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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Do you ever worry about being active as an ostomate? Dan talks about his experience on how he stays active with a stoma and how he prepares for training.
“‘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.
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?
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?
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.
Thinking of braving the festival season with an ostomy? Here are Amber’s top tips!
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.
Louise talks about her experience taking part in the Purple Wings Charity Calendar Shoot and how it embraces stoma life as a normality and highlights that ostomates are still attractive even after surgery.
Simon tests out our Platinum Vitamin E range for two weeks – here are his thoughts!
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.
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”.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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...
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.
Vitamin E has a lot of wonderful benefits for the skin, making it a great addition to our summer skincare routines.
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.
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
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 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....
Michael Durban’s biography and sample review
Why do I need to have a loopogram? What happens during one?
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.
Summer is fast approaching – is healthy eating possible with a stoma?
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 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 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?
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.
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?’
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. 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.*
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.
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? 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.
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
My post-op recovery following my panproctocolectomy (Barbie-butt surgery)
The highs (mostly) and lows of my 70th year
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...
When you get caught short with your stoma
Learning to love yourself
Body image after stoma surgery
Combating the ‘winter blues’
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...
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...
Looking after your skin in winter
Graham’s story of living with a stoma
Ostomy odour – what causes it, foods that control it and products that help.
Today is World Ostomy Day, so I thought it was only fitting that I write a post celebrating and highlighting all types of ostomy. So, I am on final countdown with Bertha, my current stoma.
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 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 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.
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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