What can we learn from dogs 🐶

Happiness

I’ve thought about this a lot recently and discussed it with my husband especially after my recent health scare.

We are a nation of dog lovers, so many people have dogs as pets.

Our dog is basically a tank, a solid bull terrier & a ball of energy.

When I take him out for his walks, we walk for miles up and down dale. He does everything with only one thing in mind and that’s sheer enjoyment in that moment.

Dogs don’t ask for much all they want is loving humans a warm comfy bed a restful home, good walks and food.

I watch Oggy our big headed Cornish pasty getting so much enjoyment and excitement in everything he does, watching him like that clears my mind.

He’s not worried about irrelevant things he’s just living in the present enjoying that moment in his life. Running, doing rolly polys, doing everything with enthusiasm, if I could bottle that zest for life that he has, people would buy it.

As humans we crave so much, popularity, fast cars, designer clothes, big houses to name but a few. We are governed by the media and often influenced by the wrong things.

In life all we need to do is take a step back, be less stressed. Help a person across the street, say good morning. You could change someone’s day just by kindness. We should live in the present be like Oggy boy. Go outside breathe the fresh air in, clear your mind, don’t let life pass you by.

Dogs are mans best friend for a reason they are loyal, they get you out walking in the fresh air. They show you unconditional love, you see a dog enjoying themselves and that makes you smile and laugh.

We can make life so simple by showing kindness, loyalty & love just like a dog, they teach us so much, we can learn from them.

Lisa 😃

Check your boobs

This post isn’t about IBD although I have to say lately I have been really suffering with my diet and allergies to food and Billy is changing shape and causing me issues. Which you can read about in my recent post.

Recently we went away for my 48th birthday down to our favourite place in Cornwall, Polzeath, finally able to celebrate after two years of UK Covid restrictions. The weather was beautiful, sunshine & Cornish beer, absolute heaven. My husband and I celebrated and we had so much fun, we are now newbie boarders. I am body boarding and am progressing well, boarding with a stoma isn’t an issue and I am loving being in the water.

Whilst I was chilling out in the camper I felt a lump in my left breast, my initial reaction was, it is probably nothing however we both agreed it was definitely something that I needed to get checked out ASAP.

If you have read my About Me page you will know that I ignored my IBD for quite some time, but I was 15 years old. Older and wiser and with so much information available I knew this could potentially affect my health.

As soon as we were home I went to see my local GP who referred me to the Breast Cancer Clinic at our local hospital. I had a call within a week, I visited the GP on the Tuesday and was in the hospital for an appointment the following Wednesday.

I have to admit my attitude, of it’s probably nothing soon began to wane and I started to worry and had a few sleepless nights. Even though you feel its going to be fine theres always that little tiny doubt. I thought about the implications of me being unwell again, and how it would affect us. Would we be able to cope, would I have to have surgery and treatment.

It is natural to think Breast Cancer, most people know a person who has had Breast Cancer or surgery for a lump. Once you feel a lump you can’t unfeel it, it played on our minds, my husband & I are a great team I have always got his support and his strength behind me. He brings me up when I am down and we face everything together. I am so thankful that I have him in my life.

I went along to my appointment, I did read up about what to expect at my appointment, the NHS websites are extremely informative. (A link to the NHS is at the bottom of the page) I was examined by the Consultant an X marked the spot of the lump. I was sent off for a mammogram and an ultrasound. Everything was done there and then, no coming back home & waiting for scan appointments, thank goodness, that just prolongs the worry, the staff are lovely and make you feel at ease.

I am not going to lie I was fairly calm until I went in for my consultation. The doctor said you have an interesting medical history and an impressive scar. The other ladies thought my tattoos were awesome. Anyway I digress, a mammogram is an X-ray of your breasts. The only way I can say it is, it is not a pleasant scan but don’t be put off. Medical science really has advanced and these types of scans are vital for detecting any changes and abnormalities.

The Ultrasound was the scan that brought up the results, I was able to physically see what was inside. They found I have a few cysts in the breast I am happy to say although there are a few they are harmless. The lump that I went in to get checked was very noticeable on the scan with several little dots inside.

