Tag Archives: staceystoma

NEW BLOG!

3 May

Hi readers,

Just a post to let you all know I recently started a new blog to keep track of my post-surgery experiences more regularly and also start to introduce videos into my posts.

I will still keep this blog open for those who wish to read posts earlier on in my recovery after surgery etc, but all new posts can be found and subscribed to at:

http://www.ostomismnotpessimism.wordpress.com

Many thanks for all the continued support from my followers on this blog & readers & please don’t hesitate to read/subscribe to/follow my new blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

Best wishes,

Amy & Stacey Stoma x x

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A rough start to the year.

21 Jan

Hey readers,

I hope you’ve all had a great start to the year and have had good health. To those of you that are having problems or who are unwell or in a dark place at the moment, I hope you get better really soon and have the courage to keep on pushing on with it.

The beginning of the year for me has been tough but I am still pushing on with it and trying to get through the tough times. We had to have one of our dogs put down recently and obviously that was really upsetting and a hard thing to have to decide, but it was for the best. I think that’s the thing with pets; as heartbreaking as it is to have to decide to let them go, you can’t keep them on the planet for your own happiness. They can’t tell us how much they’re suffering so really we just have to go on our instincts and veterinary advice because from our dog’s tests and how she was behaving she was clearly in pain and unfortunately wasn’t going to make a recovery. I guess we focus on the time we had with her and the fact that we gave her a good life, despite her passing away at the age of 7, which is quite young for a dog. If they had also found out about her health problem before she was rehomed with us, they would not have rehomed her and she would have had to stay in kennels or be put down, so I guess that’s another saving grace in the sense that we gave her a happy life and a safe home. She was so cute and had the softest ears ever. Rest in Peace Daisy โ™ฅ ImageOn the health side of things, I was welcomed into the new year in style in the first week of January with the start of a Crohn’s flare-up. Going two years and four months without one in itself though is an amazing thing for me as it’s the longest I have ever gone since being diagnosed without having a flare-up. It started with stomach pain which was really grating and uncomfortable and really tiring then it just got worse and my appetite decreased to the point where I could not even eat a snack or half a meal before the pain kicked in and I chose not to eat to combat the pain. Even smelling food gave me stomach ache, which is what made me go to the doctors because to me that is a tell tale sign of my experience with Crohn’s. I also felt really sick and very fatigued. Stacey was very loud and unhappy and I had a lot of output which was like water and increased amounts of it. I had urgent blood tests done at the doctors and got the results back in the next 24 hours and they showed that my C-Reactive Protein (Inflammation) Markers were sufficiently raised, so my GP put me on 30mg steroids straight away for a week and luckily this seemed to get the flare-up under control before the Crohn’s really set in and needed further treatment.

At present, pain-wise I still get the odd stomach ache daily and still feel quite tired and achey some days but my appetite is back to normal, if not more; I’m always really hungry at the moment! I also feel that my iron infusion has probably started to kick in as I don’t find myself wanting to sleep now in the day or suddenly feeling the need to sleep at any point before. I don’t feel like I’m running on empties energy-wise at the moment which is good. If anything, I struggle to sleep now!

Until next time,

Best wishes from Amy & Stacey Stoma x x

Another year with Stacey complete!

30 Dec

Hi readers,

I hope you all had a good Christmas!

I thought with it being the penultimate day of the year I’d do my final post of 2013 and just summarise how the year has been for me living with a stoma.

Compared to the many years of being ill before, it has been a great year for me & I have accomplished even little things that I could have never dreamt of before having my surgery, such as eating a full meal, having a good night’s sleep free of pain and planning a trip out that doesn’t revolve around toilet stops! I’ve had Stacey for 2 years and nearly 5 months now – time flies!

