Get to know Amy – again!

Hello my lovely Pelican readers,

I hope this post finds you well & I’m sending gentle hugs to those of you who need them.

It’s been quite a while now that I’ve been working with Pelican Healthcare to bring you my monthly blogs & I thought that now would be a good time to reintroduce myself to those of you who are new here, and to those of you who are long-standing, to give you a little refresh.

Tell us a little about yourself

Before we dig a little deeper into the juicy bowel history of my life, let’s talk a little about my life in general.

I’m Amy, I’m 29 (very nearly 30 – November 29th!) & I live in Yorkshire in the UK. I live with my fiance, Ben & we also have an adorable little Whippet Cross to make our family of 3. I have a younger brother and grew up living with him & my Mum & Dad & our family pooches.

I work nearly full time as an Accounts Assistant and hold accounting qualifications with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. I also do health work, such as blogging and content on my Instagram to share my experiences of daily life with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a permanent ileostomy.

I really enjoy singing & actually have singing lessons, which are a form of therapy to me. Singing is a great way to connect with your emotions & express & release them. I really feel a lot of music & lyrics when I’m singing & I think this comes across in the way that I sing. I also enjoy baking, countryside walks, clothes & fashion, spending time with my family & friends & I’m also partial to a gin (or two!) I also like classic cars, mainly down to my Dad having them & growing up with them & I also have an interest in Farming & Agriculture, mainly down to getting to produce a lot of farm accounts and work with farmers in my job.

Tell us a little about your bowel story

From a very young age (as long as I can remember), I’ve had bowel problems and malnutrition. At the time of my Crohn’s Disease diagnosis (aged 7), I was the third youngest in the country known to have it. I struggled with a lot of symptoms as a child such as debilitating stomach pain, loss of appetite and lost a lot of weight, feeling cold even when it was warm, achey joints, diarrhoea and toilet trips of sometimes more than 20 times a day, narrowings in my bowel which then caused constipation, anaemia, nausea and fatigue. I also suffered with side effects from medication such as a swollen face from steroids, hair thinning & acne.

As a child, I was understandably very apprehensive about colonoscopies etc and staying in hospital numerous times. I was put to sleep for them as this is the only way I’d agree to have them & I was treated for Crohn’s Disease of the small intestine.

I then moved up to the adult clinic when I was 17 and had more scopes etc and these actually showed that my Crohn’s was in my colon (large intestine), rectum and anus and that I also had Crohn’s inflammation at the bottom of my esophagus. This meant that the wrong area of my body had been targeted with treatment for 10 years, meaning my disease was very severe. I started on Azathioprine and took that along with some steroids for about a year until blood tests showed warnings of a decline in my liver function and a scope showed that the medication wasn’t working. I then moved on to having an intravenous medication called Infliximab (also known as Remicade) and tried this for a year before finding out that everything was too far gone and that surgery was my next option.

August 2011, Stacey Stoma was formed permanently, meaning I had my colon, appendix, rectum and anus taken away. Surgery was very touch and go and they found a benign tumour, the size of a watermelon, in my colon which, if left a few hours, I was told I wouldn’t have made it. I lost a lot of blood in surgery and it took considerably longer than expected. I received blood transfusions and woke up in a lot of pain.

Next time

Next time, I will tell you all how I have coped since surgery and how I am doing now.



Meet the blogger: Amy

Everybody, meet Amy! She is 29 years old & is a Yorkshire girl. Amy has had Crohn’s Disease symptoms as long as she can remember but was diagnosed at age 7