This was the part when I did panic the specialist spent at least 20 minutes scanning me. She was almost certain that they were proteins in a larger cyst & nothing more sinister. To ensure that her diagnosis was correct she performed an aspiration of the lump and removed proteins. The relief to be told they were cysts was overwhelming. The specialist said I had done the right thing to get it checked straight away.

I will always be checking now, that was a big scare for me and my husband. I admire all these people that are faced with this situation and don’t receive the news that I did. They are so brave and strong and fighters.

If you feel a lump please get it checked, the majority of the time these lumps are just Cysts. Women and Men get lumps, don’t ignore a lump visit your GP and get checked out.

Once again I can’t thank the NHS enough for their care and dedication that they give to the public. We are extremely lucky in the UK that we have a service that we can depend on and that will always look after us. They have fixed me up so many times and I will always be grateful.

Please check your breasts regularly the details below will help you to perform a good examination. Always get your mammogram scan done when it’s due as well as your regular cervical smear test.

Look at your breasts and feel each breast and armpit, and up to your collarbone. You may find it easiest to do this in the shower or bath, by running a soapy hand over each breast and up under each armpit. You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms by your side and also with them raised.

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/womens-health/how-should-i-check-my-breasts/

Diet & Recent Battles

Being an Ostomate & having a bowel disease is not easy, we live with this everyday and sometimes those days are a real battle. As I have got older I have started to really take notice of how my body reacts to foods. I have come to the conclusion that believing you have a bowel disease that was magically cured after surgery is not the case. I always believed that after my surgeries I was cured but little did I know that I was lying to myself.

However that’s not to say that I haven’t lived my life to the full I have accepted my body and the limitations that being an ostomate and IBD sufferer has affected me personally. It has never stopped me doing all the things that I have wanted to do. I have eaten what I wanted drank what I wanted and not cared about how my body has reacted to certain foods.

I guess now as I am in my late 40’s and approaching my 50’s it’s about time that I listened to what my body has been telling me regarding my diet. I never took any notice of the foods that I have allergies too I ignored the flares just putting it down to a bug. I have now had IBD for nearly half my life and a stoma for 30 years (yeah I know I can’t believe it either)

I read recently that when you reach your 40’s your IBD can change, flare ups can become frequent. I’m not sure if that’s particularly accurate but for me I guess it is, what did I do to change that? I hear you ask. If you have read my Lisa Diet page you will know that I became a pescatarian about 4 years ago after 2 years I decided to go dairy free as well, my poor tum was not accepting dairy at all. I know that as ostomates and people with bowel disease eating a carnivore diet is recommended, so you get all the essential vitamins and minerals, B12 is a factor especially if you have an ileostomy. B12 isn’t produced naturally but once eaten it is readily stored in the ileum which leads to the large intestine. I always take B12 and extra vitamins & minerals just to be on the safe side.

I always wanted to stop eating meat but was always put off by the fact that it could affect my stoma. Our diets are so important not just for us but for everyone, diet and exercise is the key to health. Think of your body as a car if you put rubbish fuel in it or the wrong fuel in it your car won’t run efficiently or indeed run at all.

My stomach has been quite bad lately the flares have been frequent so many foods were upsetting me. I kept a diary I listed all foods I had eaten, all reactions I had, how my mood was, how I felt and my stoma output. I needed to get on top of my diet problems I have always had a bit of a reaction to fish but again I chose to ignore that. After a process of elimination and having so many reactions to foods I was able to determine that I indeed have a bit of an allergy to fish. I am now taking an Omega 3 supplement so I don’t get low and cause other problems.

After establishing what was affecting me I have started to feel better I do have reactions to certain foods eating out can be an issue but as they are only mild reactions. Ulcers, stomach upsets that sort of thing I have decided to take the hit. I had to introduce dairy into my diet but I will only have cheese and butter I still won’t drink milk preferring soya or going without. I will have a little cream however too much makes me feel sick, I had a Cornish cream tea recently. I did suffer but god it was worth it. I even have cake, again taking the hit but I’m realising that I can’t be a nun about every food or I will turn into a runner bean.

These are the main things that I have found that really affect me & generally make me feel sick and I will try to avoid them.

