Health Update

Well, what a month! For anyone not following me over on social media, I am now out of hospital, yay!

I was released on Monday 16th March after three weeks in hospital. Although my symptoms haven’t all been rectified, they are a lot better than they were.

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The Hospital Diaries Day 4 & 5 – Thursday/Friday

So apologies for not having caught you all up yesterday but it’s not been a great couple of days and I’m sure you understand. The pain and nausea/vomiting have become pretty relentless and even the medication isn’t relieving my symptoms to the point of comfortable at the moment for the most part.

Update

So far there have been no more tests except blood tests. It looks like this weekend I will be having a barium scan to check for motility through the bowel and any possible kinks and narrowings that the CT may have not picked up. There’s a chance I may need some stomach biopsies done next week, but they are trying to follow the least invasive routes first which I appreciate. I’m not going to go into what if’s and possibilities as they don’t do any good, so will just let you know if something comes up and I’m ready to share. I hope you appreciate that at the moment!

Cannula Count – 4

Another one bites the dust! Luckily nothing terrible happened to it this time but as it had been in since Monday evening, I needed a fresh one. New one is in the back of my right forearm and seems to be holding up well so that’s good!

Cannula 4

Food Diary

I’ve been asked to stick to low residue, runny foods so basically on a diet of soup, custard, yoghurt, jelly and ice-cream. Sounds heavenly, and it is, for a few hours! Eating is very painful, even getting a cup of tea down kills my stomach but I’m also so bloody hungry!

Lunch (Friday)

They do have me on pretty much constant IV fluids now to keep my hydration up. Stanley seems to be waking up slowly but it’s difficult to know whether it’s just because I haven’t eaten properly or not. Am measuring input/output so we will see how he goes over the weekend.

Room Change

The dreaded announcement – we need to move you to a bay came Friday afternoon. Luckily my mum was visiting which helped so she could keep me sane. I’m not adverse to sharing (depending on who with I suppose lol) but with a stoma and measuring output etc, it can be very intimidating and embarrassing to share a bathroom. It’s pretty quiet in here though and the nurses did find me a fan as I’m not near the window!

Keeping Busy

I’ve bought a puzzle book and a Take A Break magazine (which I used to sometimes help my Grandma do, happy memories) and have my cross stitch, notepad and books. I’m currently reading the new C. L. Taylor thriller I was kindly sent to review and (spoiler alert) – it’s great! Cross stitch has been good to concentrate on as it really helps take my mind off the pain and nausea. I’m thinking of sharing some of my designs soon so keep your eye out on my social media channels as pictures will probably go up on those first!

Today I’ve had my mum and brother Adam to visit. Ste is back in Halifax now so we have chatted on the phone. It’s hard and I miss him being so far away but it’s just one of those things we have to deal with!

I also have a couple of pieces of good news to share here with you. I’ve been featured in this month’s Ileostomy Association magazine talking about the Salts Healthcare Confidence BE bags which have been a game changer for my ostomy care routine. I will also be doing my first speech at an IA event at the end of the month. There is a full day of activities and talks planned for Saturday 30th March in Birmingham and anyone interested in joining us, it would be lovely to have you! The event is ticketed and costs £10 which includes refreshments and lunch. Please feel free to ask any questions or comments and I will endeavour to let you know or find out the answer if you are interested in coming. Be so good to see lots of you there!

Going to leave this on a positive note which is good, will catch up very soon!

Welcome To #Blogtober

Good afternoon, happy new week!  And happy new month to you all as we are officially in October.  This month I am looking forward to Autumn kicking in, Leo’s tenth birthday (how did that happen?!?), half term school holidays and Halloween!

Last Month’s Challenge

Last month I attempted Scroll Free September which meant, apart from for work (blog) purposes, I would not be on social media.  You can read my introduction post about it here.

sfs4

I was really excited about the challenge and thought it would help me explore my relationship with social media.  I do feel I often spend too much time on there, especially with blogging being central to the online world.  It is something Ste has also mentioned.  I know he is proud of my blogging work, but does often feel like it takes over too much of my time.

The first couple of weeks were a real eye opener.  I stuck tot he rules really well and only went on at set times to post things for my blog.  Unfortunately, halfway through the month I became unwell with a nasty sickness bug and then a cold.  This led to lots more rest time and I noticed I began scrolling again more frequently.  I was upset that I had failed the challenge but also, too poorly to care at the time.  I do think the challenge was having a positive effect on my well being when I was following it.  Being poorly did make me feel down though, and sliding back into using social media again and realizing I had failed, did not help with this.

On reflection, I still think Scroll Free September taught me a lot.  Although I took the option of trying ‘cold turkey’ which meant that I wasn’t doing anything online except for work purposes, the creators planned different options.  Things like not using social media in bed is something I will be continuing with.  Me and Ste have started watching films and TV series again and getting a little quality time in the evening without interruptions, which I love.  I also want to extend this to the mornings, as I often get up and check my social media first thing.  I am going to try getting up and waiting o check my social media till I get my cuppa and breakfast.

Treating blogging a little more like a job is also worthwhile.  Rather than frequently popping on to check on my different accounts, I spend a little time prepping what I want to be posting about at the beginning of the week/day and then will just go on to check it at a couple of times throughout the day for messages etc.

Although I technically failed the challenge, and I don’t mind admitting it, I hope that Ste especially will see the steps forward that I have taken this month and continue to support me with this.  I am now back to studying for my degree too so need to ensure my time is well handled so I do not fall behind.

