Monthly Archives: July 2014

It’s all about the knickers!!

I have said for a couple of weeks now that I would talk about my knickers and I really don’t wish to disappoint anyone as I am sure you are all very excited for this 😉

It’s amazing how much publicity there has been recently around girls and guys wearing Ostomy bags and hi-lighting Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), encouraging people not to be shy and to proudly talk about their bags and/or their IBD. I think this is great and it really is a taboo subject that we should all be more open about. I work for a bowel cancer charity and we are all about raising awareness and encouraging people to talk poo.

But there are times when you might not want to have your bag on show or you may need to cover it up, so what do you do then? Sometimes you just need to keep the bag under control and not have it all wild and free!

Well, like I say it is all about the knickers!! We all wear them (well some may not but that’s up to them!), we all need them, (if nothing else, then just to protect our modesty) and they are an integral part of any outfit. We all know we need the right pair of knickers to make an outfit look good, in this day and age of assorted knicker shapes, vpl’s (visible panty line’s) are inexcusable. How many times have you seen a lovely looking girl with a fab figure wearing a beautiful dress, only to glance at her derriere and realise she has ruined her look with the wrong pair of knickers, the elastic is digging in, she has the dreaded vpl and yet she doesn’t seem to have noticed (good for her, I am not criticizing – well maybe a teeny bit 😉 but if she’s happy then so what?) But the right pair of knickers would just finish off that outfit. This girl obviously wanted to go for sexy thong over Bridget knickers but we all need the Bridget’s at some point!

For general outfits (i.e. no special underwear needed) in my pre-ostomy days I would throw on a lacy thong or some other teeny pair of knickers, without a care in the world, well that was until half way through the day when I wished I hadn’t thrown on the thong with such abandon and had gone for comfort instead. But, knickers weren’t really something I thought about, they were something I would wear (my mum brought me up well) and had to be clean (obviously) but I wouldn’t go and spend copious amounts of money on them. I HATE spending money on underwear, I don’t care how beautiful it is, how wonderfully that bra sits or the matching knickers just look gorgeous, I do not want to spend £50 on them, I would much rather purchase a dress with that money. Let’s face it, yes wearing expensive & matching undies may make us feel wonderful, but only for about 5 minutes before everything starts to dig in and we are yearning to take them off. And if we are wearing the matching set for a nice little boyfriend surprise then again how much value does it bring, where men are concerned, the bra is usually first off before they have even so much glanced at your carefully put together beautiful matching set. Life isn’t like a film, where we find ourselves in several situations which require us to strip down to our underwear, so always sporting sexy co-ordinates isn’t such an issue for everyday life.

Now I know I sound slightly contradictory as I have stated that it is all about the knickers, whilst in the next sentence saying they’re not that high a priority but what I mean is that you need the right knickers for certain outfits but I resent spending lots of money.

However, now I have my Ostomy bag I have become more obsessed with knickers than ever before. I still want to wear tight dresses & tops and other nice clothes and do not wish to be restricted by my bag so the secret is in the knickers. There are a couple of specialist websites for underwear for Ostomy’s here and here which are great but I have also found some fab knickers from Triumph, Littlewoods and Primark. Most days, I can still wear ‘normal’ knickers, having a bag doesn’t stop that but when you want to feel a little more secure and want to flatten the bag and hold it in you need a special knicker! I found some amazing ones in Triumph which were high waisted thongs, so perfect, they even had the matching bra, the discovery of these knickers meant I could wear all my lovely tighter dresses without the vpl safe in the knowledge my bag was secure, even better, they even looked nice, slightly 50’s style, so I didn’t have to feel frumpy either! Unfortunately getting a few pairs has set me back about £150 but I think it is worth it. I cannot believe that I am now willing to spend so much on knickers, but it is important to feel good, and I think whatever your situation, if something makes you feel confident, sexy and happy then it is worth every penny! But if you don’t have a spare £150 hanging around (Mum’s credit card came in handy!) then Primark have fabulous shapewear that is great if you wear a bag and even if you don’t have a bag the knickers are fab anyway, we all need everything to be sucked in sometimes!

Of course there are times when I miss my days of carefree knicker wearing moments, it would be nice not to have to worry about which pair suits which outfit, if today’s dress needs a special pair or if I can wear a pair of jeans and vest without having to wear the more unattractive bigger variety just to have smoother line over the torso, but it is still a small price to pay for being healthy. But, when you wake up tomorrow, still slightly sleepy and just grabbing a pair of knickers from your underwear drawer, spare a moment to feel grateful that you can pick your knickers with such wild abandonment!

And one last thing, is it just me or does anyone else ever pack waaaay to many knickers when going away? I always like a few spares (of course from a practical perspective, I need a spare in case of leaks) but I am definitely OTT with the amount I take, I always have been, I am not sure what I am expecting to happen or why I should need so many spare pairs but I just cannot bring myself to pack ‘just enough’. Men do, if they are away for two nights then they will pack two pairs, exactly what they need, they don’t feel the need for a spare pair, clearly they shouldn’t need them, they are old enough not to have accidents but why do they not feel the need for a ‘just in case’ pair? How can they be so confident and carefree?