I have only really had a few minor issues with my stoma in 2013; these being the muscle cramps behind it which I got prescribed tablets for, really thick output, my iron levels and more recently, a few irritating bag leaks. Luckily, I haven’t suffered that much the last month or so with the muscle cramps but when I do I find that the Alverine I was prescribed really helps. I also had a few weeks where my output was uncomfortably thick – I felt like it was really struggling to come out at times and it made me feel really clogged up inside. This seemed to pass within a week or so by minimising foods that bulk you up such as carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta and potatoes and making sure that I had plenty of clear fluids. I also found fizzy drinks helped too with the high sugar content and gas to push things through. My iron levels I have always struggled with, before and after surgery. When my Crohn’s Disease was active I suffered with Anaemia of Chronic Disease; this is anaemia usually typically found in those with chronic health problems/disease and/or those with inflammation present in their bodies, usually in higher quantities, such as in moderate-severe Crohn’s Disease in the intestines. There are many ideas and or arguments into understanding what causes anaemia of chronic disease I understand but it seems to be that there are more than likely a few or several contributing factors to it, such as diversions of iron in the body or problems with iron stores due to disease. I had my iron infusion a week and a half ago now and so far haven’t noticed a difference, but I was told it can take up to a month in some people for them to start noticing the benefits or even longer, so fingers crossed that I do start to notice. In the New Year, I will be organising a blood test to check my iron stores within my body again and see how much the transfusion has helped internally. On another issue, the past few weeks I have had five bag leaks, which is a lot for me considering up until then I had only had a handful over the first few years. I can’t really think of what has caused them; my guess being that my stoma has been a bit up and down in size and the fact that I’ve not checked enough that the adhesive ring of the bag that fits around the stoma has not adhered to the skin properly due to me either being in a rush or not getting it properly over my stoma all the way round, causing output to leak underneath. The Coloplast bags themselves that I use are great and are very secure – the adhesive is the best I have found and works well for a lot of people I know with ostomies compared to other bags. Despite these issues, I would not swap having my stoma for the world because it really did save my life, no exaggeration about it. The issues I have encountered are extremely minor compared to what I have had to deal with before.

2013 has also introduced me to more inspirational people who amaze me with what they cope with and still manage to smile. I have spoken to many going through surgery and kept in contact with those I have known before this year and every one continues to amaze me and really inspire me with the things they achieve, no matter how small the things may seem to them. The positive attitudes of these people is really inspiring and shows you that no matter what tries to stop you, you deserve to reach your dreams just as much as anybody else, in fact, if anything, more than your average person.

For 2014, I saw a really good idea on the internet the other day that would help a lot of us, especially for when you have your down days. At the start of January, buy a jar or find a box (doesn’t have to be huge) and when something good or positive happens, no matter no small, write it down on a small piece of paper, fold it up and put it in the jar. When you feel down or downhearted, open the jar and read what you have accomplished so far; the more you get, the more you will smile and the more it will remind you just what you can achieve and why you should smile. What a lovely idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

December 2013 :)

December 2013 ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I finish my last post, here’s a big ‘thank you’ to all those who have supported me this year, it means a great deal to me! Here’s to all the ostomates out there and the inspiring and beautiful ladies on the ‘Osto-MY fashion’ group on Facebook and my co-admins; Gemma, Amber and Becky – lots of love to you! Also, here’s to my Uncle, I miss you so much & you inspire me every day.

I hope you all have a fab New Year and that 2014 is a truly great year for you all; make itย yourย year!

Thank you to my readers for all your continued support and I hope you continue to enjoy reading.

Best wishes & Happy New Year!

Amy & Stacey Stoma ๐Ÿ™‚ x x

Ostomism Not Pessimism โ„ขย 

Dec 2012

December 2012, a year flies!

Had my iron infusion!

18 Dec
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Dad asked if I wanted a photo for my blog before he went back to work so here it is! ๐Ÿ˜€

Hey readers,

Just got home from having the day in hospital for my iron (cosmofer) infusion. To start with I had a weaker dose for an hour, then had an hour break and was monitored. If you’ve never had an iron infusion before, like me, they give you the weaker dose to start with to see how your body reacts to the iron itself and almost weaning you on to it, as oppose to giving you the stronger, full dose all in one at a faster infusion rate.

My first dose: looks like watered down Coca-Cola!

My first dose: looks like watered down Coca-Cola!

I only experienced a few symptoms mildly; a drop in my blood pressure, developed a bit of a high temperature and felt a bit light headed but these soon wore off after I’d been taken off the first infusion within about 15 minutes. For somebody of my age, the nurse said it was expected to have a drop in blood pressure and that this is what happens with a lot of infusions of different medications.

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The second dose.

After that I had the stronger dose which took about an hour and forty-fiveminutes to infuse then half an hours observation afterwards. I felt a lot better on this one, despite being a bit apprehensive about it after feeling a side effects with the weaker one. I had a joke with the nurse that it looked like she had poured the Coca-Cola that I was drinking into the infusion solution bag and that I was going to keep telling myself it was Cola to take my mind off it ๐Ÿ˜€ As I understand it, the infusion rate is dependent on factors such as your weight, how your body reacts to the treatment and whether you have had it before or not. ย Throughout the infusion, they also check your blood pressure, pulse and temperature; usually in half-hour intervals. From my experience, you can also eat and drink as normal throughout and I did not have to fast or anything to prepare for it. The only thing it required was to stop taking iron tablets five days before the infusion, but I wasn’t on them anyway myself.

I’m feeling a bit like I’m on another planet at the moment and exhausted but hopefully the infusion will start to work in the near future. I’ve been a bit clammy and had a bit of stomach ache and a temperature and have had a few dozes on the sofa tonight!

Best wishes from Amy & Stacey Stoma x x

Bag odour.

