Monday, 24 February 2014

Margaret Meet Margaret

Hi guys,

So last week I received a telling off letter from one of the lovely IBD nurses about my lack of bloods. I am supposed to get them done every 2 months due to the cocktail of medication that I am on but the last few months have been so busy with Uni, work and basically enjoying life for the first time in a long, long while - I have completely forgotten about getting them done. So last Thursday I went in to my GP surgery, tail between my legs, to pick up my blood form before heading to the local hospital to get the bloods done. I had tried to book an appointment with my normal, trusty phlebotomist (favourite word right there) but I needed them so last minute, there was no available slot.
This is where my luck changed! It turned out someone had just canceled and I could be fitted in, which was brilliant as she knows the exact vein that my blood will drip out of, rather than having to poke me with numerous needles. I ran out to tell my Mum who was waiting in the car for me, she decided to whizz home whilst I was having it done and then come back to pick me up afterwards - she handed me her phone, as I hadn't picked mine up and off I went. Fifteen minutes later as I left the surgery and went to call my Mum I realised that her phone was locked and lucky me didn't know the pin.
I racked my brains with how I could get in touch with her realising I knew nobody in the local area who I could borrow a phone from and absolutely no money for a phone box. I tried a reverse charge call only to find out that our home phone had blocked them... very helpful! I ended up walking fifteen minutes in the rain and wind, with just a cardigan on, to the local Waitrose, where I begged to borrow their phone, looking like a drowned rat. Thankfully, they agreed and my Mum soon showed up to save me.

Two days later I headed to my see my consultant at the big hospital, where I have previously stayed. It always feels a little too familiar and a little uncomfortable when I go back there. That particular hospital stay, over a year ago now, was horrendous and filled with fear and pain. I now try and smile at anyone wandering round in hospital gowns or being wheeled in beds and wheelchairs, I know how awful they must be feeling.
On arrival I was weighed, as I always am and settled down in the waiting room. Eventually I was called in where I was greeted with,
"So is this the new slim Gabi then?"
This is not the usual way I am greeted, and although very faltered I was very confused - I thought 'oh I must have lost a bit of weight then!'
Turns out I have lost 9 pounds in 3 months! How amazing is that! I tell you, it was the best news to hear on a Friday morning. I have been watching what I eat and have obviously cut out takeaways for weeks now but I never in a million years thought I had lost that much. Very happy news indeed.
After going through my symptoms (none) and my medication (same as ever) my consultant announced that she has been reading my blog and passing it on to other patients, 'GREAT!' I thought, the more people who get something from it the better...
She followed this up with, 'and I know what you have called your stoma...'
You see, my consultant's name is Margaret...

Now I have said this before, this is a complete coincidence. Matt came up with the name before I even got Margaret and I never made the connection; it was only Mum who pointed it out once it had already stuck. I had never quite got around to revealing this to my consultant, never sure when the right time would be, but now, it turns out she knows!
I laughed a lot and assured her that this was never deliberate and in fact a good thing, and if you are reading this then - hello!

We decided that it is probably a good idea to leave Margaret alone for a while longer, and really give my bowel a rest. I know this is the right thing to do and in many ways I am loving being healthy and enjoying life. However, there is part of me that is a little disappointed - being fairly newly single has made me much more aware of having Margaret and she doesn't provide the best chat up lines - but I guess thats another new hurdle we will have to overcome.

Oh! Also! In case you didn't see Sam Faiers (who I mentioned in my previous post) has recently gone on This Morning to talk about Crohn's and her diagnosis. I found the interview truly brilliant, she perfectly described the symptoms and the reality of living with the disease. I still have people who are confused and liken it to IBS or food intolerance, but Sam successfully managed to articulate exactly how it feels to have this disease.
Check out the interview here! and let me know what you think!

Lots of love especially to my fellow IBD sufferers,

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Valentines Day and Sam Faiers

Hi everyone,

The last few weeks have been really great!
I spent Valentines day with all of my favourite people. I started the day off with my gorgeous pup before meeting the lovely Jo for lunch, where I ate an unnatural amount of chicken.
I vowed that I wouldn't spend any extra money on myself... this lasted approximately 10 minutes once I had entered Topshop. I left with a new dress and top, convincing myself I definitely deserved a Valentines Day treat to myself.
That evening I had all the girls round to my house for drinks before meeting all my other wonderful friends in town. One bar had a great Valentines game, where everyone was given one half of a famous couple and your job was to find the other half - once you did you got a free drink! Safe to say this kept me entertained for a long, long time. I had my own badge and my friends, which coincidentally were Gabrielle and Marge! How creepy is that! I only managed to find Homer, which considering how manic it was in there, was quite the achievement.

Last weekend we also celebrated my Mums birthday! My dad sorted out a surprise meal for her at a local restaurant; she arrived thinking it was going to be just the two of them, only to find my two brothers and I! Sean had come all the way from Cardiff to surprise her which was lovely. The food wasn't half bad either!

Uni has been particularly stressful at the moment, with lots of tutorials going on. I have worked out that I have 10 weeks until my hand in, something which has sent me in to a right panic. This week I was also given my final graduation date. I will be donning my cap and gown and striding on to a stage in front of hundreds of people on June 25th! I am so nervous at the thought of it, although finding a graduation dress is going to be so much fun!

Jo and I also have plans in place to head to Isle of Wright festival... something which poses a lovely new challenge with Margaret. It falls around June 6th, which will mean a whole year since my surgery. I can't think of a much better way to spend it than partying in a field of mud with my best friends, not letting Margaret hold me back.
You may all have seen the recent articles revealing that Sam Faiers, TOWIE and Celebrity Big Brother star, has recently been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. She is 23 and has apparently been poorly for a while. Sam is a fairly high profile celebrity to have been diagnosed, which should have a huge impact on the number of people who read and learn about the disease. Although it is sad that it takes a celebrity to be diagnosed to get people to realise and listen. For the number of people that Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis effects, it is largely not heard of and definitely not understood. I am six years down the line from where Sam is now and although she has a long and exhausting road ahead and I'm sure it all seems terrifying right now, I hope I am proof that she will be okay in the end. I wish her all the best in getting better and hope she keeps on smiling.

Lots of love

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Hi everyone,

For my final major uni project I'm looking at peoples relationships with colour and how colour is linked to memories and emotions. 
If you have any stories, memories, rules or anecdotes which you associate (even vaguely) with a colour - please please get in touch. 
For example:
My mums health visitor told her that babies don't sleep well in yellow bedrooms 

My plan is to collect all these memories/stories and put them together in some form or another, most likely a book. By getting in touch, you'd be allowing me to use your story, quoting you of course. Let me know if you'd prefer to remain anonymous. 
It'll really help me so much. 

Lots of love