Wednesday 27 February 2013


Oh I'm annoyed! Today has annoyed me. The last few days have annoyed me. Not in general, just with regards to food.


I think it's fair to say I have come to the conclusion that rich tea finger biscuits (dunked in tea) are a new trigger food for me. Absolute devastation.

Thing is, I am eating things that I've already had post-op, as now I'm back in the office I would ideally like to keep pooing to a minimum; potential awkward moments of time when I've disappeared...Yet my stomach is not happy with anything I've eaten and not pooing has been a slight problem (sorry colleagues if you're ready this - it's like Confession).

Here's a list of some of the bits and bobs I've had this week:

  • Tea
  • Ribena
  • Water
  • Jelly
  • Mac and cheese
  • Soup
  • Bangers and mash with lots of gravy
  • Yoghurt
  • Rich tea finger biscuits
  • Porridge
  • Sandwich
  • Chicken salad (tried mixing it up today in a moment of madness)

Desperately wanting/in need of some proper fruit and veg. However, with my crazy stomach, it makes me more nervous to try them again. But I can't keep waiting to try my 'risky' foods when I get home in an evening, because if it doesn't go well then I end up being a lame ass girlfriend as my time is spent in the bathroom playing Simpsons Tapped Out. Uhhhhh.

Enough of this shit. Poo, shitty, bumholing crap.

Someone please enlighten me with dietary tips? Email me, tweet me. Anything. I'm going out of my mind. Thank you. And sorry for all the swearing/poo references.

On a lighter note, hope you're all doing wonderfully :)



Monday 25 February 2013

Underground Manners

So I'm eating lunch at my desk at work; classic mac and cheese (again), and I'm half way through my first working day. So far so good!

Well, that's if you don't count my tube journey this morning.

I think that Transport For London need to produce a badge similar to expectant mums' "Baby on Board" for people that are post-op after abdominal surgery. At NO POINT is it ok to be elbowed in the stomach, when you're flat against the wall anyway, and then be tutted at as if it's your fault you just happen to be standing there (!)

I don't think so Sonny Jim.

But unfortunately, I didn't manage to tell this woman what I thought...I just cried. I'm such a sap.

I was already nervous about travelling in rush hour as I haven't done that for a good while! And then I get Hong Kong Phooey-ed on my morning travels (another retro reference for you cartoon lovers out there - if in doubt, see below).

Moral of the story so far? Pad up and get even. Elbows at the ready!

Or maybe I should leave slightly later to miss the initial 'rush' part of rush hour.


Sunday 24 February 2013


It's mental to think that just over a month ago, I was umming and ahhing with myself on whether to even start this blog.

Who would want to read about my pooing habits anyway? Yes, everybody poos. But people can be so typically British, that no one dares admit they even pass wind - let alone poop.

Yet here I am, just hit 9000 views in a month and I feel like this has honestly been the best therapy for helping me cope with what's gone on/going on/goes on. 

You've made me feel rather proud of myself, as I've indirectly stumbled across a skill I never knew I really had - writing. And writing well enough that people want to keep reading.

So thank you guys. For even clicking on the link in the first place.


Working 9 to 5

So. Tomorrow I get back to life, back to reality...(apologies for the Soul II Soul reference - had to be done) and head back to work.

I'm anxious. I'm nervous.

This is because it has been quite a while since I was initially signed off by my GP pre-op; almost 4 months, to be precise.

The reason why I was signed off so long was due to the initial flare up, on the hope if I took the prescribed meds and rested during the 6 weeks, all would be sorted. But as we all know, this didn't happen! Then the proposed date for my op was conveniently the Monday after my (original) last day of being signed off. So no need to hunt down additional paperwork then to make sure my (literal) ass was covered for work...?! Pfft. LIES.

Because my op date was stuck in that admin rut in the NHS and ended up being the end of January. Didn't realise until then that despite being seen at the hospital, they don't give out the work/sickness forms unless you're an inpatient. It's the GP. But the GP wouldn't give me the form for SSP as I hadn't been seen by her before that appointment. Nightmare. Pillar to post, etc. etc.

But paperwork dramas aside, I am now in a position where I have work Monday morning.

Shall of course let you know how I get on! (Here's hoping there's no poo-pain on the underground haha)


PS: For those of you too young/never heard of Soul II Soul, here's a little treat from me to you...

Soul II Soul (Now the italics in my opening sentence will make sense haha)

PPS: Apologies for all the brackets this evening; my mind is splattered/having conversations with myself mid-type. If this was Twitter I'd be hashtagging all over the place. And talking of Twitter, (cheeky plug) you can follow me on @Harriet_Pure for my concise ramblings in 140 characters.