21 Aug

Hey readers, I hope you’re all doing well & I send hugs & wishes to those of you going through a tough time at the moment.

I’ve decided to do a post on bag odour as I know it is an issue which effects every ostomate at some point or another, some more than others.ย 

Personally, I find that there are certain foods in particular that give me bad odour and sometimes a lot of wind too, but with foods I haven’t tried it is always trial and error really.ย 

The main foods I can think of that give me odour are Fish, Eggs, Mince, Indian Food, foods with a lot of flavour enhancers in and I’m sure a few more will come to mind as I eat in my daily life. Fish & eggs are the worst, and I also find that green vegetables and onions tend to give me more wind than most foods. Fish literally smells like it did before I ate it, as do eggs (sorry if too much information!) so if anyone else has this, then you are not alone! I’ve gone off fish since this happened last time as it took about three days for the smell to shift fully from my bowel, not the most pleasant of smells.ย 

I have found a great product that works for getting rid of odour which you place within your bag. This is particularly handy for when I’m staying away, on nights out and going out and using public toilets if I’m paranoid about leaving a smell in the toilet. I use an ostomy deodorant called No-Roma by Salts Healthcare, which you can buy in two sizes; a big 227ml bottle which I usually leave by the toilet at home or take away if I’m going to be away for more than a few nights, and a small 28ml bottle which is perfect for carrying around with my spare stoma supplies in my handbag on a daily basis. The deodorant itself does not have a fragrance, but seems to work by acting on the odour-producing bacteria (as explained in the Salts product guide). You simply add one or two drops of the deodorant into the bag, via the outlet which you use when emptying your bag, before going out and when out and you come to empty your bag so you have odour protection until you empty your bag the next time. I find the product very effective and it has made my life so much easier and given me a lot more confidence about going out with my bag and using public toilets.

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The dogs & me.

Today, I have been into town with my brother then we spent some time relaxing in the garden with our dogs; Bobby & Daisy. I wore my stoma vest with a tight fit vest top over that and some jeans. My stoma vest allows me to feel confident to wear the clothes I love to wear.

Best wishes until next time!

Amy & Stacey Stoma x x

ย 

Happy 2 years Stacey Stoma!

9 Aug

So 2 years ago today Stacey was created!

Wow what a journey it has been, it has been the hardest journey of my life but I’d do it all again to feel how I do now.

It would have also been my Uncle’s 50th today, and thanks to him, his journey with Ulcerative Colitis and his own experience of having a stoma, I was less scared and had the courage to go through with my operation. He will always be such an inspiration to me. Sleep tight Uncle Graham โ™ฅโ™ฅ

I’ll do a post in a lot more detail soon about how far I’ve come, the ups and downs and other aspects of living with a stoma for 2 years and how you get used to it, but for now I thought I’d post some pictures from just after my operation and now.

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My stomach when it was swollen with my abscess before my operation, my stomach a few hours after, picture from my colonoscopy before showing the extent of the disease, cannula in A & E and pics from immediately after and soon after my operation.

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“Now you see me, now you don’t.” ๐Ÿ™‚
Ostomism not Pessimism ๐Ÿ™‚ Me today on my 2nd Stomaversary ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope my readers are well & I’ll post soon! Thank you for all the comments & lovely e-mails I’ve been receiving recently too!

Best Wishes from Amy & Stacey Stoma xx

Here I am now :)

22 Nov

So it’s been a while since I uploaded some photos of me and my ostomy bag, so I thought I’d upload!

My weight has been coming and going really, and as a lot of you will probably know, it is hard to keep a good appetite up when you are under a lot of emotional stress. Despite everything going on, I am still extremely pleased that I have Stacey and I still maintain that it is one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

A stoma doesn’t mean stopping your life,ย in factย  it enables you to lead a new, happier and hopefully much healthier life. Yes, it takes a lot of adjusting to, but then again, I think anyone with a bit of bowel brought out through their abdominal wall would be exactly the same. It’s not something you see in everyday life, unless you have one or someone you know has one, even then you may not see it or hear about it that often, it all depends. By no means is a stoma disgusting or something to be ashamed of. Be proud of it, most of us are here because of our stomas! ๐Ÿ™‚ & let’s be honest, a stoma excretes waste from your body… it is hardly going to be the prettiest of things, but it is by far not the worst or ugliest of things.

Every stoma and scar has it’s own beauty in it’s own way. Behind each of our scars and stomas are individual stories, inspiring stories and people who possess great courage, beauty and strength ๐Ÿ™‚

This is something I could never have done without my stoma. I couldn’t go to University, let alone live in University accommodation. I couldn’t leave the house or even stay in the house without my life revolving around pain, misery, not being able to eat and living on the toilet. But here I am! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Best wishes from Amy & Stacey Stoma ๐Ÿ™‚ xx