May 2015 | KTMY

28 May 2015

THEATRE // The 39 Steps*

Last weekend I headed off to Theatre by the Lake in Keswick to see the opening of The 39 Steps, which is celebrating 100 years since the novel was written. This wasn't a play I was familiar with and I hadn't watched the film or read the book either so I was going in completely open minded and was really excited to see what the play would be like.

It's fair to say I was laughing from start to finish, as was the rest of the audience, with perfectly timed comedy and innovative ways to show certain scenes such as the Fourth bridge and the escape from the steam train. The juxtaposition of the two "clown" characters and two "serious" characters added to the comedic element even more!

The clown characters, played by Patrick Bridgeman and Richard Earl work so well together and for me really made the play as even in their background moments, they were still very much in character and making me laugh. Their ability to change role and gender at the drop of a hat (literally) was amazing.

This is one of my favourite plays I've seen at Theatre by the Lake and I'm defiantly looking forward to this season of plays.

The 39 Steps runs until the 4th November and tickets are available at 

22 May 2015

Friday Favourites #1


I started reading I'll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson this week which is a book told from the perspective of twins who are drifting apart. I'm about a third of the way through and I'm really enjoying it so's quite different from the books I've been reading lately. If you've read it, let me know what you thought about it in the comments and I'll be doing a review once I've finished it!


This week I've had She Needs Me by Fyfe Dangerfield on repeat! I'd completely forgotten about this song until it came on when I put Spotify on shuffle and I fell in love with it again. It's got such a good vibe to it and yeah, I love it!


Sweet Electric - I adore this blog and I spent the best part of a day this week reading through all of the posts and getting some blogging and html advice.
Capre Diem Emmie - This is such a well written blog with really nice lifestyle pieces. I think it's really individual and I feel like I've actually learnt a lot from this blog! Plus, Emma seems like such a lovely person!


Last Wednesday I headed to Boots because I was desperate for some new foundation; you know how it is. Any who, the Boots I went to didn't stock my colour of my beloved L'Oreal True Match so I headed to the No7 counter and get them to use their magic Colour Match machine on me. I ended up getting the stay perfect foundation in true ivory and it is such a good foundation! It makes your skin look really nice and give good coverage without giving that caked look. My only issue is it smells a bit weird, like paint, but it works so I aint complaining!


I've been having some trouble with the bags I normally use (Wellend) and they've been leaking and not wanting to stick to be and making my skin really sore...everything you don't want in an ileostomy bag! I sent for some samples of the SenSura Mio 1-piece drainable bag and it was amazing! I have real trouble with ballooning and it just didn't happen with this bag. I still had a problem with very tiny leaks though however my Stoma Nurse has said this is because my stoma goes flat to my stomach sometimes so now I'm using convex bags. Sadly, Coloplast haven't released the new SenSura Mio as a convex yet you I will definitely be getting some when they do!

T V  /  F I L M

I binge watched Finding Carter this week as I hadn't realised Season 2 had started! It's about a girl who was kidnapped when she was three but didn't know and follows her life once her real family are reunited with her. I watched Legally Blond this week for the umpteenth time because let's be real, who doesn't love that film. Anther film I watched for the first time this week is Soul Surfer which is based on a true story about a girl who is a semi professional surfer and is involved in a shark attack and looses her arm; I know, cheery but it's actually a really inspiring story. Finally, I've been obsessed with watching Chelsea Flower Show...I love seeing all of the different show gardens and learning about the different plants!

19 May 2015

World IBD Day

Today is World IBD day; a day meant to raise awareness (and hopefully some money too) of inflammatory bowel disease. I've already shared my story on how inflammatory bowel disease has affected my life however I've never really talked about what IBD actually is and how it affected me before it got really bad.

I think this infographic really puts into perspective the impact of Crohn's and Colitis really can have on people's lives. I was finally diagnosed just as I was turning 17 after 6 months of flaring and years of trouble with my bowels. I was consantly told by doctors that I must have a sensitive stomach, IBS or it was just the stress of my exams. 

I was really ill when I sat my AS exams and as a result, bombed them. Luckily for me, my mum had persistently been taking me to the doctors so there was lots of evidence that I had been ill over my exams and my marks got raised a little (but they were still pretty bad...luckily I managed to bring them up in A2) 

I've donated and taken part in the #getyourbellyout campaign

I lost lots of weight and blood which had left me severely anaemic and I was deficient in folic acid too. The symptoms you see above; I had them all except the eye, skin and liver problems and my pain wasn't severe but it definitely was there, and it was constant and wasn't pleasant.

