#WorldIBDDay! ♥

Happy World IBD Day everyone!

Just a short post today to show you all my outfit for the day:

IMG_7309Proud of my abdo-battle scar and bag and love this t-shirt! I also love my badges that I got off Zazzle (one for my Uncle and one for awareness as well):

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Also, if you can, please donate just £3 to Crohn’s and Colitis by text:

Do your bit for World IBD Day!

Do your bit for World IBD Day!

The amount gets added on to the end of your phone bill so no bank details are asked for. This also ties in with the #GetYourBellyOut awareness campaign on Facebook and Twitter which anyone can take part in – IBD or not & ostomy bag or not! 🙂

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Here’s just a little snapshot of my IBD journey. To have it from the age of 7 definitely makes for lots of stories to tell & experiences that I’ve had.

Finally, just to prove that having an ostomy bag does not stop you living your life, in fact it gives you a life and has made me more comfortable in my own skin, here are a few photos from a recent photo session I did:

Credit to: Michael Hopps & Lime Photographic.

Credit to: Michael Hopps & Lime Photographic.

Credit to: Michael Hopps and Lime Photographic.

Credit to: Michael Hopps and Lime Photographic.

A big THANK YOU in advance to those that help to spread awareness and/or donate.

Until next time,

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World IBD Day tomorrow!

Do your bit for World IBD Day!

Do your bit for World IBD Day!

Hi readers,

So as some as you will be aware of, and as some of you won’t be, it is World IBD Day tomorrow!

It is so vital and important that we all do our bit to raise awareness, even if you yourself do not have IBD but know somebody who does; every little ounce of spreading awareness and fundraising helps.

Personally, I have seen IBD become more publicised over the past few months which is really refreshing and positive to see, but we still have a long way to go. It is vital that more people realise just how serious any form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, whether it be Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis for example, and that tragically it can take lives and majorly affect lives.

For those who have been newly diagnosed, have been diagnosed for a number of years, or even for those who haven’t yet had a diagnosis, IBD can be an extremely difficult, excrutiating and exhausting disease to deal with. Even the simplest of tasks can become extremely difficult and any aspects of having a social life can also disappear considerably, if not completely. It can be a very devastating disease for many and many of the things that we may take for granted without IBD such as having an appetite and having energy are some of the things those with IBD do not have.

Because of my Crohn’s Disease, I have had the pleasure of being introduced to many inspirational people who amaze me everyday with their positive attitudes and how they fight and refuse to be beaten. Even those who struggle still continue to inspire me as they do not give up regardless. Personally, I still get my down days after having ileostomy surgery and for having Crohn’s, but it has made me stronger and it has made me who I am… Without my operation I would not be here. That’s what I remind myself when things get tough and I struggle to see the light. In an ideal world, nobody would want their anatomy changing and having to pass waste through their stomachs, but we have these operations to help us, not hinder us. Some operations save us, just like mine and it is important that people realise what a huge thing that is, whether we had a choice to have the operations or not. It may seem quite obvious to some reading this, but even myself, I had the choice between having my life saved or losing my life. Some people might say “well, that’s not exactly a choice is it?”, well let me tell you, that is the biggest choice I have ever had to make, and at the time and the many years before my surgery, I did not have the energy to continue anymore or the strength to put up with the severe pain and misery and every day being an extreme drag. It is also common for people to get depression with IBD. To find that strength to undergo such an operation and continue fighting in an even weaker position took every piece of me that I had left and meant I had to create and find the strength.

IBD doesn’t just affect the person that has it as well, it affects those in their lives and those around us and can be just as devastating for them in other ways regardless of whether they feel that person’s pain or suffering. It is important that those who know people with IBD have patience and find out all that they can about the disease to help those who have it who are close to them cope. It isn’t just something that can come on one day and pass the next, and it isn’t something that can be simply fixed by medication or surgery. Even after having surgery, people do suffer from the other symptoms of it even if the abdominal symptoms aren’t present, such as joint aches and fatigue, or finding it hard to put on weight, as I do.

Tragically, and one of the most important points to remember from this post, is that people do lose their lives from IBD. It is a cruel disease which even if you have the strength mentally, for some people their inspiring journeys are tragically cut short through no control of their own. I know people who have been cruelly taken by IBD and they were some of the nicest, inspirational and kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life. My Uncle passed away from complications related to IBD, and he is my inspiration every single day, especially when I struggle. He had a heart of gold and never complained, no matter what health problems or life problems he faced, and always found the strength to smile and help others and live life to the full as best as he could. I fight for him and always will, and I will take steps such as these to spread awareness and find that cure that he deserves, just like many others do in this world whether still with us or not.

