I wrote my first blog post almost 10 months ago, just after turning 30 and going through what was probably the toughest 8 months of my life. I then kept it to myself as I thought no one would want to read it! Fast forward to the present day and I realised at the weekend, I’m actually now coming up pretty close to 31. My life has moved on considerably since it imploded last year and I want to start looking forward to the future and embracing some goals I set myself a while back. I feel I need to give a brief history so you can understand some of this better.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Poly Arthritis (Rheumatoid Arthritis) at 15 months of age, so being poorly is all I have ever known. I hate the ‘idiopathic’ part of this – sounds far too close to the word ‘idiot’ for my liking and basically just means there is no known cause! Aged 7 I had my first iritis flare and around the age of 8 or 9 my bowel problems started. What was put down to the heaps of medication I was on, was eventually diagnosed as Crohns disease. I received my diagnosis in October 2012 when I was 26 years old.
Clearly one chronic illness wasn’t enough. I would end up requiring surgery to remove a section of my small intestine and the beginning of my large intestine. Chronic inflammation had caused it to almost completely close up, making me extremely ill. During the surgery I had a stoma (ileostomy) formed. An ileostomy is where the end of the small intestine (terminal ileum) is pulled through the abdomen to form a spout that expels waste into an ostomy bag.
This surgery took place 2 days after my 30th birthday. Now when I asked for a bag, I was thinking more along the lines of Dolce & Gabbana or Chloe, not a poop bag! My surgery came at a very difficult time. I’d separated 2.5 months prior from my husband, who I have 2 beautiful boys with. It was a pretty terrible and stressful time for me.
Now getting back to my goals. One of them is to be able to support children and young people (under 45s) who suffer with forms of arthritis or have an ostomy This would be a process through diagnosis, treatment and everything that comes with having a chronic illness or ostomy. This is the reason I’ve decided to start writing again. I hope that if I can help just one person, I will be on my way to succeeding.
I have met some wonderful, inspiring people along my journey, who I hope to share my words with too. I aim to keep you all up to date with my health journey and life in general. I believe that I’m not just my illnesses, they do not define me. I lead a great life (well as much as a mum of 2 young boys can!). So please support me by inviting your friends to read, like and share my page. The more the merrier I suppose!