So, for now I shall continue to over pack my knickers, run around buying every high waisted thong I see and hope that if you are walking behind me then you are not checking out my derriere to see what knickers I might be wearing!!

Knickers

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From Knickers to #GetYourBellyOut ……….

So this post was definitely going to be about knickers, I promised my readers and Facebook followers it would be and I don’t like to disappoint. I am sure there is many a person eagerly anticipating what exactly it is I have to say about knickers 😉 but I must keep you guessing for another day or two!

For today, more great awareness of Ostomies has occurred. Unless you live on a desert island then you will have heard/seen all the fantastic publicity around Bethany and THAT pic of her in her bikini and today she was on This Morning talking about her Colostomy.

I have to admit, I am a teeny bit jealous, you see I have always wanted to appear on ‘This Morning’ ever since the Richard and Judy days, in fact, when they left I had a little protest and decided I couldn’t possibly go on the show unless it was with those two, of course I wasn’t even in the position of turning them down but a girl can dream 😉 My sister and I have watched ‘This Morning’ ever since it started (yes ok, so there may be better achievements but I am still proud), we remember the original cast – Denise Roberts would always advise you to “write a letter”, Brian the chef would cook a stew and Dr Chris Steele would always be the first to do a ‘live’ examination of something! But over time, Phil and Fern and then Phil and Holly took us into their hearts and my ambition to appear has remained the same (it’s the little things).

Over the years and in my vivid imagination my appearances would range from my sister and I nominating our Mum for a make-over to my supreme knowledge on, well, something knowledgeable!

But then, in 2011 I got my Ostomy, and I made my mum take pics of me in hospital in case I should want to share them with ‘Take a Break’ Magazine, (they always have hospital pictures, I’ve never understood how people always happened to have pre/post-surgery pictures, then I cottoned on!!), and that was it, decision made, I would appear on ‘This Morning’ alongside Dr Chris and talk openly about my Ostomy and how I wish to reduce the Stigma (after my article in ‘Take a Break’ of course!).

However, I have been pipped to the post and someone else got in with Phil and Holly instead, but she was fantastic and Bethany gave a great interview. The best thing was hearing that girls and boys as young as 12 who were facing surgery and a bag felt so much more empowered and confident thanks to her interview. Whatever your age, any publicity that helps your confidence is a good thing but it is so much better when you hear it helps such young people.

Bethany did mention that there had been lots of pictures before her, thanks in part to a campaign called #GetYourBellyOut where 4 lovely women created a campaign to encourage people suffering with IBD to post pictures of their bellies, whether with a bag or not, to raise awareness. This campaign has gone viral and been adopted by Crohns and Colitis UK (http://goo.gl/0S6bpB

) and it is inspiring people everywhere to take a picture of their bellies, you can find them here http://goo.gl/fHJp3n  and here http://goo.gl/Hs63Pw  and Lorna’s blog here http://goo.gl/WmAvgI

So it is fantastic (as I seem to have been saying lots lately) how there is so much awareness now getting out there and how having an Ostomy is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. So many of us are campaigning to reduce this stigma and talking about our own experiences that I am quite sure there will come a time when it is almost ‘normal’!
And as for my ‘This Morning’ debut, maybe I will have to go back to a make-over for mum after all!!
Oh and here is my bikini pic, would be rude not to!!

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This seasons must have accessory……

I can confirm that this seasons must have accessory is……an Ostomy bag!! Ok so maybe we’re not quite ‘there’ yet but Ostomy’s are really on the radar at the moment and so they should be. I have always spoken of my desire to raise awareness and reduce stigma and lately this is happening in droves. All thanks to some very brave ladies posting pictures of themselves in bikinis with their Ostomies on display, one has even become an internet sensation.

It’s all great news and every time I click onto Facebook I see another picture of a proud wearer of an Ostomy bag, to the point where I feel it is almost becoming ‘normal’. Perhaps I see it as I am a member of many Ostomy related forums and so it is more prominent, but I do really think that it is becoming a little bit fashionable! (Dare I say that?!) Soon enough everyone will want one, they will become the ultimate accessory, fashion magazines will feature them and those who don’t have them will be a teeny bit jealous.

Ok, so I am exaggerating but it certainly feels as though society is becoming more geared up to the fact that many young people have an Ostomy. It is all just fantastic. And should you be a person (young, old or middle aged) facing an Ostomy then isn’t it great to see so much positivity and realise that life isn’t over because you have one. I said before, when I was facing my operation to have an Ostomy, there was none of this publicity and I know it would have made me feel better if I had seen it.

So it’s all good news, however, when I started this blog it wasn’t going to be totally focused around my Ostomy, (there are plenty of very good ones out there for that) the intention was to talk about life in general so that hopefully everyone could relate to it some way and maybe I could take reassurance that as a 30 something year old woman, I wasn’t the only one doing what I do!

So I will be blogging again in the next couple of days, this blog will be about knickers among other things (I hope this subject will intrigue you and draw you back!)But for now I just wanted everyone to know that I, not Vogue, had said it first, what this Season’s must have accessory is!!