I tried anti inflammatory drugs, steroids and started on Humira too but nothing worked for me and I couldn't have azenathropine because I'm apparently allergic to it which meant I had to "miss out" on this drug which can apparently be quite effective. I was on the steroids for a year and had horrible side effects including depression, always being hungry, mood swings, headaches and the dreaded prednisolone moon face which is slowly starting to go finally! 

However, because I "looked well" not many people really realised how ill I was and I think a lot of people thought I was making it up sometimes just to get time off school or to get some sympathy from them which always really pissed me off. I know a lot of people with invisible illnesses can feel this way which is why I think it's so important to raise awareness for them; because we aren't making it up! 

So, what can you do to get involved? 

You can wear purple and amake a donation to Crohns and Colitis UK either by text by sending PURP19 + the amount you want to give (i.e. PURP19 £5) to 70070 or you can make an online donation at


15 May 2015

RECOVERY // 1 Month Post Op

I've made it to the 1 month mark! It's crazy to think that exactly one month ago I was knocked out and some people were inside me taking my colon's a bit weird really.

I've been overwhelmed by the messages people have been sending me and all the positive comments that have been said! It's really touching to see how much people care, even people I don't know and I would say it's really helped me in my own recovery; to know that I've been able to help a few people in similar situations to my own.

This first month has shown me how quickly the body can heal as the past few days I've been in hardly any pain when I move (getting out of bed wasn't the easiest!) and today I've even been able to wear my skinny jeans for the first time which makes me ohsohappy! I went out shopping the other day too which was scary knowing that I was going to be out all day and have no nap but I managed it! The key is take it slowly and have lots of coffee breaks which I can always manage and make sure you have the next day to sleep...I had a 2 hour nap yesterday which was very nice but I was so unbelievably tired from shopping!

a very happy me today in my skinny jeans

Gradually I've been introducing more and more foods into my diet (though I'm still staying away from raw fruit and veg atm) and even went for a swanky lunch at Sharrow Bay as well as various lunches out.

My scars have slowly begun healing too and are actually quite itchy which is very annoying! I had this weird glue thing in my belly button (I'm still not sure what it was) and that fell out last week and around the mucus fistula and stoma the edges are really smoothing out and a mini staple even came out!

Scars 2 weeks post op
1 month post op

I'm nearly off all my medication too! It feels really weird to only be taking three tablets now; two calcium and one lanzoprozol. I was so happy to finish the steroids last week after been on them for so long and knowing that I'm unlikely to be put on them again. And on Wednesday I was told I didn't have to put the enema down my mucus fistula either which I jumped for joy at (literally) because it wasn't the most practical or comfortable thing to do.

Action shot of me taking my last (hopefully ever) steroid!

Everyday I feel slightly better or I'm able to do something I wasn't before and yes, I get really tired if I do too much, but I know that thats just my body saying whoa I'm still healing ya know! and eventually I'll be able to get away with not having my afternoon naps! It's a slow process and I still have bad days but it will get least that's what I keep telling myself!

13 May 2015

HEALTH // Let's Get Hydrated

Hydration is important for everyone and is vital and drinking water is really important as part of a healthy diet and for having good skin too. Hydration is even more important for us who have had ileostomy surgery (or any bowel surgery tbh) and we have to drink more fluids (mainly water) a day to avoid dehydration as there is no longer the large colon to reabsorb the water back into the body.

I've always enjoyed drinking water however I have found myself getting a bit bored with glass after glass of the stuff. After browsing Pinterest and InstagramI came across fruit infused water and thought it would be a great, healthy way to keep water in my diet but having different flavours.

I tried strawberry, mint and lemon in my water today and it was so refreshing! After having a search of different flavours I can't wait to try others too. I'm not a huge fruit fan but I think this is a great way of introducing fruit into your diet.

All you need is some fruit and some water and then pop it in the fridge. A quick side note that citrus fruits infuse a lot quicker than berries so if you are using berries, maybe just leave the water for a few hours to infuse properly.

Follow KTMY's board Let's get hydrated on Pinterest.

