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Inside Out by Amber | All You Need to Know About the Podcast

Inside Out by Amber | All You Need to Know About the Podcast

Inside Out by Amber | All You Need to Know About the Podcast Hello all! I hope you’re doing okay and holding on in there! In this post I’m going to chat a little about my new podcast, it’s called, Inside Out by Amber and it aims to discuss topics to do with life when...

Barbie Butt: My Experience and Tips & Tricks

Barbie Butt: My Experience and Tips & Tricks

Barbie Butt: My Experience and Tips & Tricks Hello all, I hope you’re keeping okay! Today I’m going to chat a little about my experience of having Barbie Butt surgery as well as some tips and tricks that I’ve learned over the years for those who have or, might be...

Feeling Body Confident in a Swimsuit

Feeling Body Confident in a Swimsuit

Feeling Body Confident in a Swimsuit Happy June my beautiful Pelican friends, I have one thing to say…EVERYBODY IS A SWIMSUIT BODY! Yes, that’s right, everybody, not just the women you see in swimwear adverts, you do too. This is an important topic for me to touch on...

A Tribute to My Father

A Tribute to My Father

A Tribute to My Father Today is Father’s Day and I’d like to dedicate this post to all the wonderful fathers, father figures, male mentors and to those fathers who are sadly no longer with us. I’ve learnt many wonderful things from my daddy (yes I still call him...

The Summer Stoma Accessory: Deo-Mint Deodorant 

The Summer Stoma Accessory: Deo-Mint Deodorant 

The Summer Stoma Accessory: Deo-Mint Deodorant  You have had stoma surgery, you are recovering, yet no one warned you about that smell. Post-op recovery and you're wondering how on earth you are ever going to get over that smell! Don't panic and please don't fret, the...

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise Many studies have shown that exercise can provide both our physical and mental health with many benefits. Of course, exercising with a chronic illness such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be tough & it can very much...

PIP Assessment | What Is It & How Can You Benefit?

PIP Assessment | What Is It & How Can You Benefit?

PIP Assessment | What Is It & How Can You Benefit? For those of us with a stoma and underlying medical conditions then PIP (Personal Independence Payment) may well be a thing that you may be able to claim. For those who aren’t aware, PIP is a disability benefit...

Benefits During Covid-19

Benefits During Covid-19

Benefits During Covid-19 I keep getting repeated requests for advice as to what benefits can and can’t be claimed for both during the lockdown and for those who are sometimes unable to work due to the nature of surgery or consequent illness. Back in 2012, I was...

Stoma Update | Dealing With a Flare-up 

Stoma Update | Dealing With a Flare-up 

Stoma Update | Dealing With a Flare-up  It's no surprise that my body hates me and occasionally it likes to come back and remind me that I am human and that chronic illness doesn't just go away and it is constantly ticking away finding a way to come back and bite me...

World IBD Day | The Highs & Lows

World IBD Day | The Highs & Lows

World IBD Day | The Highs & Lows Happy World IBD Day My Beautiful Pelican Lovers, I hope you are all doing okay this month and following some of the tips I gave you for staying good in quarantine. I know how hard it is especially right now with the weather being...

Mental Health Awareness Week: Our Top Self-Care Tips

Mental Health Awareness Week: Our Top Self-Care Tips

Mental Health Awareness Week: Our Top Self-Care Tips This past week has been Mental Health Awareness Week (18th-24th May), with this year's theme being kindness; a great reminder that being kind to ourselves is just as important as spreading kindness to others.  ...

World IBD Day | Turning a Negative Experience Into a Positive

World IBD Day | Turning a Negative Experience Into a Positive

World IBD Day | Turning a Negative Experience Into a Positive Throughout my long journey with IBD, one thing that has been important to me is trying to turn a negative into a positive, where possible. Some days, quite understandably, this seems impossible & it is...

World IBD Day | Acceptance, Appreciation & Awareness

World IBD Day | Acceptance, Appreciation & Awareness

World IBD Day | Acceptance, Appreciation & Awareness What does World IBD day mean to me? World IBD day allows those who suffer from Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis to connect, share their stories and raise much-needed...

World IBD Day | My Normal Living with IBD

World IBD Day | My Normal Living with IBD

World IBD Day | My Normal Living with IBD Choo Choo all aboard. Today is World IBD Day. This is something that is close to my heart and a day I have celebrated for nearly 20 years. A little insight into me: I am 34 years old, on the outside with clothes and makeup on....

World IBD Day | What Does IBD Mean to You?

World IBD Day | What Does IBD Mean to You?

World IBD Day | What Does IBD Mean to You? Happy World IBD Day lovelies! Although IBD forms a large part of my day to day, when the wonderful people at Pelican asked me to write about this one, it really got me thinking… I struggled to collect my thoughts and conjure...

