Playing The Cards You’re Dealt

A very well written blog from a fellow IBD survivor.


“Life does not hand you breaks. Life does not give you what you think you are owed. It will get better is something I get told a lot. Often it either doesn’t, or it does but not to the extent you ne…”

Source: Playing The Cards You’re Dealt




Three Years On

Cornish Sunset

Cornish Sunset

So on 30th October 2012 I had my large intestine removed, a J-pouch formed from the base of my small intestine and a temporary stoma. On 27th November 2012 I had the temporary stoma reversed and my J-pouch put to the test. Three years on I sometimes forget what has happened to me. I have mixed feelings about this. It is a great testament to my recovery and the fantastic job the surgeons did. At the same time it makes me complacent and I should remember that my insides are different to other peoples. There has been the occasional hiccup (as in bowel hiccup), but my quality of life is amazing compared to what it was.

My body has healed so well. You can barely see any scaring. I have four keyhole scars on my abdomen and two larger scars, one under my belly button and another on my right hand side where the stoma was. I can still feel these scars but you can barely see them, being very hairy helps with this. I am able to do a very physically intensive job and barely have any problems. I may sometimes have a long walk to a toilet but I have control and warning now.

3 years on and it's hard to see any scars.

3 years on and it’s hard to see any scars.

What am I trying to say with this post other than “oh look at me, three years ago I was a mess, now I have a life”. I may be very busy but I would rather be busy and struggle to fit everything I need or want to do into my day rather than be too ill to have a life or a meaningful existence.

Everyone has problems but the crucial thing is how you deal with them. Do you tackle them and overcome these problems or hope that they will go away. People may help or try to help you but you are the most important person in dealing with your problems. Once you have acknowledged the issue you can start addressing it. I was fortunate in that most of the serious problems I have had (whether physical or mental), have had an identifiable cause which I have been able to address. It is not always easy to deal with the problem but you need to persevere. Life isn’t easy that part of the beauty of it. It would be very boring if it was easy.  If you are lucky there will be a quick fix. If it isn’t a quick fix it’ll take determination, there will be good days and bad days, use these to keep you going. Learn from the good and the bad and don’t give up.

“A fool is someone who goes through a negative experience and doesn’t learn from it.” I first heard this quoted by Richard Hawley. I don’t know if he heard it somewhere else but I will attribute it to him. I try not to be a fool but sometimes I am.

PS I managed to get through a whole blog post and barely referred to poo. Also sorry about the picture…at least you don’t have to see my face.

The truth about pooping in a bag is that it can save lives

This is a great article about a persons experience with Crohn’s disease and having an ileostomy:

“People who have ostomies all had serious medical conditions or injuries they didn’t choose, and surgery became an option for a better life, or in some cases to save a life. Remember that. Don’t judge people who have had to go through so much and are dealing with it because they have to.”
At some point I should start writing again about my own experience but I keep saying I don’t have time. It would be more accurate to say that I am not organising my time well enough to write anything.

Ostomies do save your life and make your quality of life so much better. I only had to live with a ileostomy for a month but I feel I was mentally ready for it. I had had such a bad experience with ulcerative colitis that the prospect of pooing into a bad seemed much better than what I had been dealing with. Almost three years on (living with a j-pouch) I sometimes forget that I have one. It doesn’t seem like three years. I have been able to do things I never could have done if I was still suffering from UC. I have had to use a few too many portaloos than I would like but such is the life of a field archaeologist.

Whatever troubles you may experience, they are only fleeting. Human have an amazing capacity to overcome adversity, whether it is physical, mental and be better off afterwards. That’s a bit of a rubbish end. I’m tired and can’t think of a better positive message to end on

To the woman who tutted at me using the disabled toilets…

A very good description of problems faced by people with internal pouches. I haven’t posted anything in quite some time so I thought I would promote a very well written post by someone else.

So Bad Ass

Dear lady who loudly tutted at me using the disabled loos,

I know you saw me running in, with my able bodied legs and all. You saw me opening the door with my two working arms. You saw me without a wheelchair. Without any visible sign of disability.

You tutted loudly as I rattled the handle with my hands that work perfectly and my able voice call to my kids that I’d be out in just a minute.

My lack of wheelchair may have suggested to you that I was some lazy cow who didn’t care. Some inconsiderate bitch who was using something I wasn’t entitled too. (I actually carry a card to explain that I’m entitled to and have a disability key if you’d have cared to ask). You may have seen my face blushing as I caught your eye and assumed I was showing guilt at blagging the…

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I have not written anything on this blog for a long time. I have been distracted by a masters course which I have not finished. I am at a bit of a loss now that I am finished and I should start writing on this to give me a bit of direction.

Two years ago was when I had the second part of the operations to help my body deal with ulcerative colitis (UC). At the time I was not sure if agreeing to the operations in the first place was a very good idea. Long story short things were not going as well as hoped. After the second operation things improved, which I am incredibly grateful for. I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. Two years on I think I made one of the best decisions of my life. I could not have achieved what I have in the past two years if I was still suffering from UC the way I was before the first operation.

In the spirit of giving thanks. I am thankful I am alive. I am thankful I made the decision to undergo surgery. I am thankful for my family who helped me at my lowest points. I am thankful for the new job I shall be starting in December.

To everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful day with friends and family. Be grateful for the little things as much for the big things.


Another anniversary

I had forgotten what day it was. On 27th November 2012 I had my second operation to close my stoma and get my pouch into action. In reference to my previous post I achieved some things I am very proud of in the last 12 months. Though my time keeping is still not great, hence forgetting about writing this post till this evening. I was trying to write an essay today and went to a good but tiring yoga class, which I cycled to as well. All things which I wouldn’t have been able to do or felt like doing before surgery.

Life can be tough but never give up!