11 May 2015

OSTOMY & IBD // Support Networks

When I Becomes We Even illness becomes wellness

As humans, we're always looking for support whether that be from your underwear or from people around you; it's a natural instinct. I feel lucky that I have an amazing support network of friends and family around me. However when I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and then having my ileostomy surgery I felt that my friends and family didn't quite get it. Try as they might to help me and understand, sometimes you want to talk to people who know exactly the way you're feeling. 

Maybe you're worried about a certain symptom or want some advice on how to control your symptoms or are wondering how others cope with the disease...I know that I was like that and these aren't really questions your mum can answer (unless she has the same disease/illness as you...then she probably can relate quite well). Apart from my granddad, I didn't really know anyone who had IBD or and ostomy of any kind, let alone someone of my own age. 

I took to the internet and found various online support groups, blogs and charity websites which have really helped me both for my IBD and ileostomy bag so I thought I would share them with you incase any of you are looking for support of any kind because I know that a lot of these have really helped me. 



Just a side note, the Facebook groups are all private so they won't show up on your friends timelines if you post or comment so you can ask whatever you want in these. I hope that this helps some of you like they helped me and comment below if you've found any websites to be really helpful. 

10 May 2015

LIFE // Sunday Lunch at Sharrow Bay

Last Sunday I headed to Sharrow Bay with my parents for a lovely Sunday dinner. I was really excited to go here as it is highly spoken of however I was also quite a bit nervous as it was my first 'proper' outing since coming out of hospital and I was worried that the food might hurt my stoma. It didn't, thank god, and I happily enjoyed my food.


7 May 2015

LIFE // 5 ways to brighten your day

When you feel rubbish, it sucks. I know that a lot of my friends are in the midst of exams and for some reason I'm feeling exam stress too even though I'm not sitting any at the moment! Some habits are hard to break I guess. Anyways, I thought I'd share with you some of my little tips and tricks to have a slightly better day if you're feeling a bit rubbish.

1. Listen to a happy song Science has proven that listening to a happy song can improve your mood. Okay, I'm not 100% sure that that is true but I stand by it! Put on an upbeat song and have a dance around. I promise it will lighten your mood instantly. A few of my favorites at the moment are Uptown Funk, Friday I’m in Love and Shake It Off.

2. Get up and out of bed There's nothing worse for making you feel rubbish than staying in bed and feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, if you're feeling down, have a shower, get dressed and go for a walk. There's nothing I love more than going for a walk with my dog (it's all I want to do at the moment but I can't atm) The fresh air is bound to make you feel lighter and happier - unless it's raining. Then I wouldn't necessarily go for a walk but still get up and have a bath or shower, pamper yourself and have a spa day!

3. Get creative I find that if I'm not in the greatest of moods, drawing often helps me get out of the funk. Currently my go to thing is my wreck this journal which I like to do if I'm feeling down. For some reason, creating something makes me feel better! If you aren't an arty person, maybe try cooking - just being productive can help.

4. Have a spring clean They say a tidy house equals a tidy mind and I don't know about you but I love it when my room looks good. If it's tidy, I automatically feel more content and productive…weird I know. Why not put some upbeat tunes on and have a dance whilst you’re doing it! No joke, since coming out of hospital, all I've wanted to do is tidy my room and completely redo it. Only problem is that I can't actually do much at the moment

5. Smile You’ve heard the phrase fake it till you make it and I sometimes find that it applies to happiness to if you’re in a bit of a funk. Even  if I'm in a crap mood, putting on a smile tricks my mind into thinking I am happy and thus I start to become happy. Does this happen to anyone else? Put on a smile and laugh and the positive energy created makes you happy. Trust me on this one, it does work.

So, there are my 5 tricks to being more happy in life. Do you use any of these tricks, or do you have other ways to be happy?


5 May 2015

Why we should all drink more peppermint tea

I'm not going to lie, if two years ago you said that I'd be drinking peppermint tea everyday, I would've laughed in your face. If it wasn't good ol' English breakfast tea, I wasn't having any of it. However, once I looked into peppermint tea and how good it is for you, especially if you have anything wrong with your digestive system, I had to try it and it turns out it tastes pretty darn good too!

As my ulcerative colitis gradually got worse, I started looking into more holistic methods of easing inflammation and looking for anything which might calm a flare down. I was pretty desperate and would try just about anything. I found that caffeine was one of my 'triggers' so I cut that out straight away and opted for decaf tea and coffee and this was when I started drinking peppermint tea too.

