Do you know what you have to be with a colostomy? You have to be a planner and a prepper, probably even a laminator to be completely honest.
The hardest part of having a colostomy for me personally is not being organised enough, it’s just not my forte.
I appreciate you might think it’s the bag of poo attached to my abdomen that is the worst part but no, it’s not for me. I accept that part wilfully and I’d even say enthusiastically but remembering to order supplies, to take supplies out for days and to generally remember you need to think ahead, as it stands seems to be an impossible task.
Many a time I’ve left my front door, stepped out into the world and gone off for the day without a single spare part with me. And many a time I’ve had the cold sweat of dread at the realisation that I’ve made such a hideous error.
I don’t think losing my ovaries to the treatment for cancer has helped with organisational skills either. They weren’t great to start with so add to that an instant menopause and this is what you get!
I’ve spent the most part of the last 9 years in a befuddled state. HRT the wonder drug apparently for some isn’t really counteracting the forgetfulness and general fogginess that is my life, I’m thinking of doubling up on my dose. Hahahahaha
So I have to try extra hard to at least remember the basics. The very basics being remember to order supplies in time. If I could master that I’d have this colostomy lark nailed, in fact I’d turn pro! Hahahahaha
I’ve also been feeling very frustrated and disappointed that I can’t get these extra pounds off. So having seen a fellow ostomites post on Insta last week I took myself off for an appointment with a dietician that she had recommended in London. And very eye opening and informative it was too!
I tried a nutritionist a couple of years back which turned out to be a living nightmare, she very eagerly encouraged me to spend over £500 with her on having a plethora of blood tests (which by the way when I took the pages and pages of results to an actual doctor she was stunned and horrified because in her 30 years as a doctor she had never tested anyone for most of the stuff tested for and said she wouldn’t know what the results indicated anyway).
One of those results on the tests came back that I had high levels of amylase which then lead me to going to my GP, then being referred on to a consultant and having an MRI scan on my pancreas, turns out high amylase “could” indicate pancreatic conditions….or as the specialist in pancreases assured me some people have high levels and some have low and that ladies and gentlemen is how we get an average! (note to self; don’t waste money on an unregulated “nutritionist” go to someone medically trained, that works within the NHS, and that’s where a dietician comes in).
All I have spent out with the dietician I visited was for the appointment time and very generous with that time she was too!
No blood tests, no vitamin supplements (well, there was one suggested vitamin supplement but she told me I could buy that on Amazon so no kick backs coming her way from that, (unlike the nutritionist) just solid, good information and advice!).
She’s absolutely lovely, and is incredibly highly trained and knowledgeable about post stoma nutrition, she was very helpful in piecing together some unexplained issues I’ve been having.
I would thoroughly recommend Sophie to others like myself. She really is very good. And if you can’t get to her for an actual appointment at the very least follow her on Instagram.
Have I lost staggering amounts of weight since I’ve seen her? Simple answer to that is no I haven’t, BUT I’ve eaten a lot, and I mean A LOT and haven’t put on the weight that I would usually, so managing to maintain and not gain is a good start!
All in all I’m feeling rather positive.
Sophie did recommend that I buy this spray. Since my cancer diagnosis, treatment and the bowel surgery I have struggled with B12 deficiency. I have 8 weekly injections but still feel symptomatic nearer the 8 week mark.
I thought for £7 it’s definitely worth a try, and it might be of some use to you or people you know too, sharing is caring and all that. Hahahahaha
Anyway while I was in London I popped into Primark on Oxford Street, the one by Tottenham Court Rd station this time. It’s a cracker of a store.
I treated myself to this little number. Yes, I can understand that it might seem odd to be buying my autumn/winter clothing in the middle of a heat wave but the early bird catches the worm and all that.
It’s a really cute dress that’s going to look a treat with tights and boots this coming winter.
Also while I was in town I saw a poster for something I really thought Chris would enjoy. I was on the escalator on the underground when I came across it. It took multiple attempts at taking a photo of the poster so I could look it up. But my perseverance paid off and I was able to get the website details.