Is There a Right or Wrong Way of Emptying Your Stoma Bag?

Is There a Right or Wrong Way of Emptying Your Stoma Bag?

Is There a Right or Wrong Way of Emptying Your Stoma Bag? Myself being ever so curious & nosy I posted up polls across my handles at the beginning of March and left them to run for a week or so. Along with responding to everyone’s comments. I have to admit that it...

9 Things to Know About Barbie Butt Surgery

9 Things to Know About Barbie Butt Surgery

9 Things to Know About Barbie Butt Surgery 9 things that I didn’t know then about Barbie Butt surgery, but I know now.  Sorry gents but this one is for the ladies following surgery.  I was speaking to my stoma buddy Fee a few weeks back, and she was talking about her...

SCN Care During Lockdown

SCN Care During Lockdown

SCN Care During Lockdown It comes as no surprise that the UK is in complete lockdown at the moment. GP surgeries have closed doors. Telephone appointments are now an important part of receiving treatment. I know that today from personal experience that going into the...

Tips for Keeping a Schedule During Self-Isolation

Tips for Keeping a Schedule During Self-Isolation

Tips for Keeping a Schedule During Self-Isolation Hello, My Fellow Isolation Gang, schedule  I hope you’re doing okay and keeping safe during this difficult time. I completely get how everybody’s emotions are all over the place right now and our anxiety and mental...

History of Stoma Care and Appliances

History of Stoma Care and Appliances

History of Stoma Care and Appliances Read part 1 here After writing a blog post titled the history of the stoma. For many of us we most likely take the one-piece or two piece system we use today for granted. I know myself, I have not sat and thought I wonder what...

History Behind the Stoma

History Behind the Stoma

History Behind the Stoma Sat down as I do and having the thought, Is there a history behind the stoma? Which person sat down one evening and thought, I know, what if I pull your insides to the outside, this could potentially save a life or improve the quality of life....

Stomas & Stomach Aches – Managing Stress & Ibd

Stomas & Stomach Aches – Managing Stress & Ibd

Stomas & Stomach Aches - Managing Stress & Ibd Stress & IBD April is Stress Awareness Month, and unfortunately from knowing of others' experience with IBD, as well as my own, stress is something that can, and does, impact Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)...

Stress Awareness Month: Tips on Coping With High Stress Levels

Stress Awareness Month: Tips on Coping With High Stress Levels

Stress Awareness Month: Tips on Coping With High-Stress Levels This month is Stress Awareness Month. From the 1st of April until the 30th many charities and consultants, GP’S and nurses spend the month highlighting what stress does and some of the issues it can...

Covid-19: Ways to Keep a Routine During Isolation 

Covid-19: Ways to Keep a Routine During Isolation 

Covid-19: Ways to Keep a Routine During Isolation  During these times of perhaps forgetting what day it is, wanting to climb the walls through boredom or just ignoring that itch to want to go and see someone that is not directly sitting in your house. How do you...

Covid 19, Self-Isolation and Managing With Stress

Covid 19, Self-Isolation and Managing With Stress

Covid 19, Self-Isolation and Managing With Stress As of the 23rd of March, the entire country is meant to be implementing lockdown, those of us with health issues are to practice stringent social distancing and for those with worse health, they are to practice 12...

International Women’s Day: Breaking the Scars & Stomas Stigma

International Women’s Day: Breaking the Scars & Stomas Stigma

International Women's Day: Breaking the Scars & Stomas Stigma Who runs the world? GIRLS. Happy International Woman’s Day my beautiful Queens. scars I hope you all enjoyed International Women's Day and gave yourself the love you deserve. I celebrated at one of my...

International Women’s Day: Appreciating Your Beauty

International Women’s Day: Appreciating Your Beauty

It took me a long time to learn how to love myself. I had my ostomy at the age of 13 so growing up and trying to fit in was a hard task. For a while I hated the way I looked, I hated that I couldn’t dress the same as my friends, I hated that I had scars and an ostomy. It took me over 5 years to finally realise that having scars is the norm for many people.

International Women’s Day: Women Don’t Poo & Other Lies

International Women’s Day: Women Don’t Poo & Other Lies

Despite what fairy tales and cartoons might portray of women releasing nothing but flowery smelling pink sparkles, us women do indeed fart, burp and poo (in fact, it can be worrying if you don’t but that’s a whole different story) and, these things don’t make us any less ‘feminine’, beautiful or worthy – they simply make us real.

