Once again it has been some time since I have blogged, but as today is World IBD Day it seems fitting that I would resurrect my musings!
300,000 people in the UK are living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and yet it is still a lesser discussed subject. It’s all still a bit taboo and uncomfortable, let’s face it, bowels are hardly glamorous and nobody really wants to admit they poo, let alone 20-30 times a day, which is the reality for IBD sufferers. That and the blood, the pain, the fatigue and the medications that come with their own pesky side effects, doesn’t really make for great dinner party speak. But we cannot be afraid to talk about it, we mustn’t hide away in embarrassment and we should encourage others to be more open.
Approximately 4 years ago saw the start of my hellish and downward spiral which would lead to my emergency surgery that would leave me with two bags (why have just one when there is the option of 2?!)
But now, in 2015 I have proven that you can fight back from IBD. Yes I now have a permanent stoma and will forever poo into a bag, but I no longer have to worry where the toilets are, I am not in pain (unless I eat peas, but that’s another story!), I am no longer on any medication (apart from medicinal champagne of course!) and best of all I can live my life. Not that I ever let IBD hold me back, I still went out, worked, went on holidays and had a social life but there was always an underlying tiredness and pain that I just didn’t feel I could really tell anyone about. Even the fear of pooping myself in public wouldn’t stop me from doing things, I once poohed myself in a supermarket in Italy, such was the urgency, but we move on and get over it (and I can now tell the world about my embarrassing incident!).
Roll on 4 years and I am helping to break the stigma of bowel diseases, both with my blog and I am fortunate enough to work for a great bowel cancer charity (find out about them here ) where I hope my experiences can help others. I can also do all the things I love to do without the fear of pooing myself or the permanent and lingering fatigue and pain, such as going on holiday, travelling and being with my friends and family. I have also taken part in several 10K runs and regularly lift weights at the gym.
It’s funny to think that I have my IBD to thank for a lot of things, I am quite sure I wouldn’t be where I am today or have the great life I do if I hadn’t experienced such ill health and difficulty. But I live to tell the tale and I hope you appreciate my stories and can share them to help others.