It might seem an odd day out but I knew Chris would like it and to be honest I’ve always been fascinated by what’s going on under our feet that we know nothing about, especially so in London.
We all know about the London underground of course. But there are other tunnels and networks under there that we just have no idea about.
So I planned a day out treat for Chris, mainly because the man is an absolute hero to have put up with me for so long, we met and started dating immediately on 28th August 1993, 26 years ago!! the poor man has had 26 years of this! Hahahahaha
So off we went to the Postal Museum (www.postalmuseum.org) it was bloody brilliant.
So so interesting that down there under the city, there was a miniature underground just for our post. It was in use for 75 years carrying letters and parcels 22 hours a day. And although the trains themselves were smaller versions than our now tube trains the set up down there is colossal, so if the world does go tits up up here, and let’s face it, it’s looking like it might we could always move underground like those people in that 1980’s Beauty and the Beast show with Vincent…god I loved that show!!
I decided on this dress as I loved it so much for my day trip to Venice.
I wore flat shoes for the day part and packed a pair of heels for our evening meal out.
We booked for a meal at my all time favourite restaurant in England - Chutney Mary in St James. It’s amazing. I’ve eaten a lot of incredible meals…you don’t get this big by just licking lettuce at home you know…no, no, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to eating out! Hahahahaha
It’s a really very good museum and totally worth a visit and I think it’s certainly worth £16 of anyone’s money.
Then after the museum it was time for a little look around the shops and then off to dinner.
We love Chutney Mary, curry is life, and the food is SO good here. It’s my joint first fave restaurant with Spago in Beverly Hills, but as this one is just a tad closer it’s our go to date night restaurant.
Hopefully it’s fairly clear by now that having a colostomy is no barrier to dressing nicely. I really hope that’s what people take away from my blogs. I take pride in my appearance for the most part…you wouldn’t think that if you saw me right now of course as I’m wearing a baggy T shirt as a dress and flip flops…it’s really jolly hot here today.
But just take this outfit below that I wore for work last Friday. It says ‘all dressed up and ready for business’ to me. Which is funny really as all I was doing was taking photos of sale items for the company’s Instagram account, it’s not the point though is it, the point is I can dress well if I choose to and I do choose to most days.
Please please please don’t let a bag of poo glued to your abdomen dampen your sparkle.
Ok, so pooing in a bag is not ideal, it’s perceived as grim and yucky because it’s all about poo and we humans are squeamish at best and thoroughly mean spirited at worst. No one will be begging to have a colostomy op, believe me, it’s not fun at all. I remember the hell of it all too well, and it’s an even harder task if you’ve had chemo and radiotherapy.
I have a friend in Australia going through a really rough time after her op right now, it’s bloody hard work the recovery from bowel surgery, so for me it would be adding insult to injury to not make the most of the second chance recovering from the op gave me.
So once the physically hard part’s over live life again, and live it well. (Seriously though, please give yourself time to recover, it’s really hard, be kind to yourself and give your body the rest it needs).
Living well doesn’t necessarily mean getting all dolled up but it does mean doing so if you feel like it. There are no barriers in the after stoma surgery life, or if there are they are usually ones we’re putting on ourselves.
Chris and I had a quiet day Sunday, just a bit of garden pottering and a little drive out in the countryside with the roof down, whilst enjoying the mini heatwave along with every other clichéd convertible car owner in the country. Hahahahaha
And then Bank holiday Monday we went over to Gatwick airport to pick up our youngest son Ben and his girlfriend from his 21st birthday present to NYC.
They had a blast! How could you not? I loved all of the places I’ve been to in America (well, not Vegas but everywhere other than that). :)
Kaitlyn bless her appreciated the nod to her trip I made with my outfit choice (my skirt says made in NYC all over it), before she passed out in a jet lagged coma that is.
I’ve missed them both very much, but I’m so glad they had a fantastic adventure.
Back home for a bbq lunch and then a take away curry in the evening…it’s really not a surprise that I’m this big. Hahahahaha
I may well never own a thigh gap but I do have a very nice life. One cannot have it all. ;)
The key to happiness is to be happy with what you’ve got, not what you think you should have. :)