So what can you do to help raise awareness and raise money?

  1. At the top of the page there is a simple way to donate money by text, even £3 can make such a difference if we all group together and donate.
  2. Take part in the #GetYourBellyOut campaign on Twitter! You don’t have to have a stoma or IBD, it’s all about raising awareness and taking part for those who do! I love this campaign, it’s had such good feedback.
  3. Help to share IBD stories on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter if you see them.
  4. Make an IBD story sign and take a photo/selfie with it and upload it to the internet to spread awareness such as Facebook, or your blog.
  5. Get relatives and friends involved! People who I know I have asked to wear ileostomy bags for World IBD Day so they can have an insight into how it feels for me and many others to wear one on a daily basis.
  6. Wear purple or an IBD/Crohn’s Colitis UK t-shirt if you have one.
  7. Start writing your own blog if you’d like to and share the link so others can read into your experiences.
  8. Talk about it & let people ask questions.

Obviously, with more time to plan in advance, there are a lot more things you can do, but those are some last minute ideas.

Here is my Crohn’s Colitis short story card for the MyCCUKStory hashtag that I did on Twitter and Facebook and here also is my brother wearing a bag and getting a feel of how it is for me to have to wear one on a day to day basis. So thankful for his support alone as well as those close to me.

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Go ahead & raise awareness & funds & donate if you can for World IBD Day tomorrow everyone! 🙂

Here’s to you all, stay strong! ❤

Until next time,

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Busy week!

Hi readers,

I’ve had a busy week sorting things for university and travelling there and back amongst sorting other things and being away so apologies for the lack of posts & videos.
Had a bit of a struggle recently with one thing and another so have also been trying to sort myself out.
Fingers crossed I’ll have a new video up this coming week although I’m not sure on what topic yet! If you have any IBD/ostomy topic ideas that you want me to cover let me know.

I’ll post again soon!

Until next time,

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Video #2: Preparing for Planned Ileostomy Surgery

**Update: My new e-mail is ostomismnotpessimism@yahoo.com as I could no longer access the e-mail included in this post/video further down**

Hi readers!

Today I did my second video: Preparing for Planned Ileostomy Surgery.

You can watch it below:

Please remember that the video is from my experience only and what I have learnt from others, so your experience might not be exactly the same! It’s different for the individual. Also, please consult a medical professional when necessary as this is just my own point of view and take on it from what I have been through in my life with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

I hope you enjoy watching & please leave any comments/questions you may have either at the end of this post, on my YouTube or by e-mail at: ostomismnotpessimism@outlook.com! 🙂

Until next time,

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The Inspirational Blogger Award!

Credit to nuggets4nobles.com

Credit to nuggets4nobles.com

A HUGE thank you to the lovely Chloe from Dazed Fashion for nominating me for the inspirational blogger award; it means a huge lot to me! Please be sure to check out Chloe’s blog! She has some great reviews of products and some fab outfit ideas ranging from casual to outerwear, and from cute to well put together outfit ideas for nights out. Chloe’s blog also has some great beauty posts and useful make-up reviews and tutorials.

UPDATE (08/05/2014): Another MASSIVE thank you to the amazing Carrie from Cup Of Tea as well for nominating me. It means such a lot to know she nominated me too and enjoys reading my posts. You can see my nomination for this inspiring and lovely lady below.

I have been blogging for nearly 3 years now and I love it. My older blog is http://www.staceystoma.wordpress.com. I love to help others and provide support for those affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease and/or bowel surgery and like the fact that despite all my suffering, I can perhaps make somebody else’s IBD/surgery experiences a little easier (whether that be the person themselves or a relative/friend).

 Here are the rules:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and remember to comment on their blogs to let them know you’ve nominated them. (provide a link to your post)
  • This rule is optional you can proudly display the award logo anywhere on your blog e.g. on your sidebar and also follow the blogger that nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me

  1. I am not really a huge chocolate fan unless it’s Milkybar 😀
  2. My favourite bands are You Me At Six, Young Guns, 30 Seconds To Mars and Mallory Knox.
  3. We have 2 dogs called Suzie & Bobby.
  4. My brother is younger but a lot taller than me!
  5. I love medical programs; anything from Holby City to 24 Hours in A & E and so on…
  6. I have an obsession with floral print.
  7. “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” is one of my favourite quotes.