Peppermint tea is really good at easing bloating and, if like me, you suffer from bad indigestion it can help relieve it. I know that when it gets quite painful it can seem like it will never end but I always have a peppermint tea when I feel indigestion coming on or trapped wind and it really does help alleviate the pain. When I was flaring really badly before I went into hospital, I would have a peppermint tea after I'd eaten to help with digestion and with the pain I was in. It didn't cure it but it defiantly helped relieve it.

If nausea is a symptom you suffer from, peppermint tea is also meant to be quite good too. I know that when I was in hospital they gave me peppermint water when I was being sick. I did just throw it back up again so I'm not so sure on that one!

I know that holistic methods aren't for everyone and I have read online that for some people, it can make their IBD flare up more. Everyone is different, which can make finding the trigger foods harder! Obviously, it didn't cure my colitis and it didn't stop me from flaring isn't a miracle herb solution and it didn't mean I stopped taking all my tablets either. But it helped over the two years and alleviated some of the pain and some of the symptoms.

If you've just had ostomy surgery, peppermint tea can be really good for you too. The nurses really recommended it to me (but I already had my trusty pack with me!) as it aids digestion, eases bloating and can also make your bag smell less. I've also seen online people but peppermint oil/capsules in there bag to aid with oder if you have a particular issue with that. 

The last reason as to why you should introduce peppermint tea into your life; it helps relieve stress which is something we all need in our lives! 


3 May 2015

BOOK REVIEW | All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

It's no lie, I'm a huge fan of YouTubers and a huge fan on McFly/McBusted. So have an extremely talented youtuber who is also the sister of one of the members of McFly/McBusted it's obvious I'm going to check it out. I've been a fan of Carrie for about three years and I adore her videos and her positive outlook on life... in short, her videos have really helped me. When I saw she was writing a book, I was so excited and couldn't wait to read it!


2 May 2015

What does a Stoma nurse do?

I thought I'd do a post on stoma nurses because if you're about to go through surgery, or even have the slight possibility of having it, you might be wondering what support there will be for you. Well, look no further! Your stoma nurses will become your best friend around the time you have your surgery; before, during (sort of) and after. 

So, what is a stoma nurse? I hear you ask. Well, they are specialist nurses who know all about stomas. If you know you're going to have surgery, it is likely that your local stoma nurse will come and see you before to talk to you. When I met with my stoma nurses, they spent a good hour with me and we did lots of things including: 

Explaining the surgery to me at the time when the stoma nurses first came to see me, I hadn't actually met the surgeon yet because surgery wasn't 100% happening at the time. My consultant had wanted me to start thinking about it though and that's why they sent to stoma nurses. To be honest, I'm pretty sure surgery was defiantly on the cards at that point but no one wanted to scare me until they knew they had space in surgery that week...I don't know but I just have a feeling! 

Gave me lots of booklets I was given lots of booklets ranging from explaining the surgery, to living with an ileostomy and a nutritional booklet explaining different foods and things like that. It's actually been really useful having these booklets because I was able to keep reassuring myself of things before I went for surgery and I was able to show my parents (who also met with the stoma nurses) and it also answered some of the questions I had

Deciding where my stoma would be placed I was lucky that I had two days before my surgery because it meant I could be involved in deciding where they would put my stoma. We figured out the best place for it to go so I could still wear my beloved skinny jeans and that the waistband of my leggings and stuff wouldn't be right on the stoma. There was the chance that during surgery they wouldn't be able to place it there but I was lucky and it got placed exactly where we decided! 

Look at different bags the first time the stoma nurses came, I didn't have a go at changing a bag myself but they showed me how you change a bag and also the different sized bags which I may or may not use. The nurses actually came to see me again the day after and brought a torso model thing which meant I could have a practice of changing a bag. This actually really helped and I think it made me more confident after the surgery when it came to changing my bag myself.

Ask questions I was able to ask questions about everything and anything however a lot of these I saved for when they came the next day. It's really important that if you have any questions to just ask them, no matter how silly you think they are because at the end of the day if something's worrying you, you need to be reassured and that is part of what your stoma nurse is there for! You can read some of the questions I asked in this blog post.