International Women’s Day: CrohnsFighting, Pelican & Me

International Women’s Day: CrohnsFighting, Pelican & Me

International Women's Day: CrohnsFighting, Pelican & Me Today is International Women's Day and I was kindly asked by Pelican if I could write a post about myself for this and reasons as to why I work as an ambassador and spend time raising awareness on living life...

International Women’s Day: Living as a Young Woman With a Stoma

International Women’s Day: Living as a Young Woman With a Stoma

Being a young woman with a stoma has opened me up to many amazing opportunities, especially in the last few years, within the stoma world itself. Being a Brand Ambassador for a few stoma companies has allowed me to be a voice for young women who have had stoma surgery, and has helped me to reach out to those who have probably just needed that little encouragement to feel more empowered & that having a stoma bag attached to your body is definitely something to celebrate & embrace. It makes my heart warm & my suffering worthwhile every time I get a message from somebody saying that something I have done has helped them.

Ostomate Recipe | Tortilla Pizza

Ostomate Recipe | Tortilla Pizza

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is Tortilla Pizzas.

Trialling the Two-Piece Soft Convex

Trialling the Two-Piece Soft Convex

Oh my, trialling a new product when I am in love with the Pelican with added Vitamin E has made me feel like I am cheating on my favourite and go-to product for stoma life. I only decided to trial the bag as weight loss now means my current product is rather large and with my stoma output using the largest bag available is the best for my current needs.

Barrier Rings: Is Simplicity Key?

Barrier Rings: Is Simplicity Key?

Are Barrier rings an accessory or for most of us a lifesaver that increases bag wear time and helps to prevent the odd mishap of a leak? Having played about with a few barrier rings and testing out a few, for me the Eakin slim works the best and is part of my stoma bag change routine

Dream Wedding Dress with an Ostomy: Part 2

Dream Wedding Dress with an Ostomy: Part 2

On the day of the dress shopping, I was having my hair bleached, toned and styled so we could get a good idea of what I would look like with the right dress. I had a slight epic meltdown as the nude knickers and bras I own are now slightly too big for me and I had no time to sort that out. 

Body Confidence, Self-Love & Relationships

Body Confidence, Self-Love & Relationships

Considering Valentine’s Day is a day of love I wanted to use the time to talk about body confidence in relationships, especially when we have stomas or scars.  I have not had a good past when it comes to this. As I always say I am going to be brutally honest and I won’t sugar coat anything. We don’t do that around here.

Relationships & Dating With a Stoma

Relationships & Dating With a Stoma

Topics surrounding relationships and dating are very important to discuss but equally, can be very personal topics and so different to each individual – annoyingly, as with many things, there is no ‘one size fits all’ rule book to follow. Everybody is unique and sometimes, you should just do whatever feels right to you in your own time. ⠀

Dating After Stoma Surgery – It Starts With You!

Dating After Stoma Surgery – It Starts With You!

With mental health awareness & self-care becoming increasingly prevalent in society today, it is no surprise that the relationship we develop with ourselves is becoming more talked about. I’m sure we’ve seen it everywhere that Valentine’s is fast approaching, so I thought it was high time to write a blog post on something that we can all relate to, single or not!

Getting Through Airport Security With an Ostomy

Getting Through Airport Security With an Ostomy

We see it time and time again: the airport security are ignorant to what a stoma is. Personally I think that it is a bit like Russian roulette as to how we get treated going through airport security. As times are changing and people are being educated then fingers crossed the horror stories we hear are less likely to re-occur. 

Top 10 Self-Love Tips for 2020

Top 10 Self-Love Tips for 2020

2019 was the end of a decade and the start of a better one. 2020 is the year of being selfish when it comes to you and focusing on growing and making sure you’re your number one priority.  In this month’s blog, I want to just touch on a few things you need to remember in 2020 that will benefit you.

Our #BeTheChange Campaign

Our #BeTheChange Campaign

We launched our #BeTheChange Campaign with the aim of this campaign is to call for changes to be made in society – tackling everyday challenges that ostomates and more widely those with invisible illnesses may face.

To Change or Not to Change Your Stoma Bag?

To Change or Not to Change Your Stoma Bag?

When should you change your stoma bag? Is there a right or wrong way? Posting about being able to keep a baseplate on for 7 days with a 2-piece system caused a slight influx of comments and messages about how often others change their appliance. 

Social Media, Awareness & Campaigning

Social Media, Awareness & Campaigning

It’s hard to imagine my life without social media, awareness and campaigning now but, believe it or not, there was a time not so long ago that I didn’t associate with those things. I won’t lie, I was pretty naïve when I was first diagnosed with IBD. At a young 13, I very much took it in my stride not really knowing the impacts it would have on my life. As a result, I didn’t do much research, I didn’t speak to anyone about it and I didn’t know there were other people out there going through a similar thing. Looking back, I wish I’d have known different…

Working Life After Stoma Surgery

Working Life After Stoma Surgery

Regardless of who you choose to tell at work (or anywhere) and don’t, it is important to remember that you are NOT your stoma. You HAVE one. I am not Amy the accounts assistant with a stoma bag, I am Amy who is an accounts assistant and has a stoma bag. There is a difference, even if it seems subtle.

