaning...in January!
Yes you did hear me correctly. For the benefit of those who are unfamiliar with the tradition of 'spring cleaning'... it is the spontaneous act of gathering all of the tat and rubbish which accumulates around the home all year round. Then when spring arrives you simply 'fling' it all out!
I am hoping that I wont be thrown out along with the bundle of tat Ha.

When did I acquire so much 'stuff'?!

Having a good clean out is both cleansing and good for the soul. I am also finding it a useful distraction from the good ol' Ulcerative Colitis. It is precious to have time when you simply switch off and think of other things besides all the grumbles that come along side illness. We find ourselves too much of the time wrapped up in all of the 'blah' that life can get away from us.

I really don't know where all of this clutter has come from, though I do know where it is going! :) I am in no way a saint nor do I go out of my way to do charity work (I know I should, but the reality is that most of us simply don't).
I have been a devoted animal lover since I can remember, I had aspirations of being a vet... until I became a vegetarian and the idea of surgery put me off! So I had to think of a new career path...still thinking 18 years on ha! I am donating most of my childhood teddy bears which I have clung onto for years and old clothes to a local animal rescue charity shop (RSPCA). I am aware that they need to raise funds to care for the sick and abandoned animals so I am hoping to give them a bit of a boost!

After having a good old fling how am I feeling? exhilarated, proud, happy and best of all ... clutter free. Along with the bags of items I plan on leaving will be a symbolic bag of emotional 'blah' behind. I feel like I have lifted a huge weight that has been weighing me down. I have wallowed in my own pity and misery for long enough now. New start, new outlook, new confidence, new blog, new friends, new support system.... NEW ME!

4 January 2014


I'm going to start my post with a simple question ....

When I think about it I find it a little tricky to think of the correct answer. I would of course, now knowing I have Ulcerative Colitis explore life a little more but I'm sure all of us with Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD are all thinking we could have done more 'stuff' which we are these days a little more reserved about throwing ourselves into.

On a deeper level, I'm not too sure what I would tell myself.
To not worry so much? as I seem to be doing plenty of that now.
Have more fun? Hmm I think I did ok.

I think I would tell myself that I am turning out to be a pretty awesome person. That I will be happy with the person I will one day be. I am proud of myself for all I've been through and all that I have achieved.
My journey is only slightly complete and I have a long way left to go in this adventure called life. I shall set more goals for myself and enjoy getting there. Though shalt not grumble or moan...Ha ok maybe I will a little.

So! I am super keen to ask you all ...
'What would you tell your younger self?'

Get involved and leave an array of comments bellow which I always love to read.