Monday 18 February 2013

Just a quick one

Had my contraceptive implant replaced before I had my op. I am now experiencing my first period since aforementioned replacement, and OH MY
So I decided to change the words to a song to express my current painful situation...

Ovary to the left of me, scarring to my right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with poos.
That is all.

Sunday 17 February 2013

The proof is in the pudding

Except it wasn't a pudding: it was lunch, and it was a salad. But still...I managed to do this yesterday...
This made me feel very proud - as sad as that is - because not only did I manage to finish the meal, it was at lunch with a friend (yes, my first proper outing!) and there was no bum-clenching runs to the toilet afterwards. #WINNING guys.

I think this means that I am a fully fledged 'solid food' eater now. Although I'm still erring on the side of caution; don't want to get carried away! So adjusted my diet to one solid meal, with two liquid-based ones per day and see how we go from there...?!

Another mini event this week that I want to share with you all, is that I am now SCAB FREE. Like a lizard shedding its skin, my final scab departed and I am now pure scar. And I like it. (Is that weird?!)

I don't know if it's because this is the first time (in a very long time) that I can see that part of my stomach easily - as opposed to it being on the underside of my pregnant looking bloat. But it's so neat and reminds me of the pretend scars you draw when you're younger haha.

Luckily, as my scar has turned out very well, I haven't had to have a mental adjustment to how I physically look with it. The only physical adjustment I have had to make is getting used to my body being more 'normal'; less bloated, more like my old figure. And it makes a pleasant change from the last 4 years! But yes, I'm very much aware it's wishful thinking to have the body of my 20 year old self again ;)

But in all seriousness I genuinely feel like this operation is the start of something wonderful. And even if I get just a year of normality, it will make such a difference. 

So to underline the rejuvenated Harriet.2 I decided on a voluntary change to how I look...

TA DA! Bye bye hospital-length hair. Hello fresh new bouncing bob.



Wednesday 13 February 2013

Food, Glorious Food!

Well this is very much a week of indulgent food - and I want to join in!

Shrove Tuesday yesterday...Valentine's Day tomorrow...such wonderful food to be had.

Except I'm not quite there yet with eating solids: I have managed to eat a version of a roast (tender beef, mash potato, cauliflower cheese, gravy) but even after this I'm finding myself running to the toilet either straight after dinner - or worse - halfway through.

Yesterday I decided I was having pancakes. I didn't care, I was going to live life on the edge! It was pancake day after all. And it tasted so good! But boy did I have pains afterwards. And needless to say, I didn't finish the whole thing :(

And tomorrow is Valentine's. Meal deals on every other advert, in every supermarket. And it all looks so tasty - but also very rich (this makes me nervous). I believe my significant other is doing the cooking tomorrow, so I shall leave it up to him with what variety of Harriet-ready food he makes.

I'm also not sure where alcohol comes into my recovery?! As it's not something I wanted to ask when being discharged (avoids any judgement). But I would quite like to enjoy a glass of wine tomorrow evening? My justification is that wine is water haha.

Normality is close though, I can feel it. Apart from pain just after eating, general pain seems to be dwindling. Movement is becoming a bit easier. We're getting there guys!


Monday 11 February 2013

Pain in the arse

In every sense of the word.


I'm not going to lie - my bottom is oh so sore. It can't cope with the amount of times I am having to go to the toilet toilet.

Baby wipes...Sudocrem...uhh, it's like I've regressed back to being a child with a poorly bum.

On another pain-related note, I am having the most unusual pains in my stomach.

What I initially assumed to be general wound pain, has now appeared in places both above and below the actual wound itself. I've googled the abdominal muscles to try and shed some light on why certain movements hurt more than others, and my guessing is that it's the Internal Oblique muscle. Or it's a hernia haha. Have to be keeping an eye on this one.

But jee-whizz it is making things tricky; getting into bed, getting out of bed, sitting down, standing up. And don't get me started on trying to roll over when actually lying down!

Also, can't believe it has already been a week since I was discharged?! Everything is looking rather positive though...*plods along as per*

Toodles for now, chaps and chapettes.



Friday 8 February 2013

Home Sweet Home

Oh hi there. Sorry for the few days of nothingness.

Slowly been adjusting to being back at home...

Don't get me wrong, I bloody love it! But it's also quite a challenge, as you're very protected in hospital; things at the right height, a variety of bars to hold onto in the bathroom, your medicine brought to you as and when you need it. And obviously I don't have all of this at home, but I am fortunate enough to have an amazing boyfriend. Literally couldn't have done any of this without him.