As I always say, you own your bag, it doesn’t own you.

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup.

Combating the January Blues

Combating the January Blues

The partying and excesses of the festive season are over and for many, it’s back to work. It is no wonder that the first few months can feel to some like the gloomiest month of the year. Add that to the gloomy weather and cold temperatures. Christmas debts and failed New Year’s resolutions, so it’s no surprise people can find themselves feeling miserable and low at this time of year.

Winter Fashion with an Ostomy

Winter Fashion with an Ostomy

Changing seasons can be difficult when it comes to dressing with a stoma. Just as you feel like you’re finding your feet with a trend and finding pieces that you’re comfortable in and find flattering – the seasons begin to change and you’re back to the drawing board and stressing in the mornings trying to piece a suitable outfit together.

A Guide to Surviving Christmas Dinner with a Stoma

A Guide to Surviving Christmas Dinner with a Stoma

Christmas is almost here. December is a month of indulgence and eating things you wouldn’t usually any other time of the year. Having had Crohn’s disease for nigh on 20 years and a stoma for those for nearly 6 years, I can be honest and say December fills me with a serious amount of anxiety regarding food choices.

Body Confidence After Stoma Reversal: Part 2

Body Confidence After Stoma Reversal: Part 2

Body Confidence After Stoma Reversal Part 2. I had 3 ladies do my shoot with stoma bags! I am so proud of each and every one of them for different reasons.  Jasmine, one of my closest friends joined in my first body confidence shoot earlier in the year, went from being such a shy, insecure girl to ‘I don’t care –  I am fabulous, sassy and in my undies rocking Stanley the Stoma’

Going out over the Christmas Period

Going out over the Christmas Period

Going out over the festive period can involve immense planning, a strict rota and many outfit changes. Not to forget having to perhaps accommodate your stoma with outfit choices and keeping a spare stoma kit to hand for the just-in-case moments.

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Hot & Sour Prawn Soup

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Hot & Sour Prawn Soup

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is Hot & Sour Prawn Soup.

Surviving the Christmas Period with a Stoma

Surviving the Christmas Period with a Stoma

So, Christmas is fast approaching and let’s be honest apart from Easter this is the only other time of year that you can get away with eating your actual body weight in food without feeling guilty until the New year kicks in with the ‘new year, new me’ air quotes.

So how do I survive Christmas and not get stressed out over the one day of year that can potentially put families into a fair amount of debt or be the breaking point for families that may not be able to afford the Christmas period at all…

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Chicken in a Bag

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Chicken in a Bag

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is chicken in a bag.

Medical Exemption Cards for Ostomates

Medical Exemption Cards for Ostomates

Medical exemption cards are incredibly helpful. For those of us with numerous stoma supplies and medication in the UK, prescription costs can get costly. With each item being £9.00 the bills can rack up and with it being essential, it can prove rather costly and for those on limited income or not working then it can occasionally be a choice of choosing food or prescription costs.

Moving & Having to Change GP

Moving & Having to Change GP

Moving is stressful and a right old faff at times, you need to change your address details with all the banks, relevant companies and then remember to change utility companies, etc. Not to mention the packing up of the old home and unpacking at the new one.

The main issue with having a stoma and moving is the fact you need to change GP and you need to do it quickly. If you aren’t registered with a GP then you can’t get stoma supplies

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Red Curry & Prawn Noodles

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Red Curry & Prawn Noodles

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is red curry and prawn noodles.

Moving Stress and Checklist

Moving Stress and Checklist

Having a stoma means there are things we need to get sorted in the process of moving. Check out Louise’s checklist to help make the moving process a lot easier.

Responding to Negativity in the Media

Responding to Negativity in the Media

It is inevitable that people are always going to have opposing views or something to say particularly when it’s to do with something so ‘taboo’ and ‘stigmatised’ that they are not necessarily aware of, educated about or comfortable with – I was very much aware of this going into making my Instagram page. However, this is the exact reason I began and that I continue to do what I do in order to educate these people and hopefully, create a more accepting and understanding future in moving forward. Despite this, I wasn’t aware of the scale some of this negativity might come at…

Vitamin E: The Essential Skin Vitamin for Winter

Vitamin E: The Essential Skin Vitamin for Winter

Winter can be a troubling time for your skin – with a combination of cold from the outside and dry heat from the indoors, it can cause your skin to dehydrate and become more susceptible to irritation. Enter Vitamin E, which works to tackle the winter skin blues.

