February 2017 | KTMY

14 February 2017

10 reasons why I love my stoma

Happy Valentines Day everyone! 

Instead of doing you're normal valentines themed post, I thought I'd share with you some reasons as to why I love my stoma. It's very easy to see your stoma in a negative life and let it get you down, and it's totally normal to feel that way at times, but there are so many reasons why you should celebrate and be happy about your stoma too and that's what today's post is focusing on!

It saved my life

It's likely that if you have had ostomy surgery, it's probably because you were pretty ill - they don't just do it for the sake of it. When I'm feeling down about my stoma, I always remind myself that if I didn't have it I probably wouldn't be sat there feeling sorry for myself. Not only did it save my life, it also gave me back my life (because sitting in bed watching films in pain gets pretty old pretty quickly!) and for that, I will always be thankful for my stoma

I can eat just about everything
Before I had my ileostomy, I couldn't eat a lot of things. McDonalds? nope. Fish & Chips? no way. Salad? not if you don't want to be in pain for days. Every time I went out for food, or was just cooking for myself, I had to think about what effect it would have, whether I had much on in the next few days and whether or not the short term enjoyment of the food was worth the pain and toilet trips for the foreseeable future. With my stoma, the only food I don't eat is popcorn (which I don't like anyways!), whole nuts (which I hate) and mushrooms (which I am sad that I can't eat!). I have to be careful with raw fruit and vegetables and make sure I chew properly but apart from that, I don't have to worry and it's great! I've always loved food and I love that I can actually enjoy it now. 

I can go out and not panic about where the nearest toilet is 
I always used to get so paranoid about where the nearest toilets were. I also used to get stressed if I was with a group of people, or at school, and having to go to the toilet because I knew I could be a long time and that used to stress me out. It's so nice to go out and not have to even think about where toilets are or how far away from one I am - I can actually enjoy my time in places now! (although I do now have a sixth sense about where toilets are!)

It helps show you how amazing your friends are
When you've got a chronic illness, you quickly realise who your real friends are and I am so grateful for my stoma because I really saw who my true friends were. The ones who came to visit me and sent me well wishes and continue to this day to support me through everything! That's what you need in life in general and having a stoma really helps you cherish the good friends and weed out the one's who weren't there for you

You can drink without getting a hangover (and, you know, actually drink!) 
I'm not a big drinker but one of the great things about my stoma is that I can now actually drink alcohol and I don't get a hangover because it goes straight to the bag! The only downside is that it can make you really dehydrated but it's easily solved with these tips for keeping hydrated

I'm not on medication
Since having my stoma, I'm not on any regular medication - in fact I went a year and a half with none whatsoever. I was recently put on to a 10 day course of steroid suppositories but compared to the 17 tablets I used to take daily, it's nothing really!

You can travel 
I remember the last holiday I had before my ostomy surgery mainly because I came home on the monday and was admitted on the thursday. It was pretty horrid - I was hardly eating and didn't want to go anywhere in case there wasn't a toilet and don't even get me started on the journey home - I have no clue how I coped! Since having my stoma, I've been on quite a few holidays and had such a great time exploring new places and trying new food - if anything, having a stoma has made me more willing to try new things!

You always have an excuse for having snacks and eating
I use this all the time! I nearly always have snacks with me, just in case the bag needs it! I've even sorted it that I can take snacks into exams with me, because you never know when that bag is going to start demanding to be fed!

I'm not in pain anymore
I still find it weird to not have that constant stomach pain and cramp - I still get phantom bowel from time to time but nothing compared to the agony I was sometimes in!

It helped sort my mental health out
This isn't something I've talked about much on the blog, but I do plan on doing a post on it soon. Before my surgery I suffered with anxiety quite badly (since before I was ill!) and as I was getting sicker I was starting to become more depressed. Being on steroids didn't help either and after having my surgery , my depression and anxiety got worse. However, my parents and doctors all became more aware of my mental health and as a result, I actually went and saw a CBT therapist and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I did because now I am probably at my most healthiest, mentally and physically and it's great!