My nominations

I do not know 15 blogs well enough in detail to nominate so I am just going to nominate the blogs that I know well enough and enjoy reading at present.

1. I obviously nominate Chloe, who I have mentioned above & why, who nominated me.

2. Carrie from Cup of Tea – I find her posts a great read and find that her journey with Ulcerative Colitis is very inspiring!

3. Thomas from The Chronic Adventurer – he is very inspiring.

4. Hayley from BedEleven – she is one of the loveliest people I have had the pleasure of speaking to since my surgery & is very inspiring.

5. Emma from My Beautiful Messy Life – I really enjoy reading her posts about being a journalism student and having Crohn’s and an ileostomy.

6. Meranda from MerandaRoben – I love the IBD posts she writes & the awareness work she does.

7. Nicholas from Osto Life – Really inspiring and good awareness blog.

8. Last but not least, Beth from Polished Couture – I adore her shopping haul posts especially & think her blog is really well put together in general. I love her ‘haul’ posts and beauty favourites.

So there you have it guys! My nominations for The Inspirational Blogger Award. Thank you so much to Chloe & Carrie once again.

Until next time,

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Swimwear with an ostomy.

Hi readers,

I’ve decided to do this post as a lot of swimwear is now being advertised on clothing sites and in the shops, and also it’s that time of year where (if you’re lucky!) you’re jetting off somewhere warm on holiday in the Summer months!

Choosing swimwear with an ostomy can be overwhelming at first, especially if you’re quite soon after surgery and all of a sudden the panic hits you of “what am I going to wear?” and “what can I wear if I don’t want others to see my bag?”. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and I’ve come up with ways round still being able to wear on-trend swimwear and/or the swimwear you personally love without having to majorly change your own style and taste just because you have an ostomy bag. Of course, there are people who have had ostomy surgery who are quite happy to have their bag on show; a big thumbs up to them I say and it’s a really courageous thing to do! However, it is completely okay to want to keep your bag to yourself and/or scars. Having ostomy surgery is a major thing after all, and it’s important that you listen to your own feelings and only do what you feel comfortable with anything, even besides choosing what to wear.

Today, I’ve been browsing the internet at different clothes sites in general and came across ASOS and their fantastic range of swimwear. Currently, they have up to 60% off, whilst stocks last. I have put together some collages of suitable swimwear I have found to give you all some ideas of picking swimwear with an ostomy. All of the picture credit is to ASOS.com.

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There are a lot of swimsuit styles out there at the moment, and ASOS certainly shows the diverse range of styles available. Here are a few that I selected which would work great with having an ostomy bag.

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The Playful Promises Swimsuit (left) is one of my favourites of the garments I have seen. It is very feminine and gives a striking, yet not over the top, burst of colour with the intricate lace panel overlay on the cups and down the middle; perfect for detracting attention away from any bag lines underneath. I chose the other three swimsuits as they all have patterns; from simple with the black and white spot swimsuit to more complex and colourful with the Mexicali swimsuit and floral design as well. Busy patterns are a great way of minimising attention being drawn to any possibly bag bulges or lines you may worry about. As you can also see with the Mexicali Swimsuit (second from the right), there are some gorgeous cut-out style pieces that can be worn if you want to show off your figure more. Cut-out designs are differentiated in where abouts the cut-out actually is; some being cut out at the sides with side ties to secure the bottom half of the swim suit and back cut-outs for example. Also, a good thing about having side cut-outs as well is that they come in varying degrees of to what extent the cut-out piece is, with front panels being thin to quite wide depending on the coverage the garment offers. This is great for having an ostomy bag but still wanting to feel confident.

BikinistextNext, I had a look at the bikini range that ASOS have on offer. There are some lovely pieces and different styles as well, ranging from your normal bikini, to low-rise bottoms, tankinis and some really feminine high-waisted pieces. Floral print is definitely on trend and one of my favourite prints to wear and there is an endless range of really pretty floral swimwear pieces throughout the internet itself. River Island and Topshop at the moment have a few of my personal favourites that I have seen when I’ve been shopping. Here are a select few I found on ASOS.

