The heat is on…

The heat was on I should say, and predicted to come back too. Well as much as I delighted in the glorious weather it did bring with it some slight issues for someone wearing a bag.

I went for my morning ride (don’t get too excited, I’m not one of those mad keen cyclists putting in 50k just as a light ride. No, my rides are between 2 and 4 miles so far, baby steps, baby steps). Anyway, I’ve started the new me campaign and riding and walking is all part of that.

It was already scorching hot by the time I got home, sweat was literally dripping off me from all areas. I got into the shower and continued to sweat through that, I got out the shower to dry but to no avail, still the sweat just kept coming.

This was a tad frustrating, then it dawned on me I needed to change my bag. Wet, hot, clammy skin isn’t ideal at the best of times let alone when you have to remove a bag and then attempt to re-stick another one.

After removing my dirty bag and cleaning my skin, I just knew that my body temperature and sweat were too much to get the new bag on. I started to get a little panicked. I can’t go round clutching tissues to my abdomen all day catching poo…

Then I had a brainwave…I used my hairdryer on the cold setting and blew my skin dry, it worked a bloody treat too! As soon as I stopped blow drying my stoma I stuck the bag on and pressed it on for dear life.

It stayed stuck for 24 hours, which is a bit of luck as the next day was the hottest day of the year…EVER…

So I repeated the same routine only this time without the bike ride, yes, I’m committed to losing weight but I’m not crazy! It was 30c before 9am. I think it’s likely I’d explode at that point.

I very sensibly went to work for the hottest day on record, I love my job, it’s a beautiful place inside and out but the inside has aircon so I love it even more! If you’re passing I thoroughly recommend a trip to Neptune Colchester. :)

The hot weather has given me a real insight to what it must be like to live in a country that is regularly that hot and sticky. You have my full admiration.

Top from M&S, Skirt from Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes from Chloe

Top from M&S, Skirt from Tommy Hilfiger, Shoes from Chloe

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I don’t go into work very often as I only do the social media for them, but I was certainly rejoicing in going in on that day! :)

Then later in the day we headed off to visit Sam, Milly and Baby Zack, in Gosport. It’s a long way to go for a short amount of time but he’s the most beautiful grandson in the world (I may be slightly biased) so it’s totally worth it, besides the car has air con so it was actually worth being in the car, I might have just sat in it on the drive way had we not been going anywhere! Hahahahaha

Look at that little snuggle bug, we’d drive a thousand miles if we had to, come to that…I’d walk it if need be. xx

Look at that little snuggle bug, we’d drive a thousand miles if we had to, come to that…I’d walk it if need be. xx

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We didn’t suffer the heat too long…come on now, this is England, you didn’t expect consistent weather did you!?

So, the following day I was able to resume my bike rides…as it turns out ~ half way into it in the pouring rain!!

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Looking an absolute treat, I arrived home like a drowned rat.

I bought these cycling shorts from Primark for £2 to wear under dresses in an attempt to prevent my thighs catching fire with friction burn again. But they came in rather handy for actually going cycling in, who’d have thought it. Hahahahaha

On my ride, before the heavens opened I came across the BMX track in our village park.

Now I don’t think these sort of places existed when I was age appropriate to use one…soooooo…yep! I gave it a go and why not indeed.

So I’m a 46 year old grandma, who says that’s not age appropriate for a BMX track…well, my son Ben for starters! ;)

They say dance like there’s no one watching and I add to that ride a bike at the BMX park like no one is too!

You have to ask yourself, well I do anyway, “if not now, then when?”

It’s a bit scary as my pedals kept hitting the ground for some reason, but it was fun.

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Anyway after my attempt to learn new skills, and by the way I stayed upright and didn’t fall off, I’d say that’s a win, the rain came, my God did it come!

The only upside to being that soaked through is that it surely must have burnt off an extra calorie or two.

Once showered and more presentable I got ready for a bbq at our friends house.

Top from TK Maxx, Leggings from Next, Shoes (both pairs) from Fendi (in the name of doing just as I please, I mixed and matched both pairs of shoes).

Top from TK Maxx, Leggings from Next, Shoes (both pairs) from Fendi (in the name of doing just as I please, I mixed and matched both pairs of shoes).

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Sunday was a slob out day, literally did nothing apart from my morning bike ride, that was it. Just stayed at home pottering.

I did chores I’ve been meaning to do for months like hoover out the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen, yes! Full on exciting stuff.

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This T Shirt dress is perfect for slobbing in. In all honesty it could be a nightie it’s so comfy. It isn’t but it’s as cosy as one.

I needed cosy comfort as my stoma gave me a rare insight into the world of ileostomies, as you probably know, I have a colostomy.

A lot of people are not aware of the difference. A stoma is the collective name for the opening in your skin, so a stoma could refer to an opening in the bladder (a urostomy), or an ileostomy (an opening in the small intestine or ileum (bowel) or like my stoma - a colostomy (an opening in the large intestine (bowel)).

I’m incredibly blessed to have a very low down colostomy, which means (sorry to be graphic) my out put is more towards solid.

This is because it’s the large intestine that takes out all the water from your waste, and I still own a fair amount of large intestine. Therefore I usually produce a more solid output.

But Sunday my stoma - my colostomy decided it wanted to mix things up a little and just wanted to empty out watery waste.

I don’t humanise my colostomy, it has no name other than stoma/colostomy. I’m very unimaginative, boring and pragmatic, the way I see it, my anus didn’t have a pet name, why would my stoma?

But Sunday I was very nearly pushed to humanising it and gave it a stern talking to!

I didn’t know I was going to have a problem so I’d just put on a very small bag, which clearly wasn’t enough. I was fine, no bug or anything, just a few too many lentils on my health kick. So I had to remove the bag while ‘Stoma Bob’, lets call it for now decided to empty for Britain at force!! Oh my God! If you have an ileostomy you have my utter admiration, it was like trying to stem the flow of the tide! although do-able it isn’t as plain sailing as my normal colostomy output, I am in awe of you! You are my unsung heroes!

So Sunday pottering was greatly needed, and now I have lovely tidy kitchen cabinets too! :)

Then came Monday, I was right as rain, and back to normal. I headed up to London for a very exciting meeting. It was the first meeting of a steering group for patient and public involvement.

I love doing something that feels like I’m giving back. I have never worked out how and why I got lucky enough to survive and to still be here ticking along when so many people I know haven’t been so lucky. It feels important and almost vital that I do something with my good luck. It’s one of the reasons I write my blog.

As much as I want to show stomas in a positive light, because I find mine a huge positive, I also want to help. And being involved with Bowel & Cancer Research gives me that even if it’s in a small way.

After a fantastic first meeting we had an even more fantastic visit to the lab, the bit where incredible medical advances are made.

There was a team that are developing something that I’ll be keeping my eye for in the future. I’m clapping my hands and doing a little jig at this point. Hahahahaha

Always a pleasure to see Lesley from Bowel & Cancer Research and Neil (Big Woofa) from Insta and Twitter. Great to meet Liz too, but she sadly couldn’t stay for the lab tour.

Always a pleasure to see Lesley from Bowel & Cancer Research and Neil (Big Woofa) from Insta and Twitter. Great to meet Liz too, but she sadly couldn’t stay for the lab tour.

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This is the science bit. It’s an incredible place and I felt very fortunate to see science at work.

I look forward to seeing the group when we meet again in October.