How to Prepare for Stoma Surgery

How to Prepare for Stoma Surgery

My operation was in 2011 so it feels a long time away now but I can still remember quite a bit about it. I was 19 at the time & even though it hadn’t been mentioned until a few months before it became a reality, I wanted it to happen so that I could hopefully start building a life.

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Chorizo, Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Winter Ostomate Recipe | Chorizo, Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Louise’s step by step guide for cooking that is healthy, tasty and gives you that warm and cosy feeling that is ostomy friendly and in most cases suitable for ileostomy patients.

This week’s recipe is broccoli, chorizo and chicken bake.

What Would I Tell Earlier Self About Life with a Stoma?

What Would I Tell Earlier Self About Life with a Stoma?

Thinking back to when I got my first stoma I didn’t even think about what it was. The surgery was an emergency; I was on life support when it was carried out. I literally had no choice in the matter. I woke up after 3 weeks and it was just sitting there with tubes coming out of it and a bag covering the offending little pink thing that was stitched to my stomach. 

Sponsorship with FC Burbage

Sponsorship with FC Burbage

FC Burbage under 7’s, in Burbage, Leicestershire would like to reveal that Pelican Healthcare has amazingly agreed to sponsor all 3 squads of the under 7’s for the 2019/2020 season.

Amy’s Review: Vitamin E Adhesive Remover Spray

Amy’s Review: Vitamin E Adhesive Remover Spray

Last month I got in touch with Pelican Healthcare to ask them if I could sample their new Vitamin E Elements range. Within a few days I was sent a cute little box (purple too, woo!) full of Vitamin E goodies to try including adhesive remover spray and wipes and also some barrier wipes. Here’s how I got on…

Body Confidence After Stoma Reversal: Part 1

Body Confidence After Stoma Reversal: Part 1

This month I am talking about Body Confidence. I am going to split this blog into two parts because I have so much to say on this subject. So as you all already know due to having Crohn’s Disease and having a stoma bag for a year I was left with two scars. One all the way down my stomach and the stoma bag scar on the right side of my tummy just below my belly button.

University with a Stoma: Dealing with the Workload

University with a Stoma: Dealing with the Workload

The first few weeks of University can be a bit of a whirlwind and they can prove difficult for people in various ways. Being thrown into the mix of moving out and freshers is daunting in itself let alone throwing in your first weeks of new study and lectures and beginning to take on the workload of your next venture of study. Now, if this isn’t enough for anyone as it is, then it can be even more daunting with an illness, fatigue, or anything else added to the mix.

Eating Out With An Ileostomy

Eating Out With An Ileostomy

We each have our unique eating habits following ileostomy surgery. Some can eat anything and everything with no repercussions to ileostomy life. Others like myself have to be careful with what to eat as I know what will cause a potential blockage – but that still shouldn’t stop you from eating out.

Dealing with Bag Leaks in Public

Dealing with Bag Leaks in Public

How do you deal with bag leaks in public? Louise shares her recent experience dealing with a major bag leak on the side of the road.

How to Deal with the Bad Days

How to Deal with the Bad Days

I would be lying and sugar coating it if I said that having an ostomy doesn’t come with bad days. After my surgery in 2011, I had amazingly good days where I felt free of pain & suddenly open to a life ahead of me I could only have dreamed of before. I also had extremely bad days. Without going into lots of detail, I can say that at the time I would have been quite happy to not exist anymore & there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. It does get better.

Anxiety with a Stoma

Anxiety with a Stoma

Anxiety is not my friend and it is something that I deal with on a daily basis. It doesn’t rule my life but there are times when it can get in the way and my holiday was one of them.  How do you deal with anxiety with a stoma?

Can Weight Loss & Weight Gain Affect Our Stoma Site?

Can Weight Loss & Weight Gain Affect Our Stoma Site?

Over the last 3 years I have seen dramatic changes in my stoma site due to weight gain and weight loss. Writing this post will hopefully help others and give a bit more insight as to how this could potentially cause changes to your stoma site and help if you are having issues.

University with a Stoma: Surviving Freshers Week

University with a Stoma: Surviving Freshers Week

The truth is that the journey and transition to university is huge for anyone and everyone let alone throwing having an ostomy or a chronic illness into the cocktail – I’d be worried if you weren’t just a little nervous! However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have the best time or why you shouldn’t join in on any of the chaos.