So there are 10 reasons why I love my stoma. Let me know in the comments below what you love about your stoma/chronic illness/life  <3


8 February 2017

5 ways to keep hydrated easier

Something which I have really been struggling with recently is keeping well hydrated. When it's summer, I'm totally fine and can keep on top of it but for some reason I really struggle in the colder months because, lets be honest, when it's -1 outside you don't want to be drinking a tonne of cold water.

Keeping well hydrated when you have a stoma, especially when  is so important because you don't absorb as much water so it is recommended that you drink about 10 glasses of water a day. However, if you are feeling dehydrated or drinking a lot of water, you have to make sure you have enough salt in your diet too to stay hydrated.

StomaChat, Lean in 15 cook book, corkcicle canteen, lemon water

Here are 5 tips to help you stop getting hydrated...

  1. Carry a water bottle with you everywhere so you always have something to drink with you. My current favourite at the moment is this CORKCIRCLE canteen which keeps your drinks ice cold (you can actually put ice cubes in!!) for up to 25 hours and warm for 12 which is so handy because I hate it when my water goes warm and I can put my tea in it when I get the train and have a nice warm cuppa! It is also vacuum sealed which means that you don't have to worry about it leaking in your bag (which is a constant fear I have) and its lead and BPA free so there's no harmful toxins going into your drink! 
  2. Add fruit to your water if you're getting fed up with the taste of water. One of my big things is that I've been getting really bored of drinking water when it's cold so I've started drinking fruit infused water. My go to is lemon water which has lots of health benefits as well as tasting really nice. Strawberries are another really good fruit to try it with which gives it a really refreshing taste! 
  3. Drink a Lucozade Sport and have a packet of crisps if you're feeling really dehydrated.  I do this a lot if I've been to the gym or done some exercise or if I can't seem to quench my thirst because it balances out your salts really well (as well as being a great excuse to eat crisps!) 
  4. Switch to decaffeinated drinks. I switched to decaf about four years ago as it used to make my IBD flare and I've kept off the caffeine as it can really dehydrate you. I'm trying to cut down on how much coca cola I drink too because when I've been drinking it, I've been feeling super dehydrated and pretty shit
  5. Try drinking rehydration sachets they may taste bad but they don't half work! I get Boot's own and they work an absolute dream. I always have them if I've been drinking alcohol and take them on holiday with me too as they're super easy to put in your suitcase
StomaChat, Lean in 15 cook book, corkcicle canteen, lemon water

Let me know in the comments how you stay hydrated! 

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6 February 2017

Current Netflix Picks

KTMY iPhone 7 Netflix flatly

I feel like recently Netflix has really upped it's game and there are some brilliant shows and films on there (not that there hasn't always been!). I'm one of this people who seems to be constantly watching shows on here, whether it's when I'm getting ready in the morning, having my lunch or having a proper sit down binge session and because of that I seem to get though quite a few shows! So here are 5 shows and films I've been loving on Netflix recently...

The Good Wife
I am 100% obsessed with this show and I'm constantly watching it. I decided to watch it purely because Logan from Gilmore Girls was in it and I was in a post Gilmore Girls slump. I had no clue what the show was about but I've been blown away with how good it is. The show is set in a law firm (which means I can totally count it as revision!) and is about the wife of a politician who is at the forefront of a scandal and she goes back to work in a law firm and it's so good and full of drama! 

Shadow Hunters
This isn't the first time I've featured Shadow Hunters in one of my netflix picks posts but the new season is currently coming out and I'm so hooked! The show is based on the Mortal Instruments books and is basically about Shadow Hunters who fight demons and keep the world safe.

Riverdale has just started coming out and I'm kind of hooked on it - I really wish that it came out in one block rather than weekly! It's been dubbed as a cross between Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl and I can totally see that. It's one of those shows where you're not sure what's going to happen next and it really keeps you on your toes!

London Has Fallen
I'm aware I'm a bit late to the party on this film but I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed it because it's totally not my type of film! It's a full on action packed gun type film about terrorists taking over London/the world and is basically a whirlwind of a film!

Fresh Prince of Bel Air
I never really got in to Fresh Prince but when I saw it was on Netflix I thought why not properly watch it and see what all the fuss is about. It's such a funny show and perfect for putting in the background whilst I'm doing work or taking blog photos and stuff.

What are your current favourites on Netflix? 

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