I had my surgery on a Friday which meant I didn't actually get to see my stoma nurses again till the following Monday after the op. Don't worry if that happens to you too because the nurses on the ward you'll be on know all about stomas and won't be left to fend for yourself! But once Monday did come, the friendly faces of my stoma nurse came and I had my first go at changing my bag which was actually quite scary, especially because it was the first time that I myself had a proper look at the stoma and was able to touch was a bizarre moment. I was also able to ask more questions (you might've guessed by now that I'm quite inquisitive!). Mine were mainly about food because I was (and still am to an extent) scared of eating...I had visions of the food getting stuck inside me and then bursting through the stoma and I thought that every food was going to hurt me. I was completely wrong but it was a genuine fear and the nurses helped me understand more how it all worked. 

Whilst I was in hospital, a stoma nurse came every day to see me. I had a very bad day on the Thursday I was in; I was sick and I got really down and upset about the stoma and not being at uni and I was just sad. It just so happened that my stoma nurse, Gill, came to see me quite early and she was absolutely brilliant and offered so much emotional support. That's the thing about your stoma nurses, they aren't just there for the practical and medical support, they offer emotional support too. Now that I'm at home, I have a weekly home visit where they look at my stoma to check it's alright and just have a general chat about everything. There's also a phone line I can ring which goes direct to the stoma nurses which I can ring if I have any questions, problems or worries. 

The stoma nurses who come and see me are actually provided by SecuriCare (I don't know if this is the same for all hospitals) so there's also their phoneline I can use. The stoma nurses also get into place all your prescriptions for your stoma care (for your bags, LBF wipes, cotton wipes, adhesive sprays...everything) and sort out the delivery. It makes everything so much easier! 


1 May 2015

Having a Pamper Evening

If you follow me on Twitter you'll have seen last night that I decided to have a bit of a pamper afternoon/evening. After coming out of hospital I felt a bit down and my skin was in the worst condition ever due to the hot humid hospital rooms, being pumped full of drugs, being ill and not keeping on top of my skincare routine. Long story short, my skin was in need of some serious TLC!

Now, having a shower and washing my hair is kind of a big deal at the moment but guess who managed to do it all by themselves and I wasn't completely knackered after it either! (I never thought I'd be proud of myself for being able to have a shower...oh how times change).

Before I had my shower, I used Veet's face wax strips because steroids have many side effects, one of them being the ability to grow a pretty decent moustache in two weeks. I'm not going to lie, I was terrified about using these because I thought it would hurt but it actually wasn't that bad and it got rid of the hair really well.

Then I had my shower which was no where near as daunting as the first shower I had! I was still scared, especially because my mum wasn't with me this time. It still amazes me how quick the body heals! On Sunday, I really struggled having my shower and couldn't move much and on Thursday I was able to move easier and didn't need to have a nap afterwards.

In the shower, I used a tanning exfoliator because my skin was in such bad condition mainly due to the fact that two days before going into hospital, I'd come back from Spain and hadn't been able to keep up the moisturising so my tan is literally flaking off! I also used the Ted Baker body wash which smells beautiful.

Once I'd showered, I used Palmers Cocoa Butter to moisturise my skin as it said it was 24 hour moisture and was good for excema prone skin. The product smells absolutely amazing and my skin felt a lot softer than before...although I think I'm going to have to use it every day because my skin is just as flaky today.

I moved onto face care once I'd moisturised and used a face mask which my brother and his wife got me as part of a little parcel they sent me whilst I was in hospital. The Montagne face masks are literally my favourite face masks as they are so good and actually work! The one I used was the dead sea anti stress wash off and no joke, the smell alone de stresses me! But my skin felt so soft and my pores felt a lot less clogged after using them.

The final thing I did in my mini pamper afternoon was paint my nails because it's been so long since I've painted my nails. This was another part of my little care package and it was Maybelline's Colour Show is the colour Love This Sweater. I was really surprised at how quick this dried! Like, super quick and so far it hasn't chipped either which is amazing for me because I always chip my nails within the first day of painting them...normally the first few hours to be honest but so far so good!

So that was my little pamper session. I felt so much better after having a good cleanse of my skin and even though I was a little tired afterwards, I really felt like I'd accomplished something by doing it. I still don't find showing easy and looking at my stoma still freaks me out a bit but slowly I'm coming to accept it and I'm defiantly not going to let it control my life!
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