Monday 3 September 2018

Who Am I?

It seems my blogging hiatuses are getting wildly out of hand. Over seven months this time. Maybe you're wondering who I even am? It's been so long!

I suppose my main reason for the break was to focus on getting better from the crazy flare I had over Winter, and to try and get back to 'normal' with regards to routine in both work and home. And I got there! Ish. I mean, I've been back at work properly since February and am also now in the depths of trying to buy a house which can go on to become my home.

Whenever I have a break from writing it's always quite a challenge for me to get back on that hypothetical bike; there's always that moment of WHAT IF NOBODY WANTS TO READ THIS ANYMORE?! Yet I've decided that actually, that's fine. Because I know I find writing therapeutic. I know I enjoy sharing my thoughts.

So for anyone that is reading/cares, brief summary of (essentially) 2018 thus far:
  • Back working full time
  • Been a wife for nearly eleven months
  • Off all meds to try and reset my body/see what state it's left in
  • Turned 30
  • Continued to watch my son become the funniest little human 
  • Trying to buy a house

I don't know if it's because I've had a milestone birthday?? But I've done a lot of thinking this year. And more recently in particular, I've done a lot of thinking about what direction I want my writing to go.

I think I've mentioned it before, in that this obviously began as a way for me to talk about my Crohn's and was started at a time where I was due the largest operation I'd had. I was shit scared. I didn't know what lay ahead, but I was already aware of the duff hand I'd been dealt re my health. Time passed, I blogged about the arse situations my body had thrown at me - and I'd like to think that on the whole I coped (!) with it all rather well. Then I had a reassessment of here blog and decided Hattie, etc. was the way forward. I was more than my Crohn's. And I wanted this platform to be a representation of that. The natural progression was to then write about being preg - which honestly, I look back at all my posts from when I was that first-time mama-to-be and I am so so glad I wrote as often as I did. Things that for the life of me, I cannot remember happening, yet I have all my thoughts and feelings sitting there in this hub to relive.

That then leads me to now, though. Not pregnant. Still very much an active Crohn's patient. Where do I go from here? What do I write about? What do I have to say?

There are things that have happened that quite frankly I would have loved to have written about so openly, but as with anything...time and a place...and often it's not the right time. Or necessarily the right place. It can be a challenge to work through life's hurdles anyway, let alone when you get bad news; or terribly sad news; or news that you would just rather have on another day when you feel like you can deal with it better.

One thing I've learnt as I've got older (and also since I've become a mother), is that there are a lot of things that I have no control over - try as I might - but it's how I deal with situations, which will help shape me as a person. Who I am as a mum. Who I am at work. Who I am as an individual. Who I am as a wife. Who I am within my family. Who I am as a friend.

And maybe that's what I write about now? Who I am. Who actually am I?

I'm not promising any fantastic content that will provide you with endless laughs or equally all the tears. But as I delve deeper into my 30s I plan on writing as many of my experiences as I go: family holidays, being a mother to a glorious little boy, tales of being a wife, buying a family home and the subsequent interior design (FINALLY. Time to release my inner Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen *puts on a pussybow blouse with a fluted sleeve*) And maybe also for that one day in the future when I'm a mama-to-be again. Perhaps even some of my outfits, whilst I'm at it.

Because that's who I am. I am all of those things. I am like a human dodecahedron and I want to write all about it.


Dancing Humbug


Tuesday 30 January 2018

Ass Issues

Needless to say it's certainly been a little while! And even though it seems wildly out of context, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. So now to 2018.

Brief update on what's been happening: got discharged from hospital after my stay in November (don't think I'd cope if I was still there now) and I had everything crossed for a lovely normal Christmas period. Wanted to start 2018 with a 'new year, new me' attitude and all that shite...Dyed my hair blonde. Strong start. 

From a general Crohn's point of view though, we made it to January in a relatively normal state - no more hospital admissions, and I will take the small wins as and where I can! Also had both an outpatient appointment and a catch up pre-Christmas with my consultant. I mean it wasn't great news?! Essentially, your inflammatory markers should be around 50 and mine was coming in at 507. Whoopsy. Have a vitamin D deficiency too, but as far as I'm concerned, if ever there was an excuse to go ahead and get the honeymoon booked it was my body medically crying out for a bit of sunshine. And I finally got my iron infusion - second time lucky as the first time I had a temperature after the flu jab. Swings, roundabouts, etc. Was also still on the waiting list for the EUA from September - and herein lay the problem; THAT'S A VERY LONG TIME TO HAVE A POORLY BOTTOM.
But as of yesterday, I got my long-awaited EUA. All up in my personal space trying to figure out what exactly is happening with my ass. The surgeon came to see me beforehand as they do, and tried to explain to me what was going to happen. As with any type of IBD surgery, it's very much a case of consent to almost everything and then see what you wake up with. I know this. Yesterday was my 16th time in theatre. It's just a bit tough when they essentially say they don't know what's wrong with you.

I had an MRI in November and it showed that there was unusual activity in my pelvis. So then I was sent for the flexible sigmoidoscopy but they couldn't find anything? Yesterday's surgeon spoke to the people who carried out the MRI and the Flexi to literally try and get to the bottom of it. But to no avail, it seemed. The surgeon also mentioned that maybe the only way we can stop my bottom being such a pain, is to stop using it all together. That's an intimidating thought as having a permanent bag in this scenario would be more of a choice, rather than a necessity from emergency surgery. Brain. Fried. But hopefully that's a long way off before we have to weigh up all the pros and cons.

However, I knew I was pinning a lot on this EUA. Very much viewed it as: if you're physically up in there then surely you can see what's happening?! Alas, nothing is simple and to the naked eye they couldn't find any polyps, fistulas, abscesses or fissures. She did however confirm that I have erythema and induration on my right hand side. Personally I'd almost prefer her to tell me I just had piles like a normal person who's been pregnant but then that would be too simple! Anywho. After my EAU the surgeon came back out to see me and explained what she'd managed to do. Or not, in this case. I'm going to need an urgent MRI to reassess for presence of sepsis, with the plan to go back into theatre as she didn't want to delve further when going in blind. 

There was talk previously of botox, applied to the internal sphincter (cue jokes about the most youthful bumhole) but actually that was a no-go from the get-go. The botox paralyses the muscle and the last thing I need is help to go to the toilet. Any more urgency and I would be in a position where I thought I needed the toilet toilet and it turns out I'd have already been. I'm not even 30 yet. Let me get to Nana age before I start shitting myself on the regular!

Next on the list of fixing me, is a SeHCAT scan that I have tomorrow and again next Wednesday to see if I have a bile salt malabsorption. This is a double edged sword for me as it'll either show that yes indeed I have something wrong. Not ideal, but at least we'd know what we're dealing with. Equally if it shows that I don't have bile salt malabsorption, then we're very much still wondering what is wrong with me.
In other news, I started seeing the hospital psychologist. She's been amazing. She's helped me figure out that actually I am pretty well equipped with the 'tools' I thought I needed, and that maybe - just maybe - my expectations for myself were a little too high and that sometimes it's ok to just be ok. Being able to shift my mindset ever so slightly and not give myself a hard time when ill has done me the world of good. I feel more like I can take on the challenges Crohn's throws at me, whilst also maintaining my mama skills I was worried I'd lose because I'm the 'poorly mum'.
Towards the end of our last session we briefly discussed body image. I'd like to delve into this in slightly more detail so will do so in another post - mainly because it's something I've been struggling with of late, as I don't know what I look like anymore. What is my body after pregnancy and Crohn's flares? What shape am I? Who knows?! I certainly don't.

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