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As you can see above, ASOS also do an ASOS Curve range, which is fantastic for ladies who are bigger sizes and have fuller figures. I think it’s great to see women with curves and those who do need bigger sizes embracing their bodies and wearing such lovely pieces. It’s really refreshing to see and reassuring for people who need bigger sizes in general that they too have the right to feel confident and embrace what they have. This is the same for people who have ostomy bags; yes, you sure do have the right to feel body confident and proud whatever shape or size you may be!

High-waisted garments in general I adore so these high-waisted bikinis above were sure to catch my eye. High-waisted bikinis make me feel confident and give me that confident edge that I wouldn’t necessarily have in a standard bikini. I love the Tumbling Clowns bikini pictured, and have also spotted some gorgeous ones in River Island and Marks & Spencer. They are perfect for keeping an ostomy bag and scars tucked safely away whether plain or patterned bikini.

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Beach dresses are a great extra that give you that bit more coverage. For example, if you want to wear a normal bikini or your swimwear but feel a bit chilly or simply don’t want to strip down to your swimwear, then a pretty beach dress number is a must. Here are a few I found on ASOS.

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The Fishnet Insert panels on the first dress (left) are definitely on trend and catch the eye. Despite it’s plain colour and no pattern, the fact that you can wear swimwear underneath or stomawear garments, alongside the eye-catching panels of the dress, mean that attention on your ostomy bag will be kept to a minimum. My favourite of these beach dresses is on the second left; very feminine and floaty for running around and having fun on the beach, or lying back and reading a book.

ShortsformentextI have seen a few men voice their concerns about wearing swim shorts with an ostomy, usually their main concern being that some swim shorts can be too plain or not high waisted enough. Admittedly, when I have been looking around, there is a more limited range for men, but fear not, as I have come up with some ways around this and some good fashion steals. Here are some I found on the ASOS website.

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Again, a tip I swear by is going for the patterns to take attention away from bag lines etc. Above are some on-trend designs and prints that will do this. I also picked the longer River Island shorts with the white panel of colour along the bottom as the eye-catching bit of the shorts to take attention away from the abdominal and waist area. Also, with all the shorts being elasticated, this is ideal for having the right level of security and comfort you need with your stoma bag without feeling too restricted or the opposite. Also, a vest could be added or t-shirt over the shorts if you feel more comfortable and there is high-waisted stomawear on offer if the shorts do not quite cut it!

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I can’t finish this post without mentioning some examples of amazing stomawear. Stomawear consists of things such as stoma waistbands, vests and briefs in different levels of support depending on the needs of the individual. Comfizz garments (www.comfizz.com) I have sworn by since soon after my surgery! Their waistbands, vests and briefs are all suitable to wear under swimwear garments and to get wet if you want that little bit of extra security. For example, ladies may wish to wear normal bikinis and wear a stoma waistband over their ostomy bag, whereas men may wish to wear the high waisted briefs under their swim shorts if the waist sits normal and is not high-waisted. I have a number of Comfizz products and have never been let down.

Other companies such as Vanilla Blush (www.vblush.com) have a gorgeous range of stomawear, ranging from feminine and sexy high waisted knickers to swimsuits and high-waisted bikinis, to stomawear for men.

Get shopping everyone! 🙂 & remember that just because you have an ostomy bag, this does not take away your right to feel confident and love the skin that you’re in! In fact, if anything, having an ostomy bag gives you more of that right to feel empowered and confident because of the battles you have overcome! 🙂

Until next time,

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New video schedule & feeling poorly!

Hi readers!

I’ve had a busy week this week & have also been battling Tonsillitis hence the absence of posts & no new video. I’m feeling pretty rubbish in all fairness and it seems to start to get better then get worse. I’m pushing through it though. As the saying goes; “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Definitely when I’m poorly with an infection I find that my output volume is a lot higher and mainly liquid being thrown out by my stoma. It’s been a battle actually getting sugary drinks and energy drinks like lucozade sport for rehydration down as the back of my mouth has been so swollen and painful. I’ve definitely got to keep trying as hard as I can to keep on top of my hydration though as dehydration tends to hit me so easily. Will be searching round for my loperamide again before bed, no luck earlier!

The new video should be done by Thursday/Friday next week when I’ve had chance to hopefully get a lot better. Currently I’m not sure what topic to do for the video out of them all, so if you have any ideas or anything you’d like to see me talk about to do with my IBD/ostomy, let me know.

Until next time,

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