University with a Stoma: Moving Out & Student Living

University with a Stoma: Moving Out & Student Living

Part 1 of Amber’s University With A Stoma Series: So, the first thing I’d like to chat about is possibly one of the biggest things with regards to starting University for anyone, that is, moving out and student living. I don’t know about you, but, growing up with the unpredictable lifestyle of living with IBD has made me an organisation freak when it comes to planning where I’m going to be or knowing the type of place that I’ll be going to. So, applying for student accommodation months before moving out sent me into absolute turmoil for numerous reasons.

Sepsis Awareness Month

Sepsis Awareness Month

Every year from the 1st of September until the 30th is Sepsis Awareness Month. For me this awareness month is very close to my heart as I have battled sepsis numerous times and it is how I got my first stoma.

Lauren’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 8

Lauren’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 8

My name is Lauren and I like to describe myself as ‘your friendly neighbourhood Crohnie’ – I’m 27, work in the financial industry as an employment relations specialist and am currently enjoying being a new member of the ostomate community. However, despite being new to all things stoma (I gained a permanent colostomy only seven weeks ago), I have actually been diagnosed with Crohn’s for almost twenty years; most of my life.

Amy’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 7

Amy’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 7

Bring diagnosed with Crohn’s or Colitis at a young age can be a scary, daunting experience. Amy gives her insight on what it was like being diagnosed as a young age and if she received much support on her journey.

Amber’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 13

Amber’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 13

I feel that I was very much kept in the dark when it came to my treatments and care. I feel as if I was very much kept protected from the harsh reality and truths of the extents of the disease and the treatments and that this isn’t always the best way. I would have benefitted from being told more, made more aware and generally being a part of my care plan rather than only finding things out at the last minute when at breaking point

Sophie’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 11

Sophie’s Young Diagnosis Story: Age 11

I had quite the journey to get my Crohn’s Disease diagnosis. Diagnosed at age 11, I do not remember much from this time as I was wiped out with pain. Nevertheless, I do remember how traumatic this time was for me, being so young.

Sex After Barbie Butt Surgery

Sex After Barbie Butt Surgery

Intimacy after Barbie Butt surgery may be a concern for many people. Louise discusses her experience with sex after Barbie Butt surgery and if it caused any differences in her relationship.

Natalie-Amber’s Story: Crohn’s Diagnosis & Learning to Love Yourself

Natalie-Amber’s Story: Crohn’s Diagnosis & Learning to Love Yourself

“‘Queen It’ saved me. I love her and her little tiny red self, she was so petite and yes, she gave me grief at times, but I loved her dearly. This changed me for the better, I love the woman I am becoming today, and I will never be the person I once was again. ” Read Natalie-Amber’s powerful story about being diagnosed with Crohn’s and overcoming her insecurities with having a stoma.

Body Confidence and Beach Days

Body Confidence and Beach Days

Us as ostomates when looking at near perfect bodies can find fault in how we look and then there’s that bag. Does this make us any less attractive? Does this make us any less worthy of being able to flash the flesh? Or flash the bag?

Holiday Packing Checklist

Holiday Packing Checklist

As an ostomate it means I have to prepare for a week’s holiday like an army sergeant. Going away for 7 days means daily changes due to swimming, sea adventures and daily showers. How much do I take?

Switching Delivery Company

Switching Delivery Company

In the last 2 and a half years living with a stoma I have switched delivery company three times. For the best part I want a delivery company that can provide me with a service and deliver what is required without impacting daily life, which is why Respond was a natural choice for me.

Vitamin E Fruits for Ostomates

Vitamin E Fruits for Ostomates

Having a vitamin E balanced diet is important as it will contribute to your immune system and will promote healthy skin, hair and nails – so we’ve compiled a list of vitamin E filled fruits for you to eat.

Dream Wedding Dress with an Ostomy: Part 1

Dream Wedding Dress with an Ostomy: Part 1

Out of the blue my Panda proposed to me and its official we are getting married next year, roll on the 27th of June 2020. It is full wedding mode this end and we are seeing the Vicar on the 5th of August. This man of mine has been through the mill and has seen me through two life changing surgeries alongside some family issues and a house sale. Planning the wedding Is easy, looking for a dress is filling me with dread.

Dating With A Stoma

Dating With A Stoma

Should dating with a stoma be any different? Will the path of finding the one be hindered due to the bags stuck to our tummies? Dating should not be any different. Yes, we may have had a slight anatomy change but that doesn’t change how we look or how we should be perceived by the potential “one true love”.

Amy’s Story: Crohn’s Diagnosis

Amy’s Story: Crohn’s Diagnosis

When you first have a stoma, your life is turned upside down from suddenly having to adapt to a new life, full of things you wouldn’t have to have considered pre-stoma or been as aware of. I am going to tell you a little bit about one challenge I have faced and still face in particular since having a stoma and how I work to face & deal with it in my daily life.