They also said around 80% of my recovery will be done at home - so at least I know it can only get better?!

But for now, here's a brief round-up of what you've missed this week:


Managed to have (and finish) macaroni and cheese last night. Also successfully eaten smooth mash potato with gravy. Everything else has been either jelly/custard/yoghurt/soup. On the plus side, have now lost just over 3kgs since last week...every cloud and all that. But MY GOD I cannot wait to eat a proper meal! I'm fed up of salivating over food adverts haha.


This, I've found the strangest. After a bowel operation, there's the natural expectation of changes in bowel activity. But apart from the few days last week (NG tube, and what not) my insides have gone right back to how they were; 5-6 times a day, and extremely loose. But I'm assuming that as I heal, this will change to a more 'typical' toilet time? As surely part of the point of my op was to help me have normal day-to-day activities.... Who knows? Only time will tell.


Well this is looking ever so neat and tidy! I'm actually very pleased with how it's turned out. As it's not something in which you have a choice in the aesthetics, I was preparing myself for a mash up of scars on my stomach. But the surgeon has done a fab job, and hopefully as it fades over time, it will be part of a natural crease in my skin.

I also had the ten staples removed today. Very odd experience. I'm slowly getting feeling back in that area (as the nerve endings were severed) so only felt the last three staples being removed.

Still on my antibiotics for the collection they found under my wound - don't want to leave myself open to any complications. But with an outpatient appointment scheduled for a few weeks time, we are on the right track!


I'm also noticing that I have a mini mental battle with myself. In some ways it's harder being on bed-rest post-op, than it was being at home before my op. This is because to avoid boredom before, I would clean/tidy/general potter around my house. Whereas now, all I can do is sleep. Because cleaning/tidying/general pottering around my house will do more harm than good.

All in all, just need to get used to general movement as each muscle slowly kicks back in, and my nerve endings stand to attention. But already noticed how each day genuinely makes a difference. 

Will try not to leave it so long before I post again...


Monday 4 February 2013

What a turnaround

I am going HOME!

The registrar came around this morning and decided that I am able to have my antibiotics orally, as opposed to through a drip, and I am no longer on fluids. So I am being discharged!!

Have squeezed everything I own back into my wheelie suitcase and now just waiting on my instructions for the next 2-3 weeks of resting.

Yeeeeaaahhhhhh baby!


Just one of those days

Today is a weepy day.

I feel quite down in the dumps...sorry for myself.

Nothing has happened - just feel completely mehhh.

So I've done what any self-respecting crier does and have put my iPad onto shuffle, with my hospital playlist on full blast into my headphones ha. Cue tearjerker power ballads.

The doctor (as well as various family and friends) have all said it is completely ok to have days like today though, especially after a big op.

Just want the pattern to change so it is more of the ups than the downs; as it's pretty evenly split over this last week!


Saturday 2 February 2013


There is no update as such, because there is only good news! There is NO LEAK!

Although my CT scan was technically inconclusive due to the contrast liquid not getting far enough in me, it seems that I have a lot of inflammation around my new wound site. But importantly, no signs of a leak anywhere.

Unfortunately, the rest of the detail is lost on me, as I happened to be in the toilet (how apt) when the registrar came around this afternoon and she spoke to my other half instead.

Since then however, the registrar has popped back to see me to give me all the gory details; I have a small collection by my wound site, but this is due to the time elapsed since my op, (i.e. not that long!) and will settle in a further 2-3 weeks. But I can also start to introduce food slowly now, which is fab as I've been on sips of water essentially the last 6 days.

Moral of tonight's bedtime story? I do not have a perforated bowel and I can start to eat again.

So now I can sit back and watch Splash haha. What a Saturday!


Advice from Ronan Keating?

Dear old Ronan once said, "life is a roller coaster" and that it is my fellow readers.

As today has already been completely different to yesterday.

I couldn't sleep properly at night. Any which way I lay down, pain would screech through my insides. And I also welcomed back a bloat with a vengeance. It was also the first time in a few days that I have needed Oramorph to get me through the night.

My surgeon's registrar came round this morning, had a feel of my tummy. Then again. And a bit more. And it hurts. Fuck.

She is extremely concerned as things are not how they should be; my temperature spiked during the night, it hurts to move, and it seems distended again. But different to Thursday, as I do not feel sick at all and have since opened my bowel.

She thinks....there may be a leak.

A leak? A perforated bowel? Either way, things are not ok. And I am panicking.