This Month’s Challenge

So a new month is beginning and I have set myself a new challenge – maybe this should become a regular monthly thing?!  Let me know in the comments below if you have any ideas I could do in the coming months!

This month I have decided to take part in #Blogtober which means I will be posting a blog post every single day of the month.  I feel tired just saying it!  Make sure that you are subscribed if you aren’t already and you won’t miss a post, as they will all conveniently drop into your inbox!  To do this just check out the bottom of the home page and type in your email address. I have lots of content planned and I hope you all enjoy it.

Thankyou all once again for your support – every like, share and comment is hugely appreciated.  I try and reply to everyone’s comments and you can also message me privately if preferred.

Happy #Blogtober, wish me luck!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

BlogMas Day Thirteen – Ground To A Ho-Ho-Halt

Well, what a time to get struck down by a stomach bug!  The last couple of days have been pretty horrendous but I am pleased to say, today I seem to be on the up.  Anyone with an ileostomy will know – diarrhoea and vomiting bugs are not only horrific but can be pretty dangerous to ostomates due to how easily they get dehydrated.  I am pleased to say I managed to keep on top of my hydration with this one pretty well and I think that has helped enormously.

For my next post I had planned to fill you all in a little on the past week as I had some exciting news to share, so will continue with that here!  On Thursday I received an email to say my first university assignment of this year had been marked.  To say I was nervous is an understatement and I was just hoping for at least a 70.  To my surprise and delight I got a 90!  The feedback from my tutor was really positive and lovely, although I am feeling the pressure now as she had written that she is looking forward to my future work after this bright start.  The last couple of months have been less than easy so to still walk away from the first assignment with that score is such a major high point for me.  I have said I will use the time I do not have the boys full time to make them proud and so this is a great starting point with that.  Ste has been brilliantly helpful and encouraging and I can’t thank him enough.  A supportive partner (and friendly kick up the bum when needed) is definitely a great help.

The second bit of good news on Thursday was in the form of an email from the lovely people at Respond who want to feature a photo of me and the boys from last year as the front cover of their Winter magazine edition.  I will be sure to let you know when it is available and how to get your copy once it is available.  My mum is super impressed that they are using a photo she took of us but wants to know if she gets photographer credit too!

Then onto my third bit of good news – on Friday Ste finally made it home after a long month in the hospital.  He has had his port fitted and has started to gain some weight which is fantastic.  I am so proud of him for how he copes and making difficult but good decisions for his health.  He hated having to go in, missing time with me, Layla and the boys, but overall the outcome is far more positive and will mean he is much healthier now.  We enjoyed having Layla over the weekend and even got to take her to see Santa which was amazing.  Today we went in for the first needle change in his port with the lovely port nurse and Ste did brilliantly.  He will need to change this every week and as long as he has no problems, he can do this all by himself at home.

I am feeling a little deflated about ‘failing’ BlogMas but will now continue till the 24th.  Part of my recent self care journey has made me realise I have to put myself first, especially when my health is not good and so the break was definitely needed.  Fingers crossed that is the last bug of the year now and we can enjoy Christmas, our little family of five with all our special people.

An Update…

Good evening! Thought I would do a post to update you all on things that have been happening lately, rather than do lots of little posts about everything. My health has been pretty up and down but I’m still trying to keep a smile on my face as always.

Firstly some of you would have seen me having a moan about the 24-hour blood pressure monitoring cuff I had to wear last week. It wasn’t the nicest test I’ve been through but preferable to a colonoscopy or MRI I suppose, so I shouldn’t complain. I’ve been suffering with excruciating headaches (and I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I have an extremely high pain threshold). They have got so bad the pain has made me sick, resulting in an awful bout of dehydration too. I went to the doctors who diagnosed stress headaches but then took my blood pressure before I left and said it was very high. The 24 hour monitor took my blood pressure every half an hour through the day and hourly between 10pm and 7am. It showed that my blood pressure was high throughout the whole 24 hour period, even through the night. I’ve been put on some medication and I’m hoping this will mean an end to the headaches and them making me feel so awful! Another problem and another tablet is not what I wanted to have to deal with but hopefully this will keep it at bay now with no further issues.

The week before, I had also been to see my orthopaedic doctor about my knee. The MRI confirmed no meniscus tear which was good but does mean the problems, pain and locking is due to the severe degeneration from years of arthritis. Basically, the only thing that will sort it is a knee replacement but he said it’s a much bigger operation than my hip one and he would rather wait as long as we can due to my age which I totally agree with. So for now I am just being careful on it and I am getting some physio to try and strengthen some of my leg muscles to try and help a bit.

After all that I’ve had a quiet weekend in here but for a totally different reason – a very happy one in fact! On Saturday my brother married his beautiful fiancee so I was busy helping them celebrate. I was a bridesmaid and it really was an amazing day. Being surrounded by my family and friends made me realise the reason I came back to Derby and I’m so glad I did. The boys looked so handsome in the suits (Ste included!). They were so well behaved and then danced the night away after all the formal stuff was done!

So far the boys have spent the holiday’s with their Dad although he bought them home for the weekend so they could come to the wedding. They are back with him till Sunday and then our Summer Holiday fun can start! We can’t wait and are looking forward to some adventures and lots of family time. For now I am taking the opportunity to rest up while I can.

I hope you are all enjoying the Summer so far (even with the pretty dreary weather) and fingers crossed for some sunshine soon!