Surviving the Summer Ostomy Style

Surviving the Summer Ostomy Style

Surviving the summer with an ostomy may seem like a challenge. Louise has put together a few top tips on how to make summer with an ostomy a lot more comfortable.

Can You Get a Spray Tan After Stoma Formation?

Can You Get a Spray Tan After Stoma Formation?

Is a spray tan possible after stoma formation? Why yes, it is. Now for all of you that are worried about this and panicking as to what people may think I can honestly say you need to put this out of your mind.

To Swim Or Not To Swim With An Ostomy?

To Swim Or Not To Swim With An Ostomy?

Thinking about swimming with an ostomy can lead to certain neurosis for some of us. Will the bag slide off whilst in the pool? Will the baseplate withstand the water? From testing out the bag prior to swimming to making the bag more secure, there are a few ways to combat this pre-swimming anxiety.

Natural Vitamin E Face Mask Recipes

Natural Vitamin E Face Mask Recipes

If there’s one vitamin you need for healthy skin, it’s vitamin E. Being one of the most important vitamins for our skin, it can help nourish the skin from within and maintain healthy skin by fighting damaging free radicals. There’s many benefits of vitamin E, such as it being moisturising and protecting, so why not boost your skin and create your own vitamin E face mask?

Summer Holidays The Ostomate Way

Summer Holidays The Ostomate Way

It’s the time of year where everyone is booking their summer holidays and starting the count down for when you are on that plane and leaving the tarmac to sunnier climates. Going on holiday with an ostomy shouldn’t be daunting but it does involve a little bit of preparation.

Do We Really Know What We Want from a Stoma Bag?

Do We Really Know What We Want from a Stoma Bag?

What do others look for within their stoma appliance? Does the bag need to be fashionable? Does the bag need to be coveted? More and more future and fellow ostomates are doing their research prior to the operation and requesting to have a certain type of bag that they feel suits their lifestyle.

Angelina’s Review: Vitamin E Elements Range

Angelina’s Review: Vitamin E Elements Range

A few days later of religiously using the Vitamin E Elements products I noticed a massive difference in my skin. The itching and the bleeding completely stopped, which I was really taken aback by at how quick and effective they were. It really helped my skin and my self esteem.

Simon’s Story: Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis

Simon’s Story: Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis

Simon's Story: Ulcerative Colitis Diagnosis  WARNING: this blog post contains some graphic images  So, where do I start? I guess the beginning seems like a good place, so here it goes….. My name is Simon and I am 36 years old. I was first diagnosed with Ulcerative...

Pelican Healthcare CEO Takes Up Key National Role

Pelican Healthcare CEO Takes Up Key National Role

Paul Eakin, UK CEO of Cardiff based Pelican and Respond Healthcare has been appointed to a key position within the UK’s oldest and largest Health Association, the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA); an important move at a time of great change and uncertainty within the NHS and therefore for Association members.

Dressing For The Summer Months to Accommodate Your Bag

Dressing For The Summer Months to Accommodate Your Bag

I have spent the last two years catering for Bertha my stoma and trying to stay cool. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bertha, but she seriously impacts my fashion choices. However, I’ve found ways to accommodate my bag and manage the heat in the summer months.

To Wear Or Not to Wear A Bikini

To Wear Or Not to Wear A Bikini

The summer holiday season and hot weather is fast approaching and finding the right bikini or swimming costume is a task that I don’t undertake lightly. I have to consider my stoma bag, size of stoma and placement which makes ordering online a pain so I have to go out and try on the items prior to purchase

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin E

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin E

You may have seen vitamin E on the ingredients list of your favourite beauty products – masks, oils, moisturisers and everything in between. But what exactly is vitamin E and why do we need it?

The Anniversary of Dan’s Surgery: An Update

The Anniversary of Dan’s Surgery: An Update

The Anniversary of Dan's Surgery: An Update It’s pretty hard to believe that 12 months ago this week I went through the biggest surgery that I’ve ever had. Life with a Stoma has definitely been for the better. Each day is 100% better than what it was like with my UC....

Having an MRI with an ileostomy

Having an MRI with an ileostomy

Back in March, I had to go for yet another MRI scan. For me, having a scan wasn’t an overly big issue. It was a necessary to evil to make sure that my post-operative recovery was going well and I needed to find out what was ticking away inside, due to some post-op concerns regarding my lady anatomy changes and drainage issues.

My recovery update

My recovery update

Recovery from Barbie Butt surgery hasn’t been easy and I have been tormenting myself over the last six months by wondering if putting myself through that surgery was the right decision.

Glamping with an ostomy

Glamping with an ostomy

Glamping with an ostomy is a first for me. When I booked this and revealed all to my best friend, her response was to roll around laughing, as I am not known for my at one with nature attitude. I am a girl that likes her toilet facilities nearby and creature comforts of heating and not having to cook.