  • Fish
  • Processed foods
  • Certain Oils (Sunflower oil being the worst)
  • Chillies & anything spicy
  • Foods that are to salty

If I do suffer reactions I detox for a week when I say detox that just means fruit & vegetables no alcohol and no caffeine or sweet treats. This clears my flare ups and allergies. The best diet for me is a complete vegetarian diet with extra supplements, I weigh myself regularly I exercise regularly. I am very conscious of my diet my health and my weight and not getting too slim.

If you are suffering with diet problems always seek advice from a medical professional or dietician.

So in conclusion always listen to your body.

Lisa Xx

The Bag’s Off & Once again I’m Sleep deprived

I set this site up so we can share our experiences & those experiences mean all that we are feeling with IBD & Ostomies. It’s a positive site to connect & show that we can all live a normal, fulfilled life.

However sometimes do you just think Why? What did I do to deserve this? If we all said life is all peachy with a stoma or not with a stoma just life in general we wouldn’t be telling the truth. At the moment my hormones are shot, the peri menopause is taking a toll on my body & on top of that this bloody bag won’t stay on Billy for anymore than 24-36 hours.

So Friday night I’m up at 3.30am major bag blow in the shower cleaning myself up, another bag change. I go back to bed trying not to wake up my husband. I lay in bed for 10 minutes in tears feeling sorry for myself amplified by hormone imbalances wondering when do I get a break. After I have had my ten minutes of woe is me I say to myself ‘I can’t change this’. Billy is with me for life my hormones will sort themselves out soon.

You know, I had a big word with myself and thought your life is good 😌 your diet is good your health is good you have people who love you. The way things affect us mentally isn’t anything to be ashamed off it’s how we deal with them that is the key. Address them don’t dwell on them focus on the good stuff don’t fall in that hole. The point of this post is to let you know we all get our bad days even me. But I focus on all the great things in my life & Billy the Illy is why I’m here 😊 don’t let the bad days bring you down, remember we are all on a journey to get to that happy emoji 😊

Also I’m having a big menopause party when it’s all over so bring it on. 🤪

Lisa xx

YouTube Channel

I will soon be setting up a YouTube Channel with recipes & meals that can be cooked for people like us who have very specific diets. Although it’s not just for IBD sufferers & Ostomates it is for anyone who is interested in improving their health and wellbeing. My diet is so specific the biggest problem that I have is ensuring I am taking in the right amount of proteins.

Being a non meat eater, dairy free and unable to eat nuts & digest seeds can be a huge challenge. This new channel will feature the recipes and foods that I use to maintain a healthy body & a happy Stoma. It won’t be your normal cooking YouTube channel I will be cooking in the camper and on the Solo Stove outside as well as in my little Pikey home!! So stay tuned.

Lisa Xx

Update on my Diet

A while back I mentioned on a previous post that I was going to cut out fish from my diet as well as all the other foods that I have cut out over the last few years. I have to report that after being completely Vegan it really became difficult for me. My stoma output wasn’t great I started to feel like crap and was taking to many supplements so I introduced fish back into my diet again. It was definitely the right thing to do I am still following my strict diet in terms of only fruit, vegetables, pulses, and non dairy foods but introducing fish back into my diet has been good for me. I am still maintaining my weight of just under 52kgs and am only taking the multi vitamins and folic acid that I have always taken.

Accepting & loving your body

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do

After finally covering up the scar on my left side with my new tattoo it inspired me to buy a bikini for the first time in forever. I am not embarrassed by my body but it does take a lot to accept yourself. The growth in me physically and mentally over the last year or so has been immense. I would be more than happy to walk on the beach in a bikini now.

Becoming an ostomate dealing with a bowel disease is not easy it really can drain you both physically and mentally. I’ve had a permanent stoma for 28 years and I am still dealing with the affects that having an ileostomy has on my life.

I have worked really hard over the last few years to get my diet right you can take a look at my diet page. Since giving up meat and dairy I have managed to be the healthiest I’ve ever been. So many foods upset my stomach and it has been challenging. Keeping up my proteins has been the hardest thing however I have finally got a good balanced diet. I’ve lost the weight that I wanted too and covered the scar that I disliked. My new tattoo that covers that scar is very symbolic, it reminds me of how much I have grown as person and how far I have come in my journey to accept myself. I have added a few photos to my gallery 🙂

Lisa xx

Ps. In true British style I wore a bikini for two days then it’s pissed it down with rain ☔️ ever since 😂