I have just returned from a CT Scan and am awaiting the consultation for what happens now, and what they have found.

From what I gather from this morning, if there is a leak but it is all contained and my body is dealing with it (albeit slowly) then I can just have some antibiotics. If it isn't contained, then I believe I am back into theatre.

But don't fret, as it is no reflection on my surgeon's skills. Unfortunately with Crohn's, the tissue will always be diseased and things will not always heal well due to it being an auto-immune disease.

So I guess it's just one of those things.



Friday 1 February 2013

Getting there, slowly but surely

After my previous post and the not so happy-tones it contained, I am pleased to report that today is a much better day.

I haven't been sick, I'm still quite tired (no change there) but the main news is....

Today, I pooed!

This morning the doctor felt my stomach again and noticed how much softer it had got in comparison to yesterday, and that it was also making all the right noises with regards to my bowel getting back to normal.

It seems that I may have done too much, too soon with eating on Wednesday. That paired with ileus, it was never going to end well...

But in a weird way it seems to have figuratively and literally kicked my bowel up the arse and got things moving again.

Now my next focus is trying to eat food, as I've been on sips of still water and fluid through an IV pretty much since Monday - apart from the blip with the soups mid-week!

The doctor said if things continue to go well, then I may be able to be discharged early next week, which would be ace. But not going to get my hopes up, just going to do as I'm told and plod on in my plaid pyjama shirt.



When the going gets tough...

Jesus Christ yesterday was a hard day. It was physically, emotionally and mentally draining.

You know I said in my last post that we were going to give food a go? Well what happened after was what I like to call an epic fail.

I managed to have around three teaspoons of soup at lunchtime on Wednesday, as I just felt overwhelmingly full (bear in mind at this point I haven't eaten since Sunday) but felt more confident come dinner time and ordered red lentil soup - slightly chunkier than the soup at lunch - and a yoghurt. I finished the yoghurt and must have got around half of the soup finished. But about half hour later I started to feel really nauseous.

My stomach had literally inflated at all angles and had become very sore and very hard. I felt like if someone put a pin in me, I would whizz around the room. Except it wasn't wind. Oh no no.

Fell asleep thanks to a shit load of drugs and woke up feeling just as poorly on Thursday morning.

I had that whole 'watery mouth' thing going on, common to a pre-vom I have noticed. Yet to no avail. Just couldn't be sick. This could be down to not actually needing to be sick, just had bad nausea, or the fact my stomach muscles are still in shreds and have no strength to cough.

The doctors did their usual morning walk-round and I explained to them how I was feeling (through heavy tears) and they had a feel of my stomach. OUCH.

Turns out I may have 'ileus' which is a blockage of the intestines. It prevents movement of food, fluid and gas and is due to the lack of movement of the intestinal muscles. It is when your gut essentially shuts down due to something dramatic like trauma or major surgery.

I get booked in for an x-ray to make sure there's nothing untoward going on in my bowel, and also have an NG Tube explained to me...

Nasogastric intubation is a medical process involving the insertion of a plastic tube through the nose, past the throat and down into the stomach. I would need this for nasogastric aspiration (suction) which is the process of draining the stomach's contents via the tube, into a collector bag.

However I couldn't have anything to reduce my pain and bloat unless my body did something at either end: poo, vomit, fart. ANYTHING.

So there I was, just spitting into a cardboard bowl all day, convinced I'm going to vomit. But nothing happened. And then my nana and best friend from home come to visit. Welcome back Sod's Law.

No word of a lie, they must have been here maybe 5 mins max and I am chucking up the most disgusting tasting/looking/powerful vomit I've ever produced. I had to get my best friend to run and get a nurse because in the panic I threw my nurse button under the bed. I needed tissues. I needed help.

And then this happened:

Honestly? I cannot describe the pain and discomfort having this tube inserted. I tried every positive thinking technique whilst they were going through it all (and apparently I was doing "very well") but it was near on impossible to be ok with this new challenge.

I still managed to vomit twice with this tube inserted...which shouldn't happen, FYI. The collector bag should have collected what I was throwing up, but it wasn't. A few hours later and after shouting at the nurses (not so much at them, just kind of to them. Either way so sorry, I was very distressed) they removed the tube - all 56cm of it.

Fortunately I managed to get some more anti-sickness drugs pumped into me, got put back on sips of water and linked up to a drip again with multiple bags connected to my cannula. As well as some knock-out meds to help me sleep, because my god, I have NEVER felt so exhausted in all my life.

My mind boggles at how I am going to cope with these endless challenges my body throws at me!

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