World IBD Day

World IBD Day

World IBD Day takes place on 19th May and is about raising awareness for those who have to live with this chronic illness. Did you know that there are currently 300,00 people with this condition in the UK and around 1.6 Million in the United States?

Dan’s story

Dan’s story

My surgery experience is probably one of the more positive ones out there. After suffering with severe ulcerative colitis for three years and going through every drug the hospital had to offer, I elected to have surgery.

Fruits and veggies with a stoma

Fruits and veggies with a stoma

Have you ever wondered about what fruit or vegetable is stoma-proof? Do you sit there and wonder, ‘If I eat this, then will my stoma have a purge-party later?’

International Nurses Day

International Nurses Day

Sunday the 12th of May marks International Nurses Day. This day was founded In January of 1974 and marks the birth date of Florence Nightingale, who was the founder of modern nursing. Each year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) prepares and distributes the International Nurses Day kit.

An open letter to my surgeon

An open letter to my surgeon

An open letter to my surgeon. I see my surgeon tomorrow and for the first time in 10 years I’m actually going to be discharged from a medical consultant. *Happy dance.*

Lefty or righty?

Lefty or righty?

If I haven’t already peaked your interest, then I will have to explain what the above title is about. For everyone with a stoma, you may not even think about its location on the body. It is something that has been bugging me for a while, as my stoma is sited on the left and most people that I follow have a right-sided stoma.

Periods after stoma surgery

Periods after stoma surgery

The conclusion for us is that having both a stoma and IBD can make period week a living hell. There is currently no medical proof that having this illness and having a stoma makes your periods worse, but I believe it is something that should be researched.

Is travelling by ferry less traumatic with an ostomy?

Is travelling by ferry less traumatic with an ostomy?

Is travelling by ferry less traumatic with an ostomy? The majority of the time when I go abroad, I typically go in a tin can on wings. I always find that the panic of packing stoma supplies and getting them through security, plus the added anxiety of going through a body scanner and the amount of time it takes waiting to the board the plane, can take its toll. Travelling isn’t always enjoyable and I find it’s a bit of a tedious experience.

Parenting with a stoma

Parenting with a stoma

Having been chronically ill for the last nearly 20 years, amassing a huge amount of surgery and endless hospital appointments is completely normal and part of my everyday life.However, when one has a child, it puts a completely different angle on this and I am forever suffering with a guilt complex, in the fact I put my little girl through part of what I have to experience as an ostomate with frequent hospital admissions

Louise’s story

Louise’s story

My post-op recovery following my panproctocolectomy (Barbie-butt surgery)

Half term madness

Half term madness

Half term madness - going out over half term with a stoma Half term has ensued and this is making the parents cranky. 'Oh my god how will I keep the little ones entertained?' While the teachers are reaching for the wine and taking a well-earned rest. Having worked...

Going to the gym with a stoma

Going to the gym with a stoma

Going to the gym with a stoma So stoma surgery is daunting. Once you have recovered, when is it right for you to return to exercise? Some of the questions running through your head may be, 'can I exercise? What exercise is safe? Can I return to the gym?' My advice...

Vitamin E skincare

Vitamin E skincare

Is Vitamin E the new fashion accessory for skincare? After seeing the improvements to my stoma site and skin using the Vitamin E pouches, the question in my head was 'is Vitamin E used in other products for skincare?' After raiding my bathroom cabinet and checking my...

Ostomy odour

Ostomy odour

Ostomy odour – what causes it, foods that control it and products that help.

Louise’s pre-op assessment

Louise’s pre-op assessment

The pre–operative assessment is an opportunity to identify any current illness or family history that may lead to patient complications during the anaesthetic, surgical, or post-operative period.

Preparing for surgery

Preparing for surgery

Preparing for Stoma Surgery - the emotional side I am starting the countdown for my upcoming surgery and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t having a slight panic about the upcoming date. This post is for those who are classed as having an elective procedure and...

Ostomy Fashion – is the cost justified?

Ostomy Fashion – is the cost justified?

Ostomy fashion is becoming more and more relevant as time goes on. Both ladies and gentlemen are hunting for the perfect pair of jeans, or something to hold and support their ostomy. This can be difficult to find on the high street, unless you’re a lady and don’t mind wearing maternity clothing to help support and disguise the ostomy. Men unfortunately don’t have this option, so they may struggle to find the right clothing to be comfortable with their ostomy.

My emergency stoma kit

My emergency stoma kit

In the early days of stoma formation, carrying an emergency kit with you is an essential part of stoma life, until you feel safe and secure in the knowledge that your stoma is going to behave.

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